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Archive for August, 2007

Relationship struggles

August 26th, 2007 at 05:05 pm

So, I've been having a lot of problems in my relationship over the last 6 months or so. I also have a great history of commitment issues and general problems not having independence in general. That being said, I broke up with my boyfriend. It's a long story (much too boring to be shared here), but the good news is that we got right back together again :P

We decided in the end to try and work things out. So here's the kicker: I'm getting a car! I think a lot of my smothering feelings are coming from being so dependent on him to give me rides, etc. So now we're shopping around. Getting a car at first seemed like a really bad idea financially, but after thinking about the consequences of not getting a car (moving out of my apartment, having to pay the living expenses of 2 places because I cant break my lease, etc, etc), I decided it's exactly what I need.

I have more good news. I know a guy who owns a car rental place, and they're selling a few of the cars. He'll sell them to me for wholesale price, so I'm going to take a look at a couple. I'm looking for something around $3000. He told me he had a Mazda 3 he'd give me for $11k, which is a great price given the year and the milage, but I think that's a bit too much considering I might be moving to Japan in a year... cant really take the car with me.

So let's hope that having a little more personal freedom will help my relationship. If it doesn't, we're ready to accept that, but hoping things will work out.

In other news, class starts tomorrrow, and I haven't paid for it yet. Mom didn't get me my FAFSA info until 2 days ago, and she still needs to sign. I applied for a loan, but it's still in the process of being approved. I also need to grab my last few books. Mom is sending a check to reimburse me for the full amount.

I also got my credit card in the mail. Haven't used it yet, but I may put the cost of the online class I'm taking on there and pay it off over a couple months. I have to see what my payment options are. Lucky for me, that class doesn't start until the 4th.

At any rate, I'm happy to be getting into class again! I miss it, admittedly. Wish me luck, everyone!

MOMA

August 20th, 2007 at 04:09 am

Besides the one that a few others have mentioned (recording every penny you spend/make/etc), I think my personal MOMA is quit making excuses and take responsibility. I always told myself that the reason I couldn't save was because I had too much to pay for, too little time to do more, etc etc etc. Most people look at thier finances as out of thier own control and willpower. When you finally find a way to say no and not make up an excuse, you'll be doing much better. Now. I need to keep following that advice... Wink

Approved :)

August 18th, 2007 at 04:46 pm

The online systems with National City seem to be a bit faulty... heh. I got an email last night that said my credit card application was declined, but apparently (after a call to customer support) the actual app was approved indeed, and the visa showed up on my online banking accounts this morning. Woo! I was really bummed and confused last night... so much so I looked at my credit score. It seemed odd they would deny me a credit card with a score of 710, and apparently I was right Smile

Work was long, but very prosperous last night. I've been making fantastic money this week. My EF will be getting a good chunk of that, given it doesn't all go into this online class. I was, however, thinking about putting the class on my credit card to have something to pay off over a couple months. Still toying with the idea. $800 is pretty do-able in 2 months.

At any rate, I'm trying to figure out the best way to get to work... the buses dont run regularly on saturdays, and BF is out of town. Eh. I'll figure it out. Other than that, I want to stop at Barnes and Noble to pick up that planner I was going to get last week. BF talked me out of it at the time, and I'm glad he did. However, after thinking about it for a long time I've decided to go for it. It's got whole pages for individual days, and that's the kind of space I need to keep organized.

I got my Japanese book in the mail last night along with the electric bill. Another $100 month, but BF and I made an agreement that he would pay the difference because he is the one who insists on using the AC. Thus, I am only paying $30 of the bill. Sweet deal on my end...

At any rate, I better get going! Everyone have a great day!

And they're gone...

August 17th, 2007 at 07:44 pm

After a really pleasant couple of days, my friends are gone. I am no longer playing the hostess. *sigh* Thank. Goodness. I absolutely love entertaining, but there's nothing more tiresome or expensive than going out and about 3 days in a row... Now I'm back at work. Double today. I made decent money at lunch. It was a crazy shift though. The pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates is Japanese (well, WAS the pitcher... I guess he got booted on monday), and he's eaten at the restaurant a number of times. However, since he got fired, I believe he's moving back to Japan. A number of Japanese TV stations were at the restaurant today interviewing him (including NHK... I'll have to watch that later). So the restaurant was a complete ZOO for a while. Fans and cameramen and all sorts of fun stuff. It's too bad the guy got fired. He's a really nice person. At any rate, I should get going. I sort of have work to do Smile

Success!

August 16th, 2007 at 02:16 pm

Yesterday was a blast. It was indeed a bit pricey, but I still managed to have a wonderful time and dinner was FANTASTIC. The boys were incredibly impressed. Even mine, who doesn't particularly care for eggplant Smile

Today we're off for more shopping. There were a couple stores along the way we wanted to check out yesterday on the South Side, but a lot of things were closed by the time we got to them. Not on that list was the Culture Shop (my all time favorite store there). They were having a sale- 50% off all clothes. I was doing very well not buying clothes for the last few weeks, but seeing this really changed things Smile I cant usually get a skirt there for less than $40-- the reason why I own none. But $20 is much better, so I bought a skirt and a pair of pants (so comfy!) for $35, which is really good. If I could buy clothes like that just anywhere, it wouldn't have been an issue, but I dont see too many indian import clothing/accessory/jewelry/home decor stores. heh.

Work tonight, so I'll be making a little more moolah. Then out to the bars, but I'll be drinking cheap. Our friends leave tomorrow morning, and I'm happy to say I'll be relieved. It's been great having them, but entertaining is quite a bit of effort (and money)!

Later guys!

Friends here :)

August 15th, 2007 at 03:07 pm

Well, last night we didn't end up going out to dinner or the bar... our friends got in later than expected. The upside to this is that we saved money on the restaurant. We'll probably end up going out to lunch today anyways, so it works out. I'd much rather pay for lunch than dinner Smile BF and I did stop by Target to pick up snacks and an inflatable matress for them to sleep on. It was $20 for the matress and $20 for the pump! BF ended up trying to fill the matress with a hairdryer, and the funny thing is that it WORKED. hahaha. So we'll be taking that pump back Wink The only other money I spent yesterday was for juice (I needed a mixer... hehe). BF and I also took a trip to the exchange to sell some stuff. Namely, the xbox my dad gave me because he already had one, and somehow inherited a second. We played it for a while, but after getting the wii it seems silly to have the xbox too. I dont have time to play either as it is. heh.

Today we go visit the matress factory and some other fun stuff. We're eating breakfast and drinking tea now, so pretty soon here we'll be off! I'm hoping it doesn't end up too expensive of a day. Tonight, my friend Hallie and I are making dinner for the boys. The menu:

Appetizer: marinated fresh mozzarella and tomatoes drizzled in olive oil.
Dinner: Eggplant parmesan and linguine marinara with salad and baked asparagus.
Dessert: Berry Peach Cobbler cups.

Busy busy busy

August 14th, 2007 at 03:22 pm

Well. I put in my application last night for the my National City Visa. I obviously haven't found out what my interest rate will be, but as someone pointed out before. Why does it matter if I pay it off every month? It is a rewards card, through the points system I already have for my debit card (which I think is a pretty good one). On my debit card, I get a certain amount of points for every dollar I spend. It started out being 1 point per dollar, then went to 2, then to 4, and is back at 2 for some reason. heh. On the credit card, I get 5 per dollar spent on my credit card. I usually use the points to get various gift cards. I ended up giving one to my friend for xmas, and I've used them in the past for textbooks (gotta love B&N giftcards).

I emailed my mom today to ask her to puuuuhleeeeze give me her tax info (my parents are famous for getting extensions until october to file thier taxes... except this screws me over big time), or else last year's so I can file my FAFSA and find out how much money I'm getting in financial aid this year, so I can apply for the loan I need for school. The only thing that stinks is that I have to register for a class through another university to take it online, and I'll most likely have to pay for that out of pocket. And I dont have $758 just lying around... So I also asked mom for the textbook money she said she'd give me (woot!). It still wont cover everything, but an extra $300 or so wouldn't hurt, either.

Tonight friends of ours are coming in to visit. We're going to dinner tonight, and then doing the South Side bar crawl. We're going to this place called the Pittsburgh Steak Company. It's a little pricey, but I looked at thier menu online again to check prices, and have already decided what I'm going to order. It's $10 Smile I'll also be drinking cheap tonight. Not something I particularly prefer, but maybe that'll keep me from enjoying myself *too* much Smile

So the plan for today? Clean clean clean. The apartment isn't awful, but it could definitely use a going-over. At any rate, everyone have a good night! I'm planning to!

Credit Card Advice?

August 14th, 2007 at 03:57 am

Today was entirely productive. I attacked my to-do list with gusto, AND made a killing at work. Now for my well-deserved days off... Big Grin

Now, I was considering getting a credit card. I trust myself enough to start building my credit, but all of the cards I've looked at online seem to have outrageous interest rates (22% and up for standard... I dont have enough of a credit history to get premium rates, I feel). Is this usual? I admit I'm a bit ignorant on the subject. Does anyone have a suggestion? I'm with National City bank, and it was the same story with thier cards. I'd like to have a cool cash-back rewards card or something along the same line... Any ideas?

A Hefty To-Do List.

August 13th, 2007 at 04:02 am

So I did my grocery shopping today and decided on a menu for wednesday night, so that's out of the way now. I also printed and filled out the registration form for the spanish test I'll be taking. I worked for a while, but tonight was slow and I didn't make too much. eh. You win some, you lose some, that's the nature of the waitressing game Smile

I made a couple different purchases earlier aside from the groceries. I bought a book on kanji- a necessary evil if I do end up living in Japan for 2 years (which hopefully I will!). That was a little under $20 with my B&N members card. I also bought a set of ramekins at Target, because I'm making these baked fruit cobbler cups on wednesday. They are quite yummy, but last time I made them I didn't have ramekins, so it was lacking in presentation to be sure. I did keep myself from buying a CD I've been eyeing. I figured study materials and kitchen things could be passed off as somewhat necessary, but alas, music is not at the moment. heh.

My to-do list for tomorrow is rather lengthy:

1. Go to the bank.
2. Pay parking ticket (ugh. I'm saving $3 by paying it in person rather than online, though).
3. Drop off registration form.
4. Get some info at my university about cross-registration.
5. Psychology club meeting.
6. Work at 4:00.

Whew! I'll be taking an early bus, for sure! Everyone have a great night!

No Spend day.

August 12th, 2007 at 03:49 am

It's been a while, but I've had a no-spend day Smile I'd like to say tomorrow will be the same, but alas, I only went to a farmers market thursday and only bought a couple things. The staples need purchased still. So tomorrow I go to the grocery store. Tonight will be spent raiding my cupboards and cleaning things out of my fridge. I'll compile a list. We have friends visiting for a few days this week, and that's likely to get pricey. I suggested making dinner one night, and my friend loved the idea. I figured we could have one less expensive night considering we'll go out the night they get here. I'm really excited to see them, I'm just hoping it doesn't end up being *too* pricey. We'll see, I guess. At any rate, I'd better get cracking! Night, everyone!

Working, working...

August 11th, 2007 at 01:41 pm

I pulled a double yesterday (read: 12 hour shift. ugh). I managed to make a decent amount of money between lunch and dinner, though dinner was s-loooow. It was our friend's 21st b-day, so we went out to Dave and Buster's after I got off. I swung by Mickey D's to save myself some $ before going (the food there is so expensive! Well, everything is...). BF bought the drinks, so I bought the game card. I ended up spending $14 total. I didn't drink too much because I have to work yet another double today. Erg. By tonight I'm convinced I will have collapsed. Wish me luck! I hear this lunch shift I'm working is a busy one!

Free Meal :)

August 10th, 2007 at 12:27 pm

Well, despite all that "pumping myself up to cook" I did yesterday, it ended up being a pricey dining-out day. Part of that is because I paid for lunch and dinner for BF (a favor), part of that is because I had an unusual craving for crab legs... heh. We went to Red Lobster, which had a bit of a wait, so we each got one drink at the bar. We were seated, and decided to share the pick-3 deal. It seemed an unusually long amount of time we were waiting for our food, but we were talking and hardly noticed it when a woman came up to us to say our dinner would be taken off the bill because it was accidentally given to someone else and it would take about 5 more minutes. We were much appreciative, and a bit baffled, but at the same time pleased that we got our food for free (obviously). So we each got another drink with dinner Wink At the time, our dinner was the ONLY thing on the check, and hey, I was still gonna leave the kid a tip... that's at least how I sort of rationalized my very non-frugal drink purchase. haha. Regardless, that was the best and cheapest visit I've ever had to Red Lobster ($23 total for one meal, 4 drinks, and tip. I win!). Cant say I minded my food coming out late... Smile

Grocery shopping day :)

August 9th, 2007 at 03:57 pm

Yesterday was a no-spend day. I made herbed baked salmon and asparagus (yum). I think I'm going to use some of the leftovers and make salmon salad for lunch. BF and I may be having a couple friends over for dinner (still in the workings), and today is grocery shopping day. Before I go I'm going to take inventory of my cupboards and fridge, and decide what I want to make this week. We're for the most part out of produce. I baked banana bread yesterday because the 3 we had left were quite ripe. I also cut up the last of my watermelon to serve with dinner last night, so we definitely need produce.

So off we go! Wish me luck at finding reasonably priced fruits and veggies!

Back again...

August 8th, 2007 at 06:14 pm

I keep finding myself taking long breaks from SA. Why? Short attention span? Too busy? Not sure, but I'm back again. hehe. Many changes have occured in the life of Tara. Well, changes in attitude and/or life plans. Class starts back up again at the end of this month, and I'm looking forward to it, the nerd that I am. It's going to be a VERY busy semester, as I decided recently that I want to graduate next summer (read that?? In a YEAR!). In order to do this, I need to:

1. Test out of a spanish class (studying as I type...).
2. Either talk my way out of 2 general sciences courses or test out of those as well (quite possible).
3. Take 21 credit hours this semester (insane, but do-able, I believe).
4. Take 18 credit hours in the spring and 12-ish in the summer, while writing my senior thesis.

...unless of course I can test out of more classes... I'm still researching that one. Now. The reason I want to graduate in June is because I'm going to be applying for the JET Program (the Japanese Exchange and Teaching Program). If I'm accepted, I leave for Japan at the end of next July/beginning of next August. Let's cross our fingers.

The other thing I need to do is survive all this. haha. It's going to take some incredible time-managing and most likely a ton of redbull, but a friend of mine just did all this (minus the Japan part), and seemed to live to tell the tale. Also, the less time I'm in undergrad, the less time I have to pay for.

I plan on being in Japan for a year, perhaps two before grad school, and then I plan on applying to the University of Colorado. I'll worry about that after I graduate though Smile

BF and I are still together, graduating about the same time ideally, and he plans on applying for the program as well! So wish us both luck!

And the financial breakdown of Tara as of right now: Savings have been for the most part depleted, and I'm working on putting more back in. My vacation at the beginning of the summer ended up being pricier than expected and work has been a bit slow. Other than that, I'm doing A-okay. Just trying to keep myself from going out and spending too much (so difficult during the summer, I've noticed). Once school arrives, though, I wont have much time to go out anyhoo Smile Well, I think that's enough for one day. Glad to see everyone's doing well still! Later!