I don't want to talk about the recent personal issues in my life but I do want to blog a finance update.
All my April auctions have ended. I do have a few that will end next Friday which is technically still April but since I count Saturdays (the day I ship) I will consider those the first week of May.
I had a person pay $38.50 for a 2 disc cd. I had another person pay $18.50 for a 1 disc cd. Who knew that the random collection of old cartoon soundtracks I had in my basement gathering dust was this valuable?
Anyway, the grand total for April wound up being...
Best month yet. I am $138 away from my $6000 savings goal. Then I am going to hold off on aggresive saving and get toward aggresive debt payment. That 12K loan will be gone in no time.
Prior to December of 2009, I had no savings. I literally had $0 cash. Now I have almost $6000. I am excited.
I also still have over $840 in checking and all my expenses for the month have been paid. I get another paycheck April 30. So that $840 is basically checking account buffer for now. Once I pay everything due the first two weeks of May, I'll probably make a transfer of $138 to savings.
Archive for April, 2010
I don't want to talk about the recent personal issues in my life but I do want to blog a finance update.
Just a quick update on financial stuff.
Balance Transfer Drama.
I still have not seen that balance transfer I applied for a month ago go through. Which means I will pay the minimum on the original card. And then when the balance transfer does go through, who knows when?, that card will be in the negatives and I guess I'll have to have Target National Bank cut me a check. Who knows how long that will be.
I should have just taken money out of savings and paid it off instead of trying to save and BT and pay it off when I get my next parking reimbursement in 3 months. I just figured, it would be better to save the cash, transfer the debt (under 1100) to a 0% card for 3 months and pay the mins at 0% then pay it in full once I get the reimbursement. Plus it's a good limit $5K which helps my available credit to debt ratio.
But now I regret it. It was a big mistake. Sovereign Bank sucks. I have my checking through them and not really many problems. But this… yikes. They told me the day I applied that I was approved and they would start getting things done immediately. 2 1/2 weeks later, I get a call from them saying they need to review my app. Um? WTF? They wanted to close a 23K line of credit I have (that is through BOA but apparently also the same bank that controls Sovereign cards). I said no. That is an old, open line of credit that I don't use, don't even have a card for and is just sitting there in good standing on my report. Again, available credit to debt ratio. That 23K line helps too.
I finally let them cut the 23K to 18K as long as they left it open and in good standing and did not lower the limit on the Sovereign card. So that is what they did. WITH THE PROMISE to do the balance transfer immediately.
Well, now it's almost 2 weeks later and unless it's done tomorrow, I can't hold off paying the minimum on the Target card any longer. It's just aggravating. When I did a BT with Discover once to get a better rate, it took 3 days. THREE DAYS. Why is Sovereign taking a month??
Selling My Belongings.
On the Ebay/Selling My Stuff front, I've mostly done trips to Bullmoose Music to sell cds and dvds this month. With a little bit of Ebay thrown in.
Last Month total : $433.38
This Month Goal: $400.00
April so far:
Week 1 - $112.45
Week 2 - $135.30
Week 3 (still tallying up til this Saturday the 17) - so far $26.96.
Total (so far) for April: $274.71
Still needed to get to my monthly goal: $125.29
Week 3 is pretty dismal. I will likely make a Bullmoose run Friday night. Most of my current auctions end Friday evening. Hopefully they will go up.
Other. I am going to have to buy new clothes soon. I will try to buy from the thrift store. I hate clothes shopping so much. I got really fat the last year and nothing I own fits me. I have three old, mildly office acceptable pairs of pants and only 2 acceptable short sleeve shirts. 2 of the 3 pairs of pants are courdoroy. They barely fit and hurt because they are too tight. I feel ugly. I've wasted the last 2 years of my life scrimping and saving for a future that, as it turns out, is not going to happen. I was thin and pretty when I first met him but I guess I got so busy trying to save money for us that I just let myself go. Now I am just a fat tub. I hate it. I know losing weight is going to be hard and a long journey. I just don't want to spend a lot of money on new clothes in the process. Hopefully, I can find something okay at Salvation Army or Goodwill.
I had a bad night.
I will not do $100 (my weekly goal) from selling my belongings next week. As you know, I have set and reached this goal so far every week this year, often exceeding it.
I am so tired though. I have been doing a double workload at my 9-5, taking Saturday overtime even, trying to put together my fiance's bday, putting together his Easter candy last week, getting my niece a bday gift, and getting my good friend a baby shower gift.
I worked all day last Saturday. Then I put together FI's Easter basket. It was worth it to see how happy he was. Then Sunday I drove 2 hours each way to my parents for Easter. Monday I lugged Ebay shipments into downtown Boston on the subway because I couldn't mail them Saturday. All week I have been working full time, two workloads at work. Due to the floods our homeowners team needed help. So I am helping while at the same time doing my real job.
Tonight is my normal Ebay posting night. Nothing went right. My computer crashed 6 times. My photos wouldn't upload to Ebay. Then my camera couldn't connect to the computer. It took my 4 hours to just get 3 listings and even if they all sell, it's not likely that they will exceed more than $50.
My auctions ending tonight have no bids. But I already made over $100 this week anyway between selling at the used cd store and my earlier in the week auctions. $106.36 to be exact. I'm at $218.81 for the month.
I know I should stay awake and post more but I am so tired.
Tomorrow I have to work both my real job and help homeowners again.
Then I have to drive my roommate home because his car died again. I suspect that I will be a chauffer for parts of the weekend too. He has no money to rent a car. I should just say no.
Then after that, I have to go get FI's last bday present because I forgot to pick it up tonight.
Then I have to come home and bake a cake.
And wrap presents.
Before he gets here at 11 pm.
I feel bad because my BFF downstairs rented a movie for us and was hoping we'd watch it tomorrow. That is simply not going to happen.
My last bi weekly paycheck was $1265. That was an extra $44 for 2 hours of OT that I did last time. Also, I got $60 worth of Target gift card from work merit rewards. Used them to buy most of FI gift and my friends baby shower. Not a lot of cash spent.
My friend is coming over Monday to work on my computer and try to fix it.
I am so tired. I feel like I wasted the whole night fighting with a camera and bad connection. At least I'll have an entire Saturdays worth of OT pay in my next paycheck.
My goal for 2010 was to save $6000.00 cash. Prior to Dec. 2009, I had only had around $500 cash so this dollar amount seemed like a really huge undertaking.
Once I get my tax return, my cash savings account will be up to $5312 or only $688 short of my goal for the entire year. It is currently at $3597. I am getting back $298 from state and $1417 from federal. Should have those checks by May.
I am saving at a much faster rate than I initially anticipated, mainly because my Ebay sales are going so well. All of my Ebay earnings go directly into this account and I've been aiming for $400/month but on average doing slightly better than that.
I think I need to raise my goal but I don't want to go crazy.
I do want to start pounding away at my loan and be rid of it within 2 years. $6000 is half of what I owe on my loan. I'm wondering if I should just stop with the aggressive savings now and pound away at the loan? Clearly, it is not that difficult for me to save $6000 since I did it so quickly.
I am also very proud of my fiance because he told me that between Dec and now he has managed to save $2600 and now has that in savings. He has almost no disposable income or "fun" money at all so this was much harder for him than it was for me.
The weekend was rather bleh.
Friday night I had $1366 in checking and $3300+ in savings.
Friday night. I went to see my favorite author at a book signing. I stupidly bought his new book for $25 so I could have him sign it. I regret it and feel incredibly guilty for buying a want which I should not have bought. The signing was fun and it was a free event. I should not have bought the book though. I also bought a coffee for Fiance and I. It was good but a regrettable $8 purchase. I also bought a copy of the book for a friend who was running late, but she paid me right back that night in cash. Still, a $33 "wants" night. Bad.
Before the signing, fiance bought us dinner…well, he bought us each a drink and a thing of chicken fingers that we split.
I also bought new earplugs Friday night but it turned out I didn't need new ones. I had a pack I forgot about. So another waste of $5.
Also, because I went out, I could not list any new auctions. So I can either do it tonight and have them end in 5 days instead of 7, or I can skip a week. I made $112.45 with the last batch (the first one for April). Ugh.
I worked OT all day Saturday. No one else who said they were coming in showed up. It was a long day, making survey phone calls which is not my normal job at all. I never have to call people. I couldn't ship my Ebay items out because I had to work before the PO opened, but my fiance took the handful of items where the people paid before 8 AM on Saturday morning and mailed them for me. And wouldn't let me pay him back for it. *shrug* I still have items to ship for people who paid mid-day on Saturday. I state in my auctions I ship the first Saturday after payment received so now I feel like I've lied to my customers.
Saturday afternoon was bad. I got a bill from a dentist I have never heard of for some work I never did. Clearly, someone used my name and info to go to a dentist. Ironically, I haven't gone to the dentist for work I need done yet because I know it will run me around $2000 for the work I need. Now what do I do? Do I pay this bill just to prevent it from going on my credit score while I fight it? I don't know. It's $200. Not worth ruining my credit for. But also, IT'S NOT MINE. I have to call the billing office in a bit when they open and find out who used my info.
Fiance felt bad for me because of the bill from the dentist so he took me to dinner Saturday night. I had a $9 burger and a $6 glass of wine. I don't like selecting anything more than that when someone else is paying. It was nice until the family who came in after us had wretched screaming children that they allowed to just scream through the entire dinner. My mother would never have let me and my brother do that. What is wrong with people these days? I feel bad that he bought us food twice this weekend. He has less $$ than I do, but I think he cares less about it.
After dinner, we walked around downtown and I saw a jacket I loved in a store. It was perfect. Exactly what I was looking for for like 3 years. I have had the same winter jacket for the last 5 years. It is falling apart. It's really ugly but was functional. This new one was warm and heavy and the design was a hard to find pattern I really like. It was the best looking jacket for me I ever saw. I tried it on and it fit perfect. It was handmade by a local designer and being sold in a small boutique I like to support.
But it was $99 so I did not buy it. I can get another winter coat at the thrift store.
We walked around the rest of the night, I took my fiance for coffee (cost around $10 at the coffee shop for both of us to get a treat and coffee). The coffee was really good and it was a small mom and pop store. I had an apple pie flavored latte and FI had a chocolate chip cookie one.
I debated in my head the jacket. I decided I wanted the jacket badly enough to get it. Even though I still felt really guilty about it and the book. I have $3300+ in savings and will be bringing that up to $5000 with my tax refund in a few weeks and I had $1285 in my checking at this point with no bills due until 4/25 (and another paycheck in between).
I figured I would get several years out of the jacket and hopefully would get over the guilt within a few months. It is very rare that I care about clothing. I have not actually bought new clothing in over 2 years. I have gotten a few new things for Christmas from my mom.
It was gone when I went back. Now I am sad. I wish I didn't feel so bad about buying myself things. It's not like I was going to charge it. Probably for the best though. No one needs a $99 jacket.
I kept fiance's Easter basket under budget. I suppose it's frivalous that I made him an Easter basket but I'd rather use my fun money for him. I like seeing him happy. Anyway, I set aside $40 and only spent $35. Also, his bday for next weekend is still way under the $150 I planned.
Easter day was a big waste of money. Wasted over a quarter of a tank of gas sitting in Boston traffic to go to my parents house and big. 2 1/2 hours in stop and go traffic each way. It was awful. Barely got to spend any time with my family.
Good news though. My sister in law's step-father is a Ford mechanic and he drove my car and said it doesn't need any work that he is aware of. It was shaking because I had the defrost on. He turned the defrost off and it stopped shaking. Wow. That was good to know.
Overall, just a weekend that went by too fast and cost too much money.
Well, so far I think I've done pretty good. I set aside $150 for his bday and so far, I've spent $60.90 and gotten the following:
1. Used Resident Evil 4 for Cube game - $13.97
(FI likes old games and old systems and you have to get these games used because they don't make 'em anymore)
2. T-Shirt for band he loves from Japan -$30.55
(includes shipping. He loves this band and you can't get their stuff anywhere. They're a metal band from Japan called Versailles Philharmonic Quintet)
3. Hole Punch for Artwork - $6.39
(includes shipping. He makes artwork out of 1/4" inch square pieces of recycled soda cans and other materials and he's been trying to find a 1/4" square shaped punch for a while)
4. New Wii game Tetsunkno vs. Capcom - $9.99
(used some of my earned merit rewards from work so I was able to get this for $9.99... normally it's $49.99)
Total : $60.90
I have $89.10 left. I will need some of it for food. He wants me to make steak tips in cheese sauce w/pasta and a homemade cake ($20) and he wants a chianti to drink with it ($15). So $35 for food.
So $54.10 left.
The theme of his bday this year will be video games. I am going to decorate the dining area like old video game characters. I am making a Pac Man cake. We always listen to classical when we eat, so I might spend $10 to download the Czech Orchestra doing their symphony tribute to video game music and then burn him a copy of the cd.
So $44.10 left.
I could potentially use to get him one other small thing. I might get him a gift card to an art store so he can buy supplies as needed. Also, he said he wanted dominoes so I might look into that. Hmmmm...
I made my 1st $100 for April e-bay already. A few good sales. And I am working OT tomorrow. A full day!