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Archive for February, 2010

Feb Breakdown and March Goals

February 28th, 2010 at 12:12 pm

[x] Dont use my CC
[x] Pay off $200 on CC
[x] Keep track of finances all month
[ ] Write at least 3 articles per week ll
[x] Minimal entertainment spending.
[x] $50 max spending per week when BF and I are together.

So I accomplished every one of my Feb goals except writing at least 3 articles per week. That's one I can work on more in March. As for being under budget... I didn't have a formal Feb budget set out, but my spending was as follows:

Entertainment: $123.77 (but that includes both my mom's b-day and valentine's day)
Misc: $170.28 (It is only this high because I ended up paying $130 to replace the lens in my glasses)
Groceries: $126.30
Food On Campus: $6.80
Gas: $28.43

All the rest are fixed amounts. Not really too bad. I went through my accounts to see if there is anything I regretted spending the money on, and I came up with nothing. I guess breaking my glasses was incredibly dumb, but aside from that I have no regrets whatsoever.

I hope that March goes as well (actually, better) than Feb did. My goals for this month are as follows:

*Stay under budget
*Don’t spend any money on clothes
*Pay off laptop
*Pay off tuition
*Don’t use CC at all
*Write at least 3 articles per week
*$50 max spending w/ BF per week
*Keep track of finances all month
*Put at least $500 in savings

and my budget is as follows:

Rent $200.00
Car Insurance $0.00
Phone $55.00
Meds (3 months worth) $36.00
Groceries $150.00
Clothes $0.00
Transportation $30.00
Car Repairs $0.00
Entertainment $100.00
School Exp $0.00
Florida Trip $75.00
FOC $0.00
Yoga $10.00
Misc $20.00
CC Payments $200.00

I'll have quite a few sources of additional income this month, so I should in effect not only be able to put $500 in my savings account, but also make a hefty payment on my CC. I know this is a REALLY strict budget, but I think if I stick to my guns I'll be able to manage it alright. I just have to utilize the willpower. lol.

This weekend I didn't spend *too* much. Mostly food... which I guess could have been avoided, but oh well. Stopped at the grocery store to buy the remainder of the ingredients needed for my sweet potato soup, and that ran me about $6, but I also have leftovers... that I'm eating for dinner tonight Smile

Talked to BF today a little bit about money, and he made the comment that he thinks I care about money more than he does.. but also acknowledged that I have a bit more to worry about as well.

It's kind of sad, really. I dont want to care this much about money because I'm not terribly materialistic, and I dont worry about money so much because I want to lead an extravagant life... really, my debt is the only thing that really makes me worry about it so much. The sad thing is that 97% of my debt is due to schooling costs... Not to say that I couldn't have made some smarter choices, but I have a lot of debt that is due to just wanting to go to school and living a pretty low key life.

I explained what really stresses me out is that the possibility of us getting married in the next 5 years or so is pretty high, and I certainly dont want to bring a boatload of debt into the equation, especially considering he really has none. So it's definitely something I think and worry about. I'm just happy that I've gotten to a point where I feel a bit more optimistic about things. I know that my goals for this year will be achieved, and that makes me feel really secure.

At any rate, it's time for me to get some homework done. No more spending today! And I think it's going to be minimal this week. Of course, friday I leave for FLORIDA Smile I budgeted $75 for the weekend. I'm hoping dad is going to cover most of my expenses while I'm there, but I'd much rather over-prepare than under-prepare.

Either way, I'm off. I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!

Taxes!

February 26th, 2010 at 07:54 am

Alright, filed my taxes... I'll be getting $1185 back from the fed and $151 from the state. Woo! Not only that, but the money sitting in my paypal acct that I had on hand in case I had to pay taxes is available for me to use Smile So it was more like getting a $1500 return.

Of course, all that money is going straight to the financial goals I've got goin on the sidebar. Specifically, it's going to pay off my tuition. Well, most of it anyway. I have money coming from my dad to cover the majority of my flight to Florida next week, and money a friend owes that will likely cover the rest of it.

So that's one debt out of the way. I'll then pay off the laptop and start agressively paying off the CC and putting money in savings. I just have to pay off my tuition before I sign up for summer classes, which I want to do here soon. So that's certainly high on the priority list. The savings are for moving costs and whatnot. I plan on moving out of my roomates' house at the end of may/beginning of June. The BF will be moving in at the end of June, and my cousin is supposed to live with me as well. So I've been scouring craigslist looking at apartments and houses, just to get an idea of what is available. It's looking like a 2 bedroom, I'm shooting for something in the $600 range. I would be okay with a bit more, but not too much more. Still, everything split 3 ways cant be beat.

After I've moved in it will be agressively pay off CC and save for vacation in december. I'm expecting the plane ticket to run me $2500... perhaps a bit less, but I'd rather plan for more. I'm going to get my bonus money after I complete this training, and that will cover the funds for a new car. I cant wait! After the CC is paid and the car is bought, all I have to worry about is those pesky student loans! Oh, student loans...

I'm gonna try and pump out a couple more articles today, because even though I dont get a large sum of money for them, every little bit counts. Cleaning my boss' house on sunday, so I'm expecting at least $40 for that. I do need to go grocery shopping at some point, probably tomorrow. That wont be too bad though. Still have some stuff left from this past week. BF is coming over tonight and we're making soup

Productive week!

February 25th, 2010 at 08:14 am

So it's been a VERY productive week! I picked up my final w-2 yesterday, so I am finally able to file my taxes! Woo! I'll definitely do that within the next few days. Associated content accepted the article I submitted last week. Only $2.15, but every little bit helps, right? Submitted another yesterday, so I have 2 more to write this week to meet my goal.

In other news, I called Geico and canceled my insurance. I'm getting a refund that I was definitely not expecting, but is very pleasantly surprising Smile So I'll get about $70 back. Also got another call about my car yesterday. I've called about 10 places that buy junk cars and the highest offer I've got so far is $300... but I know I can do better. I think I may post an ad on craigslist and see if I can get anything higher that way.

Other than that, just making a bunch of phonecalls to get my army stuff in order and coordinating with my professors to make sure that I'll get credit for my classes this semester though I'll be gone the last 3 weeks.

I'm going to work remotely while I'm in training, so I'll be banking quite a bit of money. Very exciting. As you can see, I posted up my long(er) term goals on my sidebar, and I have quite a bit to pay for... If I continue paying $200-300/month on my CC, it'll be paid off by the end of the year. That's good! The tuition is a bit more immediate, however, and needs taken care of ASAP. All my tax money will undoubtedly go there. But it looks like my return isn't going to be much more than $1000. Filing this week, so we'll find out for sure!

Alrighty, well, back to work. Everyone have a great day!

p.s. looks like it's gonna be another no-spend day Smile

Busy busy busy... work, army stuff, and school.

February 23rd, 2010 at 07:26 am

So nothing terribly exciting to discuss today. Didn't really spend anything yesterday. Scraped together a bunch of change to take the bus to class. Then went to see Colin Powell speak at my university, which was a really good time.

Made dinner at home with BF, and it turned out great.

Called about 10 places yesterday that buy junk cars. It's looking like $300 is going to be the most I'll get out of it. I really dont want to deal with the hassle of getting it fixed (whatever that would run me) and selling it. But perhaps I'll give my mechanic buddy a call and ask his opinion on the situation. I've put more than $300 in repairs over the last 4 months...

As for other financial news, there really isn't any. I'm hoping to make it to the bank this afternoon. I have checks I need to deposit. Should be a no-spend day. Very busy day, though. I have all this homework I have to catch up on because I had drill, and consequently no time to do homework, this past weekend.

Talked to my boss about my training dates getting switched, and I've decided to at least attempt to work 5-10 hours a week on top of my training and whatever extra schoolwork I'll have. I figure if I'm there, staying in a hotel, I'm not really going to go out. I'd rather save the money. I'm going to be busy as it is. Weekends I can spend doing massive amounts of school work and that'll leave me some time during the week to work as well. I work online, remotely, so I can do it from my hotel on the other side of the country as well. lol. Financially, this training is going to be great for me.

So that's it. Time for me to get back to work. Hope everyone is having a great day.

Low spending weekend and some changes.

February 22nd, 2010 at 07:18 am

It was a good weekend, financially. I really didn't spend anything! Well, I guess friday night I did go to Borders and buy a few books. The one in our area is going out of business, so they were having a sale. The good news is, however, that I only spent $13.66 Smile Not bad for 3 books...

I went grocery shopping friday as well. My goal was to spend $30. I spent $44.38, but because my goal was $60 for the rest of the month I'll just try to stay under $15 next week. I'm making sure I eat the perishables I bought this week first, that way if I end up not eating something from this week I can carry it over to next week. So staying in my budget should be no problem.

Other than that, didn't spend a dime all weekend. I had drill, so I didn't really go out. And even though they didn't really make anything for lunch both days, I opted to eat MRE's and not spend money going out like everyone else did.

As for this week, I'm going to try and not spend too much again. Of course I have my coffee date with BF on wednesday. But it's his week to pay Smile Yoga saturday morning, but it's only $5. Other than that, I'm going to try and not go out. I have a lot of homework to get done this week. Shouldn't be an issue. Besides, BF and I both agree that it's oftentimes much nicer to just stay in than it is to go out anyway.

So the army changed the dates on my schooling, so I'm leaving in April instead of June. Consequently, I have to miss 2 weeks of school and finals... that's going to be a joy to fix. The upside is, however, that I'm going to get my money faster, and only go without a car for about a month and a half. I'm going to junk my car. It's not worth it to put the money into it. Even if I could get it running I have to get it to pass emissions testing, and I dont forsee that happening without spending quite a bit. I'm just going to buy another car when I get my bonus money anyway. So it's going. I'll save the money I would pay for repairs, plates, testing, gas, and insurance.

Other than that, not a whole lot of news. Just busy! So I better get back to work. Hope everyone has a great day Smile

Back on the bandwagon

February 18th, 2010 at 04:33 am

Well, it seems I've lost track a bit here, so it's time to jump back on the bandwagon. It's the middle of Feb (almost the end, it seems!) and I need to start getting serious about my finances. Given that I want to move out this summer and take a trip probably in december or january, I need to really be cognizant of my spending-- or lack thereof-- to achieve these goals.

BF and I addressed this issue last night. We decided we wanted to come up with some short term goals to work on together, and the only ones we could think of were financial... lol. I guess that's what happens when you're so great for each other Smile We decided to set a cap at how much money we spend together each week-- we decided on $50/week between us. I think we'll be able to manage that easily, but we wanted to set out goals as easily attainable to start.

I got 5 hours back at work, so I'm up to 35. Still no raise, but I put in an application for a part time formal-setting tutoring gig. And I realized that I should utilize that other 5 hours I had lost for money-making purposes, namely writing articles. Sure, one more hour a sleep each night is great, but if I'm going to be dedicated to this, I need to use my time wisely.

So new goal: write at LEAST 3 articles a week. Try and spend as little as possible on entertainment spending.

Car is still not in working (or running) condition. I've been too lazy/disgruntled to do anything about it. Taxes are still not filed, as I'm waiting for my final W-2 (they initially mailed it to the wrong address).

In happy news, I'm taking a trip to Florida the first weekend in March to see my dad (who is also paying for the bulk of the ticket). So that should be a really nice weekend. I'll get to escape the cold for a few days, and see my dad (I haven't in over a year now).

Alrighty, enough yapping. Time to get to work Smile