Category Archives: Finances

I Did Things.

This week, I did things.

I adjusted nicely to the daylight savings time change–even working out at 9:30 pm on Monday night because . . . why not.

I blew off the gym for 74 degree weather and patios. There are not enough words for how well two and half hour on a patio with good friends treats you.

I gave my two weeks notice at my part-time job. A little earlier than planned, but this good weather made it unbearable. That and it wasn’t fair for them to employ a disengaged employee. And I was sick of babysitting high schoolers. And I have trained myself to be better with money so it wasn’t necessary income. But, yup . . . cross one off the 2012 goals list!

I took two days off work to watch basketball.

My dying laptop was placed in hospice after it had a blue screen of death due to overheating. Again, a bit earlier on the timeline than expected, but I upgraded. This post is coming to you from this new device:

So I rearranged some of my financial goals . . . it happens. After hospice-laptop took several hours to restart, started muting itself, started getting hot enough to fry an egg on, and started killing off its components one by one, it was time. The DVDs I burnt to backup and transfer  all my precious data wouldn’t work. My USB drives started dropping one by one. Simple tasks were taking forever.

I should note I was very brave (and stupid) as my trip to the Apple store coincided with a launch day. But I emerged unharmed and in a bit more debt. I’m keeping my SmartyPig money where it is and reallocating that goal towards a new camera (it will be too much a pain to take it out early, and might as well keep saving!). I have had enough money sitting in my savings for a month for my deductible for my car, but I’m pretty sure I’m not going to do the repair, as it is highly likely they will total out my car and DO NOT LIKE. I love my car and can handle a bit of a hail damage that isn’t terribly noticeable until you’re standing right next to the car. The purchase won’t change my month-to-month finances, but will mean a few more months added to my payoff plan. It happens.

(I tend to ramble a bit when it comes to justifying my financial decisions. But I ran the plan by a few people and they found it acceptable. So DEAL WITH IT, SELF.)

I am currently in the awkward, fumbling honeymoon stage with my first Mac. It is like this magical machine where I want to learn all the magic! I am still moving all my data in (tiny bucket by tiny bucket, due to disc burning failure and the only SD card hospice-laptop hasn’t killed being only 1GB) and organizing the shit out of it, but then it’s FUN TIME FUN TIME.

OTHER MACBOOK PRO OWNERS: Any tips and magic tricks for first-time Mac owners?! Anything I might not know this magic machine is capable of?!

Okay, back to doing things . . .

This week I also made an infused bourbon (mint) and participated in a bourbon night with friends where I laughed so hard I sweated through my clothes.

I had a nice, big St. Patrick’s day brunch and then managed (somehow) to last a full nine hour shift at the job I am leaving. And it was torture.

And, of course, I transferred a lot of data. So many things.

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Son of a Mint. is the devil.

A very helpful, eye-opening devil, but the devil nonetheless.

I’ve had an account for a couple of years but have never used it until yesterday. At the time I opened my account, my checking account was not able to sync so it was virtually useless. Upon revisiting yesterday, not only was I able to sync my checking, but also all of my credit cards as well as my investment accounts (well, one of them–the other two still need added) and therefore opening the door to greater transparency and accountability.

And it was scary.

I’ve been tracking my expenses from just my checking for a few months now and trending it by category at the end of the month. This has proved timely and really not that effective as I couldn’t see how much I was spending on a particular category until the end of the month, thus eliminating any chance of proactive changes.

But now, now it is all there. Every thing I use my credit card for exposed. How much interest I am accumulating on my cards exposed. Everything. And now I cannot hide behind ignorance.

It’s that time of year where we are all thinking of what we need to change/focus on for the new year. Like Cassie, I also use goals rather than resolutions. I am working on finalizing my last few goals and then will bare all and post them tomorrow. And I can already tell that the dirt Mint has on me will be the basis for a few of them . . .

I’m sure I’m not alone here. I’m interested in any Mint success stories. Or even failures if there are any. ‘FESS UP.

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Where to begin . . .

There are a lot of things I need to change. Unfortunately, a lot of these things hinge upon other things that hinge upon other things . . . making me question: where do I start? If you’ve read this “blog” at all you’ve probably read at least one “I need to do this” or “I am going to do this” type post before. I get distracted easily. One goal replaces another until that one is also replaced. I ask for accountability and then shoo it away.

So let’s get down to this, in list form:

  1. Make a dent in my credit card debt. It’s gotten bad. Being unemployed (underemployed?) the last six weeks has brought this debt to levels it has never seen before. I am making my payments, but that’s about it.
    1. Baby steps in the meantime: Once my new job starts next week, NO MORE USING CARDS. Until January, I will continue paying minimum payments only so that I can catch-up on missed bills from my unemployment period.
    2. Pay at least $200 month extra on card with highest interest rate until paid off, then shift payments to next card. Should I be able to do this, I will pay off all my cards by mid-2014.
  2. Spend better. This will also tie-in with #3 below. Most of my “disposable” income (used VERY loosely) goes to eating out. I need to put an end to how frequent I do this. I need to look for deals. I need to start a savings account (woops). I will track my expenses again.
  3. Eat better. For now, until I have regular income again, this means not eating out. Once I have regular income, this will mean eating less junk.
  4. Exercise more. Duh. I was told I couldn’t run anymore about a year ago. I need to find a soft place to start running again, but listen to my body if I really can’t. I need to take advantage of my new workplace’s gym. Hell, even just walking more will be a plus.
  5. Bring back creativity. Write more, draw more, photograph more. Don’t be shy about it. Don’t let perfectionism cock block me.
  6. Blog at least once a week. But no crap. Dear God, please no crap. Not having a focus both helps and hinders this. I have some ideas, and those ideas also tie in with #5, so let’s do this.
It’s a long. basic list that probably mirrors just about everyone’s list. But if I can make progress in just one of those arenas, that’s a start.
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This is why you can’t have nice things.

I dropped my camera.  Autofocus is a thing of the past.  1000 point autofocus sensor that does me no good.  Let’s hope it’s “just” the lens, or an easy fix.  Being that the camera is so new, and I opted out of “dropping” insurance, I am taking it in this week for potential surgery.

This isn’t too bad, as I generally manually focus everything, but goooodbye point and shoot (until fixed).

I am sad.

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For the Price of My Education . . .

. . . I could have purchased the following:

1) A 1.5 story, 3 bedroom/2 bath home in Beaverdale!


2) A “choice lot” in Norwalk located on the number 6 tee box of the Echo Valley Country Club Golf Course!


3) A Platinum Crunk Cake!


4) A Yalos Diamond LCD TV.


5) A 1959 Chevrolet Corvette Racecar


Although the crunk cake is very tempting, I would not trade any of these items for the experience and education I gained.  All of those things are just that:  things. Experience trumps possessions  any day.  I do wish I would have worked harder at looking for scholarships and grants, but that is just another lesson I learned along the way.

Student loan debt sucks, but would not having it be worth missing out on singing “I Got You Babe” with Dean Walker two years in a row at Delt Karaoke night?  Or falling down the stairs two years in a row at the Delt Halloween party?  Or participating in the Bobby Knight riots and the March Madness Riots of 2002?  And, of course, would it be worth not having gotten the chance to meet all the people I know call my friends–people I am much closer to than the majority of my high school friends?  Not a chance in hell.

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