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Home > Archive: December, 2007

Archive for December, 2007

New Budget Set in Place!

December 31st, 2007 at 01:40 pm

I have a rough estimate of how much my take-home pay will be based on what percentage was taken out of each paycheck from my last job. I am expecting there to be a larger percentage taken out because I now make more, but I am not sure exactly how much. As a result, this new budget is an estimate of the low end, and I will tweak it when I get my first paycheck. Hopefull my take home pay will be more than anticipated and I'll have more left over for savings/debt.

Monthly Budget
Rent $625
Health Ins. $341.50
Meds $70*
Car Ins. $82.08
Cable $53.27
Cell Phone $50
Home Phone/Internet $55
Electricity/Gas for home $200
Cas for Car: $150
Groceries $300
Commuter Rail Pass $250
WW $39.95
LBCC $100
ATTCC $300

Extra $83.15

*(This will be going up by at least $100 starting in late January for a new medication I will need to take. However, once I know how much it will be, I will be applying for financial assistance for it.)

2007 $20 Challenge Tally

December 31st, 2007 at 07:43 am

I went back and totalled up how much and from where I managed to save in 2007 from my $20 Challenge. I'm very happy with this!

Yard Sale: $178
Cans/Bottle returns: $5
Tarot Readings: $290
Rebates: $58.75
Scratch Tickets: $1
Paid to myself for eating at home: $15
Paid to myself for NSD: $24
Store Savings: $58.67
Freelance work: $809.38
Ebay: $225.10
Half.com: $240.28
CITB: $163.50
Interest: $14.71
Extra cash thrown in: $379.55

TOTAL: $2,837.09

Big Grin

2008 Financial Goals

December 29th, 2007 at 11:29 am

I figured it was close enough to 2008 to post my next years financial goals. I was able to complete a couple of my 2007 ones (paid off my car, pay off my credit service debt, save $1,000 for Vegas) and I'm hoping with this new better paying job 2008 will be even better. Smile

2008 Financial Goals
1. Pay off ATTCC (about $3,300)
2. Pay off LBCC ($1,177.07)
3. Pay Mums back $800
4. Save $1,000 in EF (currently at $90.29)
5. Save $1,000 for taxes by April 1st (currently at $73.32)

No Spend Day Dollars

December 29th, 2007 at 11:05 am

Toally forot to pay myself for my No Spenders in December. I've had 9 (so far) so it's $9 into the $20 Challenge.

$20/UF Old Balance: $64.32
December No Spenders: $9.00
$20/UF New Balance: $73.32

Got the job! (Financal Independence, here we come!)

December 28th, 2007 at 07:12 pm

I had a job interview yesterday and was offered the job on the spot! The official offer came in this morning with salary and benefits. I accepted and I can't wait to start! My first day will be next Thursday, the 3rd.

I will be an editor at a publishing company in Boston. I'm so excited. Right now it is a 4 month contract, but I am hoping that when that is done I will immediately get hired on for another contract or get hired on permanently. The commute is going to suck (2 hours, EACH WAY!) but the compensation more than makes up for it. I am getting over $14,000 more a year that I was making at my last job!

I have made a rough budget, guestimating how much will be taken out each paycheck for taxes. I'll just tweak the budget as it gets rolling and when I need to, but we are sticking to this one. FINALLY, we will be financially independent! Yay! Smile

Help - How do I figure out percentage?

December 28th, 2007 at 08:30 am

I am horrible at math. If I want to know what percentage of my paycheck gets taken out each pay period for taxes, or what percentage I put into savings, how do I figure that out???


Job Interview Today!

December 27th, 2007 at 09:07 am

In Boston at 4pm! Heading in on the train at about 1pm. Wish me luck! Smile

$20 Challenge/Tax Season...

December 26th, 2007 at 04:00 pm

This past year (2007) I did some freelance work that never had taxes taken out of it. I know I will have to file it all when I do my taxes this year. What I don't know is how much I am going to have to pay. When I was making my 2008 $$ Goals, I realized I want to have some money set aside for when I have to pay taxes in April. I don't want to worry about suddenly coming up with it or having to take it from my EF.

That being said, my personal $20 Challenge will be saving for taxes. I have 4 months and I want to come up with at least $1,000. I will be putting on hold extra CC payment via the $20 Challenge until I have saved up enough.

As a reminder, my $20 Challenge money comes from my half.com and ebay sales, any tarot readings I do, spare change, survey checks, refunds, and a few other small places. It tends to add up rather quickly, so I'm hoping to hit my $1,000 goal quickly and get back to paying down the debt.

Current Challenge Balance: $64.32

Just a few small things...

December 26th, 2007 at 06:59 am

Christmas was great. Got some great gift cards: Olive Garden, Barnes and Noble, and even one to Shaws along with a new cook book! Everyone seemed happy and like they had a great day. Hope everyone here did as well. Smile

In other news, my aunt passed away on Christmas Eve. She was in her early 70's but very sick with cancer. She'd been in and out of the hospital for a while, and hit a point where the chemo was actually doing her more harm than good. I wasn't very close to her, but am kinda close to her son, my cousin. I feel so bad for him and his family. Frown

And finally, a random thought, that X-mas Eve and X-mas Day were both No Spenders for me.

December No Spenders: 9

Great ebay sell!

December 26th, 2007 at 06:55 am

Last week I put some extra fabric on ebay. It was just 100% cotton, a year or two. One was Shrek, two were Spiderman, and a bigger piece (64"x90") was Red Sox. The Shrek didn't sell, Spidey went for $3, BUT, the Red Sox fabric went for $61.88!!! I couldn't believe it! I only wish I had more of it! At any rate, that $ will go into my $20/UF as soon as it makes it to my account.

Half.com DD

December 24th, 2007 at 08:38 am

Had another half.com DD into my savings today. Smile

Pssst...Merry Christmas!

$20/UF Old Balance: $51.69
Half.com DD: $12.63
$20/UF New Balance: $64.32 Smile

CC Payment

December 23rd, 2007 at 05:25 pm

Sat down to pay all my Jan bills tonight (except phone, cable and LBCC; they come at the middle of the month). After I was done, I had $317.24 in my account, so I added $25 plus the $17.24 (a total of $42.24) as an extra payment onto my ATTCC.

Yay me. Smile

New ATTCC Balance: $3,335.07
Extra Payment 12/23: $42.24
New ATTCC Balance: $3,292.83

Paid off: $207.17

Big Grin

ebay sales

December 22nd, 2007 at 09:00 am

For some reason, I've been having good luck with ebay sales lately. I think it is because of the holidays, and also becasue I have finally got to the point where I am ok with parting with some of my "more collectible" items. At any rate, I just made a deposit to my $20/UF Fund from 2 ebay sales, and I have another one ending in 2 days that will be at least $20. Smile

$20/UF Old Balance: $20.22
Ebay sales: $31.47
$20/UF New Balance: $51.69

Job Interview!!!

December 21st, 2007 at 09:04 am

I got a job interview!! YAY! It's next Thursday afternoon. In Boston. As a freelance, full-time proofreader! For a real publishing compnay! YAY! Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin

Can you tell I'm excited?! I figure this has to be fate, because I originally applied for the job in the beginning of December, and about 2 days later recieved an e-mail saying the job was filled, but if they got anything else, they would let me know. I figured it was the usual brush-off. But then the person I had sent my resume to e-mailed me today to ask me to come in next week to "chat." And he asked "if all goes well" could I start full-time the first week of January! Why yes, I can! Big Grin

Plus...it's next door to a gigamungous Barnes and Noble! Fate I tell you! Smile

I'm so excited..... Smile

No Spend Thursday

December 21st, 2007 at 09:00 am

Yesterday was another No Spender. Well, I had to put gas in my car, but that is a necessity, so I don't really count it. Yay me for another one! Being unemployed and having NO income really helps curb that spending urge! LOL Big Grin

December No Spenders: 7

I Hate When They Make You Feel Guilty!

December 20th, 2007 at 12:39 pm

I got a call today (and a similar one last week from a national organization) from a local fundraising group. This is a cousin to a group I have donated to in the past. So, the guy calls and is all nice and friendly. He does his spiel. And I say, which is the truth: "I'm sorry but I can't help you right now. I lost my job last month and have not found a new one yet." What does the guy say? "Oh. Bye" and hangs up.

I couldn't believe it! And the guy last week was just as rude. Whatever happened to "Thank you anyways"? It was almost like they didn't believe me from the tone in their voice. It just makes me so mad that when I can't donate, they make me feel guilty. Ummm, hello?? JOBLESS over here! If you want to give me a job or find me a job, then I'll donate. But I already feel crappy enough about being unemployed; I don't need any extra help feeling like a worthless loser!

It just makes me never want to donate again. It's like some organizations see you as a bank and when the bank is closed for business, they throw a tantrum. Besides the fact, even if I WAS working, stop calling me! I donate when I can to who I want. Annoying me over the phone is just gonna make me take my money elsewhere!!

Grumble grumble.....

Apartment hunting

December 20th, 2007 at 12:30 pm

Yes, again. We are just SO ready to move away from psycho neighbors. We looked at a couple of places yesterday. One was kinda dumpy. The other one was nice, but I think too small. We'd have to cut out at least half of the furniture we have, and maybe more. Kinda sucks, cuz it was cheap and cute. Oh well, we'll keep looking. Called two more places today, we will see what happens with those.

On a sad(ish) note, the condo we wanted to buy this summer is still for sale. And we still can't afford it. I'm wondering if I will not be happy finding any new apartment because it will not be the condo. That's something for the Decemeber contest. I wish when I was in my late teens/early 20's wracking up CC debt on stupid shit instead of saving my money, it would lead to bad credit and not being able to afford a place of our own. *sigh* How stupid I was then...

Wednesday Ramblings

December 19th, 2007 at 03:06 pm

Not much going on. Spent the day mostly looking online for some freelance work (there's very little right now). Listed a few things on ebay. I'm in a "Let's get rid of everything" mood, as well as a "Let's sell stuff because we need money" mood.

We also looked at 2 apartments today. Both are cheaper than where we are now, plus I'm sure quieter since we won't have the psycho neightbor next door. But I think I am spoiled by all the fancy features is this place. The others were OK; one was really cute, but there is no way we could fit everything we have there. We'd have to get rid of 1/2 our furniture, and I don't want to. I think we may keep looking...

Other than that, nothing much new. A book I ordered came in, but I am waiting til after X-mas to pick it up since I am getting a GC to the bookstore from Mums and Dad (they do one every year!). Today was a No Spender. Smile

December No Spenders: 6

No Spenders

December 18th, 2007 at 08:50 am

I have been MIA the last week or so because I am trying to process some info in my head. I've been having medical problems the past two years or so, and I was FINALLY just diagnosed with an illness. Still coming to terms with it, but at least it's not a tumor. Smile

Spending bit lately, but both yesterday adn Sunday were No Spenders for me. Yay! Smile Today I need to hit the grocery store and the post office, and other than that I am going to try to d no unecessary spending. Smile

December No Spenders: 5


December 14th, 2007 at 09:05 am

I am so angry right now! I opened my CC statement and it said I had $114 in purchases! NO! I had $39.95 for my monthy WW fee. The rest was all interest! $75 in fricken interest! AND my interest is down almost 10% from what it used to be! No wonder I can never get ahead on this! I mean, I always knew it was ridiculousy high interest, but I guess it never sunk in b/c I was always using my card. But now that I use it for WW ONLY, it is really hitting me! Time to cancel that from my CC! No more purchases with the CC AT ALL!!!

This means that before I had a total of $139 paid off it, now it is down to $64!! And that is after paying $235 on it last month! God, that is disgusting the way they rip you off! Unless I can get a 0% interest or can afford to pay it off ASAP, no more CCs for me. I'm done with them!

Old ATTCC Balance: $3,360.12
Interest: $74.95
Monthly WW fee: $39.95
New ATTCC Balance: $3,435.07 Frown
$20/UF Payment 12/14: $100.00
New ATTCC Balance: $3,335.07

Paid off: $164.93

CITB - rolled quarters!

December 12th, 2007 at 08:28 am

I love having a full roll of quarters. Smile Added to the $20/UF account.

$20/UF Old Balance: $10.22
Quarter Roll: $10
$20/UF Balance: $20.22

Payment to the Student Loans

December 11th, 2007 at 10:13 am

My BIG student loans are on deferrment right now, thank Goddess. However, I do still pay the small one. It is $120 every 3 months, so it's not a problem to handle. Made the last payment for 2007 today. Only 4.5 years left paying on it! HA! Eventaully, I want to send them some extra each month, but the way they do it, is they don't take that off the principle, they "apply" any extra you send them towards the next payment due. Boogers.

Old UMD 2 Balance: $2,315.76
Decemebr 2007 Payment: $120
New UMD 2 Balance: $2,195.76

RWU: $26,475.41
UMD 1: $38,044.87
UMD 2: $2,195.76

Half.com payment

December 11th, 2007 at 10:04 am

Just got a payment of $32 from half.com Adding this to the $20/UF account. I now have over $100 in there, so I am taking $100 out of it to make a payment on the CC. When it clears, I'll update the CC balance. For now, here is the new $20/UF balance. Smile

$20/UF Old Balance: $78.22
Half.com: $32.00
$20/UF Balance: $110.22
MINUS CC payment: -$100
$20/UF New Balance: $10.22

Meds and Car Insurance

December 10th, 2007 at 08:08 am

So yesterdays meds at CVS ended up being more than I thought. Turns out the copay on the 3 generic were $10 each and the non-generic one as $40! Eeek! I've tried the generic version of that one med, but I can't take it. It doesn't work for me. But at least $70 for meds is better than the almost $300 I'd be paying without health insurance.

On a side note, I just renewed my car insurance for another year. Last year was my first year with Liberty Mutual, and I was pretty happy with them. I'd love to find a cheaper insurance, but none of the other ones (Geico, AllState, State Farm, etc) cover Mass. At any rate, last year I paid $1,024.44 for insurance ($85.37 a month). Since I am now a repeat customer, I got a small discount and my yearly rate for 2008 is now $984.96 ($82.08 a month). A savings of $3.29 a month or $39.48 a year. Yay! Smile It's not a HUGE discount, but every bit counts and I'm happy with it. I'm especially happy I now pay under $1,000 a year for car insurance. And another bonus? When it is time to renew for 2009, my driving record will be completely clean (as long as I don't get a ticket or mess up between now and then) and my discount will be even bigger. Yay for repeat customer discounts! Smile

Lazy Sunday

December 9th, 2007 at 01:47 pm

Not much going on money-wise today. At Mom and Dads, watching football, wrapping holiday gifts, and waiting for dinner. On the way home tonight I need to pick up my meds at CVS. This will be the first time I get them with my new insurance, so I'm not sure how much they will be. 3 of the 4 are generic, so they should be about $10 each. I think the non-generic one is around $25. I'm thinking should be about $60 for all of them. Let's hope it's not more than that!

Other than my meds (a very big necessity) today has been a No Spender. Now, just to get ONLY the meds and not the Twinkies I am craving at the store tonight... Smile

CC Charge...Grrr

December 8th, 2007 at 07:38 pm

When I was calculating my current balance for my ATTCC, I totally forgot that my monthly membership to WW gets charged on there. Grrrr... So, my balance is actually $39.95 higher than I thought. Frown

Old ATTCC Balance: $3,320.17
Monthly WW Fee: $39.95
New ATTCC Balance: $3,360.12
PAID OFF: $139.88

1st Day at Tarot Gig!

December 8th, 2007 at 07:11 pm

Yesterday was my first day of being at III Suns as their tarot reader. It was great. I only got one reading, but I had a lot of fun there talking with the woman who was working and the customers who came in. I got to meet some great new people. Hopefully there will be more readings next time, but I'm psyched I even had one. Sooner or later, my business cards will be picked up, people will get to know me, and I'll have booking for readings. For now, that $10 I made yesterday is going to the $20/UF.

$20/UF Old Balance: $68.22
Tarot Earnings: $10.00
$20/UF New Balance: $78.22

$20/UF Fund has a purpose

December 8th, 2007 at 07:09 pm

I think for now, with nothing big ahead of us to save for at the moment, our $20/UF will be a kind of holding place for CC payments. I can only make an online payment to the CC a certain number of times per month, so instead of worrying about it being in the checking and us spending it (cuz if it is there, I so will spend it), I will keep it in the separate account. This way, all the small little amounts I get here and there can build up to make one large payment. Every time I hit over $100 in the account, I will transfer that $100 to the CC as an additional payment.

I really want this ATTCC debt gone by Jan 1st, 2009. According to my calculations, at the interest rate I am paying, I will need to pay $300 a month! Yikes! I'm not sure I can manage it, but gods dammnit, I will try! If I can swing at least $200 a month, it will be paid off in 1.5 years, and I can live with that if I don't get it all gone in 1 year.

No Spenders!

December 8th, 2007 at 07:01 pm

Thursday and Today (Saturday) were No Spenders for us. Thursday I had to get some tests done, but there was no medical co-pay. Afterwards Mums and I went out to lunch (her treat...awwwww, she's so cool) then it was back here and a lazy night. Today I spent the WHOLE day on the couch in my PJs. There was an Americas Next Top Model marathon on, so I chilled out and watched it. A lazy day, but hey, at least I didn't spend any money!

I would love to hit 10 No Spenders this month.

December No Spenders: 3

Unexpected money!

December 8th, 2007 at 06:49 pm

I'm a little confused right now, as we have about $125 MORE in the checking account than I thought. I beleve all the bills have cleared. I have no idea where the extra money came from. Mind you, I'm not complaining; an extra $125 is awesome. Only I'm worried about why we have it.

I don't keep track of our balance really, just kinda of a runningn total in my head. I know I should keep a written log, but I always forget to write things down, and then I get lazy with it.

Anyways, so tonight I checked the balance to make sure I was in the right area (what a horrible way to manage our money, huh???) and found more than I thought in there. We're going to wait a few more days, just to make sure it's not already earmarked for something, then if it is still available, we can use it for some bills or something.

I guess I really should start writing it all down, huh? I will really try harder. This is a good slip up; I hate to think of how icky a bad slip up could be! We got lucky this time, and I'd rather not test that luck again.

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