Friday, November 19, 2010

Sit back and relax...

...this will be a long post. Grab a drink, maybe some chips and guac (my new favorite "meal") and let your mind drift into the fascinations of the last week of my life...ok maybe I exaggerated but it's been a crazy week.

Ok let's start from the beginning. One little thing I hadn't mentioned was the old "MG"-now ex but still friends, we'll now call him XMG- came to town to visit for the weekend. It was nice to see him but he will remain an ex for all who are dying to know if anything happened.

We went to the Renaisance Festival Saturday with the crew. It was a good time indeed. I even got interviewed by workers doing promotion for the festival. I was convinced it was those "let's capture dumb people saying dumb things on camera" type deals so I tried to sound smart but eventually when asked "What would you tell teenage boys sitting on the couch to get them to come out to the festival?", I said "Well I keep seeing women in corsets with their boobs up to their chins so if that doesn't do it, I don't know what will."...yup. That will come back to haunt me I'm sure. Nonetheless, I ate a delicious turkey leg, had a few good laughs and enjoyed wearing a TANK TOP IN NOVEMBER!! I got a picture text from my mom that morning that there was serious snow in Minnesota so I responded with a picture text of me in a tank top and skirt. Lovely.

XMG took me out to a very nice dinner Saturday night. Completely undeserved but it was delicious! Afterward we met up with some friends to celebrate the Gamecocks win and had a great time. Sunday I treated XMG to Dunkin Donuts and he treated to lunch while we watched the Vikings game before he left for the airport.

Since then, this week has been insane. Working both jobs and babysitting and getting assigned my first article at The Herald and yadah yada yada. By yesterday I was exhausted and my body sure let me know. I woke up with a migraine and was on the couch all day. No fun. I finally got up to babysit and I got severely spoiled. The baby went to sleep right away and she overpaid me big time! I'm babysitting again tonight and although it's a Friday, I'm happy and thankful for the money.  Afterward I'm headed to Raleigh to visit KP! Always a fun time with her so I can't wait for a little get away! There's been talk of parades and museums and boat shows and a winery so we can't go wrong.

Financially I'm staying afloat still. I got my Chase loan bill today and paid it off. I got my security deposit from my last house so it has put my loan fund well over the necessary amount for my Jan. loans. I paid off my utility bill and even had $145 left over for a credit card payment. Yay! I even have $80 from my allowance in check for this weekend and plenty of food money to get me through Wednesday. Not too shabby. It sucks to work as much as I do but the feeling of being able to pay my bills and spend it responsibly is good.

I was in a panic earlier this week because Sallie Mae sent me a cute little letter telling me there was a change to one of my student loans. The notification tried to tell me there was a repayment fee of $432. Excuse me? Why would you charge me a fee to be able to start paying you back?! Are you total morons? Not having an extra $432 lying around because all my extra money is ALREADY GOING TO SALLIE MAE, I called them to at least figure out when I needed to scrounge up this money by and just to make sure this wasn't all a big joke. Well, after a surprisingly easy and comprehensive conversation with one of their representatives, apparently it was just an error. Their "repayment fee notification" was merely a letter telling that was my original monthly payment amount but now it's not. The $337 that I had been paying is the correct payment and there are no further fees or payments required. THANK GOD! How easy was that? Too good to be true? Maybe. I'm still not convinced because they always have schemes up their sleeves to give me a heart attack but I'll try to accept that this time I actually got a break. But why would they make me panic like that? I think the stress of working three jobs is panic enough...

Friday, November 12, 2010

Between 32 and 12...

I recently read a blog post from this great new blogger I stumbled upon. She makes a comment about being as far from age 32 as she is from age 12 and since I'm coincidentally in the same boat, it was a huge smack of reality for me. Lately I have been beyond overwhelmed with the stresses of being a "grown up" and trying to have finances, among other things, all in order most of the time. I have a hard time admitting that it's ok to not have it all figured out but Stephanie's point made me realize that I've learned A LOT between now and when I was 12 and I have just as much time to experience life and learn until I even reach 32.

I know I have a lot to learn but I don't have to have it all figured out right now. Whew! I know it won't stop me from trying but it might take a little bit of the stress off for a little bit. Maybe I won't feel like a hot mess all the time anymore.

As far as an update on money, it's still there. Once again I haven't done a great job at preparing my meals/bringing my food/eating at home or even updating my budget but it is what it is after another stressful week. This weekend's plans include the Renaissance Festival among other things but I'm hoping more to observe than spend money and participate. I have to take advantage of 70 degree weather in November so it will be enjoyable regardless! I'll give a more detailed update next week but I'm too exhausted right now.

Happy Weekend Everyone!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Clearly I know nothing about interest

A few posts back, I was slightly dreading the interest that will show up on my credit card bill this month. I'm still new to this whole "not paying my bill in full" and I hope to not stay in this boat for long and then never return...a lot like dating...
In any event, I looked at the interest rate my credit card bill had, I looked at what my unpaid balance would be and I thought I did the math correctly so $120 would be charged to me for not paying my bill entirely. It seemed high but I figured that's how the damned companies make their money and I had come to terms with that (although part of me panicked because I quickly saw myself drowning in interest like those scary commercials). Anyway, I got my statement and I was charged $13.44 in interest. How was I so far off? I mean, I'm not complaining in the least because although I am pretty ashamed to have interest build up, I expected it to be much worse.

I just made a payment, which was double the minimum amount due so at least my credit won't be hurting. Now it's just a matter of saving money for loan payments and putting the rest towards this card. Ugh.

Luckily, I picked up a few more babysitting jobs, which never hurts. So I'll work late at the Herald Mon and Wed and babysit Tues and Thurs. Then next week I work the Herald M-W and babysit Thurs & Fri. Busy busy but it's definitely a good thing. I am excited to have that income coming and it's all stuff I enjoy doing. I have been at the Herald for over two weeks now, meaning I get my first paycheck sometime soon. That's always helpful of course so I'm squeaking by as best I can...as long as you don't consider how pitiful my kitchen cabinets look right now...

I'm joining a book club and I have to go get the book tonight since we meet Monday. I've been meaning to go pretty much since July but I haven't dedicated enough time to get the reading done in time and/or something comes up the night of the meeting that I can't go (i.e. babysitting job). I've researched a little bit about the book and I'm looking forward to reading it and meeting new people. I'm also going to a church small group on Sunday evening so hopefully that leads to some fun opportunities.

Back to work for me! Gotta love lunch break blogging.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Day I've Been Dreading

My first Sallie Mae student loan bill has arrived. It's different than I expected because it billed me for all three loans at once. Is it possible to make payments to one specific loan if/when I have extra money? I couldn't see how that would be possible, which really sucks because one loan's interest rate is MUCH higher than the rest and I want to knock it out asap. It's also the smallest loan so it would be in coordination with Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover plan. If they're treating all three loans as one, it kind of throws off my plan to work on one at a time. I guess I'll have to see how it goes until I can figure it out. In the mean time, bye bye $337 already :( Ouch. Good thing I was prepared and had some money saved up and set aside. Now it's definitely time to start saving for loan payment number two (it's not due until Jan. 3 but my income is pretty tight so the more prepared I am the better).

The worst part about the loan bill (and trust me, $337 is a pretty close second!) is that there is a picture of an "inspirational" guy posing as if he's hopeful about his future...and he looks a lot like Justin Bieber. Umm...I really don't want to look at a Justin look-a-like when I'm forking over big amounts of money. Terrible idea Sallie Mae!

I can't wait until the Chase bill arrives in a week or two from now...there better be no teenage pop-star references or I'll be peeved.

Have a great weekend y'all! GO COCKS!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Major recap

Yup, it's been over a week. Sorry. I've done this whole two-jobs thing before but for whatever reason I'm exhausted these days. I got to a point last week where I was physically, mentally and emotionally drained to the max and have spent far too much time laying around since then. It's been kind of nice letting myself do that for once and I probably would have lost my mind if I didn't. Anyway, here's a recap of my last week:

I didn't do a great job of preparing meals last week. I didn't spend outrageously but there are a few meals I could have brought instead of bought. I blame the whole exhaustion thing I just mentioned. Oh well, I've been much better this week, although I did make a Starbucks run for a VENTI this morning after working until past midnight last night and I'm at my other job already. I deserve it. Anyway, I made a delicious chicken meal the other night and I got a few good groceries to help with bringing meals, I just have to make the extra effort to bring these meals to both jobs, which isn't always easy when I'm distracted with both jobs. For example, I worked until midnight last night and I forgot my food in the fridge at the newspaper so now I couldn't bring it for lunch today. Bummer. But at least I have dinner tonight. Can you tell where my brain is at? I'm just rambling, sorry.

Anyway, Friday I went shopping with a girlfriend and man was I good. I must be in a shopping funk because I didn't find anything at any of the five stores we went to. I was trying to find an outfit for the Gamecocks game and I did find a dress at Kohls but I'll be returning it this week since I didn't even wear it. I would rather exchange it for a Gamecock's sweatshirt and/or t-shirt so that's what I plan to do after work tonight. I did go tailgate for the game but rather than find a random ticket for way too much money, I went to a bar and watched it for free with some friends. Much smarter idea. Saturday was also the night most people went out to celebrate Halloween. I did go out but after a long day of football, I didn't drink-I would have fallen asleep in an instant. So I had diet coke instead and the bartender gave me all my drinks for free :) It pays to be responsible! It probably would have been best if I stayed home to sleep since I did spend too much money on cabs and admissions but oh well, I experienced my first "line dancing club", so it was worth it.

Sunday I was lazy all day (minus some cleaning). I did order a pizza for the football game because I needed to mend a broken heart (very very long story that deserves no more time and would bore everyone to tears but it hurt), little did I know watching the football game would make it worse. The Vikings officially suck and we're on a break until further notice. But after the game I went to a friend's house for board games and passing out candy to Trick-or-Treaters-talk about fun! By the time I went to bed my heart didn't hurt anymore so that shows you how much it mattered.

Moving on, Monday I cooked myself a delicious dinner. Afterwards I tried to be lazy but for some crazy reason I was craving vegetables big time. I pulled myself up off the couch and went to the grocery store and man did I get some veggies! Everything I bought was healthy (green peppers, asparagus, apples, broccoli, wheaties, salad, ground turkey etc.) and it was only about $35. I can't always buy so many fresh foods but a friend pointed out that apples are really cheap and with peanut butter it's a really filling, healthy snack-and she's right. But I have to ease myself into all these healthy foods because man my stomach wasn't happy after a serving of broccoli. I wish my body reacted that way to junk food instead but I'm working on it. Thanks everyone who gave me advice on inexpensive healthy eating!

Yesterday was election day and after working at my full-time job, I worked past midnight at the newspaper. Oofta. I learned some cool things about politics (I really need to learn more-politics for dummies anyone?), ate some free pizza, finished my book while I waited on results and tried to do a few interviews for the winners. Great experience but man I'm tired. The sun isn't even up yet today and I've been at work for over an hour. Oh well, I'm so thankful to be working and have the opportunity to work so much.

This weekend my old roomie KP is coming to visit again. SO EXCITED! I'm even introducing her to the Gamecocks! I just got us tickets and I know it'll be a fun time. We opted for upper level seats to save money and I'm very happy about that decision. I think we're staying in Columbia that night and going out with friends after the game-hopefully it's not a very expensive weekend but I have set aside some money to prepare.

Yesterday I finally took some time to update my budget. I've never been good with Excel spreadsheets and math but after multiple entires to my budget, all the numbers added up correctly and all accounts are in good shape. I love those moments!

There are some pretty major life changes in the works lately and I can't wait to spill the beans all about 'em. Until then, happy hump day!