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Home > Archive: May, 2010

Archive for May, 2010

Getting in gear

May 27th, 2010 at 08:30 am

Well, I finished up my three days of lifeguard certification training. That being said, I'm sore as all hell. My budget has more or less been sufficiently blown over the last couple weeks, but will certainly tone down here come the weekend and next week, when work starts. At that point I really wont have any time to spend money. Problem solved.

I guess it hasn't been THAT bad, but I haven't had a steady stream of income, so that has kind of sucked. I also have a sneaking suspicion that the last paycheck I got from the military covers the entire time I was gone, which is case really sucks. But thankfully I have a store of savings to fall back on... sigh.

It's kind of a down day for me. I'm achy and sore, had a physical done at the university for work and stepped on the scale to find that I've gained about 10 lbs in the last couple weeks. I'm sure some of it is muscle mass from all of this physical activity I've been doing the last three days, and some is probably extra water weight (yay for being a woman), but still... very alarming to see.

I have to go pick up my prescription here in a bit, and mom and I are grabbing lunch. I'd love to be like, "Mom, it's my birthday, so you should pay" (not that I would say that), but I feel guilty asking or expecting her to pay for anything. She is still unemployed, after all.

This weekend should be rather inexpensive. BF and I have groceries to buy for the camping trip, but that's about it (other than gas). I'm sure alcohol will pump that expense up a bit, but I'm still not expecting it to be *too* bad. We'll be leaving pretty early tomorrow to head out. I'm really excited.

That's about it for me. Just trying to stay on top of all my work and relax a bit today. I'm going to try and keep my head up, not stress myself out too much. Hope you all are having a wonderful day!

Got the Job :D

May 19th, 2010 at 06:51 am

So I had my interview yesterday, and they hired me at the end of it. Filled out a bunch of paperwork, and I have my lifeguard training next week. Training for the job starts on June 1.

I'm rather excited. I think it's going to be a great experience. The money could be better, but I also get free board and food for two and a half months. And no freedom to go out and spend money. So I think in the end it will be really great for me financially as well.

The best part of the job, however, is the invaluable experiences I'm going to have working with special needs children. I know it's going to be difficult and stressful at times, but I know I'll be able to handle I know it's going to be an incredibly rewarding summer.

So exciting Smile

I also went to my unit yesterday to clear some things up and get some paperwork in. Needed to get my scholarship application started again, as well as getting my transition school paperwork in so they can get me my bonus. That will be a happy day indeed.

Bonus is kind of important if I want to get a car in August. I really should get one in September at the latest. I dont plan on working in the fall, but I do plan on volunteering and writing. It's going to require a vehicle. And it's just so much more convenient.

My Paypal account is still frozen-- going to call them today. I also need a physical for this job, so I'm going to see if I can get it done at my university. I'm not taking summer classes, so they may not let me. But I'm certainly going to find out before I make any assumptions!

I do need to purchase a few things for this job-- namely, a couple one-piece swimsuits and a pair of good close-toed sandals. I'm sure it'll run me a bit of money, but the sandals I need regardless. A couple of swimsuits shouldn't run me more than about $60.

At any rate, that's all the news. Mom is doing alright. She's had a couple phone interviews, sent her resume out to more places. It seems like she's getting a response. Not a huge one, and perhaps not for her dream job, but she needs income, and fast. She knows that. She's got bills to pay.

I hope you are all having a wonderful week. Mine hasn't been nearly as productive as I would like, but I'm trying to spend as much time with BF as possible... come June we'll only get a couple nights a week. Ah well. Later guys!

Back in Ohio, and Job Interview Tomorrow

May 17th, 2010 at 09:23 pm

Well, it was a busy weekend, catching up and spending time with the BF. Very relaxing, but now it's back to the grind.

I didn't get quite as much work today as I had hoped I would, but I definitely got a lot accomplished administratively. Called the Dean's office this morning and *finally* put a fire under someone's butt to get my intercollege transfer through. As of today I am officially a Sociology major, and consequently, I was able to fix my GI Bill paperwork. I'll be backpaid for last semester. Woo!

I got the necessary paperwork to get my scholarship application in (again). This time I'll make sure it goes through, and triple check far before the fall semester begins.

Went to the Soc department and got into the full class I need to graduate. Then I finished scheduling my classes. It's going to be a full semester for sure, but with my GI bill in place and freelancing going so well, I shouldn't have to worry about getting a job. At most, an internship in the spring.

So all that is under wraps. I just have to head to the armory tomorrow to get some paperwork to them to be processed. After, of course, my job interview Smile

I'm really hoping I get this job. It will in fact eat away my entire summer, but I think it will be a wonderful experience nonetheless. It is a live-on-site position, as a director at a camp for children with special needs. I think it will be incredibly rewarding, and a great position.

Other than that, the only financial news I have is that I paid $75 on my CC today, and went grocery shopping. Paypal froze up on me because they for some reason suspected that a third party infiltrated my account. I have to get that all worked out tomorrow.

That's about it! Very busy week, but it's alright. I'm happy to be home and around the people I love. It's off to bed, though. I have a big day tomorrow!

Made My Goal :D

May 14th, 2010 at 06:19 am

Well, got paid today, so I moved some money around. The first transfer I did was from checkings to savings,and I now have the $1200 goal completed!!! Smile It's nice to know that I (for once) accomplished the savings goal I set out to reach. It feels great. It wasn't only a May goal, but a long(er) term goal,so I feel particularly accomplished.

I also put $300 down on my CC, though I have $500 more to go to reach my May goal, and another $1810 to pay it off. I'd be closer, but I had to charge my plane ticket here. Hopefully I'll be seeing that reimbursement soon. All the paperwork is in.

So that's it for today, kids! I've got to get my certificate, then it's off to the airport for me... goin' back home Big Grin Can't wait!

Everyone have a good day!

Spring Decorating Without Spending a Bundle

May 12th, 2010 at 08:58 pm

... is the name of my today-published article at Buildipedia.com... You can read it here:

Text is Fabulous Article Smile and Link is http://buildipedia.com/channels/at-home/item/1172-decorating-for-spring-without-spending-a-bundle
Fabulous Article Smile

I'm particularly proud of this one, because it's on a different site than I usually publish with, and it involves five interviews that I conducted with interior designers... very legit! It's almost like I'm a real writer! lol.

Wrote another blog for the site as well:

Text is Personality vs. Professionalism: A fine line and Link is http://tarasturm.com/2010/05/12/personality-vs-professionalism-a-fine-line/
Personality vs. Professionalism: A fine line

So all in all, a great publishing day for me. It was a rather productive day, actually. I'm quite pleased with how it has gone. Tomorrow will hopefully be the same, and everything will fall into place. Friday my butt is on a plane to travel back home. Training is over. I get to see my amazing BF and family so soon! I love it.

Still no word on that job, though I'm not sure if they're waiting for all of my references to send their portions. We'll see, I suppose. If I don't get the job, I wont be heartbroken. I know it's a great opportunity, but I wont be sad to have my summer back. I'll find something, I know I will.

I get paid Friday, which means I'll be moving money around, replenishing my savings account, and paying off some of that pesky CC! Very exciting Smile

I love getting closer to my goals. It's the 12th, and I'm a bit sad I haven't even come close to hitting my freelancing goal for the month, but I still have half the month left and payment that hasn't processed yet. There is time yet to reach those goals!

I just picked up another gig, not only contributing, but consulting and marketing for a new startup website that focuses on healthy living/eating/fitness, etc. It seems rather promising, and I'm looking forward to getting deeper into it. It's projects like these that make me wonder if I should get a full time job anyway... I would hate to see my freelancing career suffer after all this hard work!

But we'll take the opportunities that are best for us, no?

Other than that, nothing exceptional to report. Just getting ready to return home and getting as much work done as possible before that does indeed happen.

So I will leave you all there. Hope you have a wonderful night and a productive remainder of the week!

Mother's Day Surprise :)

May 10th, 2010 at 08:06 am

So an unexpected event happened yesterday-- my brother surprised my mom by driving up from GA to see her on mother's day. Such a relief, as she's been really down, and this improved her mood tenfold. I couldn't be happier about that. BF is still going over today to give her my card, and hang out for a bit.

Speaking of the cards, I made both my mom and BF's mom one... and apparently she absolutely loved it, which is really nice Smile I love making personalized gifts, and the fact that she appreciated and liked it so much made me feel good. I'll have to keep that in mind for later gifts. Speaking of gifts, I really should start thinking about Xmas!

It seems silly to start thinking so early, but as I mentioned, I prefer to do homemade gifts, and some of these take quite a while to do. I crochet, I have a sewing machine, and I love crafting of all types. So I'll have to start thinking about what I want to make for everyone this year.

I dont really have any other exciting news except what I've already expressed in previous emails. It's mind blowing to me that I've already been away from home for almost a month. I leave to go back friday!!! Cant wait Smile No news on this job yet, though I did fax in the application on friday, and I should be getting my reference sheets in the next few days.

I definitely have a busy week ahead of me, but I'm going to get as much work done during the week. I'm not doing a bit of work this weekend. No way.

I hope everyone has a great monday, and a productive week!

Updates for Me and Mom on Mother's Day.

May 9th, 2010 at 08:52 am

Well, I in fact lied because I didn't get a chance to update yesterday. No worries, however, you will all be caught up Smile

Spent the morning and a bit of the afternoon finishing up an assingment, which is good because we need to do a payment. I told myself I would not go to the pool until it was finished, and finish it I did. That being said, I certianly went to the pool.

I went and finished the book I was working on, then bought a beer and hung out with a couple of the guys from my class. Mom ended up calling me after a bit, and I talked to her for quite a while. No luck yet, and she was feeling pretty down.

It seemed she sounded a bit better by the time we got off the phone. The deposit I made for Mother's Day went through, and though she claimed it was "too much," she sounded incredibly appreciative. I feel I did good by that decision. I'm just happy that I've taken control of my finances and am in a position where I'm able to help her like that.

I'm sad I cant be there to hang out with her today. I called a bit ago, but she's out grocery shopping with my grandma. BF is stopping over there tomorrow to give her the card I made, and to take her out for a bit. He's such a sweetheart. My sister is at her grandma's today, my older brother is in jail, my younger brother is stationed in GA (and was supposed to be up, but it fell through), and I'm over here in AZ. I know she's bummed about it... I really wish I could be there.

I finally got to see my LES for my army payment coming up... good news and bad news. The good news is that it is more than expected. The bad news is that it is much, much less than it could have been. When I got back from my initial training, the army was paying me active duty pay for a couple months, and consequently I racked up a debt. Because I'm still paying that debt they took a HUGE chunk out of my check. I could have made over $2k in these last 2 weeks, but instead I'm getting $625. Ouch. Ouch indeed.

I guess the good news is that my debt will be paid faster this way. I'll start getting the full amount for drill weekends rather than $50. lol. And if they take the rest out of my bonus, it will only be $1k I'm losing out on. As long as I have $5k to pay for a car, I'll consider it a success.

So that kind of sucks, but I'm trying to remain positive about it. Again, it's still more than I thought I wsa getting.

Today is definitely going to be a work day. I have to finish up quite a few assignments. I want to get them done quickly, as well as get a lot done during the week coming up. Next weekend I'm forbidding myself from doing any work. I'm just going to let go and spend time with BF. We're both so excited. Haven't seen eachother in a month! This is the last week, though, and we're starting to get really impatient. lol.

My little sister's b-day party is saturday, and we're doing dinner and cake at my mom's, followed by laser tag. I know the laser tag is expensive, but mom had money put aside for a trip that she never went on, and my sister is turning 16, so she feels she should get to do what she wants. You only turn 16 once.

I obviously wont let my mom pay for my or BF's tickets, and I offered to purchase the DQ icecream cake as my contribution and gift to my sister. I'll probably still grab her a card and throw $10 or something in it, but that's one less expense mom has to worry about. We're doing dinner at her place, probably pizza.

So BF and I will be hanging out with my mom and sister saturday night, then going to visit his family Sunday. It should be a good weekend.

Well, I suppose I should get to work! Hope you all have a great Sunday, and Happy Mother's Day!

A bit of spending and productivity

May 7th, 2010 at 08:38 pm

Well, today I spent some money for the first time in a couple weeks (outside of giving money to mom). I went to see Iron Man 2, which was pretty good and well worth the matinee ticket-- surprisingly still $7... I did, however, resist the temptation of the popcorn and drinks. After the movie, we hit In-N-Out Burger. I had to before leaving the west coast, though it honestly wasn't as good as I remembered it being. Perhaps it's just the hype. That set me back $5.13. Not so bad.

The rest of the weekend will require zero cash. I'll make out alright.

Today I didn't get nearly as much work done as I had hoped, but it was productive nonetheless. Mailed in my travel voucher to get refunded for my plane ticket and taxi ride here. I also called the travel agency to double check that they recieved the orders I emailed them. They did in fact, so everything should be good to go for my flight next friday.

The rest of the day was more or less spent trying to get my application in for this job. I had to print the application in the office, fill it out, fax it in the office. I also had to email my three references to ask them if they could fill out the reference form and send it in. So it took a while. Nonetheless, the guy emailed me to say they did in fact get my application. So things are moving along.

I also got an email back from the professor that is overseeing my independent study. I worked for about 4 days straight on this research proposal, and I wasn't sure if it was terrible or pretty good. As it would seem, it was the latter, and he said he was impressed. Apparently I went above and beyond the average student paper and there are only a few tweaks I'll have to make. We'll discuss it when I get back, but he said I got an A in the class. My semester is officially over Smile

I'm rather tired, so I don't think I'm going to attempt any work tonight. I did write my byline and send it... my big article releases on Buildipedia.com on wednesday. Pretty exciting for me! They want me to do more steady architectural writing here soon, so I'm rather pumped. I love learning new things and applying them to writing-- especially for such a great site.

I have a lot to do tomorrow, so I anticipate an early start complete with delicious coffee and drive to get a bunch of stuff done. I also would like to hit the pool at some point in the day. Have to work on that tan while I'm still out here!

Hope everyone had a great week, and I'll be updating again tomorrow I'm sure!

Possibly new job... big changes!

May 6th, 2010 at 06:20 pm

Well. I sent an email off requesting more information about a job I saw posted on Craigslist. It's really a dream job (at least for me)... a "Waterfront Director" for a local camp for special needs children. This I know will be an incredibly rewarding job for me, and it is a much better application of my education in sociology and psychology than a waitressing gig would ever be.

It pays better than my current job, and I was told today I will likely be laid off after tomorrow anyway. This was entirely expected, and thankfully I have built myself a situation where being out of work for almost a month isn't going to kill me or leave me hopeless. I will thank whomever for giving me the kick in the butt I needed to get saving and pump up that freelancing career. It has saved me.

The job pays alright. Not fabulous, but I'm obviously not in it for the money. The tough spot lies that this position is a live-in position-- something I apparently missed when I initially looked at the ad. Despite learning this, I still got more information about the job, and told the guy I would call him tomorrow with a decision. He said he appreciated me taking the time to think about it... someone had already flaked out on it.

I talked it over with BF for a while... obviously the key issue of this job is that I'll spend far less time with him than I anticipated this summer. We were supposed to move in together come July. Obviously plans would have to be changed and I would only get to see him three nights a week, only stay over two of those nights.

Certainly not an easy decision, but after reflecting on the pros and cons for a few hours, I've decided to go through with it. It seems silly to pass up an opportunity for a meaningful summer job just so I can have a bit more free time. The financial benefits are great as well.

Even though the job only pays $250/week, there's a weekly $35/week bonus that gets paid in one lump at the end. Not only that, but I dont pay for lodging, and I dont need transportation. I've been worried about how I will get to any new job I pick up because even though my enlistment bonus *should* come within the next few months, I dont count on the Army to do anything right anymore. Ever.

So I will save on gas, insurance, groceries, rent, utilities (for the months we'll push back moving), and entertainment purely because I wont have the time or freedom to go out and spend money. I'll still do some freelance writing in the evenings, though I understand I probably wont do quite as much. I've figured this all into my budget.

That being said, if I go through with it and take the job, I will in fact have my CC paid off in July. This is INCREDIBLY exciting for me, as I wont have a payment to make every month, and I can start working on my next savings goal-- $3000 for vacation in December. As it is, I've worked out my projected budgets and income from now to December, and I'm about $1k short for the trip.

On one hand, I have not included any of my present savings in that budget (a bit over $1000), nor have I included my enlistment bonus. This bonus is supposed to be $10k. Granted, after taxes I'll be happy if it ends up $6k. Regardless, only about $5k of it will go toward a car if this is the case, and the remaining cash will go toward this vacation. If it's more than $6k, that money will start going toward those pesky student loans and saving for next year's vacation. It will be so much easier with that CC payment out of the way!

It's nice to take a look at my budget and know that one way or another I'll make my goals. Even if I dont get my bonus in time (which I better), my CC isn't maxed to high hell and I could charge a portion if I needed to. I'm going on that vacation no matter what. Micronesia and Australia, here I come Big Grin

The prospects of 2011 are really exciting. Again, I wont have my CC payment to make, which frees up $2400 for the year. I'll start grad school in 2011, and that's also very exciting! 2012 is the year BF and I will get hitched (assuming things are still going well), but I dont anticipate having to save too much for the actual ceremony. We're planning on having a really low-key wedding and a big party. Nothing fancy. I'm not down for spending thousands of dollars on one silly day when I could use that money to travel the world Smile

Hopefully by the time we get married I'll have a decent amount of my debt paid off. I need to figure out how to get my military student loan repayment going, and start agressively attacking them when that vacation is saved up for. I have to prioritize these things, and I've made it important to take one vacation outside of the country every year with my darling BF.

Anyhoo... If I'm going to reach these goals, I better get working! Hope you all are having a great week! Later!

Uneventful kind of day

May 5th, 2010 at 08:08 pm

I suppose on one hand, having an uneventful day is something of a blessing for me right now... I did have some good points:

For starters, it's wednesday. Which means BF and I's weekly coffee date. Since I've been in AZ we've had to conduct these via Skype... but I bought Dunkin Donuts coffee to make in my room particularly for the occassion, and he goes out and buys his DD coffee as well prior to booting up the chat. So we retain much of the tradition Smile He's incredibly stressed out between papers and finals. I so wish I was there to help... at very least to help him out in the little ways I would (making him meals for convenience, hugging him to make him feel better, things of the like). But I'm doing what I can given the distance.

The other highlight of the day was getting a call about a job I applied for. I unfortunatly was not able to talk to the guy more than a few minutes, but he says he'll be giving me a call tomorrow. The job looks perfect. It's a position as a director/supervisor for a summer camp for children and adults with special needs. I think it'll be a great experience, and the pay is pretty decent. Better than I'm making now at my part-time job! It only runs through the summer, but I like those prospects... it opens up possibility for the fall, with school and such. And I think it will be a great thing to make connections with the Rotary Club.

So that is very exciting news Smile

I'll fill you all in on how the conversation goes tomorrow. No other financial news except that I got paid for a couple articles, and my paper is finished-- which means I can start getting to the work that earns me money. The rest of the week is going to be very busy as I try to catch up for these last few days. Ah well. That being said, it's time to get to work!

Hope you all have a great night!

The storm before the calm... I'm hoping :(

May 4th, 2010 at 06:56 pm

Well. It seems things are getting worse before they get better... got a text from mom earlier. It seems one of the many fights her and my brother have been getting into got a bit bigger, and she consequently called the police. My brother is paranoid schizophrenic, and his outbursts have historically been rather violent and aggressive. I think mom's reaction was more precautionary than it was reactionary, but absolutely founded. Rather than her having her apartment smashed to bits, this seems to me the smartest choice that could be made.

The issue with this is that now he is in jail (again), and we have no idea what will happen to him, if they'll actually get him the help he needs, etc. It's been an incredible struggle for my mom trying to support him, get him to take his meds, keep him from being destructive, etc. It's terribly stressful on her-- regardless of whether he's in jail or out.

On top of that fiasco, my mom lost her job today. I'm not entirely clear as to why, but she really isn't either. She mentioned that her boss had been on her back a lot lately, and that it seemed they were getting irritated with her need for assistance with her job responsibilities-- but she also told them in the interviewing process that she hadn't done clerical work in decades, they never gave her the training they promised, and she had only been there for a few weeks. She hardly had time to get into the swing of things. Regardless, she was told "it wasn't working out," and today she became unemployed.

The woman just cant catch a break.

Needless to say, my efforts to help her find a job (and extra ways of making money) are going to be even stronger. I made the deposit into her account today-- $55 for my monthly phone bill, and $250 for mother's day. Pulled it from my savings, but I'll replenish it come payday. No worries there.

It's frustrating to be all the way on the other side of the country when things like this happen. I know it would be good for her to have some company, sit down and figure out a game plan. Give her a little sense of control in the situation. She didn't sound nearly as distraught when I talked to her as I had anticipated, but then again mom has always been one of those people amazingly good at concealing her emotions.

So things have definitely taken a step back, but I'm really hoping, and I'm rather confident, that they will turn around soon. I have to stay positive in all this. It wont do her any good for me to throw my arms up and say, "why us?" I just have to keep driving forward and find creative ways to handle the situation.


Aside from all that, my day has been long and tiring. I'm trying to finish this last paper, and be done with it so I can get to the work I do that makes me money. I sat down and mapped out all the things I need to get accomplished this week. Once I get done with this paper I'll have the freedom to start all that.

I'm sure I'll get it done tonight, I'm very close as it is. It's just difficult getting through it. I'm exhausted and worn out from working on it for the last few days. I want it to be over.

But again, just have to drive on. This weekend will be better. It's my last weekend here in Arizona, so I think I'm going to do *something*. Some of my class mates were talking about going to see the new Iron Man. I think that would be fun. And do some swimming at the pool (I love free entertainment, after all).

I'm really looking forward to coming home-- not only so I can try to help my mom get a handle on this situation, but also because I dearly miss BF. He's really proving himself to be an incredible source of strength, even thousands of miles away... but I miss being able to escape into the comfort of his arms. It's an wonderful place to be.

To sum this up, I hope you all are having a good week, and that it contines to be so. I'm hoping something great will happen. I'm sure it will.

Helping Mom and Finishing this Pesky Paper

May 3rd, 2010 at 06:18 pm

Well, as I write this I really *should* be working on my research proposal-- it's the last thing I have to do academically for the semester. It's certainly coming along nicely. Just made some coffee. Following this blog, I will continue Smile

Updates on Me:

Managed to spend ZERO money over the weekend by acting as a hermit. DID make it to the pool, though it was a bit too chilly to swim. I instead sat by the pool and read materials for my paper, worked on tan. It's coming along well.

Got new assignments for the week/month. I'm spending some time brainstorming some writing topics. Published a new article:

Text is Seven Types of Ambiguity, Cat's Cradle, and the Handmaid's Tale: Books for the Big Screen and Link is http://ow.ly/1GnAZ
Seven Types of Ambiguity, Cat's Cradle, and the Handmaid's T...

Updates on Mom:

I spent a bit of time yesterday scouring Craigslist, as well as putting out some feelers through my social networking chains. I did get a response from a guy that works for another guy who owns quite a few businesses in my area. He said he would get him mom's resume.

That being said, I had to then spend some time revamping her resume. She had it uploaded to Monster, but there were some spelling errors, and the formatting needed improvment. In printed/file format it had NO structure, so I have it a good go-over. I found it to look really nice when I was finished. I also wrote her a cover letter and sent that along with the resume, which was given to this guy today.

Guess we'll see how it goes!

Other than that, just trying to do what I can-- using the resources I have. I know we'll figure it out somehow. Between the two of us, we'll get it all sorted. I just cant sit and be passive about it, she's super depressed and overwhelmed. I'm going to particularly make it a point to spend some time with her every week when I get home. BF loves her, so this wont be so much of an issue. The Ex wasn't so fond of mom...

Other than that, this type of situaiton is allowing me to appreciate my own situation even more so. The fact that I have $300 to send her way for mother's day is an amazing freedom. I mean, dont get me wrong, I have an incredible amount of student debt. I have a credit card. But I'm also almost 24, not 44 with no retirement savings and all this burden weighing down on me.

Not to say all the mistakes are mom's-- many were my awful ex-stepfather's (he's certainly the one that needed to charge all the toys)-- she inherited half this debt when the divorce was settled, though. At the same time, however, I cant entirely lift the blame from her. We all make our decisions. I'm just happy she wasn't so proud she couldn't ask for help. Mind you, she didn't ask me for any money (though I let her know she could if she needed it), she just needs help sorting through it all. I'm happy that I can help her, even if it's only to put it all in perspective and inspire her to be optimistic and proactive about it.

All that being said, I need to get back to work. This proposal aint gonna write itself!

I hope you all had a wonderful monday, and that positivity runs through your week!

Need some advice...

May 2nd, 2010 at 08:21 am

So I've known for a while that my mom wasn't doing so hot financially. After a conversation with her yesterday, though, I got the full scope of it. She does currently have a job (she's been struggling to find one, and went through a couple in the last 4-5 months)-- the problem is she doesn't have enough hours, she doesn't get paid enough, and the job is way below her level.

She owned an insurance agency through one of the big Companies, and lost her business almost a year ago. She also got a divorce about a year and a half ago. With what she is making now, along with child support and alimony, she just covers her basic bills-- not even including variables like groceries and gas.

I asked her if she could cut back, and she said she's pretty much cut back everything she can. I'm skeptical, but we're going to develop a spreadsheet together when I get home. She doens't go out and spend money frivolously, I do know that. She certianly knows how to be frugal when she needs to be.

The issue lies that in a couple months her health insurance is going to be deducted from her paycheck-- $160 per month, and in 3 years she stops getting child support and alimony. She has massive amounts of debt built up, and she's afraid she wont be able to make even the minimums once this happens, so she wants to get her CC paid off prior to.

She's super overwhelmed, and not sure what to do. I know we have to find her a better job, but I'm trying to come up with an idea to make money on the side somehow. She pulls a bartending shift a few times a week, and that certainly helps. But she's still struggling.

I'm going to do my best to help her out. I did tell her if she gets into a situation where she cant cover her bills to tell me. I do have a bit in savings. I think for mother's day I'm going to give her the $300 I was going to use to pay for a new bicycle. I dont really *need* a new bike, and I think putting a $300 payment down on her CC is a better way to use that money. It is, also, a gift that keeps giving. lol. I'm not sure what the interest on $300 would be, but regardles... Using that money wont hurt my budget whatsoever, considering I had planned for it.

If you guys have any tips on a 44 year old woman with great business, entrepeneur, management, and sales skills to make some extra money, I'd appreciate it. Honestly, she cant be *too* picky if she's trying to get her act together... But really, any tips or advice would be appreciated.

Thanks so much, and I hope you all have a great day!

April recap and May goals

May 1st, 2010 at 08:50 am

Well, as look back at April, I feel really good about myself:

[x] Stay under budget
[ ] Donít spend any money on clothes
[ ] Donít use CC at all
[x] Generate $100 in Freelancing Income
[x] $50 max spending w/ BF per week
[x] Keep track of finances all month
[ ] Make Moving Goal ($400 more in Savings)

It looks like I didn't make 3 of my goals here, but when it comes down to it, I did. Well, I did spend a tiny bit of money on clothes when I got here to Arizona... mostly because I didn't pack enough. But it was under $20.

I did in fact use my CC a few times... but only because I had transfers going on I wasn't sure were through and so I didn't want to risk and overdraw. The difference is that I promptly paid that off when the transfers were complete. Also, I charged my plane ticket here to AZ because my unit screwed things up, but I'm getting reimbursed.

My moving goal is another tricky one. I currently have $1150.00 in my savings account-- $50 away from my goal. But you have to keep in mind that I transferred $500 out to my checking to cover any travel costs or expenses while I'm here, and that will be paid back once I get my first army paycheck out here. So I really went above my goal in reality.

To look at April professionally, quite a few things happened. I lost hours at my job, but I've picked up the cash doing more freelancing work-- which is going great! I nailed a few more permanent gigs, that are progressing nicely, and I've developed my own professional brand a bit more by getting out my website and printing some business cards. Here were my totals for freelancing in April:

Freelancing Revenue: $424
Freelancing Expenses: $18.98
April's Profit: $405.02!!!

This is well beyond my $100 goal Smile

It's nice to see that my hard work is paying off... I just picked up another gig this past week. It's just getting better and better.

Now for May Goals:

[ ] Stay under budget
[ ] Don't spend $ on clothes
[ ] Don't use CC at all
[ ] Generate $500 in freelancing income
[ ] $50 max spending w/ BF per week
[ ] Keep track of finances all month long
[ ] Make savings goal (only $50 more)
[ ] Pay $800 on CC

Every one of those goals is do-able, and I'm excited to see if I can meet the challenge (and go above and beyond!)... I know I can if I work hard enough.

This summer is going to be really exciting for me. I'm very much looking forward to moving out of my roomate's house and into my own apt come July 1. So for the next couple months, I'll be working hard to pay off my CC, and looking for new places to live Smile I'm $50 away from my savings goal-- that $1200 is for security deposit, first month's rent, starting a container garden (mostly herbs and a few veggies), redoing my couch (couch cover and fabric to sew new pillow covers), paint and gloss finish for my table (another project), and possibly a new desk. Any extra will be put aside for emergencies or added to the start of my next savings goal: vacation. I'll start attacking that one after I pay off the CC.

And hopefully (crossing my fingers), I'll get paid my enlistment bonus, so I can buy a car. I haven't decided if I'm going to buy one now, or wait til closer to the fall. I'd really like to take advantage of the nice weather to ride my bike as transportation, and save money on insurance and gas for a couple months. I work from home, and gotten along just fine for a while. We'll see what happens, I guess!

I'll stop now, as this has gotten entirely too long, and I have much work to get done this weekend! I hope everyone enjoys thier saturday and welcomes May as happily as I do Smile Peace.