Saturday, December 04, 2010

Love my alerts from chase bank. They help to keep me up on my cash flow.
Next weekend is time to buy gifts for the people on my xmas list. This year I have my nieces, the homie, my nephew and one friend.

The job search front is still kinda slow, but am still trucking.

The auto debit of my mortgage is in it's 2nd month. No hiccups or problems so far.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Goals - To Do List - etc

My to do list is still incomplete.

My mortgage is not on auto pilot. The first payment went out on November 1. The next two bills for auto pilot are my Sallie Mae and federal student loans.

Spring of 2010 vacation will be St. Thomas V.I. Why St. Thomas? Because it is the cheapest option. All I need is a plane ticket, no hotel, no car rental, no extra expenses. Lodging will be provided by relatives. :D

I am currently job searching with the hopes of finding a job before the first quarter of 2011 ends.

This brings me to my 2011 goals.

1st quarter Goals January 1 to March 31, 2011

Complete taxes early enough to receive my refund.

Open a 6 month CD with a minimum $1,000.

Buy my plane ticket for my vacation.

Land a new job making at least a 15% increase in salary.

Paint my apartment and finish additional decorating ideas.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Financial Changes

A new gym membership which costs $10 per month with an annual fee of $29 starting October 2011.

Currently job searching in hopes of getting a minimum 15 - 20% raise.

I've been eating out lunch and breakfast almost everyday. For November my goal is to limit that to once or twice per week max. This is not good for my wallet or waist line.

Recently upgraded my Chase checking account. It now comes with perks such as free money orders, gift cards, a safe deposit box etc.

This will be my second winter in the new condo. I'm hoping to get a better handle on my electical and gas bill this year.

Thursday, October 07, 2010


My 2 bedroom condo looks a little bland. In the next few months I'll be doing some painting and other things to personalize it and make it my own. My budget is $1,500 and not a penny over. This includes the cost of supplies and labor (if I need to hired help). I am excited and looking forward to my first major decorating project.

Family Issues

Family is family. My family is dysfunctional. I am single with no kids of my own so everyone thinks I am Mrs. MoneyBags. My two nieces currently reside with me. This has caused quite a few headaches in the past few months. Non of these headaches have anything to do with the kids themselves. However, it is other family members who are giving me grief. Everyone as something to say about the kids. It all boils down to money. One of the main problems is that they assume I will get a hefty refund when I file my taxes. Guess we'll have to wait and see.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

There's a family and money post that I need to write. However, I need to take the emotions out of it so I don't sound angry and bitter. Stay tuned.

To Do List

1. Write a will.

2. Get additional life insurance to supplement the basic policy provided by the job.

3. Put additional bills on auto pilot.

4. Research vacation options for next spring and start saving.

5. Look about disability coverage.

Friday, August 20, 2010


It's been quite a while since I updated my blog.
Here goes:
- I quit the part-time gig last week. The stress wasn't worth the paycheck. I need time to focus on my apartment, studying for GMAT, exercising etc.

- My family is something else. There's been lots of talk lately about my decision to buy my condo, how I take care of my nieces and just me in general. At this point I am sick and tired of the nonsense. Just let me live.

- Financially I still have a long ways to go, but I am doing ok. I still need to work on managing cash flow.

- It feels so great not having my car payment. My title came within 30 days like the bank said it would. Love it.

- Summer fun has been ongoing. Most of the events have been free such as concerts, basketballs games and movies.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tips I use to avoid over draft fees.

Move to a cash system for miscellaneous purchases. I keep an excel and a paper register. However, I sometimes forget small purchases here or there. Switching to this new system is less work in recording all my transactions. This past weekend's trip to PA was cash only.

Keep a larger buffer in my checking account. Under my old system my checking account would sometimes go down to a few cents between paydays. This was rather stressful and time consuming to keep track of. The buffer is now approximately $50 depending on what's going on.

Being more organized and keep better records. Last year while on vacation I was charged a NSF fee. Why? I wasn't organized enough. Plain and simple. I now keep better records and make sure everything is in the register.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


The kids and I are on a two day trip to Pennsylvania. Cash is king this weekend. It took money out the atm before leaving NYC. Once that money is over, it's a wrap.

Went to Walmart last night and spend $100. I have no clue what I bought.

I finally received my tax refund. I was able to pay off my car and one other bill. I also opened a CD. This has given me a lot of relief.

After an escrow analysis my mortgage went down by $1.25. Any drop in my fixed overhead is appreciated.

I've done most of my school shopping for the girls. Target had a great sale on school supplies. I still have a few more things to get. This year is way better than last.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Home ownership chronicles

Since moving into my new apt in December:

In April my mortgage payments went down by $120. A tax abatement finally kicked in.

My electric and gas bill for this past month is over $100 less than what it was during winter. This is a win, win.

Am proud of my decision to buy my apartment. However, not everyone in my family feels the same way. I've moved in over 6 months now, and a certain family member who lives but 15 minutes away has yet to come by. I have mixed feelings about it, but can't say am surprised.

This blog and now twitter keeps me sane. I can say what I want without judgements, and if someone dares to judge I just delete they azz. LOL In real life it is not the same way. There's too much going on financially around me at times. Too many people asking for help in one way or another. Sometimes I vent on twitter, sometimes I just stay quiet. Am just happy to have the avenue to express myself when I feel like it.

Goals - July - September

I would like to loose 20 lbs by September 30th. This is absolutely achievable. I am setting the bar at 20 because I know life sometimes gets in the way and I've been pretty busy.

Financial and other personal goals:

Complete the goals set for 2nd quarter.

Automate more of my finances.

Make a final decision on when to quit the part-time gig.

Make a final decision on getting a second masters degree.

Devote more time to organizing my apartment and staying on top of my mail, chores, etc
My 2nd quarter goals were mostly based on receiving my tax refund. There's still time left in the quarter to salvage maybe 1 or 2 goals. I'll see what happens next payday.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Financial Updates

I closed my Wachovia bank account. This is all in an effort to make my financial life simpler. It's a process I started a while back but got distracted.

My refund was supposed to be direct deposited into my account by the end of May. The date came and went and no refund. Uncle Sam caused me to fail the $5K/5K challenge for singlema and RevancheGS. I am super competitive by nature, and failure isn't an option. I will be finishing this challenge. My goal was to save $5,000. However, because Uncle Sam held on to my cash, I was only able to save $1,000.

Speaking of Uncle Damn Sam. He held up my refund because he needed additional paperwork. Let's wait and see how long before I get MY money. I have a few financial goals to accomplish with my refund. I'll detail those plans when I have the money in my account.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Things I wish I a decade ago

As I turn 30, there are a few things I wish I knew a decade ago.

1. Credit card debt is not good. A credit card is a tool not to be abused. Don't carry a balance.

2. An emergency fund is a necessity.

3. 4 years of college will go by so fast. Use every opportunity. An unpaid internship is not a bad thing. Let no opportunity pass you by, it is not all about money.

4. Network, Network, Network. Those contacts will be invaluable in the future.

5. Don't stress about your undergraduate major. You may not even use it directly in future jobs. The world doesn't stop if your major isn't declared by sophomore year.

6. Men come and go. Period. The End.

I will add to this list as time goes by.

The school year is almost over. This means it's time to find something for the kids to do for the entire summer. So far I've come up with a reading program held at Fordham University. It is for 1 month, once per week at a whopping cost of $299. Seems a bit much, but I am strongly contemplating it for both kids for the latter part of the summer. For the beginning of the summer, I am still stumped. A co-worker suggested boys and girls club. I am going to figure this whole thing out before the end of the school year which is June 28th.

So if you are in the NYC area please drop some suggestions.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Financial Updates

Checking account problem
I recently had an oops! Forgot to enter a few things in my register and my checking account into the negative. Thank goodness I checked my account online and noticed before the day ended. I was able to transfer money in.

There are a few things I will be doing to make sure that doesn't happen again:

Keep a larger buffer of cash in my checking account. Apparently am not the most organized person and am cutting it close.

In addition to my paper check register am going to start using Excel to track my checking account.

Use my debit card less and use cash more. That way if I forget a purchase or two it doesn't turn into a huge problem for me.

Tax Refund, 5K challenge, Eating Heatlhy, Exercise, blah, blah

According to the IRS's website my tax refund should be here before the end of the month. This means I will be able to complete my goals for singlema and RevancheGS $5K/5K challenge. Savings to date total $1,000. In my quest to loose 7lbs this month for the challenge, I did 4 mins on the treadmill and 50 leg presses.

In my quest to drop ** lbs, LOL, I joined a local gym in my neighborhood. The cost of this gym is $35 per month. This $35 isn't an additional expense because am eating out less and using that money to pay for the gym.

Eating healthier also costs more. There are now weekly runs to the store to get fruits and vegetables. Am, also trying out new vegetables. Thanks to my tweeps for keeping me motivated. A few days ago I tried kale, it was ok. I'll be trying it again.

I now make smoothies when am in a hurry in the morning instead of buying breakfast. Healthier, tastier and cheaper.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The paycheck from the part-time varies each payday. This doesn't make too much of a difference because I've started saving $50 bi-weekly and using the rest to pay whatever bills are left over. This usually means the bills are paid in advance. Or I use that money for miscellaneous items. This week most of that cash went to buying Claritin, Claritin D, TheraFlu and other household items.

Recently I took a few weeks off from the part-time gig. This enabled me to live without that check for the first time in almost 3 years (yeah it's been that long). Those few week thought me to manage cash flow properly without dipping into savings. It also taught me to be super organized. The check from the part-time gig used to be my back up plan when I forgot to say pay the cell phone or cable bill.

The lesson I've learned is to be organized and manage my cash.
Let the automation begin. Vanguard is the first account that was set up. The auto withdrawals from my checking account begun last week. woot woot.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Financial updates....goals

The first quarter of this year found me trying to get a handle on my cash flow. So far I've done a decent job of it.
My gas and electric bill stayed almost consistent during those first 3 months, so I have a better idea of what next winter will be like. Moving into my new condo obviously came with some additional expenses. So far I haven't had to go further into debt to buy anything.

During this first quarter I managed to put away $1,000 into 2 separate 6 month CDs of $500 each.

The goal for next quarter: April - June

Pay off balance on my car $1995 balance

Pay off my small student loan balance of $575

Open a 6 month CD for $1,000

Save $500 for summer outing with the girls. I know it will cost us more than this for the entire summer but this is a start. That $500 will be on a debit card that will be used solely for our outings.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I am currently working on automating more of my finances. Stay tuned!!

Friday, March 26, 2010


I am working on updating my resume with the help of a friend. It's time to look for a new job. There are layoffs coming at work, it's not if just a matter of when. Management is looking into alternate sources of funding, but usually this just prolongs the inevitable.

In December I started putting aside a few dollars from the part-time gig. I checked the account today and I have $350, this is after U took a few weeks off and skipped a few paychecks.

Automatic savings directly from your check is the shiznit!!!! This was sooo easy. Now if only the day job would let me split up my paycheck. Mmmhhhmmmm gonna set up auto transfer from checking to savings instead of me having to do it. Am hooked.

Paying yourself first is easy, but paying yourself first with automatic savings is so easy even a cave man can do it. LOL

Monday, March 22, 2010

What blogging has done for me financially...

Gave me the opportunity to openly talk about money openly. I don't do that in real life.

Keeps me accountable.

Taught me to pay myself first. Or should I say I knew that before but blogging kept me honest.

I learn something new everyday from other bloggers.

Since I began blogging:
I've paid down a substantial amount of credit card debt, bought a condo, prioritize my bills properly, contribute more to my retirement account and above all......I got more peace of mind where my finances are concerned.

I am no longer living paycheck to paycheck.
Does anyone still use a check register?

I do.
Took a few weeks off from the part-time gig for personal reasons. I am happy to say I didn't suffer financially.

I am a slacker on my taxes, didn't get to them last week as planned. The goal is to send them out before Friday.

A family member called this evening to borrow money. No more lending money to anyone. NO NO and NO.

Saturday, March 06, 2010


Almost done with my taxes, will be mailing them out on Monday.

Moved into my new place in December.

I owe less than $3,000 on my car. It will be good to get of a monthly drain on my cash flow.

One of my student loans has a $595 balance. I was going to pay it off a few weeks ago but I decided not too. It will have to wait until I get my refund.

I'm Back

Alot has taken placed since I last blogged back in November. Time to get back to blogging. This is like my financial diary so I need to keep it updated. Now that I have internet access at home again outside of my blackberry I will be blogging a few times per week.