Sunday, July 06, 2008
I decided not to log my nutrition for the weekend. I kept track of water and fruits/veggies only. It’s not exactly a free pass to eat whatever I want. I must still use my head, but I don’t have to be so strict for the weekend. I’ve done well with the “diet” and I deserve a break from weighing and portioning out everything. I like to think that I’ll do alright for a day or two without all that. After all, that is the point – to learn how to eat properly without having to really think about it – having it simply come naturally.
I did receive my stimulus check Saturday – yahoo! Oddly, I didn’t run to the bank and pay my bill yet. Laziness to blame. I will do it tomorrow. After all, I work at a bank. No excuse at that point.
I enjoyed the day today by watching “tv” (HGTV online full episodes) all afternoon while flipping through the stack of magazines that’s been plaguing me by my bedside. I got through more than half of them and it feels great to be tackling the clutter!
In spirit of my spending diet, I attempted to give myself a pedicure. First of all, I’m not thrilled with doing this. It’s not pampering, relaxing, and I don’t have the right tools to do my feet. I may have to invest in a few new pedi tools in order for me not to cave next time I’m at the salon getting my fingernails done. If any one has any tried and true pedi tools you just love, please let me know!
Friday, July 04, 2008
Out of my next paycheck, I already have a good majority of my pay – gone before I even see it. Ugh. This is the bad part about debt. You work hard – and then realize you’ve already spent what you’ve been working toward. Not exactly motivating.
If I remember correctly, I dreamt I received my stimulus check. This is how badly I want the thing. Once I get that, it immediately goes to my Target CCD. It will bring the balance down so that I will be able to pay off the remainder with the next paycheck. This is a card I will continue to use, but pay off each month. And it will only be used for two items: rent and gym membership that will be on automatic payment. I’ll keep it out of my wallet, as the “just one swipe here” and “just one swipe there” is what had gotten me in the trouble in the first place.
I set up my Capital One High Yield Money Market account. It honestly wasn’t the highest interest rate, but it was close. And since I’m already a Capital One customer, it was just easier to have everything in one place. I set up an automatic transfer to happen from my non-interest bearing checking to the HYMM monthly after the direct deposit. This should help my savings grow a tad faster than otherwise (I get interest plus it’s not quite as easy to access). It’s minimal, but I’ll take it.
I called the electric company to see if I can join their demand conservation program, which would save me $5/mo during summer months. They are sending me the paperwork.
I did the research and I’ve determined I need to order my credit report in March of next year to evaluate it for errors and get it “cleaned up” if necessary. Generally, I’ve been doing this once a year, but I’m skipping this year so I can do it in March of next (or I’d have to wait until July to get it free again).
I’m also working on my budget. I’m trying to determine the max I can pay toward debt while still paying cash for everything else. For now, it’s not looking as nice as I’d hoped.
I did manage to list a formal dress I’ll probably never wear on eBay. I also organized clothes to take the to consignment shop which I hope to do by the end of the month. I also applied to be a mystery shopper, but I don’t know if they’ll accept my application. I’m also committed to taking advantage of all MyPoints point earning opportunities and Research surveys. I hope to get a $25 gift card to Kohl’s for some additional household items I would like for my apartment.
Really – this time I’m trying to make a difference. I’m committed to get out of debt as quickly as humanly possible. Hopefully during my spending diet I will establish all the habits needed to ensure I will not be here again in another 10 years…
Remaining short-term goals:
• Sell wedding dress
• Get to consignment shop
• Finish budget and pay off credit card so I can accurately re-run the snowball debt calculator
I CAN DO THIS!
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
I received my stimulus check NOTICE in the mail. This is a mean trick that the IRS likes to play on people anxiously awaiting their check. At any rate, it did inform me that soon I would be receiving the monies that would get me that much closer to paying off credit card #1. I cannot tell you how much relief this will bring me. It will mean that by the next paycheck, I will have paid off a credit card – and the one with the highest interest. Again, I cannot tell you how much this thrills me.
I decided today would be the day I look at my 401k. I’m discouraged to see a -8.4% annualized return staring at me. Should I change my stocks around? No. I decide to print out a copy of what’s going on and continue to do this at the turn of each paycheck. I will also add the stock tickers to my home page so I can see what they’re doing. Then I will be able to better see trends and make better decisions. I’m not familiar enough with the stock market to change too much at this point. I resolve to understand it better going forward. I click on the various buttons in attempt to gather more information. It “warns” me that my current mix is aggressive. Hmmmm… are they saying it’s too risky? I also learn that I have not changed the beneficiary from my ex-husband. I put in the request to change it to my mother. Whew! Glad I looked at that! I also learned I can download my 401k information into Money – which will be nice since I can also utilize any tools the program provides for determining where to go from here. Speaking of tools, I learned that according to the calculators the 401k site provides I’m projected to have “enough” when I retire. To me this means I don’t have to add more per paycheck until I’ve paid off the debts – which is a nice relief. At least I’m not financially in a bind there, too. However, I realize that I will want to add more to the 401k pot as soon as possible, as well as keep an eagle eye on what my stocks are doing – “aggressive” is one thing, “stupid” is quite another.
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