Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I've done it again....

I've done it again. I told myself on November 17th that I would make myself more accountable and blog more frequently, have I done it? Of course now. Have I read lots of pf blogs lately? Yes, of course. Have I broken out of my shell and commented on them-nope.

Anyway, on the plus side I have been working a lot these past couple of weeks and although I only work for tips I've been averaging 80-100 a night-not too shabby. I worked tonight at made 147 dollars for just 5 hours of work! I wish this was a year round job instead of just seasonal :).

I've got some Christmas shopping left to do, but I am planning on keeping track of all the money that I made this month-it's all cash-and then depositing it into the bank. I've made a budget for Christmas so hopefully I can stick to it for the most part. Tomorrow I am going to count all of the money that I made and make an excel sheet to track money coming in and going out. I'll write more tomorrow-but I need to be up in 3 hours so....

Good night blog world!
Former Sorority Girl-I graduated in May lol (maybe it's time to rename my blog?)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I am such a hypocritical blogger....

I cannot begin to tell you the countless amount of times that I go exploring for new debt blogs by checking out everyone's blog rolls. It is something that I enjoy doing, and it allows me to find new blogs that I may not have been aware of at the time. I'll eagerly click on the link and start reading from the beginning of a new blog. What I love about debt blogs is the idea of transformation, renewal, and perserverance. Each month of posts that I read will begin to show people making progress, learning that their overspending is not bringing any happiness into their lives, and the way that they begin to change. It is truly a fascinating study of the human character. As I start to delve into that person's persona, as you will, and learn more and more about them, albeit they remain anonymous still in their own way, I begin to get attached. Not in a creepy way, I promise. Anyway, I can't tell you how many times my interests gets piqued, and then the updates just stop. It is in a perfectly unrational manner that I get upset with the blogger. I want to know what happened to them, if they incurred any more debt, or if they have been able to pay it off. However, when the last post is from December 2009, and it's November of 2010, I get an inkling that they will not be returning to update any time soon.
What is the point of this you might ask? Well the point is that I am a hypocrite. When was the last time that I updated my own blog? July. That's right...July. I make all of these promises to myself about how I am going to pay off all of my debt, start saving my money, and write down all of my spending, savings, debt payments, etc. Have I done any of that? No. Can I use the fact that I am in an intensive postbacaulaureate certificate program for paralegal studies? Not even close. For one thing, now that the first part of the program is over, I only have class two days a week because I am only going as a part time student. I have ample opportunity to write a blog entry. Secondly, if I have time to spend hours watching tv and surfing the blogworld, I have time to write. There should be no excuses. I read so many blogs where people have 9-5 jobs, three children, and a husband. They have to work, cook, clean, take their kids to activities, help them with homework, and everything else that comes with the mom job title. What do I have to do? Go to class from 9am-1pm two days a week. Yes, not very pressing or time consuming, I agree with you reader. I'm going to make a resolution of starting to write again. I actually really enjoy writing, so I don't know why I have felt like it has been a chore lately. I'm not waiting until New Years to start my resolution, because let's face it-New Year's resolutions last two weeks top and then people give up. The 6am workout might be great for the first week, and then you start to realize how much more tired you feel, how you want to go to bed earlier but you can't, and wouldn't it be ok to just sleep in for one day instead...yes. We all know how that usually ends up.
Anyway, I digress. A second resolution that I am going to attempt to make is to stop blog creeping. I am notorious for doing this. As I mentioned earlier in the post, I love reading blogs from the beginning to see all of the progress that people have made. However, I'm so thoughtless as to usually not leave a single comment. I should know better. I've only received one comment on this blog, and when I got my first comment it completely made my day. I felt like someone cared about my thoughts, as immature as they may have been. I should realize how much it brightens someone's day to get a message as simple as-"You are doing a great job, don't give up!" I for one, know that I would appreciate messages like that. However, you need to give in order to receive. Why should I expect people to comment on my blog, or for that matter, even be able to find it, if I don't give encouragement to others, or if I don't add them to a blog roll, of which is currently nonexistent. Hopefully, I will start to make progess on this today. My goal will be to write comments on at least 5 blogs a day. It truly isn't that hard.
Alright, well that said....I think that I am going to read through my blog, see where I left off, and then come back later and give everyone an update as to where I am at in my financial situation, etc.

Friday, August 6, 2010

New Card?

I just signed up for a new discover card. I'm praying that I will be approved so that I can do a 0% balance transfer with 0%APR for nine months. 1st Financial Bank has been the death of me for the past 3 years now. I can't wait to get rid of the debt on that card and never use it again!!!!! I've been working so hard to get this card paid off! I really hope that I get approved for the card. Fingers crossed! Almost all the money that I have made this summer has gone entirely to debt repayment. Sigh...I know it is worth it. I just wish that it hadn't gotten so out of control! I can do this though. I want my future to be better. I plan on starting to save money for my student loans as soon as the credit card is paid off in its entirety. Maybe I could start selling some books online? We'll see. I just wish I had a better paying part time job, or at least I could work more hours. The job I have right now is a complete joke! Maybe I should update my resume and see where it takes me. Alright, well that's all for now.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I'm really freaking proud of myself right now! As of right now my balance on my credit card is 1294. It hasn't been that low in well over a year! I haven't charged a single thing on my card since May when I had my one year anniversary! Since May I have paid over 600 off of my credit card. I recently applied for a new credit card and I'm praying that I'll get approved since I am in desperate need of a 0% balance transfer. No joke-I actually have dreams about getting it and being able to pay off my card even faster with no interest rates. My current apr is 23% it's ridiculous, however I've been doing everything in power this summer to get it paid off. I'm only working a summer job that I get paid 8.25 an hour for and I usually only get to work around 30 hours every 2 weeks. The money isn't coming in like I need it to. The only money that I have spent on myself this summer has been the tip money that I recieve-usually 150 per month. I've been so careful about spending, and it's finally paying off! The only problem is that I need to have some money saved for when school starts as well. Although I can do without as long as I can get this damn card paid off! I'm willing to sacrifice. It's totally worth it to me!

Total Amount of Credit Issued to You by the Bank (Your Credit Limit)
Amount Currently Charged to Your Account (Your Current Account Balance)
Is Your Last Payment Received by the Bank on 08/02/2010 and is Included in Your Current Account Balance.

Total Amount Billed to Your Account on 07/08/2010 (Your Last Statement Balance)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Waiting for the new credit card bill...

I can't believe that I even said that. I used to wait until the very last day to pay my credit card bill, sometimes only hours within the deadline. There has only been a few times that I didn't pay over the minimum balance, and that was when things might have been tough that month with unexpected fees for the sorority. Now, I am actually waiting in anticipation for my bill. I want to see if I will have a lower minimum payment, even if it's a dollar less. No, this isn't so that I can pay less on my bill. This is so that I can see that I am making progress on paying the credit card, and even the credit card company takes notice to that.

I have a fantasy in my head of calling up the credit card company and asking for a lower rate, but I'm terrified to do that. I've heard horror stories where people ask for rate reductions and then the company either slashes their credit down to the point where they max out their card in days simply from the interest that gets added on. I've also heard stories where the companies cancel their cards and remove their line of credit. The credit card company that I have is horrible, and I've heard pretty much nothing but bad things about them. I'm so scared that this would happen to me. Right now, I'm just toughing things out. I'm not going to call them, I'm just going to get this balance paid off. I know I can do it. Thank god that I will still be working at least on the weekends when school starts. Any extra income will be so helpful, especially since I probably won't be able to be making 200 payments each month. Don't worry, that's not my minimum payment lol. My minimum payment right now is 42. Alright, well enough about that. The new billing cycle doesn't start until July 8th so I am just going to have to be payment. Wow. I meant to type patient, and instead I said payment. I guess I know where my mindset is at.

Spenditures from this weekend

At first I thought I only bought two things this weekend, and then I realized it was three. It's funny how easily it is to forget things. Ok here's what I spent.

Friday: Bingo cards-13

Pop during intermission-1

Total: 14- I love nice even numbers. :-)


Dunkin Donuts Large Iced Coffee-2.32. I had a gift card-so I'm considering it to be free!


I got a lovely text from my dad saying that he was going to a car show and that my mom was out with a friend still so that I was on my own to pick up dinner for myself. I did this, and I got home and my mom had left over chinese food from her dinner that she said I could have. I wish that I had known that sooner-oh well. Those are the breaks. So...dinner.

I went to this little drive in food place and got: A chicken pita with extra moz. no onions-they are amazing!

fried zucchini with ranch dressing

I paid a total of 9.50 for the two items, and they even threw in a bag of french fries...that I didn't order. Maybe they thought I was looking to right...or maybe there was a deal that I didn't know about-either way I got free fries. Fries from there usually cost 2-3 dollars, so that was nice!

That was my spending. I do have to say though that to pay for the food I used money from the 20 that I received in tip money that day. Sometimes it pays off to go the extra mile for people. I learned that they really do appreciate it and will reward you for it!

Total Spent:





Not bad for an entire weekend! I guess it helps that I have absolutely no life and bingo was the most exciting thing that I did all weekend. Ha ha. I guess it's a good thing because the boyfriend is coming home this week and I have a feeling it's going to be expensive. Thank god for tip money!

By the way...what's the shark pool for you might ask? Free entertainment! I have this exact same kids pool and I throw it into our actual pool, and use it as a raft to tan. It's perfect for floating in the pool, getting a tan (in my case a little sunburn today..ouch), drinking a beer, and reading a book. Not even kidding. It's awesome. It's also a huge money saver because spending time in the pool means I'm not out shopping or buying things that I don't need and can't afford! Love it!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Payday! Gotta love that word! Yes the image is cliche...thanks!

I got paid 210 and some change for two weeks of work today. I worked a total of 29 hours in two weeks. This is completely pathetic, and believe me it's not my choice. I would work everyday for fifteen hours if it was up to me. Alas, it is not. Technically I would consider today a no spend day although I did spend fifteen dollars. However, I am going to be reimbursed for it. My manager at work makes jewelry and she made a gorgeous pink crystal breast cancer bracelet with a pink breast cancer ribbon charm. I told my mom about them and she wanted to buy one, so I paid my manager today that way she would get the money right away and I got the beautiful bracelet. I really feel for my manager because she is struggling extremely financially, so any little bit of extra income is really helpful for her. She's also been wonderful so far and we have even gone together to play bingo. Anyway, my mom is going to be paying me back. Which is wonderful because I usually spend 15 at bingo so I'll break even.

Reasons 1 why I am proud of myself today:
I am working so hard to not spend any of my money from the checks at work. All of the checks are used for debt repayment/saving for the upcoming school year. I get tip money once a month and use this money for fun money/any small purchases I might make. Last month I got 75 in tip money. I had 17 left over and it's the end of June! I'm actually really really proud of myself. This month (June) I already know that I am going to get over 100 in tip money for sure. This is great news since my day in Chicago is coming up and I know that money will be spent.

Reason 2 Why I am very proud of myself:
This morning I woke up at 5am and went to work at 6 after having gone to bed at 3am. Ouch! I need to stop reading pf blogs all night long, but they are so addicting. This one blogger is probably going to think that I am stalking her. Once I find a blog of interest, I like to start from the beginning at their very first entry and see how they have evolved, and how much debt they started with and how much they have paid off. It is so inspiring. However, I'm on their page for hours upon hours and some people have meters that show where the person is from and how long they have been on the page. At least the meter didn't get the right city that I'm from. Ha ha silly meter. Wow...I've completely digressed. Sorry. Ok second reason that I am very proud of myself, this morning I dragged my sorry self out of bed and my first thought was coffee. I'm totally going to need coffee to function. At first I was going to hurry up and get ready and stop at the drive thru dunkin donuts that is conveniently right on my way to work. However, I went downstairs looked in the coffee pot and found coffee from yesterday, still fresh. I zapped a cup in the microwave added some peppermint mocha creamer, put it in a travel mug, and I was out the door. I saved myself 2.32 for a large iced coffee that I probably would have drank half of and thrown out the rest. Also, don't worry. I'm not the type of person that goes to starbucks and orders the 6 dollar white chocolate mochas (anymore) I used to be completely guilty of that. Now I'm happy with plain coffee hot or iced, as long as there is a tiny bit of cream. I've saved a lot of money that way. It's actually gotten to the point when I get a specialty drink from starbucks i feel sick because I'm not used to all of the sugar crap that they add into their drinks. Finally, there is coffee at my work everyday, so if I don't have a chance to grab coffee at home, there's always free coffee at work. I no longer have any excuse for buying coffee for work. Savings from that have really made a difference. Those 2-3 dollars a day really add up!

Reason 1 Why I am very happy:Also, here's some good news. I was talking to my friend and she said that her mom would pay for our hair on her wedding day. I've got to be completely honest, I was thrilled when I heard this because I was already trying to budget the cost of getting my hair done. I knew it would probably be around 60 at least. I'm going to see if her mom will at least let me pay the tip though to the stylist or maybe pay half. I feel a little guilty. Although, i'm the only one in the wedding party besides the bride so I guess it won't be too expensive.
Alright, well I'm off to do some more pf blog stalking...hope I'm not creeping anyone else out. See you latter my fellow bloggers-even though no one reads this but me-I have hope that someday I will get a comment on one of my posts. Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Bank of Mom and Dad

I spent a very interesting, albeit very long day watching the show the Bank of Mom and Dad on hulu. I think in all I watched ten episodes. The show, if you haven't heard about it yet, is about 20 something year olds and in some cases 30 year old women who are living way above their means and have a ton of credit card debt and other debt to their name. This is where mom and dad come in. They move into their daughter's house/apartment and take complete control over their child's finances, with the help of a financial expert. The first thing that they do is write down how much they think their daughter owes, the daughter then writes down what she thinks she owes, the numbers are swapped, and then finally the true amount of debt is revealed. A break down is then given of how the money is being spent each month. Usually in many cases an astronomical amount goes to clothes, shopping, and food. In some cases these women have had their bills go to debt collectors and they are still spending money that they don't have like it is going out of style. I honestly couldn't believe it. The show goes on to have some scare tactics to try to help the women create new budgets and a new way of living.

I watched episode after episode of this, and it was just astounding to see the audacity of some of these women. I have 1500 worth of credit card debt and it keeps me up at night. I've basically put my spending on complete lockdown until it's paid off. How in god's name did these women feel like they had the right to shop when they were over 10,000 in credit card debt. This wasn't medical debt, or student loans, car loans, or anything-this was pure-I want it so I'll buy it. In most of these cases I had a little trouble identifying with some of these women. Most had an income of 2500 a month. Right now my income is a paltry I'd say 400-500 a month depending on how many hours I work and how much tip money I get.

I'm living at home so I'm not paying for food, utilities, rent, or anything. It's just a part time summer job that I've had for the past 6 summers. Not very glamorous. I am going to school in August though for a post baccalaureate certificate to become a paralegal. My goal is to get a good job and pay off my student loans off as fast as I can once I'm done with the program. Any way, I digress. I guess I was just trying to give myself some justification. I know what everyone is thinking, I can pay off my credit card in one summer and be done. Ideally, yes. Realistically, no. I need to have money saved for the year for when I'm at school. I'm not going to fall into the credit card trap. I'm also not going to depend on my mom to foot the bill like my sister did this year. She went to chicago every single weekend to see her friends and go to the bars pretty much. How did she afford this? Well she had some money saved, but as I've found out recently, much of it has come from my parents. I'm not going to do that to them. My parents also pay my sister's credit card bill I think. Wow...I'm really bad at digressing, sorry everyone! Ok let's get back on track!

As I was saying most of these women seemed to be living a different lifestyle than me...all but one. There was one girl whose income was around 800 a month. She was over 30,000 in debt at the ripe age of 22. MY AGE! 30% of that was from credit cards! She spent 200 a month on clothes for her freaking dog! Another part was from a car loan which who grandma cosigned on with her, and she wasn't making car payments. Yet she had a hissy fit when her parents wanted her to sell her car to pay off some of her enormous debt. The final part of her debt was from student loans. Granted this was a small amount, only around 6,000. Get this, she never even finished college. Twice she took breaks from school. I thought to myself, what was wrong with this girl! I finished college in four years with a major and a minor. I had a 4.0 in my minor and I graduated cum laude. I went to a state school and here I am with already over 30,000 in student loans because my parents couldn't afford to put me through college. I didn't take out maximum amounts of money on my loans, I took only what I needed to get me through the year. I was in a sorority and I paid for all of my dues and misc. fees with the income that I made from my part time job at school.

I guess it just irked me to see this girl have a total disregard for education and to not even care that her debts were all in collection. Anyway, this show just really motivated me to get out of debt as fast as possible, save money from my meager paychecks aside from debt payment, and start putting aside money for my student loans. I want to be financially independent. I don't want to have to depend on mommy and daddy.

Thank you Bank of Mom and Dad for opening up my eyes today.

Monday, June 21, 2010

goodbye 250 from my credit card balance

I just submitted a $250 payment to my credit card. I have to tell you, it feels amazing! I can't wait until it shows up on my account and I can see the lower number. At first I was only going to pay 200 which was the amount of dogsitting money that I made. Then I thought about it, and I really really want to get this card down. Just the other day my mom said how my sister sometimes has her credit card bill up to 600. I wanted to laugh. I would give anything for my card to be that low. My mom is also helping my sister out since until this month she was at school and didn't have a job. My sister made the decision last summer that she wanted the summer off because she was exhausted from four year of school with 2 majors, 2 jobs, and an internship. She wanted a break. She got a break, but then she had absolutely no money to spend during her grad school certificate program. I knew right away that I didn't want to be placed in that situation. That's why I decided to work this summer. I also knew that I would need income to pay off my credit card bill. I have worked very hard this summer so far to not spend any money that I don't need to. To date, the most that I have spent on fun money has probably been the 16 for when I went to bingo.

I decided early on that I would save all of my checks from work and not use it for fun money, so far I haven't. The money that I have used has been from tip money that I have received from work. However, for May I only received 75 in tip money. Here is where the money went:
16-bingo money
26-house warming present
15-gift bag, crossword puzzle book, and moisturizer
the remaining 18 dollars I spent was on coffee (no not $5 coffees from starbucks, more like 2.32 iced coffees from dunkin donuts, since I start work at 6am on some days. I need coffee to function.

I deposited my two work checks and from that I have only spent 60 of it for something other than credit card repayment/savings.

I had to spend 36.64 at Sprint for a loaner phone rental and a new case for my blackberry. There was something wrong with my charging port so I needed to get a new phone sent to me and I got a rental while I was waiting for my new phone to come in. It was well worth the money.

The second thing was 34.14 at Jewel. Again, this wasn't for me. I got my dad a card, $25 gift card, and two kinds of cookies that he really wanted for some reason for father's day.

4th of July is coming up, and the boyfriend gets to come home for the weekend! I'm really excited, but I also know that will mean that I will be spending a good amount of money downtown. We are going to the taste and then meeting up with some friends to go bar hopping that night. (train tickets, taste of chicago, bar tabs, dinner) On the plus side I only weigh 102 pounds, so it pretty much takes me two beers to get me at a good tipsy state. I won't have to spend a lot of money on alcohol at least. I guess there is a silverlining. I'm just excited to see the boyfriend!

Ok...well I do need to buy a new bathing suit soon, however this isn't an absolute necessity right now. I'm going to try to sell some books and see how much I get for them. Either the money will go towards a cheap bathing suit, or I'll use it for an additional credit card payment. I'm going to try to spend very little money for the rest of this month.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Dog sitting pays off...literally!

I got paid today for dogsitting from last week for...200 dollars!!!! Like I planned, it's all going towards my credit card debt! It's even more than I expected yay!!!!! This is a short post but I'll update later, after I pay my credit card bill tomorrow!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

I haven't spent a dime in two days...yay. I did however make 75 in tip money. Unfortunately, I owe like 58 dollars in bills from my apartment back at school, even though I'm officially moved out already-it's just how the billing cycle works. Well tomorrow I'll send a check out so it is one less thing to get done. Money in-money out. Such is life. My goal is to go until at least next Wednesday or Thursday, heck let's make it Friday without spending any money. The exceptions of course would be if I have to buy gas for the mustang, or when I'm dogsitting if I end up spending the night at there house. Besides that...I'm not going to spend a dime. I'm also going to send two payments to my credit card this month and go above and beyond the minimum amount. Alright, well that's it for now. My life is extremely boring right now, work, reading, and tv. That's it. No joke. More later.
-Smart Sorority Girl

Thursday, June 3, 2010

No money spent today! Money received and found though...

I didn't have work today. This meant that I didn't earn any money, but it also means that I wasn't tempted to go to Dunkin Donuts and spend close to 3 dollars for a large iced coffee. I honestly can't function without coffee. However, we always have coffee where I work and ice and cream, so from now on I am going to just make my own there. Money saved. Yay! On the plus side I cleaned out the shoe closet at my house and whatever change I found (just coins) I claimed as my own. I am going to start keeping track of all of the change that I find/receive and put it in a bag. At the end of the summer I am going to put it through the coin machine at my bank and see how useless change really adds up to. Also, my aunt sent me a check for $50 for graduation and the first thought that went through my head was...I can use this towards my credit card debt! I haven't cashed the check yet, but as soon as I got the card I wrote out a thank you card and it's going into the mailbox first thing in the morning.There are some other small windfalls that are on their way- Every two weeks we get tip money from where I work. I'm hoping to get at least 50. I made a promise to myself that I would use any tip money I got as my spending money and to try not to spend anything else. However, depending on how much I get in tip money, I might take a percentage of that and put it into savings.
Alright, well fingers crossed. By the way I paid 70 on my credit card yesterday and the minimum was 40. However, the 70 doesn't even cover the 78 bill that I paid to my university for health services...ugh. Oh step at a time. Also,I will have to be paying over 50 in bills to my roomate though, and so I think I'll be depositing my paycheck and 80 that I have in other checks tomorrow after I get out of work. My goal is to spend absolutely no money this week. Let's see if I can do it.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

It's been quite a while....

As you can see I have been gone for quite a while. I looked at my blog and the last time that I posted was in February. It is now June. Oops. To catch you up, if anyone reads this, I graduated college with a BA in English and I graduated cum laude. I finished college in four years with a major and a minor under my belt, and I didn't even need to go to summer school to get everything done on time. It was a lot of work and it was a lot of sleepless nights, but it was totally worth it. What's next you ask? Well I got accepted into a university in Chicago for a post baccalaureate certificate for paralegal studies. The program begins in August. Currently I am working at a summer job that I have been at for the past 6 summers. Unfortunately, I seem to be working very few hours this summer, and I am not making the money that I would like to, even though I know that it is only a part time job. I'm strongly considering looking for another part time job. As it is, I only work 2-3 days a week, and in the middle of the month I'll have eight days off in a row and I didn't even request them!

I'm trying really hard to watch my money and not spend any money that I don't need to. Alright, so here's the thing. My boyfriend recently commissioned into the US Army as a 2LT. (yes I'm still with him. We just recently made it to one year. I know it seems sudden, but he is definitely a guy that I could see as a long term thing.) Anyway, he is currently out of state and will be for the next 6 months, although it's probably going to be more than that. On the plus side, I will be saving money since we won't be doing anything together during that time, although let's be honest-he usually paid for everything anyway. Also, all of my friends are still back at school so I don't see myself spending any money really by going out. I'm trying really hard to save all of my money and put it towards my credit card. I REALLY REALLY want to get a good chunk of it paid off, so that it is one less thing to stress out over. However, I also want to put money aside to save for when I'll be at school in August. I want to be able to have money that I can spend, because I don't know if I will have a job or not while I am at school. Finally, I'm the maid of honor for my friend's wedding and to date I've already spent over 280 alone on the dress and her bridal shower gifts. Sigh. She is my best friend, so it's worth it, but I really can't afford to spend much more on her wedding. Thank God the wedding will be extremely small and low key, and I already have shoes that I can wear so I won't have to buy new ones.

My main goal this summer is to be as big of a penny pinching person as possible. I have over 1800 in credit card debt. It's completely unacceptable and it does nothing but stress me out. If I get married to my boyfriend I don't want to enter into a marriage with only 40,000 of student loan debt and 1800 in credit card debt. Yes....marriage is probably a long way away....but he has absolutely no debt to his name and I don't want to enter into a new life bringing a ton of baggage.

My long term goal is to get a good job once I am done with paralegal school. I want to eliminate my debt and student loans as much as I can, and have a good amount of money in the bank before I even think of having a wedding. I don't want to go about starting a new life the wrong way.

Due to this, I am going to keep track of every penny coming in that I am earning and every penning exiting. I'm back at home so I won't really have to spend any money for anything. YAY!!!

Alright, I'm going to make it my goal to update this blog everyday. Thanks for taking the time to read this!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Losing a little control...

Ok, so it has been a while since I have updated. I have some good news and bad news.
Good news-I have not charged anything onto my credit card in over a month. Bad News: my APR rate is ridiculously high, so it feels like I am being killed with interest!!!
Bad news- Ever since I have gotten my loan money, I seem to have been spending money like it's my job. What's the really sad part? 90% of what I have spent has been on food. I only receiver 1999 in loan money and 1250 of that is allocated for rent. The rest is meant to be for food.

I definitely need to go to the grocery store soon so that I'll stop eating out so much. The hard thing about not buying food is that on Monday and Friday I am on campus from 8:30-5pm straight through. I usually end up getting something to eat on campus during my lunchtime, but lately I've just been drinking coffee and eating when I get home. Tuesday, Thursday I am on campus from 9:30-3 straight through without a break. On Tuesday and Thursday I usually never buy anything at least, not even coffee. On Wednesday, I am on campus from 8:30am-9pm almost entirely straight through, again only with a break from 12-2. It is usually on Wed. that I get something to eat after one of my classes that ends at 5. Otherwise, I would be going 12.5 hours without eating. Do you know what the sad thing is? I'm perfectly capable of going all of that time without eating, however, I force myself to eat some days. When I was younger, I suffered through an eating disorder. It was never diagnosed, and my family/friends never found out, however at times they may have been suspicious. I do a lot better now, but it is still a challenge to not think about every calorie that is entering my body. I used to go days without eating, and I know that it is sooo easy to fall back into old habits, especially when I'm very busy and under a lot of stress.

Anyway, I digress. I've decided that I am going to put any extra money that I make during the month, including any money that I make from working towards my credit card. It's kind of crazy, I have been reading this guy's blog who originally was 644,000 in debt and 50,000 of that was in credit cards!!!!! His monthly minimum credit card payments could entirely wipe out my credit card debt. However, I definitely would not want to be in his place. I must say, however, that I have read all of his blog entries and he has come an amazing way from when he first started out. Congratulations to him, I'll have to put up his link to his blog. Hopefully he will update it soon!

Alright, well I decided in order to stop spending so much money, I'm going to start keeping track of every cent that I spend instead of just swiping my debit card. Let's see how it works out! More later, but right now I have 200 pages to read for tomorrow, not to mention my Indonesian homework! (I'm learning the language).

I hope everyone is doing well!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

a small windfall and some good luck! it's a very small windfall, but it's still a windfall. Yesterday, I decided it was high time to return my netflix movie...that I've had since...gulp...before heard me right. I kept forgetting to return the movie. Even though, all it would have required was sticking it into my mailbox, but alas, I forgot until now. Or I would remember at 2 in the morning and that wasn't very helpful either. Anyway, I returned the movie yesterday-so that's one less thing to think about/worry over. Well the netflix movie was in my laptop case, and guess what I found in it....40 dollars! Yay! I'm going to earmark that money and use it to buy my I-Pass either tonight or tomorrow. So what was the good luck, you might be wondering? I found my glasses! They were in my laptop case as well, and here I had torn apart my room at the sorority house before I moved out looking for them! Well I have them now, so I'm happy and that's all that matters. That kind of sounded conceited. I didn't mean my happiness is the only thing that matters, I meant that it is one less thing to stress out over. As some [more like one :-) ] of you have probably figured out...I'm constantly stressed out. Almost 99% of the pressure I put on myself. My parents have always told me that they will be fine if I just pass a class in college, but with me, I demand A's for myself. I guess that's just how I am.

I checked and my loan disbursement money is expected to arrive on the 24th. That means that the school will take out whatever I owe for tuition and then probably a week or so after that the remainder will be deposited into my account. I hate having to use student loans from a private lender (Sallie Mae) but it's the only way I can pay for college. However, I have tried to be very smart about it. I only take out the amount of money that I need. I have never thought...hey! Look! Free money! Let's take out a couple extra thousand...I'll pay it off eventually. Believe me, I know much better than that...and after reading PF's terrifying when they talk about their student loans. I'll have enough money to get me through the semester...and my job earns me about $320 a month. Yes, it's definitely not a lot...but I'm a full time student with 18 credit hours, and extremely involved in a service sorority that has somthing going on just about everyday. Last semester was in charge of recruitment and new member education, this semester I'm the secretary and in charge of everyone's grades, and I make sure that they are completing their study tables at the library every week. Also, I need to do at least 35 hours of community service a semester. It doesn't sound like alot of hours, but believe adds up. Add into that studying, homework, and spending some time with the boyfriend. Thank god that he is just as busy as I am! In my last relationship-the guy didn't have a job, was taking 12 credit hours, was extremely lazy, had bad grades, and had no aspirations it seemed. My new relationship is amazing! He is smart (smarter than me), extremely athletic, romantic, sweet, sarcastic (which I love-I'm just as sarcastic), and we have a lot of the same interests. He really makes me feel good about myself and understands how busy I am, something that the other guy didn't. Well enough about my love life.

I'm going back to school on Saturday, which I am looking forward to. I got all of my books ordered yesterday, yay! God-I'm such a nerd! Tonight I'm going shopping with my mom to pick up a few things that I need to get before school starts again-contacts, etc. Alright, well I'm going to go. But I hope everyone is having a great day! I think that once I go back to work I'm going to start making separate things to save for. i.e-student loan pay back, emergency fund, and travel fund-more about the travel fund next time!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Somewhat unnecessary costs....

Well I didn't spend a lot of money this weekend..but there were some costs. Alright, so I'm 21 and up until this summer I have never driven on the expressway. Since then, I've driven on it a couple of times with my dad but not enough to feel comfortable. Anytime I needed to come home from school someone would come and pick me up. This is also because I've never had a car up at school until now. However, the position that I would be holding in the sorority would require a lot of travel around campus and town so I needed to get a car. Over the summer my dad bought me an amazing car-a 1966 mustang...and it is gorgeous and I love it. However, it is a 50 year old there were some problems with expected. So the entire semester went by, I held the position without the car, funnily enough, but now it's finally ready to go!'s killer on gas...but I kind of expected that when we got it. Anyway, on Saturday I drove with my dad the route that I would take to get to school, got into town, filled up the gas tank...and drove home. Yes, I know it sounds ridiculous...but I have a lot of anxiety and I constantly worry about things. I've never gone to a doctor or anything for it, but I'm just a worrywart I guess. And getting hit by a semitruck on the way back from springbreak last year didn't help either. I'm feeling a lot better about driving now though. My mom also bought me a gps on Sunday so I won't have to worry about getting lost...which also causes me anxiety. I've got to tell you...if anybody actually reads really sucks to be scared to drive places just because you've never been there. It's caused me to cancel a lot of plans in the past. Hopefully now that I have a gps and more experience on the expressway I'll finally have some more confidence in myself.
Well I filled up on gas..cost: 13.76
and then on the way back home my dad suggested that I take my car to get 20 degree weather (not sure what the exact temp was...but it was cold!) and so I spent 14.99 to have the interior and exterior cleaned...although i would have been all for just cleaning the outside of the car...but my dad said to get the inside done. Sigh. But he paid the tip at least :)
Total cost for the weekend: 13.76+14.99=28.75.

I think the reason that I'm freaking out about spending money is that I need to have the 300 set aside for rent...which isn't a problem and then $40 for an ipass, and gas! now that I'll be driving. I know that I'm ok with that aspect. What worries me is I need to find out what my interest is on my credit card when my next bill comes because my balance is going up daily it seems. I need to pay off this credit card ASAP! I'm taking all of the pinecone research checks that I've gotten in the past couple of months (I always forget to cash checks...oops) and put it all towards the credit card. I'm going to start making multiple payments during the month. I'm excited that school starts again this coming Monday. I'm taking 6 classes, 18 credit hours-and I'll also be working. Originally, I was going to only work 8-9 hours a week because my increase in my schedule. However, I'm just going to suck it up and go into work 10 hours a week...even if it means starting at 8am three days a week. I'm going to suck it up and be an adult. Alright...I feel a little better now. And I called the CC company to make sure that my payment went through today...and it did! One less thing to worry about! I can do this...I know I can!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Bills....debt reduction one step at a time...

Ouch! Well that just hurt a little...a good hurt I guess...but a little painful nonetheless. I just paid my credit card bill. The balance hadn't gone up since I last posted which is good. I just paid $100 towards my credit card. The minimum balance was only $35 and for a very brief moment I was soooo tempted to just pay the $35 and go on my merry little way until the bill came again next month. However, I have spent the entire morning reading PF blogs and it really inspired me to pay as much as I knew I could for the month.

Looking back at the purchases that I've made on my credit card makes me so mad at myself sometimes. Initially when I first got my card I had told myself that I should never use the card for something that will be gone in 24 and drinks. The sad thing is the drinks part is actually coffee versus actual alcohol. I'm 21 and in a sorority, but it would probably surprise you to learn that I only went to the bar 3 times last semester, and I only drank maybe a total of 8-9 times that semester. Honestly, I've spent more time at the library and doing community service than anything else this semester. Anyway, that whole concept of not using the credit card for food became a thing of the past. Also, it drives me crazy to think that I put a coach wristlet on the card also at one time. The wristlet only cost $50 which was awesome, and I use it everyday but I could have easily paid for it out of my checking account. Instead by now I've probably paid for that wristlet twice over what with interest rates and all. Well I guess we all make mistakes.

I probably wouldn't have felt so blah about making the 100 payment if I hadn't already transferred 160 to my mom last week. About a month ago one of my wristlets got stolen (not the one I put on the credit card, that one was paid in cash) and I lost my blackberry, credit card, debit cards, driver's license, etc. Basically my whole life. Luckily my keys weren't in there at the time and no charges were made to my cards but I cancelled all of them and had them replaced. The hardest thing to lose was my phone since it basically had my whole life planned out. My days usually run from 9am-11pm everyday at joke. So I need to be able to keep myself organized. Oh well..I digress. Anyway, I went to Sprint and in order to get a new phone right away I used my dad's upgrade (with his permission) and had $160 billed to my family's account (with my mom's permission-the parents pay the phone bill until we get out of college-) and I was able to get a new blackberry. Well the phone bill came and it was over $400 because of my phone, so I told my mom that I would give her the $160 for the new phone, and so I did.

Besides that though, I have really not been spending any money. I’ve been sick all week so New Year’s Eve was a complete bust and I had to cancel my plans. I had a falling out with my highschool friends a couple of years ago so I don’t really hang out with anyone when I am at home. My best friend stays up at school with her fiancĂ© to work, so she isn’t at home during break. My other friends from college are at home or working, so it’s been a very boring break…but it’s also been a very cheap break. I don’t think I’ve spent hardly any money which is good. I probably would have even added some more money to the CC bill but I need to have at least $300 put aside to pay for my first month of rent at my new apt. that I am subleasing (long story). The good side about the sublease is that I’ll be saving around $82 more than from my other rent. I use student loans to pay for my tuition and living (rent, food, etc.) however, we all know that the money doesn’t usually come right away and I don’t want to have to ask my parents for help to pay my rent for the first month. On the plus side I have plenty of food so I won’t really need to go shopping for a while when I get back to school. Ok…well that’s about it for now. As always, I’m sure there will be more later. I think I’ll come up with a list of goals that I want to have for this year and post them either tonight or tomorrow.