Those are some beautiful words…
And I just verified that my cosmetic loan has indeed been paid in full.
Now on to those credit cards (again…)
Those are some beautiful words…
And I just verified that my cosmetic loan has indeed been paid in full.
Now on to those credit cards (again…)
I’ve been boring lately, ranting about my not so great financial situation. Not so great things have been happening in other parts of my life, mainly at work, but those bad things at work have been good on my pocket a bit. Due to a flood that shut down my office, we now are operating out of another suite until everything is repaired (stress level is high!). The first week it was going on, I ended up doing several hours of overtime to help get things in order. It wasn’t a ton of money, but still, it added extra padding to my paycheck. On the flip side, my cat was diagnosed with arthritis and taking her to the vet to be given that diagnosis cost a pretty penny. Always something…
Last week, I was super stressed about finances and how I was going to pay a deposit for the wedding. I was looking at my student loan payments and noticed something odd. I didn’t need to make my next payment until May 28 and when I asked about it, they said that it was correct, and if I turned off my override, I wouldn’t have to make a payment on my account this month. When I was checking my deposit from work on Friday, I was checking other activity on my account. My cosmetic loan payment was withdrawn, and I realized I had a lot of extra cash. I just did some quick math and this is what I figured out:
If I don’t pay my student loan payment this month (I know, the thought makes me want to puke, but once I get my deposit back it’ll go straight to the student loan), I can pay my bills, the deposit AND PAY OFF MY COSMETIC LOAN.
I’m still in shock. My math may be wrong, but I’m pretty sure it’s right. I’ll have to be really tight for a few weeks, but that would be good for me in the long run anyway to re-invigorate myself for this financial battle. With my complete lack of control in recent months, this would be a good exercise and will help me get back to fighting the credit card debt next. I’ll save around $15-$20 in interest in the process, and of course, saving money is the goal here.
Otherwise, I haven’t made any life altering decisions to increase my income or have done anything drastic to earn extra cash. I’m trying eBay and not being so successful this round. I didn’t get that modeling gig. I haven’t heard if a dance studio near me will use me for a few weeks this summer. I need to look around again and see if there are any opportunities for the summer time that would be lucrative (and worth giving up my summer evenings/weekends). Also still need to call my ace in the hole, and hopefully that will be a good quick fix to a few things that ail me once that’s all squared away.
The battle rages on…
Is that you karma? Knocking at my financial door?
Yes, yes, I think it is! Don’t like my spending habits lately? Well, you know, those shoes were so cute! And that top is great for work! And we both know I prefer to wear dresses on the weekends in the summer…
Oh, wait? The cat may need orthopaedic surgery? Fiance may not receive the usual annual bonus amount? Oh, I guess I shouldn’t have bought all that stuff…
Ever feel like karma is trying to send you a financial message? That those little goodies you bought yourself may have felt great in the moment, but then all of a sudden some financial burden hits you, potentially crippling the thin financial foothold you have?
Well, yesterday and today were examples of karma coming to get me after those moments of weakness. Bought some shoes a couple of weeks ago, convinced myself they were my birthday present. Went to a girlfriend’s house yesterday and bought a top and dress (having convinced myself using the above mentioned reasons). Then I took my cat to the vet later that afternoon- she may need surgery to alleviate pressure off a joint.Then I get home from work today (keep in mind, we have a major chunk of our wedding expenses coming up, I’ve saved for some of it, my fiance none) and my fiance learned he may not get the normal generous bonus he’s received in years past. At this point, any bonus is better than none, but I don’t think it will cover costs like we had hoped it would.
I did take the time to photograph and post some stuff on ebay the other day, was already working on being super cheap with purchasing centerpieces for the wedding, waited until after Easter to buy baskets since they were on sale, etc. So, in an effort to convince myself I’m doing something right, I’m sitting here begging my audience to cut me some slack when I deserve none. I deserve the hand karma is doling out. I’ve continued to let stress rule me and I’ve given in to those financial indulgences that got me into trouble in the first place.
I have looked into teaching more dance classes, but it’s hard when you have very limited availability and they need someone NOW. I am tapped out on ideas otherwise. I toyed around with the idea of trying to convince my old boss to hire me full-time at her new practice, work her early hours, then work part-time for my current job in the afternoons..it would be too much of a hassle and my old boss probably can’t afford me currently. I’m trying to think of summer employment opportunities that may work for me, but I’m running a blank. Still need to call my ace-in-the-hole and ask a question, and I continue to bank on that coming through, and soon but I need to make that phone call!
So, really, nothing has changed. My inability to handle stress properly and say NO to certain things continues to be my financial downfall. Now that April cosmetic loan payoff is still probably out of the question, again. Forget the CC1 and CC2 balances (since I had to use CC1 for the vet visit yesterday).
HELP! I’M DROWNING! Does anyone have a lifesaver?? Ideas?? ANYTHING?!?!?!?
I had quite a shock just now. After you do your taxes, the Feds submit your return to the Department of Education for us ICR repayers. After they do this, DofEd calculates your new monthly payment. I knew it would go up, I made several thousand more in 2012 than 2011. What I was not expecting was it to more than double! I had wanted to double my payments this year anyway after paying off CC2 and the cosmetic loan, but looks like I don’t have a choice as to when!
That ace-in-the-hole really needs to come through now!
Update: new payment take effect this month!
Also my ace in the hole called today but I missed the call.
February was a bit of a brutal month.
I’ve expressed this sentiment before I believe, but there are times where I’m so overwhelmed with things to do, it paralyzes me. I just can’t seem to get anything done despite having a billion things to do between now and June 1. Wedding, dance recital, HOA treasurer stuff, the list never ends. I no sooner cross things off my list than something else pops up. I’ve become a psycho to-do list keeper- I have ones I write down that have immediate deadlines and ones I keep on my phone that have far-out deadlines. This psycho to-do listing has helped me out in the finance department. How?
Over the past weekend, I’ve started to write down extraneous things I need to buy that aren’t groceries. This has forced me to plan better and smarter when I need to buy those extra things. For example: I needed to buy some liners for my Litter Genie. My usual MO is to just buy it when I see it. This time, I wrote it down on my “To Buy” list, looked for a coupon, price compared online and decided to buy it at Target where I could get an almost two for one deal and use a gift card I had gotten for signing up for an online service. A $15.74 purchase turned into a $4.74 purchase. Also, writing down my “To Buy” purchases forces me to realize I don’t need it immediately. I can shop around until I find the best deal. A lot of the stuff on my list is stuff for the wedding, and while I’m trying to get it all done sooner rather than later (trying to curb that “I AM JUST SO OVERWHELMED!” feeling), I can shop smart. The trickle down effect- less money spent, more money towards paying down debt!
This didn’t come out of no where. February threw a wrench into my pay-down plan.
No sooner than I had written that I’m killing the cosmetic loan debt in March than I took my car in for its safety inspection in mid-February. And failed.
Driver’s side headlight and brakes failed. This means when I take it into my garage, I go ahead and get an oil change and they inspect everything else and find more things.
The rotors, luckily, were still in good shape. But, they found moisture in my brake fluid, so that needed to be flushed and changed. Filters needed to be changed. Valve cover gasket and struts are busted (I’ve known about the struts for a few years actually, I’ve just chosen to ignore them, they aren’t a necessary fix), but I declined those fixes, opting instead for them to lift the rear brakes to help the new front brakes last longer and rotated and balanced the tires as well. Battery is also running low on juice and they wanted to replace it, but I declined that $150 fix- I can do it on my own for $80.
Total damage- $665.45
And I put it on CC1.
I COULD have just used my debit card and pay for it all out of pocket, no damage to my credit cards done. But, I was in an emotional state when they told me, and draining that much money out of my bank account just seemed an unwise choice at the moment. Not to mention paying off the cosmetic loan and putting a chunk of money into savings for the wedding was in the back of my mind.
Today, before I transferred money into savings, I paid some of the new CC1 debt down as well as CC2. I put over $500 into savings, leaving $1000.00 even in the checking account from which I pay my debts. After paying the two credit cards this afternoon, I have an even $4500.00 in credit card debt and $1947.54 left to pay off on the Cosmetic Loan. I expect to make approximately $815 on my next paycheck from the full time job, and approximately $155 from the part time job, which would bring my checking account to ~$1970. Subtract $250 from that for my student loan payment and I’ll have around $1720, just a couple hundred short from paying off the cosmetic loan this month.
I tried posting on Facebook my babysitting services for my friends to make some extra cash, but no bites. Of course, I am still waiting on the offer from my ace-in-the-hole (it feels like it’s taking forever!) and I might get a paid modeling gig soon. I’m also looking forward to a $90 drop in my 6-month car insurance premium in April (but I pay it monthly, so it’ll be about $15 less a month, but still money saved=money toward my debt). So, my hopes aren’t dashed yet. The continuation of my “To Buy” list I feel like is also vital to the pay-down since it’s forcing me to plan better, and the natural trickle down effect of reduced stress which means less impulse buying.
Stay tuned- things could always change in a matter of days (and (I’m hoping they do in a good way)!
Sorry I haven’t been around much! Life is busy. I leave at 7:30 every weekday morning, return home 7 pm or later Mondays-Thursdays and after 5 pm on Fridays, and I am so wiped by the weekend that I don’t feel like doing much beyond Krav Maga, watching TV and playing with the pets. That doesn’t mean I’m not taking care of my finances, I do still take care of them [mostly]. But, because I haven’t been writing on my blog much, I don’t have myself and you, my audience, keeping me accountable as much as I need. I let little purchases slip through the cracks more often than I did even a few weeks ago. I suspect it has a lot to do with my not getting much sleep this month, adds to my everyday apathy (of all the adjectives that were used to describe me growing up, my family used “apathetic” the most.).
I did take one major step for my financial freedom. I contacted my ace-in-the-hole and as of yesterday have sent them what they need to make some financial determinations. I suspect I will hear from them within a few days. My biggest fear is I won’t get as much money as I’m expecting/hoping, that they’ll find a reason to negate everything. So, please say a little prayer that your pal, me, gets what I am hoping to get. And, for those of you who are salivating to know what this ace-in-the-hole is, I have decided to remain silent as to the full crux of the situation even after it’s resolved. You can blame my job, it has me pretty jaded and not wanting to give anyone any ideas.
I also did my taxes earlier this month. Got my refund last week, and every single penny is going to the wedding. Sorry, thought I would put it toward the debt??? Can’t, I’m trying to prevent future debt and have to pay many of my vendors by check, so I have to make sure I have the money to pay them!
I do believe paying off the cosmetic loan WILL happen in March. I did my naughty spending the last few weekends (an impromptu date night with a girlfriend, a night out with some other friends, some new tops and a facial I got on special) and have resolved that that’s it, full speed ahead! CC2 may be another story because I have put some wedding purchases on it such as the invites and favors as well as some medical expenses. But, again, pray that the ace-in-the-hole comes through and that I can pay off CC2 sooner rather than later!
I hope you all are doing well dear readers! Don’t forget to do your taxes- the sooner you file, the sooner you get your refund (if you get one)!
I wish I could say January was a great month. It was, in fact, a very strange and off month, and I know many of my friends had a very weird and off month as well. Maybe it’s this absolutely wacky weather we are having in our neck of the woods that is throwing everything off, but I really can’t wait for things to even out!!
If you’ve been paying attention to politics lately, you should be aware that they let some of our tax breaks expire and hiked up the withholding on Social Security. If you haven’t been paying attention to the news, hopefully you’ve at least been paying attention to your paycheck and have probably noticed more than just a couple of cents less per paycheck since this has happened. I really thought it wouldn’t be that bad, but for my part-time job where I earn around $180 a paycheck, I have noticed more than $20 less a paycheck! Un-flipping real! I can’t really say how significant the hit has been to my full-time job yet due to sick days and what not, but I’ll have a better idea tomorrow. Obviously, someone on Capital Hill didn’t get the memo about how the economy is doing lately and that taking such a big chunk of many of our paychecks won’t help matters any. I have a lot more feelings about this, but I’ll leave at WOW, HAVING LESS MONEY PER PAYCHECK HURTS (and makes it harder for me to reach my financial goals)!!!
Habits and Savings
I have, I believe, managed to change some of my spending habits. I have taken the primary spending categories- food, gas, cell phone and car insurance- and capped myself out at $500 a month and have managed to successfully do that in January without feeling deprived. I had started to move towards this in November and December, but this month was when I realized that I needed to make it work and make it work I have! Basically, I take the $500 and subtract my cell phone bill amount and my car insurance amount. Whatever is left over, that is my food and gas money and gets transferred from the bank I have my checks direct deposited to into my other bank (I have two banks, first I was just going to switch, then the whole financial melt down thing happened and I like having my eggs in a couple of baskets now). I now plan my food spending well so as to minimize wasting money and wasting food- when I go to the market, I think about what I can make for dinner and eat as left overs the next day for lunch, and that is what I buy for the week. I find this plan has served me well so far.
Also, to start building up my savings more, I have $25 from the food and gas allowance automatically transferred into savings at the beginning of the month so that I don’t even think about it. If I am good and careful, I hopefully have a few dollars left at the end of the month that can also be switched over to savings as well. Of course, today is the end of the month, and I do have some money left, just sigh of $20, but my February allowance doesn’t transfer over until Monday and I do need gas in my car. I will re-evaluate the bank account on Monday!
The main takeaway is this: sometimes, things happen that lower our income or change our circumstances. But with careful planning and a stick-to-it attitude, you can better your financial situation.