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Archive for June, 2007

Struggling

June 30th, 2007 at 04:47 am

So it looks like once again I have messed up with our budget. We have very little money to make it to the next paycheck, which is Friday.

I start each week with good intentions, then loose them all as the week goes on. We decide to order in becasue it is too hot to cook. We need groceries I didn't budget for (sour milk anyone?). I need more gas in the car, and I forgot to budget that in. We go to the bookstore/magazine store to "just look" and then have no willpower. Kittie has an emergency and we need to go to the vet.

It's so much harder to live in a budget than I thought. I mean, I completely see the benefits and I don't ever want to go back to how I was before, but I'm not quite where I want to be yet.

Sometimes I feel like a financial failure. Sure, I am better now than how I used to be, but damn, there is still so far to go!!!

Kitty issues

June 28th, 2007 at 04:24 pm

Our kitten Wolfie had surgery about 2 weeks ago. She is still healing, but we noticed her wound was opening up. So we brought her to the vets today. Luckily, she is OK, and they said just to put a sock over her belly until it heals. Sheesh, talk about scary!

While we were there, we got her the last of the 3 shots she needed. So, now she is all up to date until next March. Yay!

Pet Care Spending: $54 for checkup and shots

If you use Citizens Bank...

June 28th, 2007 at 04:22 pm

you might want to be aware of this. Just found out today:

Citizen's BankTheyBank is going to be bought out by the Royal Bank of Scotland and Citizen's will be no more. This will happen sometime in 2008. Also, and more importantly, they are making a change to one of their policies (not sure when it takes affect, but soon). Right now they credit any automatic deposits at 12:01am and then when all the deposits are done, they do all direct debt for that date.

Now, they are going to be doing the debt's first and then the deposits. So if you are scheduled to have a direct deposit and debt on the same day and you don't have a cushion in your account, you will get an over draft fee!!

I would make sure you leave at least a day between deposits and debts. Or, do as I am, and switch banks.

Finding another $300 a month Ė HELP!

June 26th, 2007 at 08:27 am

I just got the info I need to start paying back my student loans. I have around $66,000 in SL debt. Ick. I am enrolled on the Income Contingency Program. What this means is they compare my income to how much I owe in debt and give me a reduced payment. So, instead of paying close to $1,000 a month, I am only paying $286.97. Much better, yes, but I am still struggling with where I am going to come up with an extra $300 a month! Hereís my breakdown right now:

Bring home pay per month:$1,500
Rent: $625
Car: $0
Electricity: about $50-60 a month, varies. In summer higher, but lower gas; in winter, lower, but higher gas.
Gas (home): about $75 a month, varies. In summer lower, but higher electricity; in winter higher, but lower electricity.
Cable: $40 (cheapest one)
Cell Phone: $30 (cheapest plan)
House Phone/Internet: $55 (cheapest plan, no long distance)
Groceries: about $300, but working to lower that greatly
CC payments: $200
Gas for car: $120 (ouch)
Student Loan #1: $40
Car insurance: $85

And that is it. Anything extra we put on the CC or we use to go out to eat once in a while (less now) or get clothes or a book, or whatever. And believe me, there isnít that much extra.

Freelance work is great, but it is sporadic, and every time I submit an invoice, it takes 8-12 weeks to get paid.

OT is great, but itís rare to get here.

Ebay and half.com, sure, they add a few bucks. But I need something that can guarantee me at least $300 a month.

The biggest help would be for The Boy to be working full time, but as we have seen, finding a job for him is easier said than done.

I suppose I could find a part-time second job, but I am already too busy to do anything I enjoy and completely wiped out every day.

Ideas anyone?

OT & Freelance

June 26th, 2007 at 04:28 am

Worked a little OT this past weekend. About 2.5 hours on Thursday night, plus about 3.5 hours on Saturday morning. This give me a good 6 hours, which definately helps make up for the day and a half I missed last week. 2.5 hours should be in my next paycheck (2 weeks), but the 3.5 hours was billed a freelance, so we'll see how long that takes. I have almost $500 in freelanc emoney coming my way, and I can't wait to get it. It will help with the cc debt big time.

In other news, I am starting to look around for other places I can freelance besides the company I work full-time for. (I'm an editorial and design proofreader). I've found a few websites where you can go in and "bid" on projects, but I am hesitant. I was a member of one site where I did just that for writing, and it turned into a big hassle. I got jipped about $100 on a project I did, and the website company that I was registered with did nothing to help. I'm not sure if I want to deal with that again, plus you never know which sites are scams. I think for now I'll just look via websites I know I can trust, like Monster and PoeWar. Whatever happens, I need to find a new way to bring in some extra money each month.

Focusing on the Debt

June 24th, 2007 at 05:48 pm

I read Suze Ormans's book the Young Fabulous and Broke. Really good and got some great advice from it. I reccommend it to anyone!

One thing she suggests is to focus on the debt then when it is all paid of, focus on the savings. So, this is my new plan:

Nothing will go into the $20 Challenge for a while. I will be putting any and all extra moeny onto the CC debt to get it gone once and for all.

Since I was so close to $100 in my EF, I just transfered in $3.75 to bring my total to $100. That's it for now. Will just have to hope there are no emergencies!!! Smile

Old $20 Challenge/EF total: $96.25
Added: $3.75
----------------------------------
New $20 Challenge/EF total: $100

What I Spent Today

June 23rd, 2007 at 07:35 pm

I picked up 4 t-hirts, one fancier kind of t-shirt/top, a pair of linen sleeping pants, and a cute pair of linen sleeping shorts for $65. Much better than I expected, as I figured it would be about $100.

Bought lunch at Taco Bell for $5.12 Not the healthiest choice, but oh well. What's done is done.

Went to the bookstore. $44.00 Ooooh, not smart. But I saved about $5 with my membership card. And one is a Suze Orman book. Wink

Grocery store: $145.00 Saved $10 with copons. YAY! Smile And $45 was the new Brita Water Pitcher we had to get. I dropped and broke our old one this morning. Suppose I can't complain too much: it was 8 years old. But Brita is a totally necessity for us. We drink coffee and water and not much else and the Brita keeps us from buying bottled water.

So, about $15 in savings today. I'd like to add it to the challenge or the cc debt, but where I had a day out of work this week, my paycheck was smaller than usual so we need the extra cash.

Friday/Saturday Spending

June 23rd, 2007 at 04:04 am

Yesterday was a bit of a spend day. I had breakfast from DnD ($2.09) then me and 2 work friends went out to lunch. The only day we get an hour lunch is Friday, so we go out to eat every Friday. It's nice because I am still getting to know both these girls and am becoming good friends with them. I need more friends. Smile

When I got home last night, me and The Boy went out to dinner. We went to Friendlies and spent about $25. Not too bad. Then stopped at the grocery store on the way home, picked up some ice cream (we didn't get it at dinner) and curled up on the couch to watch a horror movie.

A fab day, just expensvie.

Today (Sat) I am working for a few hours this morning (about 9-1). Then we are going to the grocery store for some staples, and I need to get a few tops for work. LB is having a sale on their plain colored t-shirts, and I seriously need some new ones. All the ones I wear to work have either stains that are so old I can't get them out, or are starting to literally fall apart. I realy didn't want to buy any new clothes right now (focusing on paying down the LB CC and with the surgery only a few months away, I will need new clothes after that), but I can't keep wearing what I have. So, I'll go through those clearane racks. Gotta hit the bank, too, for a deposit so I can make a CC pyment. Then, that's it for today. Not sure what we are doing tonight, but it will NOT involve spending money!

I'm on a $20 Challenge Roll!

June 22nd, 2007 at 07:31 am

Today is payday (yay!) and I got the money the company owed me from messing up my last 3 paychecks. (This one was finally right)

Total they owed me: $10.67

Not much, but hey, it's money. And it's going into the $20 Challenge/EF.


$20 CHALLENGE/EF
Old $20 Challenge Total: $85.58
Extra in Pay Due to Messup: $10.67
--------------------------------
New $20 Challenge Total: $96.25

$100 here I come! Smile

FINALLY!

June 22nd, 2007 at 04:25 am

Finally had a no spend day! Whoo! It's been a while. And the funny thing is, I didn't even try to have a no spen day. When I try, I end up thinking of little things I "need" (soda at work for a caffine boost, stampes, etc). But when I don't try, I don't think of it and viola! No spend day!

In light of this, I m adding $5 to my $20 challenge fund. Smile

$20 CHALLENGE/EF
Old $20 Challenge Total: $80.58
No Spend Day Bonus: $5.00
--------------------------------
New $20 Challenge Total: $85.58

Freelance work

June 21st, 2007 at 01:47 pm

Did about 2 hours of freelance work this past weekend, so that was great. Won't get paid for it for about 2 months, but it will be nice to have the extra cash 2 months from now. Smile

Also taking home about 2 hours worth of work tonight for freelance, plus work asked me to come in on Saturday morning for a few hours. So, that will also be billed freelance. Bonus! I'll have racked up about 8 hours freelance this week, which is awesome since I took last Monday out without pay.

I love me some freelance!
Smile

Kittie is great!

June 20th, 2007 at 09:45 am

Wolfie is doing fab after her surgery. She was grumpy last night, but who can blame her? She was up and playing this morning before I left for work. One bonus from her waiting til she was a bit older for the surgery? The woman had the vet give her a rabies vaccination and it only cost us $10. Yay for non-profit animal care! Smile

Good Money Karma?

June 19th, 2007 at 04:27 am

I think I must have hit on some good money karma. Last weekend, I made $138 at our yard sale. Yay! In the past 2 or 3 weeks, I have made about $120 on ebay. About 2 weeks ago I got a direct deposit payment from half.com for over $75, and since then I have sold 3 more books. I actually got approved for a mortgage (by 2 places no doubt!). This weekend I was given another 2 hours of freelance work (every bit helps). Then, when I got home yesterday, I had a freelance check waiting for me in the mail. But instead of paying me for just one job, they paid me for the last two, so the check was almost $190! And finally, I found 2 quarters the other day (one on the sidewalk and one...in our bed? LOL)

Good money karma?
I think so. Wink

Quiet without the Kittie Monster

June 18th, 2007 at 01:52 pm

Tonight we had to take the Baby (aka our Kittie Wolfie) to get fixed. She is staying overnight at a friendís house, then that friend is bringing her to the vet at 6 am tomorrow to get fixed. Weíll pick her up tomorrow night when I get home from work. Luckily, this is at no cost to us. The friend who is brining her is actually the woman we got Wolfie from. Usually, she makes sure all her cats are fixed before they go to new owners, but Wolfie was too small to get fixed when we brought her home. As a result, we had to wait a month until she gained enough weight. Since she should have been fixed before we got her, our friend is taking her when she brings in some other kittens, and it will be at no cost to us.

Iím going to miss her tonight! Hopefully she will calm down a little after this. Sheís such a terror. The other night she was literally, trying to climb the wall. She torments our older cat all the time. Iíll miss snuggling up with her tonight, but this is the right thing to do and sheíll be home tomorrow.

Lots of wishes for a safe surgery for the baby!

Debt Payments

June 18th, 2007 at 10:19 am

Transferred some paypal money onto my ATT CC for a payment. Also made a payment onto one of my student loans this month. Itís slow, but at least Iím not moving backwards! Smile



DEBT TALLY
CC Activity:
ATT Prev Balance: $3,348.42
Finance Charges: $120.89 (ouch)
Payment (today): $54.06
NEW BALANCE: $3,415.25

Student Loan Activity:
UMD 2 Prev Balance: $2,436.76
Payment (today): $120.00
NEW BALANCE: $2,315.76


PERSONAL DEBT:
Car: $0
CS fee: $0
LB CC: $1,096.45
AT&T CC: $3,415.25
------------------
$4,511.79

STUDENT LOANS:
RWU: $26,475.41
UMD 1: $38,044.87
UMD 2: $2,315.76
-----------------
$66,836.04

Other: $15,000

TOTAL DEBT: $86,374.83