Friday, November 5, 2010

I Hate My Car Part 2

My car is back at the dealership and after numerous test drives the car has not cut off on the tech and they have no idea what is wrong with it. I think they think I am a con artist trying to pull a scam, when all I am is an angry b@*%h pissed that I spent $813 on an unneeded repair. Since I do a lot of driving I need a reliable car, I think it is time to retire my beloved car.

I have my options narrowed down to 3 contenders

1. Nissan Versa - $14,245
2. Honda Fit - $15,830
3. Toyota Yaris - $15,887

I was approved for a loan but my loan offer expires on Sunday. My mother thinks I should wait 3 months and buy in December.

Does anyone have any input on any of these cars?

I Hate My Car

Number 34 on my list of 35 before 35 was to buy a new car, this was something I was hoping to put off until I was 35. Unfortunately after $1500 of repairs the car is still cutting off at long stops. The car has been in and out of the shop for the past 3 weeks and no one can seem to find the problem and the car does not stall when they test drive it. I even drove it around with a mechanic from the shop and the car did not cut off once.

I don't know what to do anymore.

If the car can't be fixed (once they figure out what is wrong with it) I just flushed $1500 down the drain.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

726 Isn't what It Used To Be

I am sad to say that my car is back in the shop again and this time it may cost me all of my savings ($2000 down the drain). I started toying with the idea of buying a new car and decided to pull my credit score. Much to my delight my credit score has risen by 26 points to an all time high of ........


I was so excited that I decided to try and consolidate my student loan at a lower interest rate. Well, the student loan market isn't what it used to be, I could only find on company that was doing consolidations and they want a cosigner.

Then I decided to try to pre-qualify for a car loan, I am still waiting for a response.

I guess in today's credit environment a score of 726 isn't what it used to be. has a credit score simulator, you input certain scenarios and it tells you how it will effect your credit score. According to the simulator if I make 3 payments of $800 over the next 3 months my score will improve to the 731 - 771 range.

Time to rework my budget.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

New Blog

I know a while back I said I was going to focus all of my energy into moving to New York, but after doing some research into the future of Visual Merchandising I have decided to go back to school and change my career. I feel that I have wasted the last eight years of my life in retail chasing after an impossible dream. After a while you have to give up and move on.

My new blog chronicles my journey to my new future.

I will be posting about

and a few other things.

I will be copying any financial post I write to this blog, but I will not be posting that often.

For anyone who wants to follow me on my new journey, this is where I'll be.

New Budget

Current Budget

Income - $2000 per month

Sallie Mae - $600
Electric - $200 (estimate, most of the time it is less)
Cell Phone - $70
Phone/Cable/Internet - $170
Credit Card 1 - $90
Credit Card 2 - $140
Credit Card 3 - $250
Gas/Groceries - $200
Student Loan 2 - $200
Savings - $80

When I start classes the $200 I am paying to my second student loan and the $80 I am saving will be going toward tuition.

Possible Future Budget

Income - $1440 per month ($12 per hour)

Sallie Mae - $600
Electric - $0 (my mother will have to take over this bill)
Cell Phone - $70
Phone/Cable/Internet - $100 (my mother will have to take over the phone part of this bill)
Credit Card 1 - $30
Credit Card 2 - $140
Credit Card 3 - $150
Gas/Groceries - $100
Student Loan 2 - $200
Savings - $10

When I start classes the $200 I am paying to my second student loan and the $10 I am saving will be going toward tuition.


Income - $1760 per month ($14 per hour)

Sallie Mae - $600
Electric - $140
Cell Phone - $70
Phone/Cable/Internet - $170
Credit Card 1 - $90
Credit Card 2 - $140
Credit Card 3 - $250
Gas/Groceries - $100
Student Loan 2 - $200
Savings - $80

When I start classes the $200 I am paying to my second student loan and the $80 I am saving will be going toward tuition.

Until the final word comes down (or I get a new job) I am living week to week.

Minimum Payment Warnings

You gotta love the minimum payment warnings that credit cards come with, they are helping me plan my assault on the credit card demon that possesses me.

Awhile back I paid off my Master Card, since then I charged it back up and was carrying a balance on the store charge card I got for work. I am glad to say that I just paid off my Master Card for the LAST TIME, I am taking it out of my wallet and giving it to my mother to hold.

Next on my hit list is my American Express with the ridiculously high interest rate (29.99%). According to the MPW if I pay $126 per month I can have the card paid off in 3 years. That is to long for me, I want to have this card paid off in 1 year. That is going to be hard on a $1400 a month budget (remember, I have a pay cut coming any day now.) I am going to try to up my payment to $250 a month and throw any extra money I get at this card.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Project New York

My main focus right now is to find a job and move to New York.

Being the list maker that I am I have a list to help keep me focused.

I. Improve Resume & Cover Letter

II. Create an On-Line Portfolio

III. Sign Up With Every Online Job Board I Can Find

IV. Find And Work Contacts From Linkedin

V. Save Money & Pay Off Credit Card Debt.

Wish me luck.

New Goal - Project New York

About 5 months ago I got a new job, I got the job so easily that for a long time I was suspicious and waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Well, it dropped.

They changed my position to an entry level position and within a year I need to be willing to advance to a managerial position or I will have to quit. On paper it seams like a great opportunity but I do not want to be a retail manager, I want to advance my career in visual merchandising.

I have decided to start looking for a new job and I am focusing my search to New York. It seems like all of the best opportunities are in New York, not just for visual merchandising but in other areas that I am interested in (buying, styling, etc.).

So, now the question is ........

How do I make this happen?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


I found out today that my credit score is 700.

That may not mean much to some of you, but if you knew my credit history you would be as amazed as I am.

It all started when my sister and I were driving in my HOT CAR (the air conditioner is blowing VERY HOT AIR) when she asked me if I really want to pay to fix it. I am not going to lie, after the last problem I had with my car I seriously considered buying a new car, but I figured with my credit history I did not think I would be able to. This conversation put a bug in my head to see what my credit score is, the last time I checked it was 619. I was not hopeful because I am sitting on almost $100,000 of student loan debt plus $10,000 of credit card debt. I logged on to, paid the $15.95, and almost had a heart attack. You could have knocked me over with a feather.

Being able to see the progress I have made with improving my credit score has given me the resolve to continue to pay off my credit cards. I am more determined now than ever before.

Lessons To Be Learned

I still have a ways to go in getting myself out of debt, but I pay my bills early if not on time every month. It obviously makes a world of difference.

I thought with the amount of student loan debt that I have I would never be able to have a decent credit score. But I do, and so can you.

I pay my student loans on time every month with out fail. When I had some financial problems I deferred the payments until I was able to get back on my feet. Do what you have to do to keep up with the payments.

I have had plenty of slip ups but I haven't given up, as long as you are alive you can improve.

I haven't felt this good in a long time.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Tax Season

Either you hate it or you love it.

Tax Season.

If you are someone who makes a lot of money and has to pay Uncle Sam you hate this time of year. If you are poor or middle class and get refunds then you love this time of year.

I am getting a refund of $800 from the government, $400 for my savings and $400 to pay for car repairs.

I know some people feel that it is bad to get a refund because it means that you are lending the government money interest free. My feelings are, I would rather lend the money then have to scrounge around to find money to send them come tax time.

Financially I have not been doing that great lately, I haven't been saving lately like I should. I have been purchasing things with my employee discount and using my extra money to pay off the balance. I think I finally am off the whole shopping thing and am ready to resume saving and paying off debt. To help keep me accountable I am going to start posting my monthly budget on the blog.

I need you guys to keep me honest.

Monday, February 1, 2010

I Must Be Improving

Citi Card (who own 3 of my 4 credit cards) has lowered the interest on two of my accounts and raised the limit on the third. The cards are still in storage and are not being used so this should really help my credit score.

My electric bill was $90 higher than expected this month, so I will be unable to add to my savings until I get my tax refund. That kind of bums me out, now that I am on a roll with debt repayment and saving I am starting to enjoy it.

Perhaps a little too much. Now I hate spending money, even on needed things.

Just call me Ebenezer Scrooge.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

1 Down, 3 To Go (Redo)

I'm sorry I've been MIA, I am working fervently on my online courses so that I can complete them on time and not have to pay for an extension. But ......

As of 30 minutes ago my Master Card has been paid off!!!!!!!!!

1 credit card down, 3 to go. I feel so light and free.

Next on my agenda is my American Express. I hope to have it paid off within 6 months.

Also, my savings account is up to $500, that is a lot for me. I am still dropping water in the bucket.

Wish me luck.

Monday, January 11, 2010

How Many Accounts Do You Need

We all know that you need an Emergency account for emergencies.
We also know that you need a Savings account for sort or long term goals.
Then you need a Retirement account (IRA and/or 401k) for when you retire.

My question is how many accounts are to many accounts? How do you keep track of it all?

Is your Emergency account and your Savings account the same account or two separate accounts?

How do you fund these accounts? Is it done simultaneously or do you fully fund one then fund another?

If you want to save to buy a car do you save in your savings account or do you open a Car account?

My head is spinning, can someone simplify all of this for me?

401k Blues

Sorry that I have been MIA, I have been working 12 hour days and when I get home blogging is the last thing on my mind. Sometimes I really hate being salary, at least when I was hourly I never worked more than 40 hours per week.

Anyway, I have been working toward my goal of paying off my Master Card and I am glad to say I am $170 away from that goal. I also have $450 in my savings.

I have also been reading up on finance, and in the near future I plan to open a Roth IRA. But here is my dilemma.

The good news is - my new company has a 401k. The match up to 1% of my salary 100%. From 2% - 5% they will match $0.50 on the dollar. I will be eligible to join in 11 months.

The bad news is - there are no investment options. They take the money to purchase their own stock. I am told I can sell the stock whenever I want but that is a lot to go through.

The question is, should I sign up for the 401k?

I know free money is great, but only having the stock of one company in my portfolio seems dangerous to me.