Sunday, September 30, 2007

Study for your exam

I'm studying like crazy for school. Anything worth having is worth working for so you have to study for it. Even if you study in a non traditional manner like for the real estate test. You could always go to compucram to get a real estate appraisal test. They have different programs and each one has a free trial download.

I wish my classes had a download. Sometimes I think they make the classes a lot harder than they have to be.

I upgraded my theme

It's the same theme colors and all. I just updated the blog to the newer version of blogger. I know I'm missing some of my widgets and links. I'll have to go into my old blog and dig out the ones that I really want. Some of them should have been deleted eons ago so I won't bother.

This newer theme is easier to navigate.

Business blogs

I love reading different blogs on the internet and I've found some good ones. The newest one is the XML Aficionado blog. The best thing about this blog is that it's run by the CEO of Altova, the company that made XMLSpy. Now how's that for getting into the mind of a genius. The actual CEO of a company writes his own blog.

I think I can learn a lot from this blog. Alexander discusses technology and trends and breaks down geek speak into something I can understand. You should check the blog out and see for yourself. Plus he just bought a pinball machine. So I think he's extra cool.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Another reason why mega-banks suck

No not normal banks. I'm talking about those huge honking banks that take over every other bank in site. What now. There's a issue of what they're doing with trusts. Say you have a large estate and leave it in trust to be distributed to different charities.

The large banks are controlling the trusts and using them to generate fees. They're also not paying out the endowments as the trusts really wanted them to. Big banks are all about making money. They suck.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

I may have found my new bank

I've been researching banks to invest in. I think I may have found one. As soon as I went to the website the first thing I noticed was that there is a 6.49% interest rates on deposits. The rate is guaranteed for one year.

That's not the only thing that got my attention though. There is also a deal where you can earn rewards on your purchases made with your credit cards. For example, there is a travel card with travel rewards points. I love to travel so that would be awesome for me.

Of course I need to read the fine print and decide which would be the right accounts for me. It's looking promising though.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Work is unbelievably busy

It's ridiculous. We're short-staffed by 1 person so that's hurting us. On top of that, we just merged with another company so we've had an increase in the volume of our work. Management set aside a position for the increase so we need 2 people now.

They've hired 1 person but between the background check, security screenings and drug testing, she won't start for at least 3 weeks. They're interviewing for the second position right now.

I hope they find somebody quick. I'm losing my mind.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I don't like the new Pepsi game

I thought I would love the game. But I'm not having any luck with it. The worse part is that I keep seeing the same plays over and over. Stupid losing plays.

I wish they would bring back the older games where you collected points or codes and were basically guaranteed to win something. I got nice prizes from those games.

This promotion is the pits!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

I'm not buying anything right now

I won't be making any large purchases anytime soon. I won't even be making any small purchases. I just looked at my slush fund and it's pretty anorexic. I had to use most of the money to replace the money from my paycheck that I lost.

Now I have to start replenishing my slush fund. I like having a decent amount of money in there. I can decide on Tuesday that I want to go away on the weekend and if my slush fund can cover it, I can go. I don't like not having any extra money.

I guess it's belt tightening time.

Coin offers in the newspaper

I always see offers to buy a gold coin in the newspaper. You don't have any commitments and it's a one time deal. I'm afraid to take advantage of the offer because I'm afraid the quality of the coin will not be what I expect.

I think gold coins are more of an investment than just something pretty to look at. The value of gold rises each year. So I don't want to get coins that are scratched or won't get graded well. The grading of coins determines the value.

Did you know that a coin that has never been touched by human hands is worth much more than a coin that was handled by human hands? The oils on your hands remain on the coin. When you buy coins from reputable dealers, those coins have never been touched. I don't know too much about the dealers in the paper so I won't buy from them.

I know there are reputable companies out there for me to buy from. I'll have to research them and make a good solid decision.

I almost bounced a check

I only balance my checkbook once every 2 or 3 weeks. I save up all of my receipts and write everything at once. Well tuition was due 3 days before payday. And I had a bill due and withdrew lunch money from the mac machine. Luckily, the bill took 3 days to clear. If it had cleared the same day, I would have gotten hit with a bounced check fee.

I know I need to balance my checkbook more often but after looking at numbers all day at work, I don't even want to think about balancing anything else.

Win free advertising?

I've noticed a lot of bloggers offering free advertising on their blogs lately. Some offer it as a prize, some offer it for links. Is this just link bait? What does the blog owner get from giving away free space on their blogs? Or is it just to get their blogs in front of new eyes?

Now that makes sense.

My hair is a mess

Why is this personal finance related? Because it costs an arm and a leg to get your hair done that's why. I only get my hair professionally done twice a year. I might go to a salon once every quarter for a hair cut but not all the time. The last time I had my hair cut was April.

I'm thinking of going to a hair school to get my hair done. All licensed hair dressers have gone to hair school at one point or another. You have to pass a test to get licensed. If a person doesn't have a license they shouldn't be working in the salon. At least not in PA anyway.

I need to find somewhere near me. I know there's a school close by, but I need to make sure they accept walk-ins.

Waiting for my car Part II

In my last post I talked about waiting to get a car and not rushing. What I didn't say was that I went car shopping with a friend today and she got a car. It's a cute little sporty car. Of course, being on a car lot around all of those brand new cars made me want one even more.

When the salesman headed my way, I shook my head really fast. Then I said the magic words "Don't waste your time, no money, bad credit". He started laughing and walked away. Man it's easy to get a car. I would probably get screwed with the interest rate though.

I'm waiting. Impatiently, but waiting.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Waiting for my car

I don't want to rush out and get a car and put myself in worse financial shape than I already am. I have bad credit so that makes getting loans harder for me.

It's easier to get a car loan than any other type of credit because the car acts as collateral. I've been researching loans and rates and I've decided to wait a few more months. I want to look before I leap.

I also want a much larger down payment than I have. That will make the payments lower and show the dealer that even though I have bad credit, I'm serious about the car.

Saving a little here and there

I need to start saving for a computer since mine is acting loopy. I don't have any real wiggle room in my budget to allocate to savings. I'll have to find a dollar or two here and there and put that to the side. It won't be easy but I'm sure I'll manage.

Getting a hotel in Orlando

The company that I work for is having a conference in Fl. The conference is near Orlando, but I'm not sure how close. I notice a lot of companies in Fl. will say that they're near the biggest city that's either close to them or that they think people have heard of. In fact, the place might be miles away.

Anyway, a bunch of us got together so we could get group hotel bookings. That way we could save money on our hotel. We also looked over the internet to find restaurants and clubs that we could go to while there. You can get better deals over the internet than if you just show up in the city.

Hopefully, the conference won't get rescheduled again. I have that weekend off of work, so right now I'm able to go.

My computer is goofy

My computer started right up today. No hesitation or blank screens. I was surprised. I still plan on starting a new computer fund though. I don't like the fact that my computer is acting up and I don't know why. Even if it doesn't stop working for 6 months, I want to have the money to buy a new one.

Friday, September 21, 2007

My computer is acting up

This is the worse possible time for this. I have a very limited amount of money and can't afford to buy a new computer right now. Right now I have a notebook because my desktop blew up. That was horrible. I was without a computer for over a month.

I decided right away that I wanted a laptop instead of another desktop. So I used my friends computer to start looking at different stores looking for cheap laptops. In the end, I chose a computer that was mid-range priced but had all of the features that I was looking for. Unfortunately now it keeps going to a reboot screen and I don't know how to make it stop. It stops after a few times but it's nerve-wracking. I haven't added any new programs or devices so I don't know what's causing it.

I guess I better start another computer fund.

I didn't get the credit card

I found out yesterday. I was a little sad but not really. I wasn't really expecting to get the card. Especially once I saw that it was a Platinum card. They usually have tighter requirements than other cards.

I have a credit card and a personal loan that I'm paying on. I'll just pay them on time and build my credit back up slowly. Maybe I'll apply again in 6 months to a year just to see if my credit has improved.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Making insurance a piece of your portfolio pie

Everybody knows the normal investment strategy. Stocks, bonds, cash, and mutual funds. But insurance? Yup, you bet.

You should have enough insurance coverage equal to 4 to 5 times your annual salary. You never know when you will need that coverage. It's always better to be safe than sorry. It's also wise to shop around for insurance rates. They can vary widely amongst insurance companies. You should also check out some of the great sites on the internet to get information applicable to your situation.

Most people don't like to think about insurance because of it's morbid connotations. But it's always better to plan ahead and be prepared than not have the money when you need it most.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

School is getting a little bit easier

My math class is so hard. Today, most of the information seemed to click. I wish it would have clicked earlier in the class while I was taking my first exam. I know I tanked that thing. That was one of the hardest exams I ever took. I'll be doing homework all day Saturday to make sure I'm actually retaining the info.

My economics class is not bad at all. I'm taking macro-economics this semester. It's much easier than micro-economics was. That class was awful. It just seems like the material is easier to read and understand. Thank goodness, I need at least one of my classes to be easy.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Check out my newest widget

It's for BlogRush. When you sign up and add the widget to your site, it presents relevant posts on your widget. If you sign up under someone, their posts get access to extra blogs etc. I think there are something like 10 down lines. Since this is my personal finance blog, you should see finance types of posts in the box.

The purpose of this widget is to help drive extra traffic to your site. Extra traffic is always good.

If you're interested in signing up, here's my referral link:

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Would you ever use the services of a telemarketer?

Now before you have a fit, hear me out. Telemarketers actually serve a valuable purpose. How you may ask. Well first of all they do all of your market research for you. If you ever need statistics or leads for your business you can go to a Telemarketing Lists Broker. The broker has a database full of consumer information. If you're a business-owner you'll need every competitive advantage you can get.

The database can help you because they have qualified leads of consumers. You won't waste your time marketing products to consumers who may or may not be interested. You can request a list that's in the same niche as yours so you know these people are interested in your products.

I wish something like this was around when I had my online store. I would have done so much better.

Nobody hit our football pool

I had crappy number but worse, I have a crappy block. I don't even know how I ended up with the block that I got. When I called my friend, I gave her a list of numbers of which block I wanted. Of course, my first number was 86 followed by 36, 43 etc. I ended up in some awful numbered block. We don't even have a player with that number. Ugh. Next time, if I can't see the pool to literally write my own name in the block, I won't take any.

I guess it's a good thing that nobody hit, the money now rolls over to next week.

Are you looking for a roofing contractor in South Florida?

Then you should look no further than Tri-County Roofing. They are a South Florida Roofing Contractor with over 25 years experience. Not only are they a residential company, but they do commercial work as well.

This is the time of year when everyone is concerned about their roof. Hurricane season is in full force and storms pop up often without warning. Tri-County specializes in metal roofing. While metal roofing may be more expensive initially than shingle or tile, you will save money over the life of the roof. Another benefit of metal roofing is that some systems have a wind rating guarantee in excess of 170 MPH. Tile and shingle roofs can't make that same guarantee.

If you're in the South Florida area, check out Tri-County Roofing. It's a local company based in Hollywood Florida and they are members of the Better Business Bureau, The National Roofing Contractors Association and the Metal Roofing Alliance.

My checkbook is out of whack

As usual my checkbook is a mess. I haven't balanced it in 2 weeks. I've noticed that I only balance my checkbook when I get paid. Then for the next two weeks, I just write down the transactions until payday when I balance again. The bad thing is that sometimes I go overboard with incidental purchases.

This week I know I overspent because I bought extra health related items. That's why I always keep an extra $25 or so dollars in my slush fund.

I paid my friend some of her money

It's not really her money. It's money for the football pool. I gave her $25 and the blocks are $5 per week. I'm covered for the first 6 games. The Steelers have a bye week 6 so I won't owe her anything for that week.

Once I have to pay again, I'll probably give her $20 each time to cover a months' worth of games. I hope I win, I was just thinking that I haven't won in almost 2 years. Talk about being due.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Testing the credit waters

My credit is not the best right now. My credit score is really low and I've been trying to raise it up slowly. I applied for a credit card last week to see how far I've come. About a year ago, I would have gotten a automatic rejection. I guess the fact that they're going to actually review my credit is a plus.

When I was looking for a credit card to apply for, I went to a website where I could search through the different types of cards offered. You can get cards specifically for rewards, cash back or even a Small Business Credit Card. I even saw cards for people like me with bad to average credit. The card I applied for has no annual fee and a average interest rate.

I guess I'll get a answer one way or another some time next week.

My tuition is due tomorrow

I just looked at the post I wrote about consolidating my student loans. As I was reading over it, I realized that my tuition is due tomorrow. Pitt changed their payment pay plan from 4 payments to 3 payments per semester. But since I paid the bulk of my tuition in the first payment, the balance becomes due in the second payment.

Now to make sure I pass the classes to get my moneys worth.

I need to save money on my student loans

I thought my job was going to deny my tuition reimbursement. I have a coworker who is also in school and the department only has so much reimbursement in the budget. I was sweating bullets waiting for the acceptance paper to come back. Luckily I go it today.

I also had to call my bank to get student loan consolidation papers. The payments are way too high. If I consolidate my student loans into one payment, I cut my payments in half. I need that money to pay for the classes that I'm taking now.

The best thing that I read about consolidating my loans is that I can get a reduction in the interest rates for using automatic payments and for making so many consecutive on time payments. Hey every little bit helps.

Friday, September 14, 2007

I won something else from Pepsi

This time I won a hat. Pepsi has a new game running. This one is NFL related and it's the "Call Your Play" promotion. You get to decide which type of play to run. The more difficult the play, the better the prize. For instance, the top prize is a truck. You have to use the hail mary play to have a chance to win.

There are 4 types of plays to choose from. 4th and goal, red-zone, trick play and hail mary. I won the hat on a 4th and goal play. Now I'm running the red-zone plays trying to win a better prize.

This game is hard though. I've already played a bunch of times and only won once. I plan to keep trying though.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I may decide to dabble in real estate

I'm always looking for other ways to make money besides my job. The more income sources you have the better. I've considered taking real estate classes. One reason is because I can work around my schedule. It's flexible and it pays well.

Besides that I can take the classes online. So it wouldn't interfere with my other activities. I looked on and I can find schools that offer only online classes as well as traditional classes. And I can look up the requirements to get my real estate license in every state. I always say I want to move, so it's wise to have a back-up plan before I go.

I finally got my math book

I had to go pick it up from UPS. Luckily one of my coworkers is cool and he took me over there during our lunch break. I'm behind in the class since I didn't have the book.

I still need to go buy a scientific calculator. I totally forgot about that. Right now all I have is a regular 4 function calculator and that's not going to cut it. And I forgot to take that to class yesterday. So imagine doing pre-calculus work trying to add up everything in your head. Not fun!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I almost made up some of my lost pay

I'm not getting paid for 4 days because I was sick. I was only sick for 3 days, but I missed the day before the holiday. Anyway, we had overtime because the one of the other teams is really behind. My supervisor asked us to work some overtime to help their team catch up.

When I went back to her later in the day to see if they still needed people to stay, she said no. I was hoping to get an hour or two. I'm taking the money out of my "fun" money account. Now that account will basically be zero until I can get my hands on some more money.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Pepsi has a new game

I did pretty well on the last Pepsi game. I won a total of $75.00 from that game. All you had to do was enter the cap codes online and enter the sweepstakes daily.

This game is similar except you enter the code and play the NFL game. It's called Call Your Play. The type of play you call determines which prizes you can win. I always call the red zone pass. You can win xbox games, memorabilia and other prizes. The really cool thing is you get to watch a Madden play. I hate when I see certain teams on offense because I know they won't score.

I figure it's no skin of my back, I drink a bunch of Pepsi everyday anyway so I might as well play the game and try to win something while I'm at it.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Weddings are expensive

One of my coworkers got married recently and she spend a ton of money on her wedding. She hosted it as a backyard bbq so one of her major expenses was food. The food was delicious by the way. Almost all of it was homemade.

To cut down on expenses Susie made her own wedding invitations. She created them on the computer and bought colored envelopes to put them in. There weren't any bridal shower invitations because this was a 3rd marriage for both the bride and groom. She did go to a store to buy save the date cards. Susie and C are both very religious so their cards had a religious theme to them.

I've always joked that I wanted to run away to Vegas and elope. Whenever I hear how much money people spend on their weddings, it becomes more of a certainty instead of a joke. Well, first I need a groom though. At this point, it's more wishful thinking than anything else.

I'm glad I never let anyone host my blog

I've been reading about a hosting nightmare. Someone who is a horrible host has shut down a fellow blogger.

Angie wrote that she might give her daughter Benadryl on a long road trip. She didn't write that it was suggested by her daughter's pediatrician. And she shouldn't have had to. Administrator A decided she didn't like what Angie wrote and suspended her blog. Not asked her to explain and/or remove the post, just suspended her. Her blog is now "suspended" for two weeks. Angie can't even get to her old posts.

As a fellow paid blogger, I feel bad for her. Her paid posts are being rejected because someone else is on a power trip. The administrator could have just locked her out of the blog as a suspension instead of taking it offline. That just sucks.

If you don't learn anything else, don't let anyone else host your blog. Yes, even blogger. Both of my blogs started and remain on blogger, but they also have their own domain name. Once my domain names get as highly ranked as blogger, I'll totally shift away from blogger.

Edit: I took the link out of this post. The offender shouldn't be rewarded with a link. The site is www (dot) rainbowofwords (dot) com

Saturday, September 08, 2007

I need to give my friend her money

I owe my friend money for the football pool. We don't see each other very often so I have to pay for multiple weeks at one time. I'll probably give her $20 each time. That way we only have to adjust our schedules once a month.

Unless of course I win, then she can just take the money out of my winnings.

Friday, September 07, 2007

My major is still undecided

It's supposed to be Economics but the way the classes are offered I may have to change it. I need 3 upper level classes to get a degree in econ. Pitt only offers 1 upper level class every year. Sometimes it's the same class for 2 out of 3 years. It could potentially take me 4 years to take 3 classes just because they aren't offered.

The only reason I'm unhappy about this is that I want to move when I graduate and this will severely push me back. I know patience is a virtue but that's the one virtue I'm lacking.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Would you buy a house in Hawaii?

Of course this would be determined by whether or not I ever win the lottery. I don't know if I would though. I like Hawaii but I don't know if I would like to live there.

I saw the price of homes on a real estate blog and let's just say I was blown away. I know real estate is expensive but I was amazed at the price. It was ridiculous. I mean who can really afford Hawaii real estate? Rich people of course, but how do retirees manage it?

Maybe when I finally retire I can find out what the fuss is really all about.

I'm still waiting for a book

I got one of my books for school in the mail on Tuesday. It's the economics book. Unfortunately, it's the math book that I really need. The seller sent it UPS so I have to wait until they attempt delivery 3 times, then go pick it up on Monday.

Of course the math class is hard so I need the book asap. I guess I'll have to spend all night Monday and Tuesday doing math. Yuck!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The housing bubble is about to burst

It's horrible to try to profit off of other people's tragedy. But that's what a lot of people are going to do when a rash of Foreclosures are likely to take hold. There are so many hybrid mortgages out there that people aren't going to be able to afford the new payments and will lose their homes.

The worst part is moving from the homes that they know. They will need Moving Quotes as well as Insurance Quotes. They majority of people will have to move back in with family or friends, or rent tiny apartments just to get by.

The American Dream shouldn't turn into a nightmare. It's really sad, but you can't help but wonder if people didn't try to live beyond their means would this happen. You can't just borrow, borrow, borrow without wondering what might happen tomorrow.

Monday, September 03, 2007

What I hate about holiday weekends

I always get thrown off by long weekends. I keep thinking today is Sunday and I'm going crazy. I keep looking for the Sunday shows on tv. I also went looking for mail today even though I knew there was no mail service.

I also have to keep track of my school schedule. I go to school on Wednesday and Thursday and I don't want to forget and miss a day. I can't afford that. I have a feeling I'll be struggling with school this semester. So I don't want to miss any days.

I might need a mid-semester break

This semester is not starting off so well. I'm already stressed on the personal front and school looks to be a killer this semester. I just got back from a not so relaxing vacation so I'm looking to get away and really relax.

I might look into Miami beach vacation rentals. I was thinking about Orlando vacation rental homes, but I decided I would rather be on the beach. Florida vacation rental homes are a good idea for me. That way I can spend some time relaxing but I don't have to be in a crowded hotel with a lot of other people.

The best part about going on vacation in the fall is that there won't be a lot of people there. The normal tourists, but not a lot of young kids and college students. I wish I could go now. I need to get away.

I got the weirdest comment

Someone sent me a really weird comment. I deleted it as soon as I saw it. It was on the post where I talked about how much my books cost. They said that nothing in life was free and that people in institutions got free educations.

Well I never said that my education should be free or that my books should be free. I don't like paying for school but I realize that I have to. As far as the institutions comment, I don't even know how to answer that. I'm not in a institution and I never have been.

I just think that person was wacked!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Spending money to redecorate my apartment

Do I really want to spend money to redecorate right now? I don't know, I'm really torn. I plan on living at my apartment for at least 2 more years. That's how long it will take me to graduate from school.

Right now my apartment is black and white in the living room and wood in the little nook where my computer desk is. The bedroom is a mess and has no theme to it. I saw some Rustic stone home decor and some furniture made out of stone and onyx. I think that would look cool in my apartment. Especially since it's just me and I don't have any kids to worry about breaking it.

I guess the biggest decision I have to make is whether I can stand to look at this apartment for the next two years or if I want to make a change.