Summer Sun, Summer Employment

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Ugh. This is almost as bad as my search for a part-time job back in the day. I opted to continue to get paid through the summer, so it’s not that I am not going to be able to pay my bills; however, that’s three months I could have a significant secondary source of income. I would be idiotic to not take advantage of it. If anything, it’s been harder to find a summer job. There aren’t a lot of opportunities available for only the summer, or that you can apply for now that will start in late May/early June. PLUS, many of them are solely either for teenagers or for current college students.

My best bets so far have been summer camps and summer school. I’ve applied to teach summer school and for several camps, but so far I’ve only had a phone interview for a nonprofit international camp in New York…which I haven’t heard anything back for so I’m not hopeful. I do have an interview on Monday that seems like it’ll pan out, so wish me luck! It’s with a summer camp that is a little further away than I wanted, but it’s still employment! Plus it’s in the same area that Favorite’s family lives, so maybe I’ll get to hang out a little more with him and do fun summer stuff.

The plan for this potential additional income is to use it solely for debt repayment and my emergency fund.

Some of my accounts are behind (one in particular VERY behind), so the goal for the summer is to completely pay off debts that are not attached to a card/tuition and to catch up all of my delinquent accounts. I would also like to have a month’s income put back in my EF by the end of the summer. I really would love to buy a “new” car by the beginning of 2016; however, in order to do that I need better credit, a better credit history, and money put back. Once I have money for emergencies and a higher credit score (for lower interest), I can concentrate on putting cash back for that purchase. My car is not doing well right now, so if I need to replace it ahead of schedule, I would be able to use my emergency fund for that.

Anyway. I’m planning with money not in hand, and I can’t predict the future, so the best I can do at this point is apply for summer positions as they come and hope it works out for the best!

Wish me luck 🙂 

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2015 Net Worth Update

Now that I’m back to actively trying to get my finances on track, I figured it’s about time to check out my Net Worth…for the first time in four years. 😦 I’m fairly confident it has gone down by a significant amount…however, my income has gone up significantly, so I’m hoping to change this quickly!

Assets: $1913.66

Liabilities: $27833.84

Net worth: -$25920.18

The very simple way to find this, for those of you who have not tried to find your Net Worth before, is to add your assets (car, house, expensive item, etc.) and then your liabilities (loans, personal loans, bills, balances, etc.). Subtract the latter from the former. When I did so, I ended up with a net worth of – $25920.18. Which is pretty terrible compared to the average for my age group, which is $8525 (according to sources).

I have a few major purchases that will probably need to happen within the next year or two, and I need an emergency fund built up, so there’s a lot of major repairs that need to happen with my finances. It’s hard to try to deal with all the cards on the table, but it’s my just dessert for not being a tight wad and instead being a loose spender for a few years.

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Catching-Up Part 3: Finances

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And oh how it would. June-August haven’t exactly been kind to my finances.  The addition of car loan payments, student loan payments, root canal payments, increased gas usage, and a crazy electric bill (crazy from the fuel adjustment) have been driving me up the wall. Not to mention applying (for the second time, even though the first time wasn’t processed) to my university + a late fee (that I was told about to the last minute).

Current Net Worth:  -$19,638.26

BLAH. This is as of August 31, so it does not include my possible student loan for this semester. I also did not include the worth of my car.

  • -$13,371.04Student Loans – Not as high as it was because I have made two months worth of payments of $154.62
  • -$3000Car – This is comprised of however many necessary worth of payments of $150/month to my parents (who took out the literal loan).
  • -$1878.63Discover – Mostly consumer debt.
  • -$1007Root Canal – This is to my Care Credit card, which I took out and used to get a surprise root canal (the best kind of surprise) back in July.
  • -$498 University – What I owe from a past semester for tuition
  • -$417.92 Roommate – This is for general supplies and pet deposit.
  • +$116.41 – What I have in my bank account right now.

The plan is to knock out $300 in car loan payments, $417.92 in roommate payments, $48 in Discover card payments, $36  in root canal payments, and the full $498  for what I still owe my university for a total of $1299.92 in planned debt repayment for September.

I think this pretty much concludes catching y’all up with my life for the summer. Now on to September and a great way to finish the year!

July: Month of Craziness

This. Month. Has. Been. CRAZY.

One of the consistently good things is how well bf stepped up to show his true colors and willingness to help gracefully when I really need it, and I am so grateful for him, his family, my own family, and my friends for their support through some of this nonsense. A lot of it is seemingly trivial, and I know this, but damn did it all pile on at once!

July 2, 2013

Being a good neighbor I jumped their car off, only to find that my own would not start later. bf drove me to work the next day and it was put in a shop Friday (since the fourth caused some wonky closing days). Found out then that the car needed an entire new engine…and since it was already on its last legs (200k miles, no ac, a lot of body damage, 15ish years old, etc), the cost of the engine outweighed the worth of the car.

So onto the car hunt! After two being purchased from under my nose (a Yaris and a Rio), I finally managed to find an Allero. Red, two-door, etc. for $3000 (amazing right?). It isn’t the cream of the crop, but it was within my price range and will get me from point A to point B with AC. This car was purchased June 18…so for the three weeks before that bf and his family let me live at their house (downside: no wifi), driving me to dealerships, work, my energy exchange for yoga, fed me, etc. My parents ended up finding the Allero and driving it the two hours to get it to where I live from where they purchased it, as well as actually doing the financing themselves since it was too old to be acceptable by my bank (so car note to the ‘rents!).

July 8, 2013

My boss calls my coworker and me into her office that Monday (keeping in mind that that is the Monday after I found out I would need to get a new car) to inform us that (in my own words) “I’m cutting both of your hours to 25 a week from 40 so that I can continue to not provide you with any benefits at all.” Insert panicking since with the added car note I was moving dangerously close to expenses > income territory. I began to desperately job-hunt, and ended up applying for 10ish within the first two days. My boss is not my favorite person in the world, but I did enjoy creating courses. If I could afford the software, I would definitely freelance…but yeah, cutting my monthly income from $1280/month (on a good month since I don’t get holiday pay or sick leave or overtime) to $850/month was not cutting it for me.

July 16, 2013

I began to have horrific tooth pain that I attempted to ignore (since I don’t have dental insurance). Ended up sucking it up and going to the dentist, where I learned that I needed a root canal. I proceeded to get one July 25, along with a credit line of $2000 that I had to use $1015 of which to pay for the procedure (not including the crown, which I have not gotten yet). On the 16th, I also refilled my Effexor prescription (after 3 days of forgetting – will never make that vomit-inducing mistake again) for a million ($104) at CVS. Going to do some shopping around next month.

July 24, 2013

I found out (after an interview) that I got a new job! It’s working as a front desk/copay desk assistant at a clinic for $0.50/hour more starting pay full-time with holiday pay, overtime, a 401K, dental insurance (where was this when I had to get that root canal!?), health insurance, and vision (if I so chose, which I won’t since I don’t wear glasses or any of that jazz). I start tomorrow (August 1).

July 26, 2013

I moved into a new house from my old duplex! It was a pretty hard 3-4 days with my brother and roommate moving everything around (them more than me because they’re both stronger and I had work). But I’ll have to post some pictures of it. It was built in the 1930s, is beautiful Tudor-cottage style with hardwood floors, a giant gas range (with a skillet top and two ovens), an enclosed brick patio, and in general is just classy and wonderful.

So that’s pretty much a brief summary of the more important things that happened in July. I’ll actually start posting more and catching up now that things are calmer.

tl;dr

Got a new car, new job, root canal, and new house.

Save & Pay Plan

My morning generally includes something along the lines of 30 minutes to an hour of reading through posts of different sites I follow and reveling in their successes and learning from the tid bits they’re sharing. When it comes to the pf community I tend to circle around, a lot of the posts are regarding debt repayment.  I suppose it’s something I identify with somewhat because yes, I am in debt. And the more I see people paying off what they owe, the more I think “Why am I not doing that?” which caused me to reevaluate why exactly I wasn’t.

prioritize

So I went on a quest to figure out what my monetary priorities exactly are.

  1. Tuition for the Fall 2013 semester + $500 I owe my university – One of my big goals for 2013 was to graduate with no additional loans, so any time I think of a financial goal, my first thought isn’t “Pay off Discover!!!” it’s “Put away enough in tuition before my fee bill is due!!!” For a while I felt very guilty about this, and I honestly couldn’t tell you why. So the goal is to pay the $500 that I owe my university currently (so I suppose that counts as debt repayment too!) and $760 for my first tuition payment by August 8, 2013.
  2. Discover Card/Emergency Fund – The idea of not having an emergency fund at all is more disturbing to me than my DC balance. I know a lot of people may disagree with me on that point, but I’ve had too many emergencies arise in the last six months (replace all four tires, replace alternator, family illness, etc.) to be able to continue to live paycheck to paycheck with absolutely nothing in the bank. I will continue to make minimum payments on my DC at least through the end of 2013, and once my tuition is completely paid, start making more aggressive payments to have it finished off by the end of 2014.
  3. Student Loans + Interest – Once my DC is 75% paid off and my EF has a month’s worth of $ in it, I’ll begin to make more aggressive student loan payments (beyond the minimum). I know that the longer I wait, the more I will pay (in interest), but I would really rather build up my EF a  bit first.
  4. Big Purchases (car, computer) – As I mentioned above, there were a few large purchases that had to be made on my car, which has been ridden hard. My mom bought it used with the intention to use it to drive to work and back and make longer trips with while my dad used the truck to travel to and from work. When I went to Florida last summer, they lent me the car (my own actual car has a ~$600 repair sitting on it) and purchased a new one. I don’t anticipate more than a few years out of the car I am driving right now, and it was originally intended to be my younger brother’s…so the plan is to eventually fix my actual car. On another note, my laptop is about to start its fourth year of life. Between having access to my work computer and my smartphone, if my computer dies I could probably get along for a while without it (I mean, people have for years, right? Plus libraries do exist).

My priorities do not currently focus on obliterating my debts.

With this in mind, my goal won’t necessarily be to create a giant loan repayment plan, but a Save & Pay Plan. Half of my goals are savings oriented, the other half are debt-oriented, and with my current income (I did apply for another job, so cross your fingers!), I do need a highly detailed and controlled plan to guarantee I can accomplish at the very least my tuition payments. As I said before, I am finally caught up on bills (e.g. rent, insurance), so I can start planning ahead.

So full steam ahead on the Save & Pay Plan!

2013 Budget (and minimum CC payments)

I’ve decided the following break-down is what I will use for my monthly budget in 2013 (plus a little bit of a #pfconfession toward the end). This is excluding January because of two reasons. Firstly, my income was about 25% less than it will be for any other month, and secondly because I still had to pay my December rent, so double rent! This may look simple, but it took a lot of finagling in a notebook and looking at my spending habits from 2011 and 2012 before creating something I can realistically stick to while also achieving my goal to be financially fit.

2013 monthly budget

This is based on an estimated $1200/mo income. This will definitely change in August/September because I will begin school again, but I don’t know my schedule and won’t be full-time, so I’ll reevaluate then. This also isn’t taking into account months like May (3 check month anyone?), or any additional income that could come from being employed by Princeton Review (which is sort of an “as we need you” basis) or my (hopeful) tax refund. Regardless of whether I’m a little over or a little under in income, the “basics” (everything but Savings/Specialty) will stay the same. I know Savings/Specialty says $380, but my rule of thumb is “anything left goes into my savings account.” Also, if you say “Hmm. Don’t you have a roommate? Shouldn’t your electricity be cheaper?” you may be right, but I’d rather be safe than sorry. I’m also pretty happy I remembered a miscellaneous category this time. I always tell myself I’ll never need one if I stay in my budget, but it’s always a load of nonsense.

Also…I would love love love to pour every penny I have “extra” into paying off my Discover card…however… #pfconfession … I’m not going to. At least, not right now. Wait! Before you yell at me…

I did think about this decision a lot, and even after talking to a financial advisor over at LearnVest, I just don’t think it’s the most financially sound decision for me to make right now. As of last year my EF is completely drained (balance of $0 drained) and I really have no assets whatsoever. After discussing my work schedule with my boss, I know I will be employed at least through the summer, but my luck in that is a different story for a different post. I want to be prepared to pay for at least a month or two of rent (which I can’t do with a balance on the card) and expenses that go along with that. But even more than that, I have a few “large rock” expenses which are why I deemed that category “Savings/Specialty.” These are one-time payments that are going to be large, and the primary ones that come to mind are Car Insurance ($450 before a special program I’m applying for as a safe driver) in March, $500 I owe my university before being able to schedule for the fall, and $2000 in tuition for August (which, I can defer half of it, but I would prefer not to have to worry about it the whole semester). And it feels…silly to me to put money on my card that I know I’m going to have to use for something else. Especially when I could be acruing pennies in interest in my savings account! 😉

Once those “large rock” expenses are out of the way (hopefully August) and I know my income, I’ll be splitting the “Savings/Specialty” between my Discover card and savings account (to keep up with creating an EF). I really do understand that ultimately I am paying more because of interest rates, but I feel that this is really the only reasonable way to pay for what I need to pay for and graduate, as well as the only way to give myself a little financial wiggle-room with the beginnings of an EF.

What do y’all think?

Finance Snapshop – May edition

So I said I was back, and I am! It’s actually taken a lot of thought to figure out where I wanted to go from here, you know, fresh starts and all that jazz 😉 So after outlining a few ideas of traditional posts I’ve done that I like and figuring out new things to push my comfort zone, I’m starting with the basics. Where I’m at. It’s hard for me to look at myself, because the knowledge of what to do and what not to do is in my grasp, in my head even! And yet, here I am.

Not quite in financial ruin yet

Pretty Much

Pic. Source

So I am in no way in financial ruins. Every time I look at my bank account and get a frog in my throat, or open my wallet with a shudder, I try to put things into perspective.  The well-being of others does not rely on my financial success; I am not bankrupt, I am not homeless, hungry, or sick. I’m just a broke college student with no one to blame but herself who needs to make better life choices and actually stick with them. So where am I at right now?

  • Discover: $1,401.49
  • Checking: $155.01
  • Savings: $0
  • Cash: $100.05
  • Loans & Interest: $13,753

This puts me at a cool –$14,899.43 as far as networth goes. Well, looking back at it almost a year ago, I’m down by $4,752.43 from –$10,146. I was really confused until I remembered that I anticipated $3750 in loans that I ended up not taking out that were accounted for and that I valued my car at $5000 (it has since had some…problems); however, I really tanked my savings and cash (plus I got that…credit card). And even in writing this post I wanted to mislead myself and look at my networth as having “gone up,” when it really didn’t at all. I never had the loans I was taking into account, so my networth was never that low in the first place. Denial is not just a river in Egypt, y’all.

Of course, I’m not exactly pleased about this, but a great quote by Thoreau is “Never look back unless you are planning to go that way.” Of course we should always learn from our mistakes (like don’t charge Christmas to your card, and when you get reimbursed for expenditures, treat it as a reimbursement and not as “Ooooo free monies!”). Or, in my case, even though I KNOW KNOW KNOW that credit card money is not actually my money, to not say “I have $400 left of my limit! That’s $400 I have to spend!” And curbing emotional spending. And hobby spending (knitting can get expensive). And not just avoiding my finance-related life out of shame. I really love the PF atmosphere and am genuinely interested in it and getting better. I need self-control. And I need it soon.

As of right now, I’m living with my parents until I leave for an internship in Pensacola, FL on May 24. There, I will have free housing and meals, and a $3000 stipend. That last bit is pretty important because as of August, many things will come to a head.

  1. My Discover Card will have an interest rate (est. 17-20%)
  2. Tuition. I dropped my 2 minors in order to drop my tuition from $3200 to $1500, so that helps, but at least half of it is due the first week of August…so $750 bones…
  3. Rent & deposits on my first ever big girl apartment
So the plan is to get an additional job while in FL (the internship is 30 hours a week, so I would have the time) so that I know for sure I can take care of all of those financial obligations. The next step is building up my EF  and savings. And loan interest repayment…but I’m getting into another post entirely here 🙂