Double Payday! ($105,410)

Hooray $105!
I’m going to see if I can schedule a student loan payment for tomorrow, since I would like to see that all in my November budget. I’m excited to re-set my budget tomorrow, which hopefully includes:
$2,225 student loans
$500 savings
$335 train pass
$20 parking (a few days driving up to the farther train)
$175 gas
$97 phone (standard)
$40 iTunes/netflix/TiVo (I’m not going to mess with my mint budget here, but my November TiVo charge has actually already cleared)
$30 financial (standard–life insurance and credit score subscription)
$84 car insurance (standard–though I have a dividend/free month coming sometime soon)
$500 food (I did pretty good on this, especially at the beginning of the month–hopefully I can come closer to $400, but this would still be a serious improvement from the beginning of the year.
$400 everything else (I usually plan for far less, and I spent around $700(!) this month. I’m going to try to stay well under this, but I’ll be happy if I stop the bleeding here)

If I can do math this early in the morning, this brings my total budget to around $4,400, which is probably a bit more than I’ll bring in for the month. When the mint screen is in front of me I’ll find places to make cuts–hopefully I’ll end up spending less on gas, parking, food and entertainment categories.

I’m also returning $40 of something’s after work tomorrow. And I’m due a refund from the event I attended on Monday night, to the tune of $45. This would actually bring my budget about even for the month.

I often blog from the train on my phone on the way to work. It’s really difficult to give my posts the organization and coherence they deserve. Maybe I’ll try to save my posts for when I get home.


Ugh! ($108,204) (not completely updated)

Went to see my primary care physician this morning.  Got some shots.  Sadly she couldn’t do what I wanted (nothing major, just looking to get a birthmark thing removed, not because I’m concerned about it being something, but because it snags against my clothes and hurts), so I have to go back next week.  The good news is my appointment is a little earlier in the morning, so I shouldn’t have transportation problems.

Today, however, was a different story.  Stopped to get gas.  Thought I was at a SmartPay station, and would save 10 cents a gallon, but realized it wasn’t, so only put in $10.  Drove to a farther train station, because trains ran more there midday.  I’m pretty sure I paid $7 for parking (through my EZ-Pass, which has had $30 on it forever, so I’m not too crushed about this).  Pull in, take my sweet time, don’t know what time it is.  Get to about where the trains are, and see one pulling away.  Damn! But there’s probably another one in like 20-30 minutes.  Wrong. The next one is in an hour, and I would like to get to work at some point today.  The really unfortunate thing is that I easily could have made this train, if I had realized what time it was, and that the trains were getting further and further apart as it got this late.  

Try to go to a subway station with parking.  Get off the exit, follow all the signs…Garage Full.  But this isn’t obvious, so I was about ten minutes trying to establish this.  Resign myself to driving into Boston, and parking at the lovely underground heated garage, and am greatly chagrined at the posted cost. 

So I leave work around 6 (hey at least I stayed 45 minutes later), and go to the garage to get my car and pay.  My firstborn wouldn’t fit in the slot, so instead I was forced to give them $35.  What a waste of money!


p.s.  That part in Big Daddy, where Adam Sandler mentions rum to Frankenstein’s friend, and the friend is all “Rumplestiltskin?” and Sandler replies “Rumplestiltskin’s a good man…”  Umm no he certainly is not.

A Little Proud? ($108,194)

I really wanted to get home tonight.  My library books were due back today, and I didn’t want to pay $35 in late fees again.  Not that one day would be $35, but it’s money I don’t need to lose. Respecting your money or something like that.  I also really really wanted Wendy’s (I wanted Wendy’s last night, went out of my way to get it, and it was closed!)

But alas, I went to the library, dropped off my books, went home, ate my leftover calzone.

On another note, most of the difference from yesterday’s post is my monthly TiVo charge (I don’t pay for rent or cable, so I pay about $23 each month for a combination of TiVo and Netflix).  I don’t know why sometimes the charge shows up on the prior month, but it messes with my budget.  I have money in my account if it comes out early or late–I just want it to be in the same place every month.

Incredibly Annoyed!! ($108,174)

This post has only a small amount to do with money.  

I went to an event tonight that I signed up for a few weeks ago.  I sent an email a week an advance as I was supposed to.  Drive up to the old train station (about $5 in gas), paid for parking ($4) and left work a half hour early ($15).  For an event I spent $45 on.  Basically I sat there from 6:30 to 7:30 waiting, while other people participated, but my email was lost or something, so I sat around waiting for them to get to me.  When they finally did an hour later, I was so pissed off that I just asked for a refund.  The guy was very nice about it and all, because he saw how pissed off I was, but you should address your issue BEFORE I’m sitting there for an hour, waiting for you to get to me, while everyone around me is having a good time.  There was one other person who they weren’t ready for too–because she hadn’t sent them her information.  Maybe you should help me before her, SINCE I DID WHAT I WAS SUPPOSED TO.

I’m just really mad that this was something I was looking forward to, and even though I’m going to get a refund, I also spent other money or missed out on making money that I’m not going to get back–and that sucks.

Quick Life Update ($108,123.28)

1) I went to see a musical with a friend last night.  Ticket was $25 (not too bad, I thought), drink, snack and parking totaled about 32?  Not great but not terrible.

My boss told me yesterday that they’ve put in (again) to make my position permanent. I likely won’t hear anything on this for a while, because they wait until the year has begun to finalize the budget, but it sounds like there’s more of a chance this year–considering they had sufficient work to extend me past a year in June, we’ve been very busy lately, and it sounds like there’s more than just one person supporting it.  I think that the difference in pay would be at least $20,000–a difference that would only replace the pay from my second job, but I’ll be crossing my fingers (and toes, and any other available appendages) that it would be more like $35–so I could eventually move and not live two hours from my job! (Not paying for a place to live is pretty legit, but it CLEARLY has its drawbacks.)  Hopefully that would enable me to save for a year while doing both jobs and pay down some debt a bit faster.

But I have to get hired first.

The Good and the Bad ($108,047)

The good: I went through my old statements (not free by the way), and was able to approximate my debt (though not my negligible assets) by month since January 2012. I’ve paid off about $20,000 in those 22 months–about $15,000 of that in 2013, when I started keeping track of my spending. And there’s two more months to go this year. And if I pay the exact same amount towards debt next year, it will make an even bigger impact, because I’ll have less principal and interest to contend with. Exciting stuff.

As of today this difference in cost of my train pass has been exceeded by the amount I’ve saved in parking.

Unfortunately, a lot of what I’ve saved in gas has been spent elsewhere. I have one set of purchases I need to return this weekend to get about $40 back–this is what happens when you have a few free hours and you’re near lots of shopping.

I also bought my lunch yesterday and am buying again today. Yesterday because I only wanted soup (and spent under $5, which while it’s more than I should spend–$0–it’s better than $10) and today because I had to take care of something at the house that cost me about 15 minutes this morning. Kind of infuriating. I’ll be buying coffee today too, but yesterday I was still feeling really sick, so I skipped all coffee entirely.

I currently have about $180 to get me through next Wednesday. I think peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are in my future next week–though I’m not remotely upset about that.

Hypocrisy ($108,035)

Back in the 108s.  Sigh.

Just re-read my last blog.  I’m pretty hypocritical, considering all the money I spent this weekend. It’s nothing I couldn’t have saved until next month, and definitely wasn’t money I needed to spend AT ALL at this time, but what’s done is done. I moved $100 into my savings account so I’m going to try to live on $195 until next Thursday–which is about how much I have in the budget anyway.

I’m home sick from work today, and left early yesterday.  So my working on Columbus Day basically just got nullified, and then some, but even though it won’t be a “full” paycheck, it will still be an extra for the month next week.  I’m planning on spending $225 in what was formerly my minimum, plus another $725 in extra payments, and moving $500 to savings.  That should more than wipe out one paycheck, and I’ll have most of the other smaller one for my spending and bills.  Since I clearly can’t be trusted with money in my checking account.

Some Frustration ($107,549.94)

I’m still mad at myself for deleting my old federal loan data from Mint.  But I can still see the difference in net worth related to all my other accounts, and that was about $5,000 positive change to net worth.  Since September I’ve made another $3,000 worth of dents into my debt.  $8,000 in a year isn’t too bad I guess, but I’d like to see more, especially given the number and amount of payments I made.  Hopefully all of these additional payments will be making some progress on principal, so as I pay more and more, each dollar will have a bigger impact month-to-month.  I just really wish I could see all of it together on Mint instead of trying to piece it together in my mind.

I bought stuff for sandwiches and smoothies this week.  I have my travel coffee cup and k-cups out for tomorrow, and breakfast in a to go container, ready to be heated and brought with me in the morning.  

I also chopped off my hair this weekend, and got it re-dyed. [Blonder]  And it actually cost less than I was planning for.  And hopefully it will make getting ready go a little faster in the morning.  More time for getting my lunch and coffee together.  

I started reading the old blogs of a personal finance blogger, starting from the newest.  I feel like she was trying to get to positive net worth for what looked like 3 years, and each year she was relatively close–over a couple thousand dollar.  It made me really frustrated for her–why hasn’t she paid off those credit cards yet?  It also really pisses me off when someone has a student loan, that they used to pay for a car.  That’s not what that shit is for!  I’m also fairly certain it’s against the student loan rules, but whatever.  I’m sure I’m guilty of using my loans for some things that weren’t education-related or 100% necessary–but not $14,000 worth, certainly.  

I’m glad I can at least see my one loan eliminated.  The goal is to have the next one gone by mid-February at the latest.  Even though that loan was the lowest (though I don’t know if it was always the lowest–who knows what my strategy always was), the payment was one of the highest payments of the $225 total payment for the five loans.  Fifty bucks and change a month.  So now that $50 will be going towards the next loan.  I definitely see the merit in paying off these smaller ones first so that larger and larger chunks are going to principal on the next loan.

Back in the 107s ($107,278)

I made what should be the last payment on undergrad student loan #1 this morning. I literally remembered it was payday before my shower, checked my bank account balance, and made the payment before doing anything else. [Better]

I also did Day 3 of this 30 day plank challenge. [Stronger] So much done before 6am this morning!

My next payday is in two weeks, and I have my car and life insurance payments, which total about $100, and getting my hair done and lunch with my sister this weekend–other than that I’m going to try to limit my spending to food shopping and gas. I filled up my tank last night, which takes me to about $100 for the month, and I’m guessing I’ll end up spending another $30 which will take me into November–much better than the $300+ I have been spending. Four more days until my more expensive train pass pays for itself in parking savings–which doesn’t include all the gas money I’ve been saving. I’m not optimistic about my ability to get through the month without filling up my Starbucks card–though I’ve been good and made coffee three or four times this week, and I’m hoping I can keep that going–I just need to make sure I have milk in the house.

I’m meeting a friend for lunch today, so I’ll be buying. I was supposed to meet her yesterday but she had to cancel at the last minute. Luckily, however, I was prepared and had brought what should have been today’s lunch with me on Tuesday, so I had that yesterday, and didn’t have to end up buying two days in a row. Staying under budget is definitely easier when bringing lunch everyday. Hopefully I’ll be proactive and prepare tomorrow’s lunch tonight so I don’t have to run around like a headless chicken tomorrow morning, like I usually do.

The TL;DR version: hopefully at this time two weeks from now I’ll be firmly entrenched in the 105s.

Is it Payday Yet? ($108,870)

Went apple picking, picked up a few things at Stop & Shop and ate dinner (and pie) at home Saturday night. Will be eating delicious leftovers this evening, as I make my butternut squash stew–which should be my lunch Tuesday, Thursday and Friday this week. I’ll have to figure some dinner out for the other night, but I’m sure I have some kind of pasta around (or the tons of leftover mashed potatoes I have–I’m not above eating mashed potatoes as a meal).

Only three more days to go until payday, when I get to pay $300 to one student loan and pay off (hopefully) the smallest one. I’m sure I’ll be thrilled to be in the ($107,000)s, but I’ll be really happy when I’m out of the negative six-figures. Hopefully I’ll have a permanent position in January or February, so I can start saving a little too, so that I can eventually move into my own place. It will really help to eliminate all my private loans–so my monthly minimums are around $750 a month instead of $1,000–I think sometimes I forget that my obligation each month is smaller than what I pay–and if I’m trying to buy something they’ll look at the minimum obligations and not what I have been paying. But imagine if I keep paying over $2,000 a month–it will be so freeing to have that money to do whatever I want with it once everything is paid off.