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Archive for May, 2008

Back from the desert

May 27th, 2008 at 07:08 am

I had a great time in Arizona although it wasn't as hot as I wanted it to be! It was great seeing my family and watching my son run around.

I spent entirely too much money in those 5 days. *le sigh* We went to the mall, I gave my neice $100 for graduation which I know was spent at the mall. I honestly wanted her to have fun with it and I did mention putting some in savings but I know that went out one ear. But I am pleased to annouce that she did pay for her summer courses herself and she paid in cash! way to go!

I am still waiting to hear back about the assistantships I applied for and looking for a job on campus. It would be a dip in income but it's a sacrifice I have to make if I am to finish grad school and move on to the ph.d.

The Color of Poverty

May 21st, 2008 at 01:55 pm

I've become deeply disturbed by some of the comments left in the money forums re: a young single mom who says she has a difficult time feeding herself and her child on what she receives in food stamps each month.

Granted, I am currently working towards my masters in Sociology so I'm probably coming from this from a particular angle. I am also a Black woman. I am also a single mother. I've also received public assistance in the past. *just wanted to get that disclaimer out there*

A lot of the comments remind me of two books I've read recently. "Why Americans Hate Welfare", "When Welfare was White", and "Killing the Black Body". All three books talk about race and class in American society. And more importantly how mainstream society views Black women (unfit mothers, poor and uneducated) and how that translates when we read/see stories in the media about Black women.

A lot of the comments are darn near VERBATIM to the arguments made in those books. It's SCARY. And it hurts my heart to think that I am a part of a community that would say say such hurtful things about poor Black women. Stereotypes. They are dangerous but very much alive.

I need a break.

Post it Note *lightbulb*

May 21st, 2008 at 06:56 am

I am going to tape a post it note to my debit card that says "I want to be debt free by 2010".

We'll see if this helps curb my misc. spending?

Don't Ask Me for Advice!!

May 20th, 2008 at 07:41 pm

I have a dear friend who stresses me out.

She's in a lot of debt but isn't actively trying to pay it off. She works 2 jobs, one that I KNOW pays decently and another that is more of a part-time gig. But she never seems to have money to cover any of her payments. She has the mentality that if she can't pay what her creditors are asking she won't pay at all.

Tonight she tells me that one creditor has gone into her bank account 2x and caused her account to go negative. So instead of calling the bank and asking what her options are, she's on the phone re-counting the situation and complaining. Finally I call and explain HER situation to the rep and get some possible solutons for her.

I'm tired. I've recommended NUMEROUS options to her to help her get on track. But I think I'm done. I dont even know how to tell her to stop talking to me about her money problems.

$100 Red Light!!

May 20th, 2008 at 01:34 pm

I got a ticket in the mail. Apparently I ran a red light on 3/29, I didn't get the ticket til yesterday and owe them $100 by 5/31. There's no way for me to contest it because they have me on camera AND video,lol.

Am I wrong to think that they should at least give you 30days notice to come up with that amount of money?? UGH.

So now I have to re-arrange some things because I don't want to incur any fees on that.

Moral of the story. There are cameras everywhere, be careful.

Graduation Gifts

May 18th, 2008 at 05:02 pm

My neice is graduating from high school on Wednesday. Unfortunately I wont be able to make the ceremony but will be traveling to Arizona on Thursday to spend time with her and my family. I've gone back and forth about what to get her in celebration of this event. She will be attending a junior college in the fall and is hoping to pay for her tuition in cash. I am personally in awe of this goal and want to support her. However, I also want to get a piece of jewerly with a special message. Big dreams w/ a small budget! So I've decided to just give her $100-200 towards her school costs? Just not sure if I should do $100 or $200.

No Money Weekend?

May 16th, 2008 at 11:26 am

I'm going to try and not spend any money this weekend. Other than buying food for lunch next week...

So far I am thinking of taking my son to the the zoo. I'm lucky to live in a city that has a FREE Zoo. I should be able to find street parking.

One of the suburbs near me is having an art fair this weekend so I think I may take him out to that as well. While the weather sucks I do want to get some fresh air and exercise.

Oooh...I got 7 (yes S-E-V-E-N) bags of clothes yesterday in a freecycle. A lot of it I'm passing on because its not my style but there were a lot of good items. Lucky Brand jeans which retail for $100+ and I got them for FREE! So I saved money yesterday in not buying new clothes. :-)

Happy Friday and here's to a great weekend!

Settling vs. Paying Full Balance

May 15th, 2008 at 05:54 pm

I owe Sprint $250.47. I discontinued my services because I lost my job and didn't have a way to keep up the monthly payments. I received a notice in the mail today saying I could settle the account for $125.24, 50% of the balance. And they say they will consider the balance settled in full. I wonder does this mean they will notate my account on my credit report that it's paid in full?

I remember Dave Ramsey saying that he didn't think settling was good because you aren't owning up to the full amount you owe. While I understand that, isn't the goal to be debt free by any means necessary?

So Long Wells Fargo

May 15th, 2008 at 06:20 am

I checked my balance on one of my student loans today.

$261.00

I will admit, I make the payments every (or every other month)month and never paid attention to the declining balance. I am PLEASANTLY surprised at the fact that I actually have enough money to PAY THIS OFF!!

*throws confetti in the air*

I honestly don't know what to do with myself. I may have to call Dave Ramsey and tell him the good news!

Life on $5,000

May 14th, 2008 at 10:00 am

I received an email from the director of my program stating that she is taking applications for next year's graduate assistantships.

Free tuition. Yipee!

The stipend is only $5,000.

Who can live off of 5grand?

*edited update*

I didn't get the assistantship but I am going to apply. I just dont understand how they expect someone to live on $5,000 for an entire year.

Care.com is a rip off!

May 13th, 2008 at 05:44 pm

I signed up for this service to find a sitter for my son.

1. They charged me the $40 enrollment fee two times. I emailed customer service and was told that the $40 would be returned to my account.

2. They charged me a renewal fee on Monday of $25 two times.

When I check my billing statements on their website it shows that I've been charged once. Talk about innacurracy. The woman who responds to my inquiries makes it seemm like I'm not telling the truth when I can copy and paste the information from my bank account.

UGH!

Paying for Graduate School W/ Cash

May 13th, 2008 at 09:12 am

I registered for 2 classes for the fall quarter and I'm wondering if I saved could I pay for it in cash versus taking out another loan?

I have three plans in the works right now.
1. I applied for 5 assistantships that would cover the cost of tuition. I have yet to hear back.

2. I applied for a regular staff position that would cover tuition.

3. My current employer does tuition reimbursements up to $1,500 after 6 months of employment. I've been here 2 months.

In the meantime I am thinking of starting a tuition fund because I'm tired of loans.

Excel...Who Knew

May 13th, 2008 at 12:19 am

Today I spent about 6 hours in an excel training. Who knew there was THAT much to learn about excel. But apparently there is a lot to do with that program and I have some ideas of how to apply it to my financial fitness. I've been looking at various templates on the microsoft office website for a budget but I realize I need to create one that truly fits my needs. Now that I know some of the ins and outs of excel I plan to do just that...

Walgreens Needs a Savings Club/Card

May 11th, 2008 at 02:51 pm

There is a walgreens on my block and I spend a ridiculous amount of time there. I am always popping in there for anything from baby products to pens. Why don't they have a savings club or savings card like CVS? I have a CVS card but rarely go in there. Walgreens does have a EasySaver catalog that I just recently looked at. I read another blogger report that she received a check for $30+ in rebates from Walgreens. wow!

I have had some luck with the emails I receive from them. I got 15 free pictures on tax day. I uploaded them to the website and used the code and voila.

So walgreens if you are listening...where's my card?

Mama Day

May 11th, 2008 at 06:16 am

I honestly believe that being a mother is a special gift not to be taken lightly.

My son is 16mos and every day I realize how he has made me a better and more responsible person. Every time he says "mama" and reaches for me my heart melts.

Yesterday I sent my mother to the spa and my son and I went to a luncheon. It was our first mother/son outing. I had fun and he had a nice LONG nap when we got home,lol.

Today we are going to brunch with some friends. It sucks that it's raining outside but hopefully it'll brighten up later on.

Happy Mother's Day to all mothers and those of us who mother to children we didn't give birth to.

How Often Do You Check Your Accounts

May 10th, 2008 at 07:17 am

This is something I've been back and forth about.

I don't check my bank account every day unless I'm expecting money. Bad, I know. But I know of people who check their accounts once in the morning and once at night. And they check their various credit accounts once a week or so. So I'm wondering if I should step it up.

On my list of things to do is create a spreadsheet of my debt. I did get all 3 credit reports and scores just haven't put it in a format that is accesible and easy to read. One day at a time.

Stimulus Today...Bills Tomorrow

May 9th, 2008 at 08:07 pm

I got my stimulus check today.

$637.

Where did it go?
$300 to CitiFinancial Auto
$112 towards a pedicure/facial for my mother (mother's day gift)
$80 to Citibank
$100 to Wells Fargo
Total: $592. Gone in 60 seconds.

It was fun while it lasted.