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Damage

July 24th, 2009 at 12:38 am

Haven't blogged in a while. Still saving up. So far I've met 91% of my goal. I don't know about buying a house now. Some say now is a good time but I read somewhere that prices will bottom out 2011. It's such a big commitment though...it scares me. I hear coworkers complain about maintenance costs and issues all the time. Maybe I'm better off renting for now.

Need to vent...

I try to keep my stuff in good condition & it seems like the world just wants to ruin it (whatever it is). I went to the gym today and when I came back out to my car I found that someone had scratched the left side of my bumper (rear). Looks like someone's tire rubbed up against it. This has happened before, the first time the scratches were barely visible. This time there's more damage, paint's all scratched up. I know things like this will happen sooner or later but this just bothers me. People just have no respect, didn't even leave a note or anything!

I don't know if I should have it repainted, probably going to be very expensive. Maybe I should just leave it cause it will probably happen again!

Trying to stop the leaks

January 31st, 2009 at 07:33 am

My bf found 2 quarters in the parking lot today. He gave it to me & I put it in the change jar. Every little bit counts. Everything has value.

It was my 4 year anniversary at work. Wow how fast time flies. They did my eval a couple weeks ago. I'm up $1.27/hr, +$50/payck. I should be kicking in more to the EF.

Sometimes I can barely tolerate this job. But then I think....it could be worse. Atleast it's safe.

Changed the allocations on my 401K to something conservative. I think I lost about 12 last year. Rather stick that money in a CD where it will be +2.5%than -35% or whatever. Can't just pull it out without penalty. Scary...I'm going to need that money to retire. Feel like I'm just gambling with it.

Trying to stock up on emergency supplies. I didn't even have a single flashlight in the house! I got two at Target - the kind that winds up & doesn't need batteries. One of them has AM/FM radio & it gets a weather alert station. It can charge cell phones but it doesn't work for mine. The plug doesn't fit! Too bad. This would have been one kick @ss flashlight!

Update

January 9th, 2009 at 05:04 am

Since we get an extra paycheck this January, decided to put $400 into savings rather than just $300. Last year, I was able to put in $600 a month, but now I've got car payments and braces. Braces should be coming off in a few months, they said.

On Christmas, I received $40 from my grandparents, that went into the pot. Then I deposited 2 survey checks - one for $50 and the other $10.

On 12/28, I was a bridesmaid at my friend's wedding and got a nice little windfall. I received $100 in a red envelope and $1 in another red envelope. So I just got paid for being a bridesmaid. Wasn't expecting that!

I have a feeling this will be a good year. I'll just continue everything I was doing before. I feel more focused. Maybe it's because of everything that's going on. Recession can be a good thing.

Is it Baby Shower/Wedding Season???

October 5th, 2008 at 06:56 pm

Too much going on in so little time.

September, October, November and December :

I was getting ready to go to a wedding in December for one of my friends from HS. I am going to be a bridesmaid in her wedding. Next week I'm driving about an hour away to get the dress altered. I've been working out and sorta dieting too.

I just received an e-vite - this morning for a wedding next week (I guess she is pregnant). This is next Sunday, right before I scheduled my vacation.

I have been to one baby shower in September and this month I'm invited to three more.

There's one for my coworker, a sister in law and a friend I haven't seen in about a year or two. It's funny about the last one - I haven't spoken to her in 1- 2 yrs, she hasn't even called/emailed to tell me the news. If I'm getting a baby shower notice, she must be about 8 months along. We were supposed to be good friends. I must not be that important anymore then. Just yesterday she emailed me a link to their baby registry at Target.com - no note or other details in it, just one of those automated delivery notices. She just sends the link to the baby registry, no phone calls, nothing. So technically, this is not a baby shower invitation - I guess she wants us to send her the stuff on the list. I don't know but, I find this in bad taste ... I think she has a lot of nerve.

Judging from the list of stuff on the registry, it looks like it's going to be a girl. They already have one girl - can't they use the stuff they had for her?

I don't know if I can afford all this right now. I didn't even put anything into savings this month because I wanted to take a big bite out of my cc bills. Now I have to get gifts for all these people???


Weekend

September 22nd, 2008 at 05:59 pm

Didn't spend any money this weekend. Brought my lunch to traffic school on Saturday and ate it in the car. It was better that I stayed, because if I had come to class late I would have been kicked out, and have to do this again another Saturday.

I received my Target gift card from My Points. I was thinking of getting a new stock pot. I bought a cheap one a couple years ago & now I've ruined it, so I need another one.

Found last week out that I'll be getting a 2% rate increase at work. Yay! I'll be seeing the rate increase on mid-October's paycheck.

Every little bit

September 11th, 2008 at 04:51 am

Today at work was In-N-Out Burger Day, so I had lunch and dinner free. Yesterday we had a potluck so didn't have to buy lunch or dinner at work. There was so much food. Took a little home.

Should be getting two checks ($11.50)from Opinion Outpost. Will deposit that into the HF.

I also started a travel (whatever) fund. $40 in it so far.

What really hurt me this month was paying for that $400+ ticket & traffic school. I will have to go next week. Shouldn't have gone to Vegas in August either, even though I didn't go gamble or shop. I don't think I'll be going there for a while. I don't even really like Vegas.

Beans, Rice and American Idol

June 22nd, 2008 at 10:13 pm

Haven’t spent any money this weekend, even though it felt like I did. At work they gave all the employees $50 gift cards for Vons. I bought some food yesterday, totaled $19 something. I will use the rest for the next time. I had a packet of mung beans (only 79 cents) on hand and made a stew with some rice. I will be eating this all week. This is filling and good, but I’m going to be gassy all week! Thank god for Gas-X!

I went to Best Buy and bought the American Idol game for my Wii with a gift card I received a long time ago. I’m really disappointed with this game – as there are not enough songs on it! I can only sing “Black Velvet” and “Walking on Sunshine” so many times. You can’t download anymore songs! I played American Idol at a friend’s party on her Play Station, which I thought was much better – more songs and better graphics. It was so much fun, and addicting too so I thought I’d get it for myself.

Can anyone recommend any karaoke games on the Wii that are better than AI?

It’s so hot and I’m trying to limit the time that I run the AC. I’m going to go to cool off at the gym.

Saying NO

June 16th, 2008 at 04:56 am

I have to get up early tomorrow. I work from 0530-1000, taking over someone else’s shift. It was supposed to be from 0900-1330 but I was asked to come in earlier. Oh well, the earlier I come in, the sooner I can get out! With its monotony, work has turned into drudgery. Four hours = 4 tanks of gas.

It feels like everyone at work is targeting me – when they want to trade shifts/try to get me to work for them, they come straight to me. Maybe they think I will because I don’t have a family, I’m single etc. Whatever – I do have a life and I am going to live it. It’s just so irritating!!! I don’t want to be there 24/7, just like I’m sure they don’t want to be! Every time I see someone walking up to me with the schedule in their hands, I think: ugh…. what do you want now??? GO AWAY!!! My days off are mine! I don’t know why people think they are so entitled to it. Maybe it’s because I said yes once – which is a big mistake because if you say yes one time they will keep coming back. There are a couple of repeat offenders. If they don’t want to work they should just quit!!!

Maybe I should have a list of excuses prepared. No wait, I don’t owe them anything! From this point on I just need to keep saying NO, and to stop feeling guilty when I say it. I need to exercise my NO muscle. The more I do this I think the easier it will get.

Not angry anymore

May 4th, 2008 at 06:41 pm

Since my last entry, I’ve had some financial obligation *dumped* on me by a family member (dad). No, I did not pay! I felt bad for a while, but it was for the best. I would rather feel guilty getting out of doing something I don’t want to do, than hate myself (and the other person) while doing whatever it is I didn’t want to do in the first place.

I kept his van here for 2 weeks. I spoke with my mom about the matter and she said that it was a crime to hide a car that is about to be repossessed. I was always on edge driving that thing. I was afraid I’d get in an accident or get pulled over & I would have to show proof of insurance – because it had none! I can’t believe someone just dumped this on me. He never even mailed me back the receipt – the agreement we both wrote up and signed, which told me that he never had any intentions of paying me back! I had to drive the car back to my grandparents where he had it towed.

In two weeks, I ended up using the money – money that would have been used to bail him out – to buy a vehicle of my own. Now all my financial stuff is separated from my parents. No one can take this away from me (unless I get behind on my payments). I already knew what kind of car I wanted and did all the research. I think I got a pretty good deal. I emailed all these local dealers for quotes, then I took the lowest one and took it to two more dealers. One was able to take the quote & minus $50 but they wouldn’t budge on the APR (5.7%). So I took that quote to another dealer, they matched it and I got them to lower the APR to 4.9%.

I’ve had the car for almost 3 weeks now and I’m happy with it. If only I can get my insurance premiums down.

This weekend, I haven’t spent any money except for dinner with friends Friday night which was like $4.50. Saturday day was my no drive day. I went jogging around the neighborhood and I even made it all the way to the beach! Atleast I got some sunshine and some color on me. I’m getting bored with the gym anyway – running on the treadmill, staring at the walls, clock, TV, etc. I should cancel this since there’s already a gym here in my apt complex.

Boiling Mad

April 5th, 2008 at 06:59 pm

I am getting angrier by the day. I need to vent.

On Monday my dad called cell phone and left several messages saying that he was coming to visit that night and that he had something to give me. I was at work the whole day. I thought, what the hell could this possibly be about? I got home Monday at about 2030; at about 2100 I hear a knock on the door. Surprise - it was my brother. He wanted to me to come downstairs because my dad was parked outside. We get outside and I see his van, and then he comes out. He tells me that he cannot afford the payments on this vehicle so he wanted to switch vehicles with me.

We go inside my apartment and my dad starts going off about my mom … she is such an evil person, how can she do this to him, she has done so many bad things, etc. She hadn’t paid the bill on the van (his vehicle that he drives that’s under his name) in three months. He needs help paying the last three months or they will repossess the van. He shows me the statement – they owe $1500.00, not including this month’s payment of $465.00 + a late fee of 23.00.

We sit in my dining room for an hour while he begs, he says just consider this a loan and that he will pay me back when he gets money from their divorce. He says that they have a hearing sometime this month and ensures me that he will pay me back my money.

I told him (these were my terms):

1.) I will only do this for the month of April

2.) After April, he must come and pick this vehicle up and give me back my money.

I am not: going to continue paying May, June, July…etc. Who knows how long this process will stretch out? I will leave this thing in the middle of the freeway, beach, whatever if he doesn’t come and get it. There’s probably three months worth of back insurance that hasn’t been paid on this thing – will I have to pay that too? If I should get into a car accident now, I am totally, f-ing, SCREWED. We wrote up a contract, both signed it & he was going to show it to his lawyers. I swear to god, if he doesn’t pay me back, I will be the next to sue.

What is the point?

I scrimp and save and sacrifice and work my ass off only for some entitlement-minded jerk to come & help himself to my money. He has the nerve to say, “Oh you’re single, you work, you can afford it.” Such bullsh!t!!!! So the fact that I have a JOB must mean that I’m swimming in money every night and that I must sh!t gold coins! He even suggested that I charge it to my credit card!!! I have so many anger issues tied to this person. I am just an inch away – just an inch – from cutting this person from my life. I can do just fine without them. I know this is my family and I should help, but everyone makes choices in life & he chose not to work. He is not accepting responsibility for anything.

I worked for this money; I earned it. This is putting up with people’s personality problems, aggravation & stress. This is discipline. This is not going out every weekend & staying inside this apartment. This is not having my hair cut in six damn months. I felt like someone just came along and threw a monkey wrench into my plans and my dreams.

This is the plan: I will have another vehicle by the end of April for me. At this time, he will come pick up this van & drop off my money. Then after the last tie is cut, I will wipe my hands clean. It’s painful enough for me to watch my parents going through a divorce, but to have to be dragged into this unwillingly..... A friend suggested that I move far, far away. If they don’t leave me alone I will do just that.

I figure this whole car mess has cost me about $10, 000 in payments & lost interest. In addition, about $1900 + interest that could be earning! This is money that I could have put into my house fund or at least a car that would still be mine. After this I have to tell them, if they want to hear from me again, to not even think about asking me for money.

Buy a new car

March 23rd, 2008 at 02:37 am

My parents are going through this divorce thing....& the vehicle I'm driving is partly theirs. Have to give it to my mom because she won't have anything to drive (all properties/items have to be sold). In two months I have to start shopping. All I can afford right now is a Honda Civic. Good used car or brand new?

After this I'm going to wipe my hands clean & have my own stuff. That way if anything happens I'll have only myself to answer to. No more entaglements with them financially. So I have to shop for insurance and financing. I have to take the dp from my savings. It's so frustrating. I guess I'll have to wait another year for a house.

I'm not looking forward to going out to the dealers and haggling. I was thinking of just buying from carsdirect. Of course I have to go to the dealers to test drive. Can anyone out there tell me if they've bought a car from Carsdirect and how their experience was?

Staying on track

February 24th, 2008 at 01:04 am

I received my bonus and tax returns this week. I’m using the tax returns to pay cc bill and the bonus to add to the hf. I had to paid off my car last month & had to take money out of the hf so that put me behind. At least that’s all taken care of and I don’t have to worry about paying the $300/month. All I have to worry about is paying the insurance, maintenance and whatever else comes my way.

Was involved in a car accident January, although it wasn’t my fault – I had to front the $500 deductible which I charged to my cc. The insurance adjustor does not know how long it will take for me to get my reimbursement check from the other party. It’s so frustrating. This is why I need a separate ef, so I don’t feel so bad.

Now: $13,416.20

The Plan

January 14th, 2008 at 01:44 am

I now owe myself $800. I took some money from the house fund to pay some bills. Now I'm behind -800, plus whatever I should have contributed from my paycheck this to this date ($400). The goal: $25,000 by the end of this year. I think I can do it.

Now: $12,127.21

First I need to set some rules.

1. Eliminate unnecessary expenses, leave only what is essential. I need to go over all my bills.

2. Get things cheaper.

3. Save on electric bill. I have only used the heater twice (so far) this winter. When it's cold, I just put a sweater on, make myself some hot cocoa. Turn off the tv/lights when I leave the living room. That's really all I can do...

4. Drive less. One day a week (mostly Sundays) I'm going to give my car a break.

5. Collect change - save/deposit.

6. Surveys online.

7. Get things for free.

8. No major purchases this year - nothing over $200, unless it's an emergency (need new tires, etc). Also, I'm going to stop buying clothes!

9. I'm going to start contributing $400/paycheck ($300 last year).

I have a 2% bonus coming up from work and then the tax refund so that should help. I really do not want to take a second job. Cutting back on expenses is so much easier.

Slow

November 15th, 2007 at 02:08 am

Now: 11,435.97.

This is moving very slow. My goal was 20,000. The year is almost at an end. Getting a raise 4% starting 12/2/07, then another from my yearly eval 3-5%. Maybe this will help give my savings a little kick.

Yay!

October 21st, 2007 at 11:47 pm

Just got my check from Global Test Market. I was beginning to think this was a fraud. They sure take a long time.

On Friday, I didn't have to pay for bfast, lunch or dinner at work. Someone brought bagels & Mexican food.

Anyone out there know of any other surveys that pay?

10830.31 - Emergency fund became house fund.

Savings Goals

October 5th, 2007 at 01:37 am

Savings: $10,480.31 so far...giving myself another 2 years.

I think I'd be better off renting for now. Don't want to have to work 2 jobs, like my friend does, to pay the mortgage. I value my free time.

I hope the market stays like this for a while.

What Now

July 29th, 2007 at 04:59 pm

I’ve been thinking about where my life is headed. I have a good job. I work three days a week. I get up at 4:30 in the morning and work until 6 pm. It is repetitive with occasional bouts of stress. I have some good days and some days I can’t even tolerate it. I feel like a drone. I work, come home to my apartment, eat, sleep and do it again tomorrow. I really can’t see myself doing this another 10, 20 or even 30 years.

So the question to ask is: what’s next? What do I want to accomplish next?

Setting goals will help give me some aim. It’s like a game and games make life fun. What I need are some long/short term goals. Here are a few things I’d like to do:

• Become a homeowner
• See the world
• Write a book

Right now, I’m right where I planned to be. This was my vision. I think anything can be accomplished if I have a clear picture of what I want in my head. Overall, the most important goal is happiness. The main thing to overcome: fear.

I’d like to add becoming financially independent to that list. Then I’d be free. I am so sick of getting up at 4:30 in the morning. In addition to that, I’m sick of all the b.s. I have to deal with at work. I just read that there is no such thing as job security. Social security is going bankrupt and many people will not have enough money to retire. So what now?

www.xanga.com/msrn2004

Building up emergency fund

February 21st, 2007 at 04:43 pm

How long will it take to reach my savings goal?

It will take 1 years and 2 months to save $10,136 starting with $4,244 and depositing $400 monthly.

Deposits & Terms
Initial Balance $4,244
Regular Deposit $400
Frequency of Deposit Monthly
Savings goal $10,000

Interest rate
Interest rate 5%

Taxes
Taxable Interest? Yes
Marginal Tax Rate 28%


Details
Initial balance $4,244
Total deposits $5,600
Total interest earned $426
Total taxes paid $97
Total saved $10,136

Assumptions and simplifications
Results are computed using a standard future-value calculation and your investments' nominal rate of return, rather than annual percentage yield (APY). Banks are required to advertise APY, which allows direct comparisons between accounts using different compounding schedules. This calculator assumes monthly compounding.


Tax Time

February 18th, 2007 at 07:10 pm

Love having 6 days off in a row, it allows me to get things done. On Friday, I got my taxes, oil change, tune up and tire rotation done. I couldn’t decide whether to get my car washed since it looks like its going to rain Tuesday or Thursday, then it would be a waste. I’m not getting as much back as I did last year. I guess that’s a good thing, it means there wasn’t much income for them to tax last year. The tax guy showed me that I saved money on taxes by contributing to my 401K. When I start withdrawing the money at retirement, it will be taxed at a lower rate. I want to try filing my income tax myself because it seems so simple. All the tax preparer does is fill in a bunch of blanks which takes less than 20 minutes. I paid $108 when can do this myself with Turbo Tax or something. My financial situation is not even complicated (yet).

I have to take that return & put it back into my emergency savings fund. We’re supposed to get a bonus at work, but I heard it was coming late. I’m putting that into the EF also.

Friday spent about $200 (tax & auto). I used a $20 off coupon for my auto services. Yesterday was a no spending day, even though I did go to the mall. I told myself "You're only here to look." I saw a top that I liked, cost $88 – I was tempted but, I didn’t. I was just there to hang out, went into B&N and read a little bit. Had dinner at home & watched Indpendence Day.


More inspiration: [ From Creating Wealth by Robert G. Allen]

• Our aspirations are our possibilities. – Robert Browning

• Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race - Calvin Coolidge

• Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambition. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great. – Mark Twain

• Every great man, every successful man, no matter what the field of endeavor, has known the magic that lies in these words: every adversity has the seed of an equivalent or greater benefit. – W. Celement Stone

• Inch by inch, anything’s a cinch. – Dr. Robert Schuller

• Don’t let the opinions of the average man sway you. Dream, and he thinks you’re crazy. Succeed, and he thinks you’re lucky. Acquire wealth, and he thinks you’re greedy. Pay no attention. He simply doesn’t understand. – Robert G. Allen

• History records the successes of men with objectives and a sense of direction. Oblivion is the position of small men overwhelmed by obstacles. – William H. Danforth

• Industry, thrift and self control are not sought because they create wealth, but because they create character. – Calvin Coolidge

• Progress always involves risk. You can’t steal second base and keep your foot on first. – Frederick B. Wilcox

• Ultimately we know deeply that the other side of every fear is a freedom. – Marilyn Ferguson

• The road to hell is paved with good intentions – Karl Marx

• My life seems like one long obstacle course, with me as the chief obstacle. – Jack Paar

• There is not security on this earth; there is only opportunity. – Douglas Mac Arthur

• No man is free who is not master of himself. – Epictetus

• Unjust criticism is usually a disguised compliment. It often means that you have aroused jealousy and envy. Remember that no one ever kicks a dead dog. – Dale Carnegie

• Come to the edge, He said.
They said, We are afraid.
Come to the edge, He said.
They came.
He pushed them…and they flew.
- Guillaume Apollinaire


PRESS ON!!!

Clean Slate

February 1st, 2007 at 11:00 pm

I am on vacation for two weeks. This is my first week. I was planning on going to Thailand for a month but decided to stay here and save my money. I just needed to take some time off to recharge my batteries.

I would have charged that on my credit card. But I've decided that I've had it, no more! If I want to go on vacation I'm going to save up for it instead. I'd like to travel and see the world while I'm young. That is why I need to start a vacation account.

I just paid off my cc balance of $3358.67. I took the money from my savings acct, now all that's left in there is $4143.63. That was supposed to be my emergency fund. I want to have at least $10,000 in there, now I have to start over. This is really frustrating. When we use our credit cards we really are spending our future. I was charging little things here and there... and then Christmas came. Amazing how these little things add up.

Atleast that's gone now and I don't have to worry about it. Should I cancel the card? Now it's time to attack that student loan ~$5,290. Every month the dept of education takes $73, and $40 of it goes to interest! I want to pay for it in chunks just to get rid of it by this year (maybe sooner).

I am at my parents' right now. I got a lot of laundry done. Got paid today. I see that a litte 15 mins overtime every other day puts an extra $100 in my paycheck. I've seriously been thinking of getting a second job, temporarily. I need to start saving up for a house, my rent is now $1298(utilities not incl). In the meantime, I'll keep an eye out for opportunities to get extra hours at work.

Try to read all I can about how my 401K works and all this other finance stuff. I know that its ignorance that will hurt me. This frugality will save me.

Start 1/20/07

January 20th, 2007 at 04:47 pm

This is my first entry. Goals for this year are as follows:

Pay off student loan. As of this date, I owe $5,330.97
Pay off any unsecured debt $3,445.94
Reduce spending (credit cards/living expenses)
Remain debt free
Build up savings account, as of this date $7372.03.
Need to start saving for a house.
Contribute max to 401K, as of this date $22,753.75

I've been doing little things here and there, like bringing my lunch to work and turning off all the lights. Last week I canceled my international long distance plan (b/c I won't be calling Canada anymore!) & chose a cheaper package for DirectTV. Also work a little bit of overtime here and there. Hopefully all these things will add up.

Long Term Goals:

Buy a house within 2 years. Have it paid off in less than 30 years.
Have atleast $10,000 in emergency savings.
Comfortable retirement, where I have more than enough money to live on.

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” [Lao Tzu]