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Archive for June, 2014

Frustrations

June 30th, 2014 at 05:29 am

Remember this? Well, she's just done it again. Some sob story about paying the little brother's rent and now being short on both the car and electricity. Yada, yada, yada. I know I shouldn't complain after all she's sacrificed for me growing up, but it's just frustrating that I'm trying so hard to not end up like her, and she keeps bringing me down. Supposedly, her sister is loaning her enough money to take all the stuff out of the pawn shop because 'that's money I could have used for these bills', but she says that and then a month later when she falls short, she throws her stuff right back in. It's a really toxic cycle that I want to avoid at all costs.

In other news, I've been thinking a lot about the moving fund/paying my car off/Vegas savings debate. I think over the next few months, I'm going to drop my car to the minimum per paycheck and make two full minimum payments/month. All else will go to the moving fund minus what I already planned to put away for Vegas. As soon as my moving fund hits 3k (should be right around September), I'll go back to my car.

My new goals for the remainder of 2014 are:
- Replenish 1k Emergency Fund
- Moving Fund - 3k
- Car - Paid off
- No additional accrual of credit card debt

As if I don't already have conflicting priorities...

June 27th, 2014 at 09:30 am

I've been struggling between debt payoff and my first ever family vacation. But something new just crossed my mind. As some of you may remember, I live rent-free with the family I babysit for in exchange for 10-15 hrs/wk babysitting. Last summer, they traveled abroad for a month, so it was nice to be able to enjoy the summer and not have the commitment. They aren't traveling this summer, but since both parents will be home most of the time, I've also been given the option to lighten my babysitting hours and just keep up with the laundry/dishes. While this is wonderful for my social life, it's a little concerning in that they may realize they can get by without me now that both parents are home. It's got me thinking that maybe I should start my move-out fund, so I'm not caught off guard. I really only need about 3k and that's if I want to be really safe (1 month's deposit, a month ahead on rent, and moving expenses). I don't want to end up having to scrap the money last minute (if they only give me 30 days notice), but I also hate the idea of the money just sitting there if they keep me around for the next 6 months or so.

I guess the obvious solution is to feel out the parents to help guide my decision so I'll start there...

Second show this past weekend

June 24th, 2014 at 05:44 am

I had my second dance show this past weekend. Again, ended up with a solo. The good news is she made this my last 'training' show, so all shows from here will be at the full $100 rate. I still think they prefer to have someone more experienced with Polynesian technique, so my number of shows will be limited, but it's nice little snowflakes when they do happen Smile

Awesome Sauce!!

June 18th, 2014 at 07:39 am

So that unconfirmed good news is officially great news!!!

21% increase in salary. This is definitely going to entail some budget changes. I know for sure 2% will go to retirement to fulfill my company match. I was originally intent on splitting the rest between my car and Vegas. However, my car only has $5500 left, I'm debating going gazelle on it and trying to have it fully paid before my Vegas trip (double the celebration!!). My struggle would be that I'd have much less cash saved up for the trip than I would like.

Oh but how good it would feel to free up that $317/mo...Any thoughts?

This is why you don't budget all of the money in your account...

June 17th, 2014 at 09:11 am

Oops!! So this morning, when I logged in to check my accounts, I noticed my debit account is negative. I live pretty much paycheck to paycheck and since I'm throwing most of the money at debt, I have very little savings to fall back on and by the end of the time between pay periods, I usually have $20 or less in my checking account. This time I was actually going to have over $50, so imagine my surpise when I saw I was negative $43 bucks!!

I quickly realized that the automatic Capital One savings plan I'd set to take effect on the 10th for the 15th and 30th of the month had hit twice. I mistakenly thought activating the plan on the 10th meant it would begin taking out on the following 15th as planned...

Apparently not, it 'activated' on the 10th taking out 100 and then proceeded to take another 100 on the 15th as normally scheduled. My slush fund (the savings linked to my checking) only had $30 and I had $10 cash. I ended up moving money out of my car savings to my debit account with Capital One. I withdrew that $40 and put it into my checking. On Friday (payday), I will restore all balances to normal.

Phew, that was a close one...maybe I should work on a little buffer in my main account...

Some *unconfirmed* good news

June 13th, 2014 at 12:45 pm

I am officially an intermediate analyst!! Woohoo Smile

The unconfirmed part comes in regards to pay. Any potential increases go into effect next Friday (our next payday), so we should find out early next week what, if any, changes in salary we should expect.

...However, a little birdie just told me that she thinks I will be very happy with result.

Since I budget based on my current salary, any increase first goes to maximizing my 401K. I know, I know, who doesn't get their full company match?!?!? Well, me, but mostly because I read it wrong. It's 50% of your contribution up to 4% of your salary. I started myself at 6% thinking it was over 4, but still allowed me to cover my other bills, but then I realized I need to contribute 8% to get the 4% company match. Lesson learned: always read AND UNDERSTAND the fine print...If there's more in my take home pay after the 401K increase, that will be split 50/50 between debt (the car which is on track to be paid off in October) and Vegas (Sept/Oct). All other budget categories will stay the same.

Fingers crossed for some good news that I can deliver with certainty and concrete numbers next week!!

Chasing Vegas Rewards

June 9th, 2014 at 10:05 am

I don't think I've ever posted it here, but I've been trying like crazy to come up with creative ways to make the cost of the Vegas trip sting less. I've been playing MyVegas and Social Rewards to earn rewards. I should be able to redeem three decent rewards through MyVegas and have about $40-$60 in Total Rewards credits.

Additionally, I've added two credit cards: Chase Freedom ($100 reward) and Total Rewards Visa ($100 reward and 2 buffet of buffet passes).

Chase Freedom recently upped their $100 reward to $200, so I emailed and they were nice enough to honor the better offer. The Total Rewards Visa sent me two high roller passes instead of the buffet of buffets, but when I had applied, that was the offer, so I have to email them and ask if they will honor that.

I think all of this will allow me to cover food (and some activities) for the four of us, so that leaves the hotel and shows. My mom recently looked into her credit card rewards (which she's never used). She's accumulated some 60000. There are some hotels available for the week for 35000, but I'm leaning towards shelling out for the hotel and using her points solely for activities.

Any ideas for cheap lodging / activities in Vegas?

(Main) Work Update

June 5th, 2014 at 05:35 am

So as some of you know, I have four jobs. There have recently been some changes with my main job at a small IT company. We won our re-compete, and there's a definite chance of me getting a slight promotion, and a pretty good chance of me getting a BIG promotion. For the past several years, I've actually done the work of the position I'm being put into, but since this was my first job out of college, I've had to pay my dues and earn my 'years of experience'. So even though I've been doing the work of an intermediate business analyst running two products, my official title has been program support. Not anymore ya'll! At the very least, I'll be a junior analyst, but they're trying to put me in the intermediate position.

Depending on how yearly evaluations shake out, this may entail some budget changes, so I'll keep you posted.