Saturday, December 30, 2006

2007 will be my year

A happy and blessed new year to all.

In October I outlined my goals for 2007. I must admit these goals are very lofty. However, I have all confidence that I can work hard, make some sacrifices to fulfill those goals.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Accident / Insurance update

There was a letter in the mail today from the insurance company about the accident. After reading through all the big words and legal jargon they are basically saying that after fixing my car and paying over $5,000 they want their money back. They (my insurance) is going after the other party, her insurance and anybody else they can, to get repaid. I was instructed that I can do the same if I want, however, am not to sign any kind of release that will jeopardize them getting paid. Since, they are including my deductible ($1,000) I have nothing to do but sit back and relax. To this day I have not said a word to the other driver and or her representatives. I have no intentions of starting now. The letter did say it could take up to a year and they may sue the pants off her if they have to.

Don't you just love insurance companies! LOL

Monday, December 25, 2006

Timely Quote

My Chinese fortune cookie recently had this quote: 'Inch by inch life's a cinch. Yard by yard life is hard.

This is so true where personal finance is concerned. I would love nothing than to have all my debt erased in 2007 and have my emergency fund fully funded, all the while being able to purchase my condo. However, I realize that baby steps are best. This is something I have to keep reminding myself.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Weekly Rant

1. Am single with no kids. That means ain't got shit in the fridge but liquor, water, and cheese. Dude, you show up without notice and expect a five course meal. Talk to the stove, she is lonely as hell. Your azz should call next time.

2. Your card is 'declined'. Huh??? Fvck you looking at me like am speaking gibrish. You know your azz got bad azz credit. Stop asking me to try again. What? you think your credit will improve in 2.2 seconds. Hell Noooo.

3. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. There was no acknowledgement for my birthday or anything, but you expect a Christmas gift. Well guess what?? Am Mrs. mother freaking scrooge.

4. Rosie O'Donnell and that fvcked up hair dude Donald need to let it go already. Both of you are idiots.

5. Am not working two jobs leaving home at 8am only to return at 1am, so that you can enjoy the fruits of my labor. Did you not read no. 3. Since you do not understand plain English here goes. I ain't no bank, to be lending you money.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Blogging is good for the soul

My blog is keeping me sane. I am less stressed now about my financial situation because I have an outlet. I can come here and vent about my finances without feeling judged. There is no one in my personal circle that I discuss finances with. I did not learn from my parents, so discussing money with them is a no no. The other members of my family all think am rich. Then there are those who have no concept of their own financial situation so talking to them is like talking to a brick wall.

I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who stops by and makes a comment. Any comment is appreciated. The support makes me know am not in this alone.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Savings change

Now that the mini-efund is at 100% I will reduce the amount of direct deposit. It will now be $100 one week, and $25 the other week. Once I get to $2,000 it will be reduced again, until all debt is paid off.

Year To Date

For the first time I took a really good look at the 'Year To Date' column on my paycheck. I had a light bulb moment. This column is scary as hell. When I look at the different categories I am almost in shock. I have to make my money work better for me in 2007. The only category that was reassuring was the contributions to my retirement fund. It is a definite sense of accomplishment to know that I have over $4,000 saved for retirement.

Anyone else find the 'Year To Date' column interesting? scary?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Blogger Problems

It appears as if I cannot comment on the upgraded 'beta' blogs. If you have one of these blogs and I no longer comment, it is due to technical difficulties.

It's official......

with today's deposit the e-fund stands at $1,017.44.
I am so happy there's not much I have to say, except automation pays off.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Am still here

It has been so busy the past few days, that I can barely put a decent post together.
This thing of working two jobs really kicks ass. However, now that am single and childless, it is the best time to get my hustle on.

Financially, it seems as if things are at a standstill. I am holding my breath until Thursday when the mini-efund becomes 100% funded. Yeahhhhhhh!!!!!! I am less than $100 away.
*See side bar*

The time now is 12:45 I am off to bed before I start writing gibrish.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Updating my blog

My emergency fund number has been updated. I am almost at the $1,000 mark. Can't wait to have a drink when I get there, by the end of next week if my numbers are ok.

I need help it making my update easier to read. Does anyone know how I can make my e-fund into a little chart. Nothing fancy that requires lot of coding. Something simple.

Thanks in advance for all your help.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

BOA Technology is crap part II

None of my transactions have been posted to my account in the past 24 hours. What does that mean? I can't get cash at the ATM because the deposit it sitting there as pending. I was told that they are having system problems no no debits or credits are being posted. They hope to have the issue fixed in the next few hours.

Once I get out of work at 5pm and the problem still persists the account is being closed.

I realize the problem is not limited to my account only, but two issues is one week is a bunch of shit.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Little things that bothered me this week

I am back to my weekly rant. There are a few things I need to get off my chest.

1. WTH does the price of gas keep moving up. HELLLOOOOOO oil company, can you just chill for a minute.

2. WTH my insurance company has not gotten back to me after my accident. Granted my car is fixed I would like to know what the final outcome is. OH well, fvck them, if they raise my rates in April, then I will move on.

3. Why did my netflix dvd arrive cracked. New flash! am tired and would just like to relax and watch my husband on tv, a.k.a Denzel finer-as-he-gets-older Washington. But noooooooo, the damn dvd is no good. So now I have to wait. Sheesshh.

4. Why the cheaper cordless phone is out of stock at Target. A cordless phone for over $50. I guess I did not get the expensive-as-hell cordless phone memo. I will wait.

5. Why do the guys at the car wash think am gonna tip them. Dude I was my car but once every few months, get a clue.

Flexible Savings Account is the next best thing since....

slice bread.

The paper work was submitted just a few days ago, and I received my check today. A nice whopping check for $500.

Here is the plan. I will be depositing $250 into ING, and use the balance on making extra payments on the student loans for this month.

This will bring me closer to my goal for the mini emergency fund which is $1,000. Once I achieve this goal I will reduce the amount I am direct depositing into savings, so that I can focus more on bringing down my credit card debt.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Marketing tactics

Companies employ marketing personnel to draft and execute marketing plans. The basic aim of these marketing plans is to increase consumer interest, and hopefully purchase of the company's products and or services.

One such marketing tactic, plan, idea whatever you want to call it, is to give away products for free. I am guessing (since I am not a marketing 'expert') that the marketers believe that once a person comes to get the 'free product' they will 'buy' an additional product.

Marketers! guess what? If that person is 'tiredofbeingbroke', that tactic WILL NOT work. The past few weeks I have gotten a few coupons from one of my favorite under wear store Ms. Vickie. The coupons all say one free panty 'no purchase' necessary. However, there are other offers on the coupon $10 off some kinda fancy, smancy bra.

I love 'free', and am not about to pass up a 'free' anything as long as I can use it. So, I head into Vickies, coupon in hand, head straight for the table with the 'freebies'. It is to the point where I know off hand which undie qualifies for the free purchase, and where the table with them is located.

Am not interested in the nice displays, or any other offer you might have that is not free. News Flash I am not buying anything. I will get my free undie and stand in line like all the other customers and then keep it moving.

Keep the 'free' coupons coming my marketing friends.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Bank of America technology is crap

Last night the online system would not work. Then I tried the phone system and that would not work either. I was not able to access my account at all. That to me is unacceptable.

I am done dealing with Bank of America...period. Am on the phone now with them to close my accounts.

Looks like I will be staying with BOA 'for now' afterall. They have one more chance to fvck up. See my comments on the comment page.

Flexible Savings Account

I submitted my paper work for the Flexible Savings Account (FSA) to the benefits company. For 2006 $500 was set aside pre-tax for my medical expenses. This is my first time using a FSA, so I hope all goes well.

From the beginning of the year I kept a folder labeled FSA. All receipts and any other paper work related to doctor's visits, prescription and supplies were placed in this folder. Last week I finally ran the numbers and realized I was past $500 so I decided to go ahead and submit everything.

Next year I will set aside $300. The reason for the decrease is that I got my reading glasses and sunglasses this year so they should be good for at least two years.

As soon as I get the check I will let everyone know.

Does anyone have any experience with FSA good or bad?

Thursday, November 23, 2006


The last five payments sent to Ms. Sallie a.k.a that evil b**ch are listed below:

11/2 = $40
11/9 = $30
11/16 = $40
11/17 = $30
11/22 = $40

The principal is going downnnnnnnnn, going downnnnnnn.

The E-fund is now at $665.08. It feels great am almost a thousandaire.

* rapping* I got money in the bank, shorty something, something, something. *rapping*

OK, so my rapping skills are not that good. But my saving skills are the bomb. I got money in the bank.

It does feel real good to have almost $1,000 in the bank. This is the mini e-fund that will eventually become a giant of an e-fund.

Monday, November 20, 2006

The Debt Generation

Here is a link to a series Young & In Debt, in USA Today.

Unfortunately, I am a member of this group.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Posting will be sporadic until I can catch up on my sleep. Between the regular job and the part-time gig am pooped. Just got in at almost midnight after leaving the house before 8am.

Am off to bed since I have to be out at 7am again tomorrow.

Be back in a few days to update on my financial world.

P.S I have to work Monday night so am going to miss Heroes. Arrrgghhhh.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Hi my name is tiredofbeingbroke and am addicted to 'Heroes' on NBC.

Wow there you have it, I've admitted my addiction. Now if only NBC can cure me by showing new episodes all year round.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

It's a quiet Sunday....

and I have no idea what to do with myself. I will be staying inside all day getting some sleep, food, sleep, and more sleep.

Yesterday I returned the car vacuum to Target and got my money back. As much as I do not like doing returns it made no sense to keep what I was not going to use.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

My E-fund....

is officially over $500 (see side bar).

Friday, November 10, 2006

Random Mess

1. I had to go and loose my cell phone. So what? Have to spend $69 on a damn phone. WTH Does not even come with some Popeyes chicken or nothing. Am still gonna search all over for the old phone so I can return this expensive ass mess.

2. My hours at the part-time gig are a bit erratic. After tomorrow am not working again till Wednesday about an unpredictable paycheck.

3. Why am I so hard headed?? When will I learn that family and finances don't mix. Especially my family, who are under the misconception that because I am the one with the college education I got money. B**ches those two degrees cost money.

4. Why was the gas price drop fast before the election, now it is stuck in park? Conspiracy theory anyone?

5. Why the fvck do people give me the screw face when I say am too young to have children. News flash!! Am 26 and still don't know what I wanna be when I grow up.

6. WTH does the cigarette lighter thimagig in my car does not seem to be working? Oh well! since I do not smoke it has to stay that way. I just need to return the car vacuum I bought and get one that is battery operated.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Vote Vote Vote

Make sure to exercise your right to vote today. I just voted about half hour ago.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

There is a total of $465 in my ING account. I moved $400 of that into a 6-month CD that matures in May 07. This will cover part of the insurance payment on my car that comes due around that time.

the regular e-fund is now back to $65 with $50 being deposited this Wednesday and $100 next Thursday etc...etc...etc...

I decided to move into a CD because:

1. The interest is higher on ING CD's than the regular savings account.

2. I will not be tempted to transfer it into checking.

3. Part of it is psychological. I am so happy to get my savings going again, that a CD is a real accomplishment.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Sallie Mae payment update

Here are the last 5 payments to Sallie Mae:
09/28/06 - $50
10/06/06 - $25
10/12/06 - $30
10/20/06 - $40
10/26/06 - $30

My weekly payment is working out to be 4 payments per month. Starting this month I will make one additional payment at the end of the month. They will both be on the same day, with the second payment 'apply to principal only'. So far the weekly payment routine is getting better and saving me hundreds if not thousands in interest.

The current interest rate on this loan is 10.25%.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

I am back to the real world of bills and work and all that. It was a wise decision to fill my tank before heading to MA. The further north you go the more expensive gas becomes, in most places. I filled my tank in NJ after work at $1.98 per gallon. The price where I live in NY is still $2.30+ per gallon. On my way back to NY today I had a half tank and contemplated whether or not I should fill up. The price was $2.35 per gallon. Oh hellzzz no. My car is very good on gas. I got back to NY, went to NJ to run an errand where I got my car filled at $198 per gallon.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Am off for the weekend

I will be visiting family this weekend a few hours away.

A wonderful weekend to all.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Thank you to 3 Things About Money...

For the idea to pay Ms. Sallie on a weekly basis with small payments versus the one big payment each month. The interest is no longer accumulating, and for each payment a larger bulk goes to principal. I am now seeing the principal balance go down versus up.

Once again, thank you 3 things about money.

Monday, October 23, 2006


The E-fund is back up and running. It currently stands at $300. It is funded $100 every two weeks from the main gig, and $50 from the part-time gig. I decided against using the HSBC mainly because the direct deposit is easy to set up with ING. Automatic, automatic, automatic.

Now I do not have to think about it.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Random sh*t

With the week I have had, let me just get some ish off my chest.

I know the job does not require a degree, but I have one so stop talking to me like am stupid. Do not insult my intelligence. Can't wait to get a real job that has growth potential where I can actually learn something.

Why is it so hard for people in New Jersey to drive in the rain. B*tch slow down, cuz trust me anybody hit my car again, they gonna get it.

No I do not speak damn spanish, ENGLISH ONLY. Speak english damnit, stop signaling with your hands. No comprendo.

How the hell do you complain about not having money, but yet you buy lunch everyday. Dumb broad.

Gas is now $2.09 per gallon. Yippeeee. I need my dollars sto stretch, so prices keep going down.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Bad timing

My 5 year old dell laptop has a few things wrong with it:

The speakers do not work so I have to use headphones.

The touch pad mouse does not work. I am using a gateway regular mouse a friend gave me.

With all the problems it still did the job.

However, last night the keyboard suddenly stopped working. Am here typing by using the on screen keyboard, arghhhhhh!!!!!

This is slow and annoying. However, I do not have any money for a new laptop at least till Christmas.

Does anyone have any recommendations for cheap reliable laptop? I am starting to save for a new one.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Sallie Mae and the saga continues

This time around am happy to say she has been acting right. I keep my eye on her like a hawk. The payments have set up to go out weekly, so I check in online to make sure she is doing what I asked. So far so good. (knock on wood)
I have to keep check her cuz this b***ch is liable to start acting bipolar and do crazy shit with my money.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Career decisions...what do I wanna be when I grow up

In February I received a Master of Public Administration (MPA). The job ( you know the thing you do just for a paycheck) I have now is completely unrelated and as a matter of fact does not require a degree if you ask me. Here is the dilemna, I have only been there for a year. I am leary to move because I do not want my resume to look to hoppy / crazy.

The problem is that I have started looking and can't find anything in my field. Also, am not 100% sure of what I really want to do.
I have a few friends who have moved to the Virginia/DC area where positions are more readily available than here in NY.

I need advice from anyone who have been in there career a few years.

Should I start looking now? Would leaving this job after a year have an adverse impact on my career prospects?

Time to buckle down and...

Save as much money as I can and pay off debt. After the week I have had at work it began to make me think what would happen if I was unemployed from the main gig right now? So what would I do? Ha I would cry first....and then figure some things out later.

In the mean time here is the plan for now, in the event I loose the main gig in the next few weeks.

I would increase the amount of hours at the part-time gig. However, this would put me back to the days before I finished undgrad. It would keep a roof over my head and food on the table.

Sunday, October 08, 2006


My 403B is performing decently. I now have a little over $3,000 in less than a year. In 2007 I will try and increase the amount am contributing, after I pay off my debt.

goals for 2007

I renewed the lease on my apartment for one more year. This will give me a year to get things together financially. I now have new goals to be accomplished by the end of 2007:

1. Be debt free of all credit cards.

2. Pay off sallie mae student loan.

3. Establish an emergency fund of $10,000.

4. Get more educated on the home-buying process.

In order to fulfill all these goals I will continue at the part-time gig, as long as am physically able to.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

$11 worth of fun

Tonight I went bowling with some friends. $11.00 dollars and a few hours later, it was well worth it. I had a fabulous time. For those few hours I did not have to worry about all my bad luck and near financial meltdowns of recent weeks.

At the end of the night... it was $11.00 well spent.

Friday, October 06, 2006


I took the rental back today so that expense is no more. My car is done so I will be picking it up tomorrow morning, that is an additional bill. Life will be back to a somewhat sense of normalcy.

Today was pay day, had to pay the rent, car note, student loans, credit loans. I still need to put figures to paper.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Got up this morning and the rental I have was missing. I absolutely hate living here now. After three hours and countless phone calls I was told that the car was not towed so I need to call 911 to report the car stolen. Did I mention this is the rental, because my car is being repaired. Arrrgghhh.

I wait an hour for the police to come where my car was missing from. After they do there little investigation, it turns out the car was towed, not stolen. It only took them over three hours of my time to figure that nonsense out.

So what is the verdict.
$185 to get the car out the lot.
$115 parkin ticket. What the loosing it right now.

Why the heck is all this happening to me, all at once.

Friday, September 29, 2006

The under 30 honor roll is growing

The under 30 honor roll is 50 strong. Great community am proud to be apart of. Let's show them that young people are concerned about there finances and are doing something about it.

Education is key. Knowledge is power.

Cleaning House

I have decided to close the checking and savings account at the credit union.
There are a few reasons for this:
I no longer deposit money there, so both accounts are empty.

There are no branches in NYC where I am located. The one branch is in Pleasantville, NY.

I am getting my financial house in order and simplifying things. This is the first step.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

A few financial things that are happening:

I sent sallie mae $25 online from my bank. Then I sent her a money order for $50 'apply to principal only'. It is still left to be seen if she will listen. The $25 did satisfy the interest and $9 went to principal. Wooptieee dooooo.

The check from the part-time gig is now direct deposit starting yesterday. So, am getting paid every week, one week Wednesday and one week Thursday.

The emergency fund at ING was depleted recently. However, I restarted with the same $100. What am happy to say is my HSBC account will be funded every two weeks with $40 from the part-time gig. I will be funding two emergency fund at once. The HSBC fund will be to pay towards a debt at the end of the year.

Since am getting two paychecks I should be saving something from both. Pay yourself first it is.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Tidbits here and there

All the bills for this month are paid, and I have 60 bucks in the checking account, yippeeee weekly paycheck.

I got more hours at the part-time loving the money.

I am going through my financial files so I can simplify things. I may close my checking and savings account at the credit union since they are not being used. I will have to think about it some more.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

This is how Sallie Mae keeps students in debt

Am no mathematician but damnit the math here does not make any sense.

Next payment due: 12.67 Payment due date: 10/06/06

Outstanding Principal balance: 7,987.76

Accrued interest: 75.90

Total Amount Outstanding: 8,063.66


Current interest rate is 10+ percent. That translates into almost 3 dollars per day in interest. WTF, that is more than the damn interest on my loan. No wonder the freakin principal balance seems to go up all the damn time.

Mind you this is with a very aggressive repayment strategy I just set up.

Last three payments:
8/28/06 $75
07/14/06 $100
07/10/06 $200

The next payment is set to go out on 09/22/06 in the amount of $100.


According to the guy in India or Pakistan where ever the hell he is, the monthly interest is $65.69. Yet still they are telling me I should pay $87.74. WTF I am never going finish this then. That means at 26 I will be 40odd years and still paying this.

Sallie Mae you can kiss my a.s.s.

I will continue paying twice per month and see where that leads me. (August was the only month where I slacked off).

What I need is a magic number that will actually bring down the ‘Outstanding Principal Balance’.

p.s if this post makes absolutely no sense to you, welcome to the club. I am just as clueless.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


My car is at the repair shop being fixed. I should have it back by next week. It is critical that I get my car back soon, because I have two jobs to get to.
I got a rental the morning after the accident, so I was able to go to work last Saturday and Sunday.

The mini emergency fund is going to come in handy. I am starting over the efund from scratch. Tomorrow is pay day, so my e-fund starts over with $100.

What I learnt from this accident is:
Money is just that, money. It does not buy happiness, or health. Thank goodness I have my health. I will no longer stress where money is concerned.

Friday, September 15, 2006

When it rains it pours

So it is raining here in the tri-state area this morning and what happens? I get into a freakin car accident!
Am ok physically, mentally am gonna loose my marbles. I freakin hate women drivers (disclaimer I am a woman). Look where the hell you are going you idiot.

The car needs work ($$), my deductible is 1,000 ($$), I need a rental to get to work ($$), my insurance premiums might go up ($$), I cannot get to my second job tonight, so there goes my shift ($$) am leaving work early so I can bum a ride back to NY ($$).

Since my direct deposit has not come through yet I need to pick up my pay check ($$), without a ride I cannot do that ($$). Arghhhhhhhh!!

See the pattern here, am gonna be bleeding money for the next few weeks.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Am revamping my resume

I just received an MPA degree in February 2006. Therefore, I have decided to redo my resume since I've had the same formal since sophomore year. It looks a bit juvenile to me.

Does anyone know of a free resume writing service?
I have read all the articles and tried doing it myself but it does not seem to be working.

One of my new goals is to increase my income by at least 10,000 by the end of 2007.

Ask and you shall receive

August was a chaotic month with lots of friends and family visiting. Things got out of hand financially with me not opening bills on time. My September statement came with a whopping $29 late fee attached. I called up the company and nicely asked them to waive the late fee since the payment was only a few days late, and I've been a loyal customer.

'Ok ma'am I am happy to do that for you. Check your next billing statement or check online within 48 hours'.

'Thank you for being calling. '

$29 dollars saved, great. The next payment is set up to go out two weeks before the due date.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

I love me some Tarjay

I went to Tarjay today and spent $77. I love going there. It felt good today to spend a little bit of cash and not stress over it.
Bought some very much needed items:
a floor mat
2 storage bins
a bag for work
2 pairs of shoes for the kids (nieces)
2 blouses for the kids (nieces)

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Money Habits

The Oxford Dictionary defines habit as:
1. a settled or regular tendency or practice.

2. a practice that is hard to give up.

My money habits are regular negative tendencies that are hard to give up.

Hi...My name is tiredofbeingbroke and I have bad money habits.

I am working diligently on changing those habits.

Bad habits:

Spending more than I earn.

Allowing family to use my 'good credit' (this is a whole nother post, don't get me started).

Not educating myself enough on investing and wealth creation.

Well all these things are about to change.

Friday, September 08, 2006

My emergency fund is half-way there. I am soo happy. $500 in the bank.
* Doing the happy dance, doing the happy dance.*

Sunday, September 03, 2006

I got my first paycheck from the part-time gig. The payroll schedule falls opposite of my regular job's payroll. This mean I will have income each week for as long as I can continue both jobs. This is going great. Surprisingly, my social life has not suffered much.
Bye bye bills. Debt free here I come.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

It has been over a week since I started the part-time job. So far things are going ok. I am able to manage both schedules so far. The manager is very flexible with the schedule I am able to maintain. I am taking a few days off from both jobs just to get it together since the summer is almost over. I cannot wait to get my first check so I can start paying down my cc debt.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

I have decided not to move, and renew my current lease for one more year.
The main reason for this is financial. I cannot afford to pay and increase in rent, or pay to move my stuff. Plus, emotionally I am not prepared to deal with settling into a new environment. I have also been contemplating moving out of the tri-state area completely, but that is still up in the air.

Thanks to everyone who offered their advice.

Monday, August 21, 2006

No more debit card gas purchases

All gas purchases will be made using cash. I am a debit-card-no-cash-carrying kinda girl. It was very hard for me to make this new decision. However, it is a financially sound decision.
I normally purchase gas every two weeks. Recently, I have been doing a bit more driving because I have family and friends in town and a second job. I made two separate gas purchases about a week apart. The purchases did not post to my checking account until almost two weeks later, and on the same day. WTH!! This is annoying as hell. It left me scrambling to find the receipts to make sure the dollar amounts are correct. I knew there were two transactions out ‘there’ to be posted but after a week went by I forgot about. That was until I saw two gas purchases on the ‘same day’. Heck no. This can potentially give me an ulcer from all the stress of figuring this out. Thank goodness for online banking.

Bottom line is no more debit card gas purchases. I went this morning paid cash and was on my way.

Oh and the price has gone down to $2.85 per gallon. Yippeeeeee (sorry to all my New Yorkers, I just had to rub it in!! unless you are buying gas in Jersey)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Your balance is paid in full!!

These words are like music to my ears. I got a surprise in the mail yesterday. A little remembered student loan from sophomore year has been 'paid in full'. Granted the loan was only $1,000 I was making little payments over the years before I graduated. Why? Psychology I guess played a role back then. Anyways I completely forgot about the loan until the letter arrived in the mail. Now that I am completely done with school and the grace period is over all my student loan records are being updated.

Your balance is paid in full!! These words will be my motivator to tackle my other debts. This really shows me that a little at a time does add up.

Am gone back to do my happy dance, even if only temporary.

Friday, August 11, 2006


Sorry for the long delay. I was finally successful in getting a part-time evening gig. I will start tomorrow. The hourly pay takes me back to the days when I was in college. However, this extra income is solely for the purposes of paying down my Sallie Mae student loans and credit cards. This will be an extra payment in addition to the regular ones I normally make.

The second job would mean that I am giving up some parts of my social life or lack thereof. I am happy though that I am working hard to be free of my Sallie Mae and credit card debt by the end of 2007 if all goes as planned.

Saturday, August 05, 2006


Did I mention I LOVE FREE STUFF!!!

Sometime last year I received a letter in the mail from Washington Mutual Bank. The letter indicated that customers would receive a free Target gift card if they used their debit cards for a certain number of times. Or something to that effect. Anyways I did get a $25 Target card in the mail a few months ago.

This past week I went to Target and got me a blender.

Thank you Washington Mutual for my FREE blender.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

To Move or Not to Move

Please read and help me decide.

I currently live in a one bedroom apartment in the Bronx. The lease ends on 11/30/06. I have been in this apartment two years. I absolutely love my apartment. All the appliances are brand new, hardwood floors, huge windows (well I do not like them in my bedroom).
My landlord is great. Before moving into this building I was a bit apprehensive because you hear so much horror stories about landlords. In the almost two years that I have been here, I have had ZERO problems with the landlord. Both father and son team are very responsive, I have never stayed more than a few hours to get a return phone call even on the weekends.

So why do I want to move you ask?

I absolutely hate my neighborhood. Parking around here is horrible. I have gotten two tickets since last November because I parked out on the main street and woke up late (after 7:30am)
The people who live around here have no respect for other people's space. I always have to hear the loud salsa or reggae music at three in the morning.

I work across the bridge in Bergen County, NJ. Therefore, I am contemplating a move there. It is a lot cleaner, and quieter than where I live currently. I would save on gas and tolls. The quality of life there is much higher than where I currently live.

Not sure I would find rent that is cheaper than I am currently paying (873.38 per month). This is scheduled to go up 4%.

What do you guys think? Any advise is appreciated.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

It is hot hot hot!!

My apartment feels like a little oven. I am still holding out and not buying an AC. I survived last summer so I believe I can survive this one. September is almost here. Interview: Ice Cube

I liked this piece from with rapper, producer, actor, entrepreneur Ice cube. Thought it is worth sharing.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Things that bothered me this week.........

Here goes the weekly random stuff!

1. I made a detour to work this morning, and saw gas at $2.97 per gallon. Yipppeeeee! I immediately filled up before coming back to NY. (this did not bother me, since I paid $3 recently)

2. Tomorrow I am going grocery shopping. This will only give me a freakin headache.

3. I need new reading glasses. MY HSA will come in handy.

4. What the heck are all those freakin tax thingies on the cellphone bill. Crap!!

5. I went to the doctor this week. Copay, copay, copay! I guess it is a necessarily evil.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Am back on track


My short-term savings goal is to have an emergency fund with $1,000. I started and was almost half way there until I hit a road block. I am very happy to say that starting today $100 is being direct deposited into my savings account.

Today was payday. My savings account was funded and the difference went into my checking account. I managed to pay the bills that are currently due with the money that is in the checking account. Funny how I am now working with $100 less and things still get done.
This just proves you can save while paying down debt.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Am saving and learning

Last week I called the cable company and downgraded my cable package to basic cable. This means I have only the local channels. This will reduce my monthly bill by at least $25 per month. I am always looking for ways to reduce my expenses each month.

The great thing is that I have rediscovered PBS. Last night I watched two shows and learned so much. The funny thing is that I used to be a PBS junkie while in college. Being stuck in the dorms during winter was not fun. I also watched PBS a lot when doing research for classes.

So now I am saving money and learning so much more.

Monday, July 24, 2006

The interest on my Sallie Mae student loan.....

Is 10.25% WTH???????

I know this is a private student loan but damn, come on. I already pay twice the minimum every other month. I am keeping my fingers crossed that the part-time evening job will work itself out soon. This extra pay check will go directly to Sallie Mae.

I will be working for Sallie Mae. Sad the things the financial aid office does not tell you.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Getting in my own way

Having a plan don't mean ish unless there is action behind it. I am a planner, am talking anal-retentive-don't-like-surprises, type of planner. I had my four years of college mapped out before I was done with freshman year. I always have a plan A, B, C, D etc. I do not like when things mess with my plans. However, such is life. Plans are not set in stone. I wished this was something I knew a few years ago.

My plans are also emotionally based. If I have a great plan but emotions boil over, I change it. Why? No concrete logical reason, just my emotional response to whatever I deem an emotional disturbance. Money and emotions do not mix. (deep breath) Repeat! Money and emotions do not mix. Ok I get it, or at least that is what I tell myself. I talk a good game.

Am guilty in the past of rationalizing my purchases. Not that I am a lot better now, but I am a work in progress. No more rationalizing my purchases. I am my own stumbling block to financial freedom and ultimately getting out of debt.

Now that am paying bills monthly and also paying down debt I realize that had emotions not gotten in the way I would have been in a better position. Perhaps I would have had higher student loans and lower credit card debt, had I not used my credit card to pay for dormitory when I had no place to stay. (that's a whole other post) Looking back, emotions aside I would have made a more logical decision. I would have researched my options more instead of whipping out the credit card.

You live you learn. I am a work in progress.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

How many checking accounts do you have?

I have three checking accounts, all free. I am thinking of getting another one.

1. Checking account at credit union. This credit union is connected to the job I had while in college. There is no money there, but I keep it open since I still have some blank checks.

2. Washington Mutual. This was my main checking account until Bank of America stole me away. Also, now that I work in NJ BOA is more convenient. Odd checks gets deposited to this account.

3. Bank of America. This is where I do it all. I received $50 for opening the account. I have direct deposit of my pay check and online bill pay. I absolutely love the online bill pay. The account has been opened since December 2005 with no problems (knock on wood).

4. Commerce Bank. I am thinking of opening an account with them because they have late hours and convenient locations. My cable company has a promotion where cable customers get $50 for opening an account at Commerce.

* I love FREE money*

My question is: Should I take this latest offer and open another free checking account. Do I already have to many?

Disclaimer: I check online activity each day, so I have no problem with insufficient funds. My account buffer is less than $5.00 in the BOA account.

Monday, July 17, 2006

The Heat Is On!!!!

The tri-state area is under a heat wave warning. My car (black) was so hot after work today I could have made bacon and eggs on the dash. I will be going into the auto store to get one of those thingies you put over the windshield to block out the sun. Not sure what you call them. Does anyone know if these things work?

Saturday, July 15, 2006

The Color Purple

Everyone now and again, a girl has got to have some fun.

This week I saw The Color Purple on Broadway. The show was amazing. For those of you in NYC, or if your visiting it is definitely a must see. I enjoyed myself, laughing, crying and singing all at the same time.

My credit report

As of September 2005, New Yorkers are able to get a free credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies. Since then, I have staggered each of my credit reports getting one every few months. So far, (knock on wood) I have not had any problems. I am happy to say that there are no late payments indicated on my credit report. There is one 'adverse' account which has to do with a dispute with Verizon wireless from a few years ago. This item is scheduled to be off my credit report by June 2007.

The only thing I have had to do with my report is clean up the inaccuracies with my personal information. There was eight different spelling variations of my name. My address was listed incorrectly, and my employment information was a few years old. I was able to take care of all this with experian.

There was one thing on my report that had me scratching my head. My current address is listed as a 'high risk' address. WTH is a 'high risk' address. I called experian and was told my address is considered 'high rise' because there is a business address in the same building. Well duh, management has an office on the first floor. Is it my fault that management has an office downstairs. This means that pretty much everyone in an apartment in New York City lives at a 'high risk' address. However, I was told that this does not effect on my credit.

The transunion report was a lot more accurate than experian. There were no misspellings or address problems.

Next up in a few months is Equifax.

Getting rid of Junk Mail

Today I opened my mail box and realized the amount of credit card and auto insurance offers are almost non-existent. A few weeks ago, I called the national opt-out toll free number and entered my personal information. I was a bit skeptical that this would actually reduce the amount of offers that would pile into my mail box. However, it actually works.

The national credit reporting agencies have a one stop website Visit this website to get more information on opting out.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

It has finally happened!!

The price of gas in my area has reached $3.00 per gallon.
I already drive as little as possible, approximately 11 miles round trip to work. Time to research other gas saving tips.

Things I do to save gas:

1. I run all my errands on my way to work.

2. I obey the speed limit.

3. Maintenance is done regularly.

4. The AC is hardly ever on.

What else is a girl to do?

It's the day before pay day

All the bills are tallied and set to go out from online bill pay. The good thing is that this week I will not be in the red where current bills are concerned. I will even start the process of growing the little emergency fund again. This week is a lot less stressful than prior weeks. I am still not where I need to be in terms of cash flow, but will get there soon.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

My Filing System......

Or lack thereof, is a complete mess. Each day I open the mail box and this is what happens. I put the bills in a pile to be paid; the junk mail in a pile to get shredded. Everything else sits in a shoe box, yes a shoe box. This morning I realized the shoe box is broken, so what did I do? Ha!! transferred them to a plastic bag...LOL

Then it hit me that my filing system is in complete disarray (organized chaos). I know this much, the plastic bag has files from the last 8 months or so. In my own defense the plastic bag does not have my passport, title to my car or credit cards I no longer use. Those items are in a folder by themselves. In the event of a disaster I can just grab the folder and run. The way I figure mommy has copies of everything so I can always get a copy from her.

Then I realize..hhhmmmm this is not the most ideal way. So, I will be getting my filing house in order pretty soon. I will buy a file box and put everything away.

Friday, July 07, 2006

1 Step forward 2 Steps backward....

This is what I feel is happening right now. One of my short term goal is to save $1,000 as a start to my emergency fund. Things were going great, I almost got to the half way mark. Here comes an 'emergency' to put me back almost to zero. I consolidated my student loans and in the midst of that lost the grace period. I knew this was going to happen, however I did not plan properly (I know, I know, this means it is not a real emergency). The payment is due before next pay day so I had to use my small starter emergency fund.

The lesson I learned here is a small emergency fund is better than none. I need to plan properly for expenses going forward.
I took one extra step today and signed up for direct deposit to an ING account I have that has been lying empty. The plan here is to deposit a certain period every paycheck and then transfer it to HSBC. I used the ING for direct deposit because it was easier to figure that out than to try and deposit to HSBC.

Am playing the money psychology game here. By having the direct deposit to ING, I can only pay bills from the money that is deposited into my checking account. This will enable me to bill my emergency fund faster than without direct deposit.

My target goal remains the same to save $1,000. However, the deadline for this has been moved to the end of September.

Stay tuned....

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Tax Man Cometh

Installment Payment Agreement Billing Notice.... this is the long fancy term that NY State uses when you owe taxes and cannot pay in full. I received my first notice today, and it is Bill 1 of 6.

Six whole months of paying Mr. Tax man over $100 per month. It is partly my fault. With the new job in the neighboring state last year, I never double checked to make sure they are taking out sufficient taxes. By the time I figured this out, I was doing my tax returns and it was too late.

The withholdings were changed immediately, so next year I should break even. My philosophy with taxes both Uncle Sam and his bastard state child (aka state income tax) is to break even. At worst I do not mind owing a few dollars. I do not want a big refund at the end of the tax year, not with the rate on these high yield savings account. However, this bill for over $600 was a bit much.

At tax time next year I should break even with the Tax Man.

Friday, June 30, 2006

HSBC is 5.05%

The email notification just came in the last hour. The interest rate is now 5.05%.
Thank you HSBC for helping me grow the emergency fund.

Little things that bothered me this week

Let me get my weekly rants off my chest.

1. The price of gas was not moving much, and all of a sudden Bam!! it went from $2.89 to $2.93. I had to suck it up and fill the tank, because I refuse to drive back to NYC where it is an average of $3.20 per gallon.

2. My search for a part-time weekend job is getting on my nerve. I spent all week searching online, and even got a call back. However, it does not mesh well with the full-time schedule.

3. If what you are calling about is not important, can you please wait till after 9pm (read free minutes). How many times must I say this.

4. The rent guidelines board in NYC has voted for a rent increase. On average this might be a 4% increase. Is it me, or should paychecks go up. OH well!!

Price of groceries, up up and away!

The price of groceries have gone through the roof. I just went to the supermarket and the damage was $200+ . WTH!! Granted there are three of us here for the summer, I did not expect to spend that much. The price of groceries have been increasing steadily over the past few months, at least at the supermarket where I shop.

One theory is that as the price of gas rises, everything else including groceries steadily rises too. The groceries I bought today will last at least three weeks because I am not going back to the supermarket before that. The budget that I set for groceries was lower than what I actually spent. Next time around I will be trimming the fat (no pun intended)!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Things I will not live without

OK, I will admit off the bat that some of these items might be a 'luxury' for other people. However, these are the things that I will not live without. Am not going to rationalize whether they are needs, wants, or luxuries. To me they are just basic and make my life a lot easier and more enjoyable.
Here goes:
* Broadband internet access ( I refuse to go back to dial up, plus I don't even have a phone line in the apt.
* Cellphone
* Magazine subscription (Essence, Black Enterprise and Oprah). I have been a subscriber since college, so I still get the student rate.
* Annual vacation (some place outside the continental U.S)

These are the items that I can think of that I could cut out and save some money. I have made other steps to reduce the amount of money I spend each month, and these items are non-negotiable.

Student Loan Consolidation Deadline

Interest rates on student loans will increase as of July 1, 2006. The deadline for consolidating student loans is June 30, 2006. I am urging all my fellow student loan holders to consolidate their student loans before the deadline to lock in the interest rate.
The last of my loan was added to the ones that were already consolidated.
Once you consolidate you loose the grace period. This is a small price to pay to lock in a lower interest rate.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Am stressed but thankful

I have been stressed a lot about my finances. How am I going to pay this bill, gas prices are too high, student loan payments, blah blah blah. Then it hit me, I am spending way too much time worrying. All this will do is give me a damn migraine or an ulcer. I did not get in debt overnight, and as much as I would like to waive a magic wand and have it all disappear that is not possible. So I have to just deal with it and be thankful.

Thankful that....
I am alive and healthy.
I have family (breathe girl, breathe) and good friends.
I have a roof over my head and food to eat.
I have a job with benefits.
I am free to express my opinions.

I love my life and am thankful for it. I just do not like my debt.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Emergency Fund Crisis conducted a poll on emergency funds. The results are a bit sad on my part since am at the very bottom of the ladder. Not to worry, I am working on getting up there.
Slow and steady winds the race.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Financial ADD

Today it finally hit me. I have financial ADD. What does this mean? I try to do too many things at once financially, without focussing on any one particular thing. Until I started blogging and writing things down, I would try to do one too many things at once. At the end I realized not much was getting done.
My focus has now changed. The goal is to accomplish the small tasks I set up for myself.

1. Save $1,000 in my HSBC emergency account. The balance today is $360. I will accomplish this small goal first before I take on any more.
Until I posted a few weeks ago on my goals, I have never written any financial goals. This is a start and I hope it makes a difference.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Wallet Spring Cleaning

Today I finally decided to spring clean the wallet. All the credit cards were removed and placed in a drawer at home. I do not anticipate needing a credit card for any purchase in the near future. There will be no new purchases on the card except for the recurring toll payments that are charged each month for EZ-Pass. The tolls are charged to my credit card each month to avoid being low on funds at the bridge and being assessed a penalty.

I will put one credit card back in my wallet once I am able to pay off the balance in full each month.

Little things that bothered me this week....

I just need to get a few things off my chest.

1. Gas today cost me $2.93 per could be worse, I could have bought gas in New York where it is way past $3.

2. Does being the only one with 'good' credit in the immediate family mean you owe them anything (read: can you charge this for me)?

3. Why the hell is the interest on my Sallie Mae student loan more than two of my credit cards? I need to fix that some how.

4. It is taking me entirely too long to find a part-time evening/ weekend job to supplement my income and snowball my debt. The search is getting tiring.

5. My car is to take me from work to home and back. No am not driving you around any where, hail a cab for pete's sake. (I doubt ur actually reading this blog.)

6. Does anyone know what all those little taxes on the cell phone bill are for? Am gonna have to call and ask. There are way too many of them. Uncle sam and all his bastard state and city kids are irking me.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

One day I will be an automatic millionaire

This book was a real eye opener. The lessons in this book are not new. However, the language was simple which makes it easy to follow.

So what did I learn?

Lesson 1.
Automate, Automate, Automate.
The basic premise here is to set all the finances on auto pilot. This will make life less complicated. Recently I switched all my regular bills to online bill pay. No more writing checks and putting them in the mail. I even went a step further and set up some bills on a recurring payment schedule.

Lesson 2.
Pay yourself first.
The goal here is to set up a retirement account and pay yourself first. The contribution goal should be a comfortable amount and increased over time to more than 15%.
Here is one lesson that is easy, and I have already partially accomplished. My pre-tax contribution is 6% of my salary, which has a dollar for dollar company match. This puts me at a 403b contribution of 12%.
My contribution will be increased to 15% once all my debt is paid off.

The second part of 'pay yourself first' is to set up an emergency fund. This is a goal that is already in progress. As of today's date there is $347 in an HSBC emergency account.

After reading this book, I feel a little better about my financial life.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Currently reading the 'Automatic Millionaire'

I just borrowed the Automatic Millionaire by David Bach from the library. This is one of the few financial books I have heard a lot about. A review will follow.

Friday, June 09, 2006

I love my insurance company

My insurance company sent me a nice surprise today. The renewal premium was reduced by $150. Thank goodness for bundling services. The payment was all set to go out from online bill pay, I immediately reduced the amount. Cash flow statement for June can breath a little easier. Renter's insurance is paid up to June 2007 and the car insurance is good to October 2006.
Great way to end the work week.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Congratulations! Here is your degree welcome to Brokeville

Financial literacy should be a required course in college. The largest portion of a young person's debt before the age of 30 except for a mortgage will be student loans. However, colleges do not provide an education on budgeting, credit cards etc, etc.

A recent CNN Money article indicated that the average student loan debt is $19,000. I am happy to say I am just about average (who am I kidding am pissed). I have two types of student loans, the subsidized federal loans and a private loan from Sallie Mae. The federal loans were consolidated recently, which is an advantage because the rate is locked in before the increase in July. However, once I consolidated I lost the grace period and had to starting paying right away.

If I had to do it all over again there are some things I would do differently.

1). I would attend a public college for my undergraduate years. Unfortunately, I started at a private school which is where the bulk of my loans came from.

2). The private loan from Sallie Mae should have been as a last resort. I do not think I did enough research into scholarships, grants etc.

3). While working in college I would have saved some money to help pay down the debt once I graduated.

Hopefully, a some freshman out there will learn from my mistakes so that they won't end up residing in the city of Brokeville to long after graduation.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Random Money Rants

Major expenses (anything above $500 not including rent) have a way of putting a dent in any budget. My cash flow chart is prepared every two weeks, the day before pay day. I normally sit down and look at all the bills that are piled up and pay the most important. Now I know what my bills are each month, but for some reason I get a slight case of amnesia when it comes to major expenses like car insurance that is due every 6 months, or the fact that I owe the State of NY $600. I know, I know I should budget for it each month and put the money aside. However, each month there isn't any money left over. What's a girl to do? This is over $1400 that I need to 'squeeze' into my cash flow statement. Ouch!!

The tax people were very courteous and helpful when I called. The gentleman helped me to set up an installment plan so I can spread the tax bill over the next 6 months.
I have now learned my lesson the hard way. Before the next insurance payment is due in October I will try and raise at least half the payment over time.

The ever elusive emergency fund goal will probably be pushed back, unless I categorize car insurance as an emergency.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Access to a checking account

Yesterday I went to the post office to get a money order. I had to make a payment to a company that insisted on money orders. At the post office there was a lady on line in front of me who had a few bills in her hand, including phone, electric etc (no I was not being nosy). She proceeds to the counter and bought around 5 money orders. It then occurred to me that there are people out there without checking accounts.

Call me naive but with all the free checking account options I thought most people had checking accounts. Then I thought about it some more and realized that I live in an urban area with a high population of people for whom English is a second language. There is I believe an untapped market for banks to get new customers. It is also beneficial to these customers because they would be able to write checks for free instead of paying upwards of $1 for each money order. Purchasing money orders could add up to more than $10 per month or $120 per year.

I have two checking accounts. I was happy with my bank until I got a new job and realized there weren't any branches close to work. However, there were at least 5 Bank of America branches on my way to work. I opened an account with Bank of America last year and got $50 for doing so. The best thing since slice bread is online bill pay. All my regular bills are paid online. I make sure everything is scheduled on time. There is no need to balance my checkbook anymore (finally freedom). I log into the online banking every few days to make everything is ok. This makes my financial life a lot easier than writing checks, buying stamps and waiting for checks to clear.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Money and Emotions;.....Stress !!!!

I am no psychologist, psychiatrist or mental health professional. However, I do know for a fact that emotions play a role in our financial life. Recently, it occurred to me that I tend to make decisions when I am emotionally unstable (for lack of a better term). Once the emotions clear I look at the impact of my decision and it is normally not good.
This week I stayed home from work, so I can relax and release my stress. No additional money was spent outside of the normal expenses, rent and groceries etc. I actually saved money in gas and tolls since the car has been parked for a few days. The extra free time is being used to research my options for a part-time job to bring in additional income.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

The picture is clearer now

Today is the day of reckoning. I finally decided to sit down and add up the balances on my four major credit cards.

Here goes:

Card 1 $5,192.24
Card 2 $3,325.37
Card 3 $2,595.32
Card 4 $3,300.00

The balances are not a surprise. However, the thought that my credit card debt was under control is now out the window. Writing things down really brings them into perspective. The number in my head was a grand total of $9,000. Without summing up my balances, it is clear that my 'head' number was off by a few grand. At the time $9,000 just seemed like a manageable number. I have no clue why!

What is my plan of action?
Card 4 has to be paid off by September because it is a 0% rate that ends in September. After I tackle card 4 then I will tackle card 3. The debt reduction plan is paying down the smallest balance first. This will give me a morale boost.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Short Term Goals

On my journel to financial freedom, baby steps will be the key. I am going to make small goals that I can accomplish fairly easy.
My first goal is to save $1,000. This would be the start to my emergency fund of $15,000. This would cover 6 months of living expenses without going further into debt.
So far there is $300 in an HSBC account. This goal should be accomplished by the end of August.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Welcome to my world

I decided to start this blog today May, 25 2006 about my financialjourney.
Am broke. Why?
I am not going to make excuses. I spent more than I earn, and charged the rest to credit cards.
Because of those credit cards everyone gets in college, I currently owe a few thousands dollars. (notice there are no exact figures). My goal is to pay this off within a year of today's date, save the ever elusive emergency fund and pay off student loans.

I welcome all comments and questions, hopefully visitors to my blog can hold me accountable.
There will be more about my debt in the next post.