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!