My phone interview yesterday went really well. I sounded impressive even to myself! And because I got to learn so many new things at that contract job I just finished up, I didn't even have to fusge my experience. LOL
The best part...they want me to come in for an in-person interview on Tuesday morning!! Ya-hoooooo!!!!!!!!
Archive for May, 2008
My phone interview yesterday went really well. I sounded impressive even to myself! And because I got to learn so many new things at that contract job I just finished up, I didn't even have to fusge my experience. LOL
I am having my phone interview today in an hour...Wish me luck!!
I need to find a new bank that ffers free checks. I just went and ordered new ones and they are going to cost me $20. OK, so it isn't a huge amount, but still, paying for checks bugs me when other banks offer them for free. When I mentioned this to the woman at my bank, she goes "No they don't." Uh, yeah they do. Wa-Mu: free checks FOR LIFE!! Unfortunately there are no WaMu's around here. Bleh.
$20 for new bank checks
$24.52 balance due on old car insurance
$15 co-pay to Dr. from last month
$120 Student Loans
$410 COBRA enrollment and 1st month coverage
Will also pay phone bill and electric bill later today, but I might need to buy money roders for them later if I can't pay via phone.
I know it is all for necessary stuff, but it still kills me to spend this much in one day. Plus, added to the $250 I spent yesterday?? EEK! Money is getting low, quickly, and I still haven't heard anything new about that damn phone interview.
STRESS STRESS STRESS!!!
Oh, I forgot to add to my other post, I found 11 cents at the Dollar Store. One penny and one dime. New total for Pennies on the Sidewalk: 87 cents
Today was a Spender. A big spender. A $250 spender!
First stop was the Dollar Store. I heart the Dollar Store. I got Dads Fathers Day Gift: a matching set of pot holders, oven gloves, and hand towels that all say "Grillin" on them. Very Cute. Got a bag to put them in. Total: $6 I'll add in a bottle of his favorite BBQ sauce as well. I also got my sis' b-day gift. A set of body lotion, body wash, body butter and bath salts and a matching candle in a cute basket; also $6
Then I had an eye doctor appointment for my new contacts. The co-pay was $15 but my cheap-ass health insurance won't cover the exam for the contacts, so that was another $75 on top of it. $90 that came from my EF and will be replaced when I get that stimulus check.
Old EF Balance: $714.53
Eye Doctors: -$90
New EF balance: $624.53
And finally, I hit the grocery store on the way home. Spent $145, but got a bunch of meats and stocked up for a couple of weeks.
Total spent: $250
I don't really use coupons much, simply becasue I never seem to use the items I have coupons for, and so many of the coupons require you to buy 2 before you get the amount off. But I am slowly beginning to use them. I'm a little coupon retarded, but I just realized that coupons work best when combined with store sales. LOL I'll get there eventaully.
In the meantime, I did do good wiyth coupons yesterday! My proudest purchase was Zyrtec for my allergies. Our Waalgreens sells a bottle with 45 pills for $27.99. Yesterday Walgreens had them on sale for $23.99. And I had a coupon for $4 off, so I got it for $19.99. $8 saved! Yay me!
I'm not going to add this to my challenge. I figure the savings I get with coupons isn't for my savings account. I's to make that damn grocery budget stretch a little further!
I read an article that talks about how to materials used to make pennies are non-renewable and are in decline (like so many of our other natural resources). One solution proposed by the article is to stop hoarding all your pennies and cash them in at the bank so they can be put back into circulation.
We save all our change and deposite it when we hav enough, but I also have this big jar with nothing but pennies. I had them all saved separately mostly out of habit. As kids, we would out all our pennies in a big glass jar. Then, when the family played cards, we used pennies to place bets and play poker with. I think it jut becamse a subconscious savings with me.
However, I am all about getting money in our savings, and about being green when I can. So, I sat and rolled up my pennies. The few I had that didn't make a full roll went back into CITB and will be deposited when I have enough. I was able to roll $2.50. It went into the EF.
Also into the EF today was a $3 pincone check. Whoo-hoo!
Old EF Balance: $709.03
Pinecone check: $3.00
Recycled Pennies: $2.50
New EF balance: $714.53
There are a lot of things I want right now (a house, a new couch, a new car, a new bedroom set...) and some things I know I need to take care of first (EF, credit card debt, personal debt...). I know it will take me a long time to get my savings for some things saved up(house, new car), so I am starting now. I opened 2 new savings accounts. One for a personal savings (things like a new computer, couch, vacation, whatever I want) and one for a house fund. And by house fund I mean a down payment on my first house. (Thanks for the motivation Amber!).
I am going to get real aggressive about saving and paying off debt. I need to do this.
I will need help. I am a bad saver; I like spending, especially on eating out. I need to be happy eating what we have in the fridge and not craving greasy, money wasting delivery.
So, here are my savings stats:
Personal Savings: $25.00
House Fund: $25.00
(*muttering to myself 'every little bit helps, every little bit helps'*)
Seems like they all come in at once. I need to pay:
2. June student loans payment
5. Dr. visit co-pay
6. Cancellation fee to old car insurance (??? I'm double checking on this whammy before I pay it...can we say...SCAM?)
and the best part of it all? I only have 1 check left! HA! I usually pay all of our bills online and just do checks for the random ones, like the Dr. co-pay. But since we have all new accounts for everything because of the move, I am still setting those up and everything right now is still paper bills. Ugh.
And my bank charges for checks. Bleh.
I am thinking about switching to Wa-Mu, but I need to see if there are any brick and mortars around here first for those rare occasions I need to deposit a check.
Blub blub blub. That's how I feel. Blub.
Today I am going to see one of my best friends' band play. He is going to be part of this huge local bands show that is a fundraiser for The Station Night Club Fire. This was a club that went up in flames about 4 years ago. Hundreds of people were trapped inside the building. There were a lot of deaths and even more injured. My older sister and I almost went to that show, but decided not to at the last minute. Thank Goddess for that. However, we still know people who know people who either died or were severly injusred in the fire. A bandmate of my cousin passed away in the fires, a local DJ from the radio station we always listen to passed away, and so many more. So, today, there is a funraiser for the survivors fund. It is anall day long event, with a bunch of local bands and a buffet. $10 a person, and it goes to a fantastic cause.
Other than that, I am just bumming around the house, gathering stuff for an upcoming yard sale.
I spent $7.62 for breaky this morning. I will be spending $10 for the show, and $50 for some of my meds later in the day.
Oh yeah, and I found a dime on my walk to breaky this morning. (New total: 76 cents)
On Friday we had a great day. We went to this awesome Mexican restaurant for lunch. HUGE portions and wicked good. Total for the 2 of us (plus tip) was $27.
Then, we went to see the new Indy movie. I had some money left on a gift card from X-mas, so we only paid $4.50! $2.25 each for the movies? Nice! And the movie rocked!!!!
On Saturday, Dads came up to help us with some things around the apartment. We went and picked up our new AC, and Dad installed it for us. Then he helped us hang some heavy framed pictures up. It looks a lot nicer now. (Thanks Dad!!) Then Dad and I went out for a nice father-daughter lunch. We are really close and we don't get to hang out too much anymore. It was a great time.
Saturday was a No Spend Day. And even though I had lunch out, Dads treated, so it counts as an all 3 meals at home day as well. And, I had a No Spender one day last week as well. $3 to add to my challenge.
Old EF Balance: $706.03
No Spenders/Eat at Home: $3.00
New EF balance: $709.03
One of the places I sent my resume to emailed me this morning. They want to set up a phone interview. Yay!!
One of my best friends works at this company. She said they do a 3 interview hriing process. One phone and 2 in person. Let's hope the phone interview goes well!
In other news, today we are going to the movies to see the new Indy movie. We have a gift card left over for Christmas for the theater, so even if it doesn't cover the whole cost of our tickets, it will cover a bit of it.
I had a busy day today. I made a bunch of phone calls, and then went out and did some errands. I filled up the car before prices get much higher. Hopefully this fillup will lat me at least 2 weeks. Ahh, the joys of public transportation!
I also checked out a local consignment shop that sells women's clothes. I got all the details about bringing clohes in to them. I'm really excited they take plus size clothes. I have so nice pieces that I never even wore. Plus, they give you 50% of what the item sells for. Pretty nice! Tomorrow I'm going to go through my clothes and see what I can rustle together.
Made a payment on my ATTCC, $200. Works out to about $120 on the principle. Slow going, but at least it is going.
I've deciced to start tracking my daily spending again. Spendings today:
$8.83 breaky for me and the boy at Dunkin Donuts
$15.75 at the Dollar store (new shower curtain, new can opener, package of yard sale price stickers, air freshner, hand soap, etc.)
And finally, I found $.06 on the ground today (all pennies!). (total: 66 cents)
Just got my last paycheck from work. Bleh. But at least it is almost a full months worth of pay thanks to the almost 5 days of vacation I had earned and never used.
So, even though I took money out of the EF to live on until I go paid,I got paid a little sooner than I expected. So, adding my monthly deposit to the EF.
Old EF Balance: $681.03
Monthly deposit: $25.00
New EF balance: $706.03
Well, yesterday was my last day at work. I will miss it there. I really liked the people, loved the work and they paychecks were great, too! Hopefully they will get more work soon an can bring me back. Until then, I'm on the hunt.
Of course, now that I am home I have a million things I want to get done here. No relaxing for me! Today I need to:
1. Register for unemployment
2. Deposit my last paycheck, which I got this morning
3. Refill some of my meds while I still have my health insurance
4. Call HR from my old job to see what they took a June health isurance payment out when my health insurance ends May 31st
5. Fill up the car with gas before prices get any higher
6. Budget out this last paycheck
7. Pay some bills
8. Call HR Block re: a possible refund check from taxes two years ago
And then there are just all the little things I want to get done over the next week or two, like take some clothes to the local consignment shop, clean out for a yard sale in a few weeks, finish unpacking from when we moved, etc. It'll be a busy couple of weeks!
I know the best way to raise your credit score is to be consistent with debt payoff. But while I am doing that, I also decided to try a little trick I read about.
Your credit score is partially based on your debt to available credit ratio. For example, if I owe $1,000 on a CC that has a $2,000 limit, my ratio would be 1:2, or 1/2 (50%). But if I owed $1,000 on a CC that has a $3,000 limit, my ratio becomes 1:3, or 1/3 (33%). The lower that percentage number, the better.
I recently got a credit limit increase on my major CC, so I figured I would ask for one on my LBCC. The maximum I could request as an increase was $300. I got a notice yesterday saying they approved that. So now my debt to available credit ration went from $1,100 on a $1,500 limit to $1,100 on an $1,800 limit. It is not much, but as we all know here, every little bit helps.
For anyone who is interested in trying this, I just need to caution that you MUST have the willpower not to charge more just because your CC limit is higher. That will only get you into more debt and more trouble.
Well, turns out our stimulus check is arriving by mail, and seeing as how my last 2 numbers of my SSN are 89, it looks like it won't be until mid-July. Crap.
I have a week and a half left until I get paid. Double crap.
We have $80 in our checking account and i still need to pay 3 bills this month. Triple Crap!
So, I pulled $200 from the EF. Ugh, I hate doing that. I know that is what it is for, but I like seeing that nice big number in there. I know it will get replenished when we get the stimulus, but I still hate this. I was hoping to use the stimulus to pay down some CC debt and boost the EF to $1,250. Now I will have to pump it back to $1,000.
Old EF Balance: $881.03
Transfer to checking: -$200.00
New EF balance: $681.03
I live in MA and for the last couple of years I have had either Amica or Liberty Mutual car insurance. All those great, cheaper car insurance companies (like Geico, State Farm, All State, Progressive, etc) didn't offer policies to MA residents. Well, now Progressive does! Yay!
I spent a few days doing my research and comparing quotes, and I have decided to switch to Progressive. With Liberty Mutual, I was paying $82.02 a month. By switching to Progressive (and having the same exact coverage!), I was able to lower my monthly payments down to $65.67 a month! That would be a savings of $16.35 a month!!
I'm so happy I took the time to research this and made the switch. A couple of years ago I wouldn't have even thought about this. It would have never entered my mind as an option. But I have learned a lot here these last 2 years, and although I should be more modest, I am damn proud of myself for this!
I think we are going to use the extra $ each month and add it to our internet budget. We currently have DSL, but since we both have laptops, we want to go wireless. We didn't have the extra money before, but this extra each month should cover it.
I found this article online at webmd.com and thought I'd share it. I know it will help motivate me to eat healthier (and cheaper!).
10 Healthy Foods Under $1
Even with rising food prices, it's possible to shop for healthy foods without spending a fortune.
Most of us don't need to hear it or read it ... we have felt it in our wallets every time we've gone to the grocery store. But just because food prices are rising doesn't mean you can't make healthy food choices.
The good news is that many foods that are good for you are also cheap. Here is our list of the top healthy foods you can find in your grocery store for under a dollar.
Prices may vary based on the store, location, and time of year.
Great for: Snacks, green salads, main dish salads, and fruit salads.
What's a serving? 1 large apple.
Price per serving: About $1. Apples sell for about $1.99 per pound, and an extra large crisp apple weighs about 1/2 pound.
Nutrition Info per serving: 117 calories, 5 grams fiber, 17% Daily Value for vitamin C, and 7% Daily Value for potassium.
Great for: Snacks and fruit salads, yogurt parfaits, and smoothies.
What's a serving? 1 banana.
Price per serving: About 45 cents. Bananas sell for about $0.89 per pound, and a large banana weighs about 1/2 pound
Nutrition Info per serving: 121 calories, 3.5 grams fiber, 14% Daily Value for potassium (487 mg), 20% Daily Value for vitamin C.
3. Baby Carrots (in bags)
Great for: Snacks, casseroles, stews, veggie platters, and side dishes.
What's a serving? About 1/2 cup or 2 ounces raw.
Price per serving: 19 cents. A 16-ounce bag costs about $1 on sale and contains about 8 servings (2 ounces each).
Nutrition Info per serving: 27 calories, 2 grams of fiber, 200% Daily Value for vitamin A, and 7% Daily Value for vitamin C.
4. Canned Beans
Great for: Green salads, casseroles, stews, and chili. Types of beans range from 50% less sodium kidney beans and black beans to white beans and garbanzo beans.
What's a serving? Each can contains about 3.5 (1/2-cup) servings.
Price per serving: About 28 cents. You can buy a 15-ounce can for about $1 on sale.
Nutrition Info per serving: About 120 calories (for kidney beans), 7 grams protein, 6 grams fiber, and 6% Daily Value for calcium, and 10% Daily Value for iron.
5. Canned Tomatoes
Great for: Italian and Mexican recipes, chili, stew, and casseroles. Flavor options range from no-salt-added sliced stewed tomatoes to diced tomatoes with garlic and olive oil.
What's a serving? One can contains about 3.5 (1/2-cup) servings.
Price per serving: About 28 cents. You can buy a 14.5-ounce can for about $1 on sale (often less for store brands).
Nutrition Info per serving: About 25 calories, 1 gram fiber, 10% Daily Value of vitamin A, and 15% Daily Value of vitamin C.
6. Oranges (extra large navel oranges)
Great for: Snacks, green salads, and fruit salads.
What's a serving? 1 large or extra large orange.
Price per serving: 40 cents for a large orange and 79 cents for an extra large orange. Oranges sell for around $0.79 per pound, and a large orange is about 1/2 pound, whereas an extra large orange is about 1 pound.
Nutrition Info per serving: (for an 8 ounce orange): 106 calories, 5.5 grams fiber, 10% Daily Value for vitamin A, 200% Daily Value vitamin C, 17% Daily Value for folate, 9% Daily Value for calcium, and 12% potassium.
Great for: Snacks, as an appetizer with cheese, green salads, and fruit salads.
What's a serving? 1 large pear
Price per serving: about 45 cents for a large pear. Pears sell for about $0.90 per pound, and a large pear weighs about 1/2 pound.
Nutrition Info per serving: 133 calories, 7 grams of fiber, 16% Daily Value for vitamin C, and 8% for potassium.
8. Lentils (dry)
Great for: Soups and stews, cold bean salads, and casseroles.
What's a serving? 2 ounces (dry)
Price per serving: 14 cents. A 16 ounce bag sells for $1.12 (on sale) and contains eight servings.
Nutrition Info per serving: 195 calories, 14 grams protein, 6 grams fiber, 24% Daily Value for Iron, 10% Daily Value for magnesium and potassium.
9. Pearl Barley (dry)
Great for: Soups and stews, cold salads, and casseroles.
What's a serving? 2 ounces (dry)
Price per serving: About 12 cents. A 16 ounce bag of dry pearl barley sells for about $0.94 and contains about 8 servings.
Nutrition Info per serving: 199 calories, 9 grams fiber, 2.5 grams soluble fiber, 6 grams protein, 8% Daily Value for iron, and 11% Daily Value for magnesium.
10. Yogurt (plain, lowfat, or fat-free)
Great for: Smoothies, yogurt parfait, dips, and dressings.
What's a serving? An 8-ounce or 6-ounce container is usually a serving.
Price per serving: 60 cents. This is usually the price for an 8-ounce container of plain yogurt.
Nutrition Info per serving: (for 8 ounces of fat-free plain yogurt): 130 calories, 13 grams of protein, 45% Daily Value for calcium, plus active cultures such as acidophilus and bifidus.
Our money, that is, not me.
We have about $80 in our checking right now. I don't get paid again until the 30th or so. Eeeeek! I am hoping my stimulus check arrives soon, since I still have a few bills to pay for the month. I'm not sure how we got so far off budget this month! We were doing decently until now.
I can transfer a few bucks from our EF to our checking for now to cover those bills, but I like seeing that big number in the EF.
I guess it just depends on the due dates and when our stimulus arrives (we were supposed to get it this past Friday). I do all my bill paying online, so at least I don't have to worry about giving the mail time to send my payments.
I'm just a little concerned, even though we have the EF to cover things. Like I said before, as soon as we get that EF built up, it seems like we need it.
One things I really miss about our old apartment was my garden. I had a good size one in the back yard, and I used to grow flowers, herbs, and once I attempted pumpkins (it didn't work). At our new place, there is nice landscaping all around and some palces that look like they either are peoples gardens or used to be people's gardens. If no body gardens in one of these spots this year, next year I will claim it for my own use. Until then, I am attempting Urban Gardening.
On our kitchen windowsill I have a cactus, some pretty flowers (no idea what they are called) and some sage. Yesterday I went out and got some stuff for our mini deck.
We have a small deck out the back door that we share with the people next to us. On our side, I have a really good size potted tomato plant. It should be sprouting some tomtos within a couple of weeks. Yay!
I lso picked up some windown boxes to hang over the side of out railing. We have room for 4, but I only picked up two for now to see how they do. In one I am going to put 3 cilantro plants (my fave herb!), and in the other, 2 lavender plants and one peppermint plant. I love having fresh peppermint for making our own peppermint tea, or putting in fresh lemonade. And we cook with a lot of cilantro in the summmer. The lavender is so pretty, and I dry it for use in herbalism.
Hopefully these will do well. If they do, I am going to do another windowbox with marigold (I also dry those for herbalism), and maybe some basil.
Saturday I went out and did a bunch of errands. When I walked out of Walgreens, I saw the twinkle of change on the ground. $.36 Whoo-hoo!
Sat: 1 penny, 1 dime, 1 quarter (total: 60 cents)
I've noticed since I started working (and now living) in a big city I find a lot more change on the ground. In fact, I pick up spare change almost every day. Even though it is halfway through the year, I have decided to keep track of how much I find each day.
I don't really know how much I have found up until now, but if this second half of '08 is as good as the first half, I could have a few substancial finds. Besides a bunch of change (including quarters), we found $22 in bills already this year. The big find was a $20 in bush in a parking lot! All the spare change we find goes into our Cash in the Bag.
Here is this week, so far.
Mon: sick, didn't leave the house
Tues: sick, didn't leave the house
Wed: 2 pennies, 1 dime (12 cents)
Thurs: 1 penny, 1 dime (23 cents)
Fri: 1 penny (so far) (24 cents)
Where oh where has my stimulus gone??
Supposed to get it by today...hope it comes soon! I'm getting impatient!!!
First one in MONTHS!!
Now, let's just start racking them up again!
I was hoping I had enough point from MyPoints to get a $10 gift card to Wal-Mart to put towards the AC, but I didn't have enough. Intead I went through MyPoints (I earned 2 points per dollar!) to purchase it. There was no shipping fee, since it is getting sent to our local store and we will pick it up there. tax was $4.80. Overall total: $100.80 Yay!
I used money from the EF, but when I get my stiumulus payment (anyday now, people!) I will replace it.
Old EF Balance: $981.83
New AC: -$100.80
New EF balance: $881.03
I am officially looking for a job again.
I finished updating my resume last night. It looks OK, but I may see if I can do some extra tweaking to it over the next few weeks. For now though, it works well.
I have to get started on the job hunt. Luckily I have some great references from this current job. Plus, living in Boston now makes it so much easier to find a job compared to when I was living an hour out of the city and I didn't want to do the hour commute. With any luck something will come along quickly.
I sent my resume to three places today. One job was an Editorial Assistant (which is about 2 positions lower than where I am now), one for a Production Assistant position (about the level I work at now), and one for an Associate Editor position (also about the level I am at now).
Hopefully I hear something positive soon!
On some happy news, my current job contract (that originally expired April 30th and got extended to May 16th) was just extended again to May 21st. Good deal! And my boss said after that they will talk with HR to see how many days of vacation time I have earned to help give me the full months worth of pay. (I think I have almost 5 days of vacation time earned!) Very good deal!
Did some online grocery shopping tonight. By paying via my checking account, I save $1 off my order. Had a $5 coupon off the order, and then saved $2.50 for selecting a non-prime delivery time. $8.50 going to the challenge.
Old EF Balance: $973.33
Peapod discounts: $8.50
New EF balance: $981.83
and I'm not even talking about Dr.s visits and prescription meds. Friday I woke up with a really bad sore throat. It was also a cold and rainy day. I ended up spending Sat, Sun and Mon at home, on the couch or in bed. And today, Tuesday, I am still out of work for one more day. You'd think with not going out anywhere I would have had a few no spend days. Nope.
We don't do well with keeping the cupboards stocked up for thing like clds and such. So, Saturday, I walked next door to Walgreens and bought tissues, generic day-quill, and picked up one of my prescriptions. Sunday for dinner we ordered in Sushi so I could have the Udon bowl (a big bowl of wheat noodles, veggies, and beef broth). (We didn't have any soup in the house. We could have picked some up next door at Walgreens, but we wanted Sushi...I know, I know...bad.) Then Monday, my chest was tight from the cold and I was having trouble breathing. So, BF went back to Walgreens and got me some expecterant and Vicks vapor rub.
I am feeling somewhat better today, and I think we now have everything I need for my cold (and if BF gets sick now). It just kills me how we didn't go out for 3 days and still spent money.
I want to get a hang of things and start stocking up on things so when this happens again we won't have to spend money.
I just have noticed that we spend way too much and need to stop. I think we got comfortable with my good paychcek, but we need to be realistic and stop spending so much. Stocking up in advance with sales and coupons and BOGOs will help with that.
That being said, anyone want to teach me the CVS method??
So, the 4 Lizzie Borden books I put on Crigslist the other day have sold. All 4 went for just over $28, which works out to $7 each. That's great as far as I am concerned! It is about what they would have sold for in a used bookstore, and about what I paid for some of them.
Adding that to the challenge/my EF. THISCLOSE to $1,000!
Old EF Balance: $944.95
Lizzie Borden books: $28.38
New EF balance: $973.33
|<< Newer Entries||Older Entries >>|