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Archive for January, 2008

My Car Loan

January 24th, 2008 at 05:27 pm

I have only 7 payments left on my car loan!! I am so excited about this. I had no idea I was this close to paying it off. June is now my target date to finish paying this. I had to rearrange my debt schedule but it actually works out better.

I have one last payment for my CC in March and that's all done with, so I'll just take the payments I've been making to the CC and just add it to my car loan payments. That and any tax rebates or extra income will go directly to paying this bad boy off.

I can't believe I am right around the corner to paying off my CC and paying off my car! After those I have my college loans to kill off.

Health Insurance

January 24th, 2008 at 05:17 pm

After years of having no coverage I finally can check one thing off my to do list. Starting February 1st, I will be insured with Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC. I got it in case of any emergencies and the monthly premium is $163.84, which isn't too bad. I'm glad I ponied up and did this, I've been having some terrible nightmares of going into more debt because of being in the hospital, even though I'm a very healthy girl.



Feeling Upset and Stupid About My Bank

January 9th, 2008 at 07:17 pm

I have been working very hard with my money situation. I've been keeping a spending plan, growing my savings, and planning a bit for my retirement. I've even started chipping away at my debt-- using the debt snowball method, and saving for a future vacation (in September) and yet I still feel like I'm failing... case in point: I have thrown at least a couple hundred dollars down the drain over the past two years!

Many factors have contributed to this, two big ones-- myself and my bank.

I opened my first bank account when I was 16, I just got my first job and needed a simple checking account so my dad and I opened a "Student Account" with both him and I as account holders. The big point about this account was that it was free. No minimums, no fees, and overdraft protection, being a kid this was important. This was also back in 1998 so I've had the account now for 9 and a half years.

Now fast-forward past my college years full of typical money mishandling and you'll see me, starting to keep a good budget and making sure I have a cushion in my checking for "just in case." This month that cushion is especially important because my paycheck is less than it usually is due to the holidays and me not working. I've kept an eye on myself, promising not to spend a dime of this cushion so I could get through January without any hiccups (this has been hard) So when I checked out my account figures this morning and noticed my cushion was cut by a THIRD! I knew there had to be a problem. I havent used my debit card and no checks have gone through yet so there's no way money could be missing from my total.

When I log in to my checking account I am automatically sent to my statement page that would normally list all my debits and credits. But since today is a new month for my account there was nothing listed there- no transactions have gone through. So some kind of transaction must have gone through since the last time I checked my account at 9pm Tuesday and this morning. So I click through my menus to get the screen I saw yesterday and there and behold at the very bottom of my screen is a little $14 service charge. Fourteen Dollars.

I cannot believe they would charge me $14 to have a checking account with them. Wasn't this suppose to be free? What happened? I couldnt even find out online if I've been charged this every month.

So I called my bank and talked to a nice lady and it turns out that when an account holder turns 23 it is automatically changed into a "Regular Checking" account. I'm now 25.

I never noticed. Never. And it's all my fault, mainly because I've never been so diligent when it comes to checking my account before. Plus, they hid it between statements. If I had been using my debit card like normal there's so many ways I could chalk up that $14 to-- maybe it was a couple of bar tips, or tax on something I didn't calculate...?

But here's the kicker: It's not $14 every month. The actual service charge is $8, just for having an account. And then the lady on the phone informed me that every time I use my debit card they charge me $0.30 cents! and if I use my debit card and my pin number it's another $0.30 cents. I had to ask her to repeat that twice. I thought I was going to cry.

Do you know how many times I use my debit card? Who knows how much money they've made off of my ignorance? Shouldn't I have known about this account change and these fee charges?

BTW, Every time I wrote a check it was 0.40 cents!

Anyways, I wouldn't have known ALL of this if I didn't call the bank and ask what the charges were, if it was a mistake and to see if they could reimburse me.

The lady asked me if I would like a "Free Checking" account. I said "well, yes, I believe I would!"

Now I have to find out if it will hurt my credit to close an account I've had for 9 years! TWO of which has screwed me out of at least a couple hundred dollars!

BTW I gave blood today.

January's Spending

January 5th, 2008 at 12:38 pm

I know it's the fifth but it's never too late to draw up a budget for the month, right?


Apt rent = $462.50
Phone bill = $20
Electric = $49.45
Cable/Internet = $41.33
Holiday Trip = $50
-------------------------
623.28
- 45 for what BF owed me
-------
578.28 --PAID 5 Jan 08

College Loans = $235 --Due 7 Jan 08
Car = $261 --Due 19 Jan 08
AT CC = $20 --Due 19 Jan 08
--------------------------
$516

It's easier with these bills a little spread out in January, but this coming pay day (11 Jan 08) is going to hurt because of all those days off from the holiday.

Also for line AT CC, I had planned to pay off this credit sooner than later but since this coming pay check is half of what I usually get I'm going to hold off and use what ever is left over in January to pay it off and only pay the minimum + 60% = $20 when it's due. Leaving the total left to pay off $220.

After bills I will have a little over $120 in my account from my Jan 11th pay check, and then after the neek week of bills I'll have roughly $340 left in checking until my next full pay check on the 25th. I think that's a good cushion.

Things I promise myself not to do during January: spending money at the bar or out on food... ok well I will atleast try to do this. I do promise not to go out for lunch. I will have to go food shopping but I wont buy things I dont need.

Once the 25th comes I plan to put $400 in my Roth and $200 in my iGO savings.

My goals are to put $4000 in my IRA before April 15th and have $10,000 in my emeregency fund by the end of 2009. Since savings acct rates are lower than what I want I'm going to put more money towards paying down my high interest loan debt.

I plan to complete my 2007 tax return as early as possible. One reason is because I dont want to be doing it at the last minute AGAIN, and another is because it's my money and it's not generating interest for me. Depending on how large my return is, I want to use more than half of it for my high interest loan, the rest for my Roth.

I hope my cushion holds out.

Spending Log for New Years Trip

January 3rd, 2008 at 12:28 pm

So New Year's was a blast!! I had saved quite a bit in case I went overload with spending and I sorta did...

$65.12 - CVS
$15 - breakfast for Ben and I
$60 - Gifts from Dogfish Head Brewery
$27.07 - Food Lion (dramamine, snacks)
$8 - Starbucks (needed coffee badly)
$35 - Target (food for rest of week)


I have no idea why I spent 65 dollars at CVS in DC, it was 3 in the morning and after a night of drinking I realized I forgot my hair straightener and my contact solution stuff. It's good though because my straightener was 4-5 years old and barely worked right.

Total = $210.19

Left in Checking = $958.60