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$65...thanks ETS

July 22nd, 2008 at 03:06 am

I took the GRE last year and applied for a fee waiver. I didn't get it but I was able to take the test at a reduced rate. I am just now getting the refund check! WOO-HOO! So into my account it goes and back out to pay a bill!

Met a July Goal!

July 20th, 2008 at 01:26 am

One of my goals this month was to create a filing system for all important personal and financial documents.

I'm proud to say I FINALLY did it. I got an expandable folder and labeled each section with each bill or type of information. It feels so good to have a system and some organization to my life. No more fumbling around when I am trying to find something. I honestly can't believe it took me this long to do it. I spent about 30minutes and now it's done!

I also made a list of every bill I owe. It's not that bad and I sorted it by smallest to highest. I believe I can pay it off by the end of this year. Well that's my goal. Gazelle!

The Joy of the Dollar Store

July 19th, 2008 at 04:05 pm

There is a dollar store within walking distance of my house and for some reason I would always go to Walgreen's instead. Could be pure laziness but now I've changed my mind! Granted there are things at Walgreen's that aren't at the dollar store (mainly meds) but this particular store has just about everything I buy at Walgreen's. Like today I had to go get a gift bag, card and tissue paper for a baby shower gift. I also picked up some bubble bath for my son. Total? Brace yourself. $3.50.

Why didn't I think of this sooner?!?! The cheapest gift cards at Walgreen's are the 99cent ones. You can get 2 for $1 at the dollar store. And ALL of the gift bags are $1 versus spending anywhere from $2-$5 at Walgreen's.

I am a believer,lol.

Kudos to me.

July 18th, 2008 at 08:33 pm

I am proud to announce that I brought my lunch everyday this week.

I paid all my bills first thing this morning.

I've been keeping a running tab of money spent. I have to find my balance book to enter the items in there.

I spend time looking for coupons prior to buying something.


Cheap Organic...Oxymoron?

July 17th, 2008 at 08:20 pm

I like to buy organic products, mainly for my son because I worry about him going through puberty at the age of 8 or having any other health issues associated with the ridiculous amounts of chemicals in our food. But in today's economy I find it increasing difficult to do so. I buy Horizon Organic milk for him and sometimes it's $6 a gallon! And he can go through a gallon in a week sometimes. But here's the good news! Their website has coupons.

I also found that Organic Valley and Stonyfield have coupons on their website as well. Oh happy day.

Debt Avalanche vs. Debt Snowball

July 17th, 2008 at 02:11 am

I have read Dave Ramsey's book and really enjoyed it. I've also listened to his show and got some wonderful advice and ideas.

I just stumbled across this new method called the Debt Avalanche

Text is and Link is It's basically the same but puts paying off debt before creating an emergency fund. I dont see why they can't be done at the same time. I mean I understand the point of having an emergency fund because stuff happens. But you can tuck money aside while paying off debt. Now I wonder...which one would really eliminate my debt quickest??

Household Notebook

July 15th, 2008 at 01:30 am

I have been playing around with the idea of creating one for a while. I like the idea of having a central location for these documents because I do find myself stumbling around. And if there was ever an emergency what would I do?

So I came across this wonderful blog to help me get started. Thought I'd share.

Repairing Clothes vs. Buying New

July 14th, 2008 at 01:40 am

I have this shirt that I got via freecycle that I love. It's a great color and it fits with my style. Only recently I notice a rip in the back. I don't know how to sew otherwise I'd just repair it myself. And since I got the shirt for free I figure it would be cost effective to just take it to the cleaners and have them repair it.

I realize how much money I can save by simply taking care of what I have and repairing what gets torn or when buttons are lost versus sending them away via trash or good will.

New Job

July 11th, 2008 at 03:29 pm

After many months of going back and for. I have FINALLY found a job on campus. I know will be working part-time but that will allow me to focus on school. I'll also be able to work from home in the morning to make up for the reduced income.

I'm excited but I know this will force me to create a spending plan and STICK to it.

Back from the desert

May 27th, 2008 at 02:08 pm

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 08:55 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 01:56 pm

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 21st, 2008 at 02:41 am

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 08:34 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 19th, 2008 at 12:02 am

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 06:26 pm

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 16th, 2008 at 12:54 am

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 01:20 pm

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


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 05:00 pm

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.