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Archive for March, 2010

This is bad/ Need your advice

March 31st, 2010 at 07:05 am

It would be nice if just once something in my life could go right.

I am being forced to move now. Frown There goes my entire savings. I was so happy that I saved up $3000 this year to start my savings, finally and now almost all of it will be gone.

My plan was to stay where I was until at least the end of this year, paying only $400 to live with my roommate. My roommate owns the house. But lately, we have not been getting along, to the point that I am afraid to go home out of fear of being yelled at. Yesterday he flipped out and called me vulgar names because I took a shower in the morning instead of at night like I usually do. Today I slept in a bit so I could avoid running into him and then he barged into my room and demanded to know when I was getting up because he needed to take a shower. Then he yelled at me because I wouldn't clean up his dog's vomit (I would have but I was running late…)

The dog used to be both of ours, but then just his when I decided I'd be moving before the dog passed away. I love the dog but it was decided after my own dog died and after I decided to move before the end of the dogs natural life that the dog would do best living in a big house, with my roommate when I eventually moved to a smaller place.

My roommate no longer wants my fiance to stay over on weekends (which I understand) and since my fiance lives with noisy people (which I can't be around--see my prior blog) and a bunch of cats which I am deathly allergic to, I can not go to his house ever. Last time (the only time) I tried I stopped breathing. It was horrible. Roommate has said that he will literally call the police the next time fiance is over for more than a day and have him removed. Um? Not sure if that is even legal.

I should point out when fiance is over, we almost never leave my room. We eat our meals on an enclosed porch so as not to bother my roommate in the kitchen. We only cook after roommate is done. My fiance does the dishes, dusts, vaccums, and generally does more cleaning around the house than myself or my roommate combined. Because of my noise issues, we do not make any noise like loud tvs, music etc.

I have to move alone. This is hard because I can’t be in a noisy area. My earplugs only control so much. I was okay living with a roommate I knew but moving in with strangers is not something I can handle.

Fiance can't move with me. Not for at least 3 to 5 years. He has no money and is chained to a worthless house that he can't even attempt to sell for (at least) 3 years because of a lawsuit attached to it. He won't walk away from it (even though financial advisors have told him that is really the best/only option in his case) because he doesn't want to hurt his brothers (they co-own). He's tried to rent his room but no one wants it. It's basically like we're not even planning a life together and I have to do everything by myself anyway. We hope his house & the lawsuit will be behind us within 5 years so we can start our life together. We are 33 & 36. A five year wait is hard at our ages but there is no other choice.

If I take another roommate, chances are that roommate will be even less tolerant of him being there on weekends.

So my rent will double, probably more than double, in less than a month. I will need to use almost all of my savings for 1st, last, security. The absolute cheapest, suitable 1BR apartment I have seen so far costs $750. It is in a town where my auto insurance will go up $47 a month. It is a longer commute. I will also have to look into paying more for heat and electric (currently my utility is $139 for gas only) and I will have to pay for at least internet to continue my ebay business. The average 1BR apartment I have seen runs between $800-$900 for a decent, safe area.

I do not know what to do. I already work out of the house between 6:30 AM - 7:00 PM (taking commute time into account). This job pays me just under 50K a year in MA. I work my Ebay stuff between 7:30-10:00 pm 2 or 3 nights a week. I handle packing/ shipping for Ebay Saturdays between 9:00-12 AM. I make about $400 a month with this. Taking an after-work job would be tough because I get home so late. I suppose I could try to take another job in the city but I likely would not get home those nights until 11 PM, and it would cost me to commute to the city on weekends.

My average bi-weekly paycheck that I can count on is $1221. So $2442/mo. I can generally count on no less than $200/mo for Ebay though it's not guaranteed. So far this year, it's been $400+ each month but there will obviously be months when I run out of stuff to sell. So I call my income $2642 for now.

My current bills (in order of due date) are:
$105 / parking
$400 / rent
$139 / gas
$227 / car
$288/ loan
$15 / prescription
$90.10 / insurance (combo renters/auto)
$75 / misc bills that pop up (medical/excise tax/car repair etc.)

This comes to $1339.10 ($1340) per month. Before food and gas. I don't drive my car except for to work. I eat mac & cheese & ramen. I don't buy clothes or wants. I don't go out.

I only have $1100 or so left over after these bills with my GUARANTEED income. $1300 left over with my almost certain Ebay added in.

Using only my guaranteed income, if I were to suddenly have to pay $800 for rent, and let's assume $300 for gas/electric/internet and ran out of stuff to sell on Ebay, I would be left with only $539 for gas/food/savings. I would have next to nothing for savings or e-fund.

OMG. What do I do? Frown

Autism - Things I Wish Everyone Knew About Me

March 29th, 2010 at 07:00 pm

I saw something like this on an autism forum for adults once. It was basically a bunch of us talking about things we wish people understood about us. Not on a deep level but just to better understand some of the behavior that might strike them as odd.

1. When you smack gum, slurp soup, or otherwise make loud noises with your mouth, it's gross, but it also is a sound that scares and upsets me and NO, I CAN NOT "just ignore it". Sometimes, it bothers me so much that I want to just smack my head against a wall or bite my arm until it stops. And then I spend 30-60 minutes being afraid you'll do it again.

2. I do not like fancy clothes, they seem pointless and illogical to me, so that is why I wear the same 5 outfits to work in rotation, usually on the same day each week. They are solid colors because that makes more sense to me.

3. Patterns make me feel comfortable. If something goes out of pattern, I might get scared and feel like crying or yelling. It's not just being stubborn or wanting things MY WAY. When something that usually is suddenly isn't (or vice versa) my whole world can get thrown out of whack for a while.

4. I do not like being near or talking to people I do not know. Over the years I have learned how to be socially normal however, there are certain times when I am so afraid of what a stranger might do (mouth noises, weird smells, spill over into my seat etc.) that I will throw a tantrum out of sheer terror. This happened in Florida when due to a check in malfunction with SouthWest, my fiance & I got put in the last group to board. I lost it. I threw a toddler like tantrum because I was afraid...nay...horrified that I might have to sit next to a fat, smelly, slurpy stranger for 4 hours while my fiance sat 8 rows away. We ended up paying extra money to get into business class so I could be amongst the first to board so it worked out in the end.

5. I am not really capable of empathy. I never have been and I never will be. This comes off as mean, heartless, b!thcy... I've heard every nasty name in the book. Sometimes I try to fake it because I know how I am supposed to react to certain things. But I can not always fake empathy. Sometimes I am able to... not because I feel but because I understand how I am supposed to react in certain situations. (ie. my friend says they feel sick, I don't care per se, but I know they are my friend and thus because I like them, I don't want them to be sick so I am sorry they are sick. However if a stranger is sick, I might not say anything at all).

6. Despite my lack of empathy, I am capable of love and I am capable of friendship. In fact, I am a very loyal lover and friend. My fiance is a wonderful man who I would do anything for and I treat him very well and he treats me very well.

7. Having no empathy, I will often be brutally honest and things like political correctness or trying to walk in someone else's shoes makes no sense to me. In fact, "trying to walk in their shoes" makes me wonder why I would wear their shoes or if their shoes would literally fit me. I wish people wouldn't use phrases like that. Sometimes, this makes me come across as very mean but I don't mean to be. I am just being honest. Some people like this about me. Friends come to me a lot for advice because they know I will be honest.

8. I have never been able to relate to people my own age. When I was in high school, I would interview the other kids as if to learn about them. And then I would go off alone and do strange things like hang out at at the party supply store and imagine themes for rooms and events. I like themes. I make up themed music lists. I have theme movie and dinner nights. Themes are patterns and patterns are safe.

9. Because I am hypersensitive to certain noises, I need to wear earplugs almost all of the time. This means you have to be careful approaching me because I can't hear you. I can only hear you if you are talking face to face within a foot or two or on the phone.

10. I hate the phone. In all the years fiance and I have been together, we only text. Text makes more sense. It is clear cut and logical. No guessing. We only call in emergencies.

11. There are certain topics that mesmerize me and if I start thinking or talking about them, I won't stop. I don't even realize it usually. I once spent 12 hours rearranging music on my itunes and to me, it felt like 10 minutes.

12. No, really, I can't just ignore it. I stress this because the noise issue has caused me so many problems in my life. I had to have my desk moved recently at work because I was seated next to a chronic throat clearer and across from a cereal cruncher and it got to the point where I was hurting myself because it would comfort me. When people would tell me to "ignore it" it would make me angry too. Don't you think I would if I could?

13. I like animals more than most people. They make more sense to me. Watching people for me is like watching an aquarium full of fish from the outside. I observe them and I understand their behavior very well. However I have no idea how to be like them. Nor do I really care to be.

14. Not all autistics are non verbal 8 year olds. I was not officially diagnosed until I was in my early 30s. But I've been this way my entire life (my mom tells me I ran 5 box fans in my bedroom to block out noise when I was 7, and that I'd bite my arm or throw things if I could hear people talking in the next room when I wanted quiet). At the time, no doctors diagnosed me because only more severe cases tended to be noticed then.

15. As an autistic that understands many things about the condition, I try to learn more about it and find ways to deal with certain aspects of it. I am capable of holding down a good job. I am capable of being in a relationship. I am very good with focusing on goals.

April is going to be a GREAT money month for me!

March 29th, 2010 at 07:18 am

April is going to be a good month for me.

I have not done my taxes yet but I should be getting back around $1000 or so with my income tax refund. I will be doing my taxes this weekend. I'm getting money back so I have no idea why I waited this long but it will be done this weekend. I will likely make a large payment on my loan with that money.

My Ebay/Selling month is off to a fantastic start. I aim for $100/week (or $400 a month) and I am already almost there for the first week of April and April hasn't started yet. But since all the auctions don't end until April 2, technically they will be the first week of April. I find that 99% of the time people pay within minutes of the end of the auction.

There are 3 paychecks that fall in April. Because I budget my bills per paycheck, this leaves me with one paycheck that I do not need to pay any bills out of. (In fact, my bills are currently paid through April 17) and I still have more $$ than usual left my "monthly needs" checking account. Aside from what I need for food & gas, the extra April check will go into savings.

By the end of April, my e-fund/savings will likely be at $4000.

I do have to buy my fiance a birthday present. He's taken up 8-bit art as a hobby recently so it should be an inexpensive b-day. I was thinking about getting him a nice set of colored pencils ($17) that he said were "awesome" while we were at the art store over the weekend. I also picked him up an old Gamecube game he wanted used for $13. (most of the games he likes are old and only available used). I found a t-shirt for his favorite obscure band on ebay. $30 incl shipping). That was a bit pricey (the band is from Japan) but I know he'll love it and probably wear it until it falls apart. He wants me to make steak tips at home for his b-day dinner. ($20 for everything) I am making him a cake shaped like Pac-Man. ($5) I'm downloading a $10 album off itunes of an orchestra playing old school video game music to play while we eat. I'll burn a copy of it for him as an "extra" gift. So far I'm at around $95. I planned $150 for his b-day so I still have some $$ to play with if I see anything else good.

My niece also has a birthday but she is 5 years old and easily amused by a $6 My Little Pony.

My other niece (well, second cousin, technically) just got accepted into Cornell University's summer program to earn college credits towards her dream of becoming a vet when she graduates from high school next year. That has nothing to do with money, I'm just proud of the kid. Smile

Ebay/Selling Update

March 26th, 2010 at 07:27 pm

I posted earlier that my total for March was $387. Well, I made an extra $46 tonight.

$433 is my total. Best month yet since I started keeping track.



Approvals, Utilization, Status & Sales

March 26th, 2010 at 07:45 am

I got approved for a credit card through Sovereign Bank, less than a month after getting my horrible BoA "loan" (which it wasn't…it was a line of credit w/a variable rate…it was at 22% but I digress) BT'd to a Discover loan (which is an actual installment loan with a fixed 10.99% rate).

I also got my line of credit on my Best Buy card raised (there is no balance on the card, and probably never will be, but more credit = better utilization scores).

So in less than a month I transferred $13,000 off the BoA line of credit… that line of credit is still open and is a credit line of $23,300. I got approved for a $15,000 loan from Discover which has since been paid down to $12,500 AND got approved for an $1800 increase with Best Buy and a $5000 Sovereign card.

My utilization has never been better. Smile

I should be rid of unsecured debt within 2 years. Then I may or may not start overpaying my car loan depending on how much I have in savings. It will be almost done at that point anyway.

Unsecured debt and building up savings are my priorities right now. (The car is at like 2% interest so I'm just not that concerned).

@At this point my unsecured debt totals:
$12,500 on the Discover Loan at 10.99%

@My savings totals:
$3055 (I really REALLY need to work on this)

My March Ebay totals came to $387. Short of my $400 goal. I might take some stuff to Bullmoose (cds, video games) to sell on Saturday to try and make up the extra to get to $400 from selling stuff before April 1st. I don't need that much so it could happen.

April Ebay I am going to start off with a collectible item which I think could bring over $100 by itself. We shall see.

I might lower my goal for April to $350 but I hate lowering my standards.

History

March 25th, 2010 at 06:05 pm

One year ago, I was over $25,000 in debt, primarily from a vetrinary surgery I wish I hadn't paid for (the dog died anyway) and extremely foolish car repair for a vehicle I no longer have.

A year later, I am down to $12,500 total debt and a credit score in the upper 700's. Extra work, hard work, and giving up most of my personal belongings got me out of trouble.

I am focused 100% of my finances at this point in my life. Nothing else matters right now. Nothing else can matter. I am already middle aged and have very little to show for my life. So right now, the focus is building my bank account up.

I have no one to help me and I believe strongly that people need to make their own life. Alone.

You can't count on anyone to help you financially in life but yourself.

I think there was a time when I was younger that I thought my wealthy parents would help me. Well, they bought my younger brother a house, car, remodeling, home theater etc. and lavish him with expensive gifts. I am given nothing. Reality hit hard a few years ago that I would not get the same treatment as my brother and I began really focusing on making my own way.

There was a time I thought one day I'd get married and two incomes would be better than one. But it turned out, when I got engaged, that was anything but true and I was looking at not only supporting myself, but supporting another person on my income as well. It hurt like hell, but I decided to be logical and hold off.

You can not count on anyone.

I will never turn to the government to assist me either. For the rest of my life, money and security will be my main focus and I have never been happier. I feel like I am on the right path.

$12,500 on a personal loan that will be gone in 2 years and I am currently able to save close to $1000 a month. Someday, I hope to be able to move to a cheaper area and buy a house with mostly cash.

As my debt and savings go up, I will update here and tell how I did it.