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Archive for February, 2008

Final Tax numbers are in...

February 23rd, 2008 at 01:37 am

.... and we are getting $5,626.00 back from federal (woohoo!) and $974 back from the state. Yay! So the state refund will go towards our EF, then that's taken care of. $500 for the money I owe my mom. That leaves $5126 for credit cards. I can't exactly decide what to do. The stupid WuMu card is very high interest, but I think it's just about the same amount as some of the others, but being it's miniscule balances on the other cards, I don't notice it as much when I see the statement (like Home Depot, Target, etc.. those store credit cards I'm talking about) So now I can't decide if I should take $3000 and put it on the WaMu card and use the rest of it to pay off the store credit cards... which seems like a good idea, being that it's such a hassle to keep paying the minimum $15 or whatever payment every month... it would just be that much less to worry about, all the little ones. So what would YOU do? Even $3000 would put a dent in the WaMu card, but I can't decide...

I'm happy. I'm happy my mom will be paid back. I'm happy that I worked my butt off in February and I'm going to have good paychecks. I'm happy that this one cd and one record that I put on eBay are selling right now (few days left on the auction) and the cd is selling right now for $25.00 and the record is at $40.00. Woohoo!

I'm going to have to be verrrrrrrryy careful though. I don't want to lose my focus of paying off stuff just because things have gotten a tad easier. I'm sure it won't be a problem though. YAY!

Taxes almost done, and OMG!!

February 19th, 2008 at 01:21 am First off, let me say that I thought we would be breaking even on taxes this year. I always wound up owing or breaking even, and this was the first year filing with the house and the rent we get from the house as well as I got an extra 10$ a week federal taken out (thinking it would offset the rent $$$ we are getting) and getting taxes taken out for single even though we claim married. As I don't want the gov't getting an interest-free loan compliments of yours truly, I will be adjusting it.

I got our taxes done today.... sorta. I wasn't aware that half the water bill and half the user fee was deductible, and there was some other paper for closing costs on the house that I didn't have, so I have to get all that together, get the closing thing from my attorney and go back Friday for the final numbers.

BUT as it stands NOW, our federal return is $4,900 and the state is $650. OMG!!!!! OMG! I wonder if the tax guy realized I was about the break down into tears.

What does this mean? $500 to my mom who I owe that to to get that out of the way. She hasn't asked for it, but who doesn't feel awful owing their mom money? Then to fully find the baby EF. And then whatever else we get will go towards the blasted CC bills and will make a dent. Not a HUGE dent, but a dent nonetheless. No, it will be a pretty good dent. YAY! WOOHOO! So I figure I'll line up all the bills, highest interest rate first. I believe the highest is the WaMu card which we owe about $9,000 on and the interest rate is insane, so that should pretty much cut it in half, which means the $282 monthly payment should be much less I'm going to have to look at everything. There might be a tiny card here and there I pay off also (like the JCPenney's card that I owe like $139 on)

I can't remember where I saw it, but the word was "intaxication" which is the feeling of elation when you find that you're getting a refund, then the letdown when you realized the government was getting an interest-free loan the whole year. hahaha.

: ) Good thing I'm being all responsible now. Old me would have taken that money and ran away to Disney World for a week.

In other news, our beloved foster dog we've had since December is now up for adoption. I'm SO sad to see her go and if we were in a better financial situation she'd be staying here.... we nursed her back to health and she's just great, but we can't afford to keep her, obviously. She'll be gone this week to her forever home and then we'll get a new foster dog soon...

Paying bills, finding pennies, just scraping by...

February 15th, 2008 at 03:09 am

Wow. I just sat down and was TERRIFIED to pay the bills this week. I CAN'T BELIEVE I had enough!! Yessssss! *just* enough, but enough nonetheless.

We were walking the dogs earlier (a short quick walk as it is freezing) and I was just toodling along and saw a bunch of pennies on the ground. Dibs! I hunched down to pick them up and DH looked around as if he'd never seen me before. I had to ask "What, you're too good to pick up pennies off the ground with people watching?! NOT me!" Those are MY pennies, and I took every one I saw. It was only like 15 cents, but I'm a whole 15 cents richer. It's the principal (or is it principle? I can never remember...) of the thing. There was money, I picked it up. Yes, I realize it does sound desperate, but.... *shrug* desperate times call for desperate measures.

Didn't get the part-time job. I'll keep looking. Everyone wonders why a "professional" is looking for work....uhm, I need money! Especially since DH still can't work and we have no diagnosis. His new PCP is awesome and has set him up for EIGHT doctor's appointments/specialists in the next month. What does that mean? Unexpected co-pays at 20$ a pop. It will be that much closer to getting him healthy though AND getting back to work. Good thing I picked up those pennies!!

I found a credit card I thought was shredded. I was going to just shred it and forget about it (there's a $300 limit on it, and obviously I have a bad, bad history with CC's) but then the little voice went off in my head .... "if you have that, you can not only get rid of some of the crap in the house, you can also make some$$$ by selling it on eBay!" So in this case it's a good thing that I found it, and I know for a fact it won't get used for one thing other than paying ebay fees. I put two things up so far and tomorrow will be putting up a bunch more. Now every time I look somewhere, I think "hmm, how much could I get for this?"

Although I'm happy to have paid the bills that had to get paid, I'm thinking how much it stinks that there is literally no money to go food shopping : ( Maybe if I'm lucky I'll have enough to buy milk, at least. Thank god we don't have kids and I only have to worry about us! (well, we do have dogs, but of course they have tons of food.... hmm, it's looking pretty good right about now.)

Well, that's all. I'm going to get a TON of work done tomorrow and a TON over the weekend. Awesome.

Just a weekend wrap up

February 11th, 2008 at 12:34 am

Ahh... Sunday. I started waiting until Sunday evening to sit down and pay bills (as long as there's none that have to be dealt with right away) because if I do it Friday when I get home from work, I'm in a rotten horrible mood all weekend long. So that's done. Through some divine power, all the bills that needed to get paid got paid. yesssssss.

My friend who is currently giving me payments towards the Mac desktop computer that I'm selling her has also decided to buy my old camera for $300. Woohoo!! She owes me $300 for the computer still, so that's $600 coming to me : ) Good, good. Nice to have money coming TO me for a change : ) I have so much crap I want to get rid of and sell on eBay, but with no credit card I can't do it. Oh well....

Went to Aldi's today for food shopping. I've done a lot of shopping at Aldi's since we moved here, or Save A Lot. I've noticed in the past few months more of the "well to do" looking type of people shopping there than there was in the past. Probably the price of gas, winter gas bills, etc. One lady obviously was new to the whole Aldi's bargain food shopping experience... "what do you mean I have to bag my own groceries?!?!" She looked appaled. Yeah, see that box of cereal that's like $1.50? That's why you have to bag your own groceries...

I applied for a part-time job at 2 places. One was a diner doing grunt work in the kitchen, and they said no, that I was too overqualified. *sigh* The other place was a store of the more....uhm.... adult persuasion. heh heh. I happen to drive by and see the sign and thought hey, why not? It's money. The clerk working there was just flipping through a book, so I thought oooh, I could do proofreading in between customers. So we'll see if that pans out. And if not, I'll just keep looking...

I also got a TON of work done this weekend. A ton, really. Normally by Tuesday when I would leave work I would have gotten this much done, and since I work 100% on commission, it's extra $$$. Yay : )


February 8th, 2008 at 06:32 pm

The new hot water tank drained the EF, which made me nervous having nothing and facing a month of crap bills. By my husband sold his laptop to a friend and got $500 for it. Yay! it's going to the EF, but we will have to take $$$ out of there to get our taxes done and if we're short on cc payments (thanks, citi) then we'll have to use some for that.

So I'm noticing a pattern every month. Start of the month, I think we'll be okay. Then there's a giant setback and unexpected expense, like a hot water tank, something breaking, etc. Then I freak out about it and lose sleep, and then magically everything works out, and at the end of the month I think to myself.... "phew, we made it through another month!"

Although I'm glad things work out magically (and by magically, I mean doing whatever I can to get the money and cutting corners wherever possible) and we seem to break even, I want to get ahead, not just break even! Gah!! Ahh well, I guess not using the credit cards at all is getting us ahead a teeny bit.

And Bank of America... you should be ashamed of yourself.

When it rains....

February 4th, 2008 at 04:12 am

Friday, got home from work. Downstairs neighbor came upstairs, knocked on our door, told me that the hot water tank leaked all over the place and he shut it off. He's Mr. Fix-It and works on stuff like that in houses for a living, then he said the dreaded words: "I took a look at it, and there's no saving it. You're going to have to get a new one."

Of course I wanted to burst into tears (but didn't, of course.) It's something that we NEED, so goodbye (ONCE AGAIN) emergency fund. A lot of the stuff around the hot water tank was old (flue pipes, or whatever) and he said we'd have to replace those. I'll admit, Saturday I was wondering to myself "I wonder how long we could go without hot water...." Well, being that that means no warm showers, no hot water to do dishes (probably the only 2 things we use hot water for as I do laundry always in cold water) I knew there was no way we could go without one.

So emergency fund is not totally gone, but mostly gone.... which makes me very VERY nervous, being that we have the Citi bill that's a million extra dollars due this month. I wasn't planning on touching a dime of the emergency fund to pay it, but if I *HAD* to use a little bit of it, I would have in order to make a CC payment on time. So needless to say, I've freaking out at how to pay the bills this month, much less other necessities like gas for the car and food.....

I swear, every month something BIG goes wrong!! Arghhhhhhhhhhhhh!