I'm not sure what to think of this.
Awhile ago I got a free FICO score through myfico.com Then it was 703. I just got another free FICO score through the same place and it is now 685. It's been a few months since I checked my credit reports, so I went to annualcreditreport.com and tried to look at my credit reports.
I couldn't. Two said they were unable to do so online and I would have to send in the form to receive my credit report. The third said that I had already received my free credit report through them for the year and I would have to pay for it. But I haven't received my free report from them. I'm positive of it.
I'm a little worried now. I haven't received any of my reports online before so I don't know if this is usual.
ETA: We just checked boyfriend's score and report to make sure there is nothing funny with his. He has a score of 766 and so far his reports look clean.
Archive for May, 2009
I'm not sure what to think of this.
May was a pretty good month .
*I had to take $149 out of savings for the deposit/app. fee for the apartment.
Half.com Sales: $27.98
-New Average: $48.11
Yesterday my boyfriend and I went to look at an apartment. There were only three one bedrooms left, and only one on the third floor. So we took it.
I gave them $50 for the application fee, $99 for part of the deposit. We turned in the applications today and we'll find out Monday if we got it! I'm so excited and a little nervous. If need be my dad could sign for us. Hopefully he won't have to.
Arrgh. The wait is horrible. I keep thinking I might have left something out.
When we the apartment we will pay another $150 for rest of the deposit when we move in. Move in date is July 1st.
Yesterday I got a letter I put in the mail back. It was a bill. I put a 42 cent postage on it and it was returned because I needed another 2 cents in postage. Was postage raised? Weird thing is none of the other bills were returned.
Sometimes things just fall into your lap.
I've been meaning to get the carpet cleaned for a couple months. It's not disgusting, but there are a few stains that I can't get out. When I was taking out the trash, a sales lady approached me. She asked if I would like to get a carpet cleaning done for free. It can't be the whole house (obviously) but they can do one room. I said sure and asked if they could do the living room.
They'll be here between 10-12 to do the living room for free. And if they do a good job, I fully intend to hire them to clean the hallway carpet and the carpet in my brother's room.
Sometimes, it pays to procrastinate.
But not when it comes to my car. I about 2 weeks past a regular tune up and I need to get my tires rotated. So I'm going to call the mechanic and make an appointment. I won't be going to the usual Lube Express so I might pay an extra $10-15 to go to a nicer mechanic. Definitely worth it. They also off free classes on basic mechanics to women so I'm going to try to go to one of those.
Today wasn't much fun.
I had to write two papers for my English class and read a TON of pages of Luther and Erasmus. It wouldn't have been so bad if I had started earlier but *cough* I didn't. Hehe. I took a walk between the papers to clear my head and recharge.
What matters is that I got it all done, and before 10 pm tonight!
Dinner was hard tonight. It took about an hour and a half from start to finish. Any other day that would have been fine but I was in no mood to be cooking so long. Turned out really well but the stuffed shells is a recipe I will be reserving for special occasions. I'm sure I could find a quicker recipe for it elsewhere though.
I went to the grocery store to redeem my coins. Not for cash this time, but for a gift card to Amazon. I will spend that money on books- once I finish the very long line of books waiting to be read of course.
The next two days I will be going straight from school to work but I have the weekend off. I'll be finding out very soon about whether I'll be staying at my job. Maybe even tomorrow.
I was introduced to a new vinegar today- Apple Cider Vinegar. I've never heard of it before. Apparently it is really good for you and it is pretty cheap. I got a 16 oz bottle for two bucks. I had trouble finding it in the store so I asked an employee for help. He said he knows people who drink it with water. I was very surprised to hear that.
I'm trying a several new recipes this week. Stuffed shells, risotto, and buffalo chicken salad. The buffalo chicken salad is the recipe that calls for the apple cider vinegar. All the recipes are linked in the dinner menus page. They are all from a new show I discovered: "Cook Yourself Thin" on Lifetime. I'm not trying to lose weight but I like how the show teaches you to make healthier substitutions when cooking.
I went grocery shopping today. I usually go on Monday but I was getting antsy and really needed something to do at 11 pm beside go to bed. So I went grocery shopping. Boyfriend totally thought I was crazy for wanting to go grocery shopping so late, but he tagged along anyway.
The total came to $89.04. I have to go to another store tomorrow though- Walmart doesn't carry scallions. Walmart was also out of zucchinis when I went so I'll be getting that tomorrow too.
Oh, I received my Kindle a few days ago. I'm sooo glad I purchased it- it's great! I'll go into more detail about the pros and cons of it tomorrow.
Boyfriend made a decision about how much he will work.
Until mid-August, he will work 9 hours/day (he misheard his parents-it was never 10 hours/day), 5 days/week. He will have Sunday and Monday off.
If he works 45 hours/week, he will make $900 every two weeks before taxes. After taxes he will make about $810 every two weeks (no state taxes). That brings us to $1,620 every month.
His beginning savings is $5,500 (not including IRA). He plans on putting half of his paycheck into savings, 30% into IRA, and 20% for spending money (what I do).
At the end of June, he will have roughly $6,300 in savings. At the end of July, he will have about $7,100 in savings.
Assuming I have $4,500 by the end of July, between us we will have $11,600 in savings.
Our monthly expenses will be as follows (roughly, we'll fine tune it later):
Rent and utilities: $625
Groceries and household supplies: $225
That means we will have about ten months of expenses in the bank before we move. This is likely to decrease though when school begins because I have to buy textbooks and tuition. Boyfriend has prepaid tuition and a scholarship and that covers everything, including textbooks. My textbooks and tuition shouldn't be more than $750.
There is a possibility of me leaving my job in as little as a week. I don't want to say much about it until it actually happens. Nothing is certain right now.
When I told boyfriend (I found out last night at work), he said, "Finally I get to be the primary bread winner!". His previous job made considerably less than mine, and I knew he felt a little bad about that. It never bothered me but I think it bruised his ego that he was making less than me. I asked him if he would feel bad if he had to pay for everything and he said no: he likes to take care of me.
If I have to leave my job, then that's that. I will find another. It might take a few weeks, but I know I can find another job.
I am in a pickle.
Boyfriend has been offered a job at his parents' shop. Which is great for a few reasons. 1) He can see them more, 2) he'll make more per hour (he'll go from $7.5/hour to $10/hour), 3) he will work as many or as little hours as he likes.
The problem is with how many hours he'll work over the summer. They want him to work 10 hours a day, 6 days a week (the entire time the shop is open basically). Honestly I think 60 hours a week is too much. We would have very little time together if he works 60 hours a week.
I work mostly evenings and nights. He would work from 8 am to 6 pm. I also work weekends, so the Sunday he has off I would be working. And during the week (on the nights I have off), I will be most likely be doing homework.
Boyfriend wants to work 60 hours/week so we can save as much money as possible. Yes, if he works that much he'll make about $2,000/month. Great money, but not worth it to me. If he just works 40 hours/week, he'll still make about $1,300 (after taxes). The extra money would be great to add to the savings, but is it really worth not spending so much time together?
I don't know what to do. We could use the money. Boyfriend says that he wants to work so much so that we have that extra money in case we need it. He says working so much now will pay off in our future. I can't argue with his logic- it makes perfect sense. The more he is able to save now, the better. That's less we have to worry about when we move, get married, I begin grad school... And if there should be an emergency over the school year (when neither one of us is working full-time), the extra padding in the savings could be a life saver.
I just don't know if I want to give up some time with him now. I suppose I'm being selfish. And it's not like we won't see each other at all this summer. We will have time together, just not as much as I would like.
He knows how I feel. I told him to do what he thinks is best. I think he's going to talk with his parents about the hours and see what else they can offer him.
Last night I made Herbed Chicken Parmesan.
It turned out really well except for one little thing: the vinegar for the sauce. When i first looked over the recipe I thought it called for 1/4 cup vinegar (among other ingredients of course). I was happy that the only thing I had to buy for this recipe was the chicken as I already had everything else.
Well last night I started putting all the ingredients on the counter for easy access. And that's when I realized that the recipe called for 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar.
Hoping that maybe we had balsamic vinegar and I didn't know, I looked in the pantry and fridge. I did find a bottle of balsamic vinegar but it was empty. So I looked around some more and I found red wine vinegar.
So I decided to use that instead. I was debating between regular vinegar and the red wine. I didn't know how either would affect the taste of the sauce so I guessed and used the red wine. Even with red wine vinegar the sauce was really good, but had this little sour kick to it. It tasted a little off.
I've added balsamic vinegar to next week's grocery list. I want to make this recipe again, this time with the right type of vinegar.
I made a bit extra so I will be having that for lunch today.
Today was payday. My paycheck was for $371.65.
I put $185.83 into savings, $111.49 into my IRA, and I kept $74.33 for spending. $30 of the spending money is going to my Kindle, but the rest I can do whatever I want with.
This brings my new totals to:
It's taken me almost two years, but here is my 200th post! Yay!
Last night I made a shrimp chowder. It was really good. I really surprised myself because the recipe called for sautéed onions and I've never sautéed onions before- or anything else. But sautéing onions turned out easier than I thought- now I just need to work on chopping them!
I think we need to get the knives sharpened as I had to press down a little too hard to get them to cut. We don't have a knife sharpener (beside the metal stick thing that came with the knife set). Is there a place that will sharpen the knives for me? I have no idea of what to even search for in the yellow pages.
Not much else to report on. I made a huge mess in the dinning room and I'm avoiding cleaning it up. Maybe I could get my boyfriend to clean it up...
Ick. I hate it when the weather is like this. It's hot with high humidity and no breeze. I could stand it if there was at least some kind of breeze. So boyfriend and I are going to buy him swim trunks and then go swimming at the pool.
I paid my tuition today. You guys were right- I was only charged $25 in late fees because they weren't open Saturday and Sunday. I paid the second half of the tuition today too.
Turns out I need to get one more book for my class. It wasn't listed online but it is required. We won't need it until next Monday so I have some time to get it.
I went grocery shopping today and only spent $85! I usually spend between $95-105 each week. I'm going to try a few new recipes this week. I think what made the grocery bill less this week was that I didn't buy any beef.
I also got some green tea and herbal tea. I've never really liked tea but I want to try the various flavors. I have this strange urge to buy a teapot but I won't buy one until I know that I'll drink tea regularly.
I've been meaning to go to the storage unit to get some books to sell online. I really need to do that tonight or early tomorrow. I have some homework to do and I want to get the books before the homework starts to pile up.
ETA: So I looked online for the two books I am missing for my class. One is by John Locke and is available for free download on the Kindle. Once I get my Kindle (should be here by Friday!) I'll download Locke and use that for school. The second is available in the library so Wednesday I will check it out and make copies of the pages I need at home (for free!). I could have purchased a used one for $15 online but I don't know if it will get here in time. Whew! Glad I solved that.
I can't believe I forgot to make a payment!
Not on my CC, but for my summer tuition! The $400 was due yesterday and I completely forgot! I can still pay until Tuesday, with late fees of course. I think the late fee is $25/day.
Arrggh. I doubt that the financial services building will be open tomorrow but I'll stop by just to be sure.
So the summer tuition is $418.50 + $75 (late fee guess) now. While I'm there I'm going to pay the second half of the summer tuition (not due for another month) just to be safe. Dad said he will cover the second half of the tuition bill.
Live and learn, right? I'll be out $75 (or around there)- expensive lesson to learn.
This is a non-financial bragging post:
I got a 4.0 GPA this semester!!!!!
I haven't had a 4.0 since high school! My GPAs for the previous semesters have always been around 3.6-3.8.
When I need to deposit money I usually go into the bank. Today the line was really long so I decided to use the ATM to deposit money.
I confused myself greatly! I didn't realize I need to put the cash in an envelope (I swear the ATM didn't say!) so I tried inserting the bills. But the ATM wouldn't take the bills. And then I forgot to write on the envelope how much cash was in it (after I figured out there were envelopes) and so it spit the envelope out. I went back to my car to fetch a pen and wrote the wrong amount on the envelope. Sigh. Oh well, the correct amount went into my checking anyway. I think I'm going to stick with going inside from now.
Boyfriend and I went mountain biking today. We cut it short as I'm really sore from work the other night.
In the middle of the night my cat decided to knock over a shelving unit (it's on wheels and has fabric drawers). She likes to sleep in the drawers because that's where we keep our PJs. It caused a very loud sound. Not a fun way to be woken up at 1 in the morning.
Boyfriend announced to his family the other day that we will be moving in together later this summer. It went surprisingly well he said. They didn't seem upset but at the same time not really happy either. I'll take that as a win- they've never been really fond of me and the past few months things have just gotten worse between his family and I. I think this is a good sign though.
Today was a good day.
My bike tire pump broke so boyfriend and I went to Sheels to get a new pump. Yeah, we could have gone to half a dozen places that are closer but Sheels is fun to walk around. We spent several dollars playing games and riding the ferris wheel. It's also near a beautiful (man-made) lake so we had a picnic.
Tomorrow we'll go on a bike ride.
I sold another movie on half.com! Before shipping I make $5.79. It will cost aout $1.00 to ship (DVDs are light) and I don't have to pay for an envelope.
I really don't want Monday to come. I don't want to take this English class. Unfortunately it is required. I'll just suffer through it.
that the thing you screw on a lamp after you put on the shade is called a finial?
That's all I have for today. Oh, wait, that's not true.
My credit card is being stupid. Amazon won't ship the Kindle until my CC is charged for the cost (naturally) but it is taking a while for the charge for the Kindle to go through. I'm not sure why it is taking so long. I'm not even close to going over my limit. Most charges go through within a day. I placed the order on Monday and it hasn't shown up. I doubled checked the CC number and everything.
I wonder if Amazon hasn't charged my CC yet. The item was in stock so I should have been charged for it immediately. Hm. Maybe tomorrow I'll make some calls- I am very impatient.
Mmm I spent money before I was originally intending to.
I bought a Kindle (from Amazon) just a couple hours ago. I should be getting it in 5-9 days- I opted for the free shipping.
I was planning on buying it later (in a month or two at least). I know I will be using this a lot (and I better for what it cost!)- I love to read and frequently carry multiple books with me. Carrying one Kindle versus a few books will be a lot easier.
Anyway onto why I bought it now instead of later:
A relative gave me some money on Sunday and told me to do with it what I wanted. With that money, along with the spending money I had saved up, and my half.com money, I had almost the cost of a Kindle. I say almost because it costs $359 and I had $330. But I know I will be getting the $500 from the complex in the next few days (confirmed this with management). I do intend to save the remaining $470.
I did a lot of research on the Kindle today and am feeling really confident about my purchase. A lot of students even use it for school. The summer class I'm taking that starts in a week is an English class and a few of the books we'll be reading are available for the Kindle for free. I fully intend to try it out for school. I don't see me using it for school much in the future though- even if my math textbooks were available on Kindle, I doubt I would buy them on Kindle. The screen is too small for a textbook.
I'll be sure to post about it when I get it and start using it. Anyone here have a Kindle (or any electronic reader)? I hope it comes soon!
The first sale of this month happened today. Yay! I sold one of my old textbooks.
It sold for $22.50, so after the commission and shipping fees I made $17.65.
Not too shabby.
Tomorrow I'm meeting some friends for lunch and after wards I plan on going to the storage unit and picking out some more books to sell on half.com.
It's been a few days but I'm coming up for air after many hours of studying for finals.
Mark (my boyfriend- I don't think I've ever used his name on here)and I found the perfect apartment! It's a few minutes away from where I currently am and is right across the street from a couple of my friends. It is in a great neighborhood and the apartment is beautiful. It has 3 large closets! One will serve as a pantry/linen closet and the other two will be for myself and Mark (we are each getting a closet- I have a lot of clothes!).
Best of all is the price. $625/month all utilities included! Can you believe that? All we would have to pay for is internet/cable/phone (or two of those three)! A co-worker of mine actually used to live there and she says it is a great place to live.
We have to go back in early July to turn in the application and everything (they won't know until then what apartments will be available for August). I'm so excited about this! In June we'll start going to thrift stores (there are two nice ones within walking distance) to get kitchen supplies and everything. My grandma is giving us some furniture and my dad will be giving us some duplicate kitchen stuff he has.
I'm going to go to the movies in a little bit. It's been months since I've been and I need a break from studying. So a friend and I are going to see "Star Trek".
I've been considering getting a Kindle2. The videos of it on Amazon make it seem really cool. I always carry a book with me and it would be nice to have access to several books in one device. It is expensive- $360. I'm thinking this will be my reward to myself for when I meet my goals. There's a very good chance I will change my mind later- I'm very fickle when it comes to shopping.
Anyway, that's about it for now. I hope everyone has a good weekend while I'm slaving away at my desk...
I finished buying all of the textbooks I need today.
I bought 4 online (half.com) for $30.40. I ended up saving a couple dollars per book after shipping was included. I did purchase two other books new at the bookstore because I couldn't find it cheaper anywhere else. I spend $11.25 on the books. The final book is the most expensive one. Available used at the school for $65, I got it free from a friend of mine who is currently taking the class. If she doesn't remember to give it to me, I can purchase it used of half.com for $40. Either way I save money.
So I spent a total of $41.65 on my textbooks. Had I purchased them through the book store I would have spent $114.25!
Thank you, internet! What would I do without you?
I got my paycheck today and it was $352.43. I'm really surprised at how high it is. Right after I got my paycheck I went to the bank.
I put $176.23 in savings, $105.72 in IRA, and $70.48 I kept as spending money.
This brings my new totals to:
Yay! I am less than $900 away from completing my savings goal! I'm very happy about this.
Currently what I am doing with my paycheck is putting 50% in savings, 30% into IRA, and 20% as spending money. Once I complete my savings goal I plan on putting 40% into savings, 40% into IRA, and 20% as spending money. I'll keep doing this until I move out and real bills start coming in.
I'm going to save my spending money for a larger purchase. I'm not sure what yet (Coach bag? Nice piece of jewelry?), but I want to buy a special item for when I complete my goal(s).
On second thought, not so patiently.
Tomorrow is payday and I'm almost tempted to count the hours until I can go pick it up. Sad, huh? But it has been a month since my last paycheck and I'm itching to boost my savings!
I went grocery shopping today. I was hungry (bad idea!) and gave in to buying hot pockets. But I got some ground beef, chicken, bread, milk, and lunch meat and cheese as planned. We have enough fruits and veggies (frozen and non) so I think I did pretty good. I forgot to put up the menu for this week last night, but I finally did it today! The menu is loose and I might change some of the meals around.
I got the book list for my summer classes. For my CH class I think I have some of the books already so I have to double check that. There is only one textbook for that class and the other books (4) are reading books (ok, all books are "reading books" but I'm sure you get I mean). I'm thinking no more than $100 for all the books I need this summer (thank goodness!). I'll begin shopping for the books after dinner tonight.
I received a check from OpinionOutpost today. I don't think I'll be continuing with this survey site. I get so little surveys and most of the time I don't even qualify for the ones they give me. I'll stick with mysurvey and if I feel the need to join another survey site, I will.
Tomorrow I'm going to look at a couple more apartments by myself. Boyfriend is busy with school projects. If I like the apartments, we'll visit them again together. If not, we'll look at other places.
So my boyfriend and I looked at another apartment today.
It is a beautiful apartment also with a wood burning fireplace. This one looks at a lot better than the one we saw the other day. Better location too.
But it comes at a price. Rent is $675/month, no utilities paid. Not even sewage and trash. And we also have to have renter's insurance ($13/month is the cheapest).
I love that apartment but all utilities and rent would be about $900/month. Waaaaay out of our price range, considering we also have to pay for food and gas. Very unfortunate as I loved that place.
It is hard trying to figure out what we can afford, and what we can't. And it is very disappointing to learn we can't afford a certain place.
I'm going to list a budget for when we move out and I would like some input on it.
Monthly income: $500/month
Other income: $500/month from dad
Rent: $600 (highest we can go)
We'd be losing almost $200/month...
Our monthly income will probably be higher than $500/month. But our income does vary month by month and $500 would be a good average to use. I was hoping I wasn't going to have to rely on my dad but it looks like we might have to.
1. Find a cheaper apartment. We have found a nice studio for $550/month (mentioned in a previous post). Hopefully we can find more apartments in that price range. If need be we could rent a 2 bedroom with a roommate, but that will be a last resort.
2. Internet/Phone/Cable: We need internet for school but don't need a phone or cable. We'd be just find without cable and a landline (we have cell phones on our parents' plan). I haven't done a lot of shopping around for the price of internet service so hopefully this will be lower.
3. Food: I'm including cat food/litter and toiletries and household supplies in this category. I don't want to eat cheap, junk food just because it is cheap. But I'm pretty sure I can find a way to get all of this for less than $200/month. Just have to be creative.
4. Gas: If we stay near school we can walk or ride our bike to school. Unfortunately we both have to drive to work.
5. Gas/Electric: Do the obvious: energy efficient light bulbs, keep things off... We're not going to have a lot of appliances though. Laptops, microwave, TV, toaster, and a fridge. Everything but the fridge will be unplugged when not in use.
This summer we're really going to have to buff up our savings. But that will be difficult because we have summer tuition, I have car insurance and registration next month, textbooks...
Welcome to the real world, right?
I'm very glad we both have good savings. Boyfriend has more than I do (won't say how much because it is not my savings to share). If we have to dip into savings to make ends met, then we have to. Each summer we'll jut build up the savings again. And we're only two years from graduating.
I know I shouldn't be laughing at my friend's plight, but I couldn't help it when she told me this story.
I don't drink alcohol. Never liked the taste and I don't see the point in getting drunk every weekend. I do have friends that drink though. One friend got drunk last night with some other friends at her place. After they passed out, she went online and started surfing the net.
And then she stumbled upon eBay. She bought a Tiffany necklace (don't know for how much), still completely drunk. She then went to bed. Woke up this morning and checked her e-mail to find an e-mail from the seller she bought it from.
She asked me what she should do. After I was able to stop laughing (I found it funny!), I told her to e-mail the seller back, explain what happened, and ask the seller if anything can be done to undo the purchase (I've never had to do that before so I don't know how to do it or even if it can be undone).
So the lesson of the day: stay away from your credit card when drunk.
And while we are on the subject of eBay... I found another book I wanted to list on half.com but I had to do a catalog request again! I'm giving this book a month. If it hasn't been listed by then I'll sell it somewhere else.
I looove natural fireplaces! And today, while my boyfriend and I were looking at a couple apartments, I found one.
It is an apartment complex less than a 5 minute walk from where I currently am. It is a nice, spacious apartment. The closet is huge (not a walk in, but I can deal!). The kitchen is a little small but the living is huge and has gorgeous windows overlooking the park. And best of all, it has a wood burning fireplace!!
The only downside is the price. It is $650/month, hot water included. Washer/dryer is not in the actual apartment, but on site. That's not a problem as I can use my dad's washer/dryer. We can afford $650/month, but that is pushing it.
They do have studios that are $550/month. We will have to go back and look at the studios as we didn't have the chance today. I'm pretty sure the studios also have a fireplace, but I'm not sure. The fireplace is definitely my favorite part!
But we won't be moving in until August so we have plenty of time to look at other places (which we intend to).
I have work tonight, though it will only be for a couple hours. Pay day is Tuesday and I can't wait for it to arrive! Boyfriend's work has also been giving him more hours. We're very happy about this as the past month he hasn't been able to save much.
Not much else is going on. Finals start in 6 days.
Oh, by the way, you can now get "The Suze Orman" show on iTunes for free. You can get the shows from March 28th on.