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Archive for November, 2011

November 2011

November 30th, 2011 at 09:44 am

I did pretty good this month. So far, I'm liking my plan to pay big chunks off of my debt at the end of the month so that I'm sure everything goes through correctly. I paid off about $1800 to debt this month. $935 to Citi (plus my work reimbursements), $308 to US Bank and $623.41 to BoA. That makes me at the $2k mark on that card! Yippee! I'm also under the $15k mark which is AMAZING!


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I just looked at some old financial records and I owed just over $35k in credit cards in 2007. Even though I haven't been 100% serious about it, I did pay off $10k in 4 years. It was a slow process (only $2,500 per year) but at least I wasn't gaining more debt or remaining in the same place which makes me happy. To think I paid off a similar amount of money in a few months makes me a little queasy but it is what it is! I'm happy to be below the $15k mark!


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I'm starting to think about my work bonus and raise. I'm hoping I get something decent this year. My company has struggled for the past two years since a good amount of our work comes from federal funding. Last year and the year before, we had to take furlough days (unpaid days off) which decreased our salaries for a total of about 9 months. Last year, we came out with a profit (my company does profit sharing) so I ended up with a bonus check that pretty much covered my unpaid days off. We haven't had to take furlough days and we are having a holiday party this year so it looks good. I think we are in a good spot financially so I'm hopeful!

My responsibilities have also increased dramatically so I hope to get a good raise. I'm planning on asking for a raise no matter what so I'm hoping to get something good!

More unexpected cash and mom issues

November 22nd, 2011 at 07:16 pm

My mom gave me $110 for my student loans this month. She recently got laid off and hasn't been able to contribute anything for a while. Apparently, I gave her this $110 a while ago and she can't remember for what (and neither can I) so she just gave it back.

She knows how I'm trying to pay down my CC debt so this is her way of trying to help. I'll take it!

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I made the final payment on my US Bank card so that's completely gone! Yay! I paid all of the Citicard off except for the rest of my work reimbursements. My plan is to go into the office tomorrow morning to pick up my work check, deposit it at the bank and stop by the post office (maybe go couponing as well).
Once the check clears, I'll pay the rest of Citi before the next statement to avoid interest(Dec 7).

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So, I worry a lot about my mom. She has absolutely no savings and no retirement account to speak of (aside from Social Security which she thinks is enough). She got laid off at 53 but has little prospects for a job. She has very little skill - she was a cook/cleaner for a church. She does odd little things like errands for people, babysitting, and is a care taker for my neighbor next door. I think she probably nets $800 a month which is better than nothing but it's so stressful on her. Luckily, she owns the house and her car free and clear (she'll need a new car soon) so her expenses aren't huge on a month-to-month basis but she has no EF which terrifies me.

She is not handling being laid off well. Her attitude stinks and when I call her, she doesn't want to talk or just complains. Then she complains that I don't call her or see her enough. It's really frustrating. I'm trying to be sympathetic and the best listener I can be. I think it's hard on her because she's alone, too. My brother lives at home but he's not good for chatting like I am.

On top of that, her spending habits drive me nuts. Her idea of quality time is going out to eat. That's all she ever wants to do and it's never to cheap places like a sandwich shop or burrito place, it's always a casual dining restaurant at least. She spends $40, $50 bucks a pop probably 2-3 times a week. I just don't see how she can afford that lifestyle since she's out of work. She gets mad at me that I won't pay since I "have the money and a job." But I hate saying no because that's her idea of "quality time." So often, I don't say no but don't offer to pay for her meal and then she just pays for the whole thing. It's frustrating because I do have more money than she does but I don't choose to spend my money that way anymore.

So all of that to say: I invited her over on Sunday for a homemade turkey dinner (since I'll be at my boyfriend's family for Thanksgiving). I hope we can start a trend of eating in. I hope that will be the quality time she craves. I told her all about my freezer cooking escapades so I hope she starts cooking more stuff, too (she never cooks!).

Hit the lottery...

November 15th, 2011 at 01:14 pm

Ok, so I didn't hit the lottery per say. I have never been a gambler since I'd rather just keep my money. I've been gifted a few scratch tickets in my Christmas stocking and I sometimes win a couple of bucks. One time I won $100 so that was nice.

I went to a casino twice: I played the penny slots both times and once I won fifty bucks. You should have seen how fast I took that money and booked it! I was so excited to get lunch and gas for free! Haha.

Well, my dad is a big gambler. He's really struggled with addiction for a lot of his life (drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, etc.) Since maybe the mid 1990's, he's been doing really well with those addictions: doesn't drink, smoke, do drugs, etc. But he does gamble quite a bit.

So he hit a scratch ticket for $2500. He wins pretty regularly: usually under $500. He hit the number for $380 the night before he hit the scratch ticket. And a few weeks ago he hit for $100 then $200, etc. He certainly loses out most of the time (he never knows what he spends) but I'd rather him gamble than drink so it is what it is. He's able to live on what he makes and he's not in debt of any kind.

He's such a good dad! His first thought was my tution so he went ahead and gave me $500 and he'll give me another $500 at the end of the month for December. I'm so excited to pay that directly to BoA. I wonder if I'll be able to pay off the BoA by the end of the year (6 months early!). It feels far fetched but one never knows!

And, I've started thinking a lot about my holiday bonus and tax return. I know I'll be getting something from both which makes me smile!

Debt Repayment

November 13th, 2011 at 08:39 pm

I have almost $1000 to pay toward debt repayment this month.

$72 random cash (I sometimes will give random couponing stuff away to friends and they feel weird taking it for free so I let them throw me some cash, including rebates)
$150 health care rebate for belonging to a gym
$50 rewards check from Chase
$250 debt repayment from friends
$472 from car accident

I also need to submit for 2 reimbursements from my company. One for my travel to Philadelphia and one for mileage reimbursement for driving around to schools in the past month. That's about $1200. I don't mind fronting the money on my credit card to get the rewards. About $200 of it is just profit from the mileage reimbursement (yes, that accounts for the wear and tear on my car but it's nice to have some extra cash).

I also need to collect $225 from my brother and $62 from my mom. By my calculations, that's about $2500. Of course about $1000 is from the travel but $1500 can go directly to pay off the Citi and US Bank cards and the rest will go to the BoA card.

Travel for work and other musings

November 4th, 2011 at 09:32 am

I have upcoming travel for work to Philadelphia. I'll be away from next Monday to Thursday. I'm excited because I get to indulge on the little things that I occasionally miss like Starbucks and FroYo. Plus all of my meals and other expenses are covered, too. And, I don't have to pay to park for 4 days out of this month which is a savings of $32! I will also charge all of the expenses and get reimbursed so I can rack up some CC rewards points! Yay!

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I'm thrilled about my balance transfers. They are finally completed. I have a slight grace period since the billing cycle won't start for another month so I think I'll take the money I would use to pay those bills and try to eliminate the Citi and US Bank card this month. Once those are gone, my highest interest rate will be 1.99% and considering a month ago I was paying between 16.99% and 18.99%, I think that's pretty darn good! My goal is to pay them off well before the promotional periods are over!

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I need to do some adjustments to my budget and figure out my new snowball with the new monthly credit card payments. Once I figure it out, I will know for sure what I should plan on paying extra. It was $410 before so I'm hoping it's a little higher now.

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I've already paid all of my November monthly bills except for the large credit card payments so I know I won't mess up again and almost fall short. It's a relief to know that things are settled on that end. Since I'll be away next week for work (and the bf will, too). We won't need groceries or gas for the week. I think I'll be able to pay even more considering we'll be away for Thanksgiving, too.

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Not much else to report on. I'm swamped with paperwork from my 2 accidents and I need to take my car to get it looked at again. Hopefully, this will resolve itself soon enough.