Lord, it's been a while since my last blog post.
Still here, on my grind. hustling, working.
Gainfully employed under someone else's corporate umbrella. Appreciative. What a strange trip it has all been. I want to keep my stamina to publish more of my words. So I'll keep the letters to a minimum as to not type too many.
Dreams, hopes, goals, all on the horizon. But the weight of the world is heavy (now at the latest of my 30's) on my mind. Bad things happen to good people all the time, after-all. That's no way to think of course. So here I sit, head unbowed.
Lord, it's been a while since my last blog post.
My situation has improved since last I wrote an entry. I no linger live with my parents (amen!), we rent a decent size 3 br house with a great backyard. Cozy, really nice, and pretty affordable. While my income has always stayed relatively the same since I have been writing this blog, I feel that my quality of life has definitely improved thanks to financial habits this blog writes about.
I am happy to report I am on top of my expenses, living within my means and even saving a little. I have not reached financial security and really there's only one way I can get their quicker. At this point I really need to focus in increasing my income. This is where that old saying "easier said than done" fits the best.
I finally put on my big girl panties and ordered my credit reports and credit score to make sure all was in order. Thank goodness I did, because I noticed a HUGE error in regards to my old mortgage. About 2 years ago, I gave up my house through a Deed In Lieu of foreclosure. It went as planned as far as I was concerned...I got the confirmation that it was back in the banks name and my loan was closed. I got no further communication from the mortgage company since then.
About a month ago I got my credit reports from both Equifax and Trans Union, both claimed that the mortgage loan for $500K was still open AND I was over 120+ days late on it. WTF!!!!!???? Of course I called the mortgage company right away and they confirmed it was closed through a Deed In Lieu 2 years ago and they have no idea why the credit bureaus were never notified. Supposedly they will be informing all 3 credit bureaus the correct info within the next 10 days.
Here is my question:
My credit score now is 589. (Horrible I know!!) With them thinking I still have a $500K loan under my name and over 120 days late on it.
After this information has been rectified to a Deed In Lieu in 2009. Do you guys think my credit score will go DOWN? Or go UP?
I was optimistically thinking it was going to go up after the correction...but the more I think about it, I think it might actually go down instead. What do you all think?
OK, I really need to get it together. Sure I screwed up royally in 2007 by buying a half a million dollar house that was falling apart and situated behind a pylon yard, sinking mine and my DH's entire savings and subsequently wasting paying a large mortgage the next 2 years. Yes, two years later the mofo CPS were FALSELY sicked on my family by incredibly thoughtless apt neighbors. (I cannot even begin to describe the hellish experience that was, but I'll save that post for another day. On the record, my encounter with that whole CPS issue was so disturbing I totally changed how I view our political reality. It's so depressing when you think about it.)
Anywho....So here I am, with family in tow living back at home with the parents. Rent free, at 31. WTF, right?
I know it all sounds bad on paper....BUT
I swear we have it under control. We're saving rapidly so we can buy another house soon, I'm assuming we might have to pay for it in cash. We are def not doing apts anytime soon. I can assure you...my next foray into buying a home will be NOTHING like my first.
Getting It Together: Don't let others distract you from what it is you really want out of life.
It's been over 6 mos since my last post. I guess to put it bluntly: life is hard and i'm really tired.
C'est la vie...as the French say. As hard and tired as I am, I still like to smile and dream.
I wish I had a happier poem to think about, but I really like this one:
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
4 month plan:
Enrolled in Accounting 21 & 22 - 6 Units - Finish in Dec 2010
Need: $5,000 by Jan 2011
Save $250/month (x 4 mos.) = $1,000
Cash/Coins = $500
Live overseas Jan/Feb 2011
What to do while over there? How will I generate income?
Come back Mar 2011 - Continue pursuit of CPA
1.) Tomorrow I will finally be emptying out my Storage unit. Saves $110/month.
2.) Baby can be weaned off formula starting now.
3.) STOP Overdrafting!!! - Saves at least $70/month.
$100 - +Savings
$140 - Pay other bills quicker
I've decided I would like to have less "things" and the few items I keep/acquire I have to really want or have a use for. The problem with this is that I always seem to have a lot of stuff, either through my own purchase or other people bring them, so it accumulates quickly. I don't really do big giant purges at a time, but I'm dedicating time daily to throwing out/give to someone else items in my life that i don't really need.
I don't know why I always fight the urge to come here, because when I do, I am ALWAYS glad I did. It's like a fresh breath of reality. I'm on Facebook a lot and although these are my "real life" friends & acquaintances, there is no way in hell I will share on FB what I share here. Why? Because FB is for impressing others, either with your wit or your Fabulous! life. SavingAdvice...is for airing out your dirty laundry!
So what have I been up to?
Well I quit my job of 4 years. Long story short, it was no longer working out. Time to move on.
I still have my side gig of running the online store of a small medical uniform company. Part of my job security is dependent on the sales generated through the online store...so if you have the need for scrubs and medical stuff, check out my side bar and click on my link.
So...yeah, money is tight! But, after much reflection I don't need much to maintain a life I can be happy with.
$2,000 / month = Surviving but probably Miserable, racking up debt due to interest and late fees.
$2,500 / month = OK but hardly saving anything, debts will not be paid down, probably continue to rack up more debt.
$3,000 / month = OK at least I can start making progress with my debts again and not adding to them.
$3,500 / month = again just OK, more will go to my debts, will be able to save more.
$4,000 / month = See Above.
$5,000 / month = IDEAL! - Save, Pay Debts, Live fancy!
When I say little. I really mean little. Here are few things I am mentally committed into not spending buying/spending in the next 3 months.
1.) toilet paper, paper Towels, disposable plates, cups, & cutlery - My mom, being the Costco shopper that she is always has plenty to spare.
2.) Soap & Lotions of any kind. I have plenty already.
3.) Junk Food - This one is a hard one sometimes. I. Must. Not. Give. In.
This one has nothing to do with budgeting. But I really need to get back on that treadmill or at least start doing random exercises throughout the day. My biggest excuse for my lack of exercise is that I am already so tired from my daily chores, errands, and taking care of a baby, that I feel that I am already burning enough calories. However my flabby midsection is an obvious contradiction to that.
I've been avoiding writing down the total of what I owe and basically anything related to writing down some sort of budget.
Pretty much I know what I owe and I know what I will be taking home in the next few months. So...I don't think I will be doing that at this time.
Right Now I just need to focus on:
1.) Increase income through career
2.) Increase income through side business
3.) STOP Buying stupid items!!!
4.) Think of the Earth! and stop being such a consumer.
My mother is a fanatic FoxNews watcher. She fits every stereotype of the character. As John Stewart put it on the Factor, she falls for "the Narative" hook, line, and sinker. EDIT: It's not that she falls for it, it's more like that's how she sees the world also.
It's almost beyond explanation, how she fits that very mold. Because "in real life" she is kind, loving, smart, successful and overall a very nice person.
Recently I stumbled across a site that seemed to have articulated everything I have always suspected about the universe and my spiritual self.
After letting it sink in that I am fully satisfied with what I have found to be the meaning of life, I realized that no matter what goes on in ones own head, real life is always a constant and is there to greet you every morning. And like it or not, money is a huge part of that "real life" for us who chose to live in society. FACT: The DWP does not care what kind of spiritual enlightenment you have found, that bill is due on the 21st.
I am always so conflicted whether I should be happy or upset about where I am at in life. Sure things could be worse, but damn they could also be a whole lot better.
Had I not bought a house 2 years ago I would probably have over $50K in savings and not be in CC debt up to my ears. Yes, that is for sure depressing to think about. But then I take stock of what I do have: a clean, comfortable, & safe abode, a reliable source of income, food and health insurance for my family, & last but not least a nice glass of wine while i write this entry. Not too bad.
But then I start think of what I COULD have had.
I pursued a Deed In Lieu of Foreclosure rather than just a letting it go into a foreclosure, which has sped up the whole process of turning my house over to the bank. I have gotten so much slack from everyone I know about leaving my house so early in the game without taking advantage of staying and not paying. In my defense, I could not live like that. Sure I could have saved money, but it would have been a very uncomfortable situation for me.
As soon as DH and I decided we were going to give up the house, we wanted to move right away. Sooo...had we not been so haste in our decision, we could have been saving $1,500/month in the last 4 months.
Is comparing yourself to a destitute vagabond really a positive way to uplift yourself?
It's official I am now a member of the "poor sap who lost their house in the meltdown" club. What can I say...it was not worth fighting for and I figure the 200+ point hit on my credit rating was a tad bit better than overpaying $200K+ on a house.
Everytime I hear that the "Government" Local or Federal is having its own financial troubles, I often wonder what they do with all the money they get left and right from people. Don't get me wrong, I fully understand it costs money to run this great big wonderful country of ours. I'm sure we can all go on and on about what how much and on what the govt. spends. But this post is not about that.
It's about how much they take in from what seems like a booming business.
1.) Income Taxes - We all need to pay them. I'm not here to argue how much is too little or too high. You'd think all governing costs would be covered just from this.
2.) Property Taxes - I just paid the 2nd half of my Property Tax recently and boy was that painful. I don't even send my kid to public school! Where is my discount?!
3.) Parking Tickets, Traffic Fines, DMV Fees, Parking meters, Citations for non-violent offenses, Late FEES for aformentioned items. Every day I drive by my local DMV office, and there is a line OUT THE DOOR every single day. I picture a $ sign dancing above every single person in that line.
I feel like I'm forgetting a bunch more other items. But those are my top 3. Again I understand it costs money to govern, but it's not like we don't already pay for our own basic necessities on TOP of what the Govt provides in infrastructure. Energy, Water, & Insurance are all paid to private companies. Where does it all go? How is it that we a have deficit in the trillions? Is the govt really so large that nobody can manage to put together a reasonable budget with all the easy revenue coming in?
Here we go again! I had to get my front breaks done again. This time though I went to a neighborhood autoshop rather than a chain store like Midas. This time they said my rotors were not up to specs and had to be absolutely replaced because the previous mechanics had sanded them too much. He gave me a deal that he would give me the rotors at cost for $40 (supposedly!) and the break pads he was putting in were going to be better quality than what Midas had put in about a year ago (to be determined!). So my final tally came up to:
Break Pads: $80 (best quality)
Rotors: $40 (at cost)
Total: $220 - No Tax!
Thoughts? Does this sound like Deal?
I got this from a mommy site I frequently read. I'm just copying and pasting. Seemed like a great tip so i'm just passing it along.
"Another grocery $$ saving tip...
Buy a box of powdered milk to use in recipes that call for milk. I know powdered milk is not the most appetizing product, but when it's in a recipe, you really can't tell a difference, it's MUCH cheaper than outright buying milk and it will last forever.
This way, your "good" (and oh-so-expensive) milk is saved for drinking, cereal, etc."
Gas prices are killing me, my home equity has taken an Olympian level nose dive, and unnecessary and unplanned expenses (NSF fees, traffic ticket, home/car repairs, holidays, birthdays, school fees) are kicking my ass left and right.
I have a lot to be thankful for, as hard as these hardships seem, I can only be thankful that I've been given the chance to be where I'm at. Had I not bought this home when I did, I feel that by the time I was "ready" and approved to buy, the market would be hot again and i'd be paying another couple 100K for the same type of home. My reasoning? I live in Los Angeles (not in the outskirts, not Downton, but close enough to all the exciting stuff) and we are nowhere near the housing price levels of San Francisco or NYC. Everywhere I go, there is developement and something "new and exciting" being planned. I can logically imagine when the housing market hits an upswing momentum it will rise above it's previous peak.
This dip in the housing market has been undeniably disheartening for new home owners like myself. But I can't help but think that this is exactly where I should be...with no disposable income, no more eating my heart out at favorite restaurants, no new clothes or things, no new car!
Homeownership for Young People: It's Not for the Faint Hearted!
P.S. I would just like to add that giving up my morning coffee runs from Starbucks or McD's have been a total EFFIN BUMMER!!!
I Vow to:
- Stop Buying Coffe every morning
(the stuff I make at home is JUST as nice)
- Buy Groceries(Meat Only!) on the weekends with my "extra" money.
- Pack Lunch to Work EVERY Day!
- Put gas in my car with Extra Cash no matter how little it is.
- Limit everyday spending to $40 Cash a week!
I'm going to create a new category called "Price Comparison" where I will list costs to various expenses and ask you guys for your experiences. To guide us all if we are getting fleeced or not.
Today I got my Breaks done.
Type of Car: Small Compact
Labor: $70 (Installation) + $40 (For Sanding my Drums, did I really need this????)
Extra Info: FRONT Brakes Only
Discounts: Did not charge me tax
Total Cost: $159.95
Did I pay too much? Did I get a great Deal? Please let me know your thoughts.
I used to think I was the only one playing grown-up and that everybody else who looked the part really did have the part.
After reading these articles
I realize more people are precariously living on the edge than I had originally thought. This certainly doesn't make me feel any better.
Gas prices are SO horrible, I'm mapping out a bus route to work just to see if it's worth switching.
Edit: I might try the bus thing once or twice just for the heck of it, but it just doesn't sound like a great idea at this point, I'd be getting home pretty late plus when I think of emergencies that could come up, it doesn't sound worth it.
Sometimes I'm at a loss for words when it comes to writing. But I started this blog for a number of reasons, #1 my finances needed extra guidance, #2 I've always wanted to start a blog but it never ever felt right until I ran into this little community and felt an instant comfortable (albeit anonymous) connection to a few of the entries i read. I think it was the sheer honesty of the mundaneness of someone's life that bloggers here tend to right about that ultimately touched me. To put it on record, I'm a square not a circle, I'm right brained not left, I'm a realist in every sense of the word.
#3 I'd like to be able to look back at my life and appreciate it.
I just want to make sure I have it in writing that I acknowledge my life was/is "something to write home about".
It's been a while. Coming back and catching up on how other folks are living life has been comforting and pleasant. I recently read "Lost in Debts" blog and was touched by her honesty. Even through the veil of anonymity, I'm still reluctant to admit to the world my financial sins. As you can tell by my blog name, I recently bought a house. While we did put a small but signifant down payment on it, we did get ourselves into the now-dreaded and much to be chastised over ARM Loan. I'm not here to defend my actions or to even validate them. Only to state, even if it's just to myself that I don't regret our decision, that i've never been late on any payments, i've paid my taxes, car note and credit cards on time. Refinancing will happen when the time is right (hopefully very fucking soon). In other words, the future looks rosey.
What really bothers me is the perception that people like me are viewed as irresponsible no-accounts who got free rides from the government. I'm not sure what exactly was supposed to happen after Mr. Bush's speech about the busting housing market, but as great as his speech was for cash strapped homeowners, nothing is guaranteed and there is no "sign-up here for easy mortgage relief" line anywhere that I know of.
I took a huge gamble that I was going to be able to take care of business when the time came for my loan to reset. I know a lot of you are upset about the Feds dropping rates, but don't pass on the blame to individuals who gambled with their own lives, they certainly didn't get into buying homes with the hopes of relying on government intervention to help with their mortgages. They hoped for the best and made a go of it. Some could not hang on and paid the price, some (who did not expect, did not ask) got a break.
Stop sipping on the Haterade. It's bitter.
I'm so happy my two bathrooms will be done this weeked with new tile floors and new toilets! Definitely money well spent.
This past month, I feel i've wasted a lot of money. Driving tickets, late fee with the DMV, one day during lunch at work i was the only one without cash so I took everyones cash and paid with my card, of course I spent the cash instead of putting it back into my account. I think that's what really tripped me up.
Cut and use more Coupons!
Eat in at lunch at least once a week.
That I am broke also. I mean, i have my savings, but the thought of my Property tax bill (supplemental and regular) is basically hanging over me like a boulder.
I'm really trying not to let it get me down though. I know it's all doable. So I'm trying to stay positive. I would just like some sort of reprieve from the constant responsibity of earning and saving money.
I really need to stop going out to lunch with my coworkers, but the thought of sitting through lunch by myself with a homemade lunch I think will really drive me to depression. I guess this is the one luxury I'm going to keep for myself. So you guys don't think i lack total self-control, let me just mention that in the past month or two, we (the fam) haven't gone out to dinner in a sitdown restaurant, I haven't gotten my nails done and haven't bought anything silly on impulse.
Mission for tomorrow:
Lotto - Lotto - Lotto!!! If I win I promise I'll share (amount to be solely determined by me and only me! with everyone who leaves a nice comment.
My Property Tax account is off to a slow start, but hey at least there's almost $500 in there. I've been really good with not waisting it on frivolous crap.
Resolution: $600 by end of month.
I turned my ING auto-savings back on. Goal for Emergency Fund: $10K
That's at least 3 months worth of expenses. :/ This is going to take me a while. At $200/mo + whatever extra I can put in. Goal is $3K by end of year.
I feel i've been pretty good with my money lately. Food & Gas I think are still my biggest day to day expense. I would love to have a no-spend day, but it's really just not realistic.
Oh and my house is like a museum, It's completely empty. We have one bed in one room and a couch in another. The living room and the master room are completely empty. Who knows when we'll have enough money for furniture. We do not want to put any of this on credit.
Home ownership is great. Even though i've been working almost 14 hour days, in order to move out and clean my apt in time as well as refinish my floors in my house. Aside from of course the greater financial responsibilities and maintenance and repairs, I only have ONE semi-complaint at this point.
The area we're moving away from is Hip, Young, and Happening. The area we moved into is how can I put it nicely.... Traditional, Suburban, and the only things remotely related to "Hip" are the lots of Seniors all over our block that have bad hips!
Tadum-dum! I know corny as hell, but TRUE.
I have the keys. I am officially a mortgage owner.
Goodbye carefree lifestyle... (edit: I have to be honest, i dont think my life has ever been carefree since since I was 4 yrs old)
Goodbye disposable income...
Goodbye messy apts that i never cared to fix up or put any effort in...
Hello place that i truly care about fixing up and taking pride in...
I've been pretty much an adult since i got out of high school. With all the responsibilites that basically got foisted on me, soon after turning 18.
But with this purchase, i feel like i've crossed into the line of "bonafide adult".
I've always been somewhat responsible but I have always tried to hang on to my youth for dear life. And I still am!! Hell, i still refuse to shop in the Misses section and head straight to the Juniors section. "Dude" and "Man" are still part of my daily vocabulary. I still find cartoons entertaining!!
What does this purchase really mean for me? Is this going to change my life drastically? If so HOW?? What can I expect in the future?? Are the changes really just the square footage of my dwelling and much higher financial responsibilities??
I guess that's what this blog is for.
We will all soon find out.
For as long as I can remember, it's been a non-stop series of goals i feel i've had to achieve in order to feel "complete". I would really like to stop this, because it seems, just as soon as you're over one goal, there is another one to achieve. I am going to make every effort to enjoy every day. I am literally going to stop and buy myself some flowers and smell them some time this week.
I'm really looking forward to the last Harry Potter book, i've preordered and it will be coming in the mail! It's going to be like a mini vacation.
I can't wait to close escrow tomorrow. I want to write out this last big ass check for the closing costs and concentrate on organizing my personal finances again. I am so anxious to get back to my financial routine and just be done with moving around all this money from one account to another.
Long story short: I bought the house, i sign papers Monday, and my first Mortgage payment will most likely be on Sept. 1st
I'm too exhausted to talk about everything that's swimming in my head right now. Let's just say, I am overall happy with my purchase and I have confidence in myself that I will be able to successfully manage all the responsibilities that comes with it.
On to other things...I've read quite a few people talk about selling stuff on Half.com. So just now, I posted 2 things:
If anybody has success stories to share about Half.com, i'd love to hear about them.
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