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.
Viewing the 'Budgeting' Category
Just a quick update on financial stuff.
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!
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.