Thursday, January 31, 2008

I'm still waiting to file my taxes

I'm waiting for one W-2 in order to be able to file my taxes. I got the rest of my W-2's. I also got my interest and divident statements, which weren't much believe me. And I got my forms from school so I can take the tax credit for my tuition.

I just like getting my taxes out of the way because I'm never sure if I'll owe or not. I can only remember 1 year that I had to pay federal taxes. I always owe the state because PA taxes you to death!

I also need to check my post office box for John's tax forms so he can file. Hopefully we'll both get a refund so we can stash some money into our moving fund.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

More on my insurance

Somebody at work told me to increase my deductible so my rates will go down. I have a $500 deductible. When I got my quote, the difference between a $500 and $1k deductible was less than $50 per year. So it wasn't worth it for me to have a higher deductible at this time.

I actually don't mind having a $500 deductible either. That's the amount that I've had for every car that I've ever owned. I figure if I do have an accident, that's a reasonable amount to come up with.

My car insurance is expensive

It's really expensive. It's over $1400 for a used car. That's more than I was paying for my last car when it was brand new. My policy for that car was only $1100. I have to keep my insurance for 6 months before I can start shopping around. There are 2 reasons for this. The first is because you have to have 6 months continous coverage before your company will drop your rate. Also Pennsylvania only does 6 month policies. The insurance company will quote you for a year, but then the policy is broken into 2 6-month policies.

Once May comes around, I'm going to start searching for car insurance cheap. I know you get what you pay for but I believe I can get cheaper premiums without sacrificing my coverage. That's why I love the internet because you can find anything! I can do my research over the computer and just call the company when I find the right policy.

I can't wait for my insurance to go down.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Has anybody used Planet Feedback?

I'm having problems with a company. I really don't expect the company to do anything but I want to put the letter out there anyway. I'll also blog about it on 2 of my blogs. I used PlanetFeedback twice a long time ago. Once I got a resolution and the other time the company ignored me. I didn't expect anything either because it was such a large company.

I was just wondering if they still get results or if companies ignore them.

Monday, January 28, 2008

It's time for my lease renewal

I rent my apartment and I have to renew my lease every year. It's that time. The renewal is due Thursday. I've already signed it but I'm mailing it on Wednesday with my rent check. The company is local so a one day window is fine.

The only thing I hate about renewing my lease is that my rent goes up every year. Usually it's $10 but this year it's $20. I can't really complain though because my rent is still less than $500.00 a month for a 1 bedroom apartment. I live in a very convenient location and I'm right on the busline. I have 2 or 3 grocery stores within a one mile radius. There are banks, smaller retail stores, places to eat etc.

I don't plan on moving out of this building until I leave Pittsburgh or buy a house. Whichever comes first. I really do like it here.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Would you sell your website?

Obviously I couldn't sell this one even if I wanted too because technically I don't own it. I do own two of my own websites though. I can't imagine selling them however I could see why some people do. They have really popular sites or the name of their site is something that people really want. I'm not talking about just blogs either, I mean regular websites as well.

What would you do if someone offered you money for your website? Would you sell it, think about it then sell it or just outright turn down the offer?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Economic stimulus package

House leaders and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson are meeting today to discuss a stimulus package with a one time rebate at the center of the package. They're estimating that the rebate would be equal to 1% of the nations gross domestic product. A total close to $150 billion dollars.

The rebate would be similar to the $300-$600 rebates handed out in 2001. However this time the rebates would be much larger, in the range of $800-$1600. The main sticking point in the negotiations is who the rebate checks should target. President Bush has said he wants rebates for those who pay income taxes.

Do you think this "shot in the arm" will really help the economy? Or do you think it will just delay the inevitable? If the rebates are approved, what will you do with your money?

Taxes and school

Every time I turn around I found out something different about my taxes and school. First I got the letter from Pitt about my tuition and it's wrong. They show that I paid tuition twice which is correct, but it says that some of that money was towards 2008. So in actuality I paid 3 times - twice for 2007 and once for 2008.

I also took a class at the community college. It was only $380 and I forgot that I could get the credit for paying tuition for that class. I still haven't gotten the form showing me how much I can deduct from that class. At least $50 of that money was for fees but I'm not sure exactly how much. I threw the paper away already with that information on there. I'm mad at myself because that's something I never usually do.

I'll just be glad when the paperwork all comes in so I can file my taxes and be done with it.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Should companies outsource sales?

In some cases I think the answer is yes. I work in banking but I don't work in a branch, I work in the corporate offices. My bank doesn't force us to get sales but my boyfriends' bank does. They require 5 new accounts per week. But the salesmen gets the credit not the person that initiates the sale. If you focus on Sales Outsourcing-Lead Generation-Appt Setting, you can get the people who really want the sales and are good at it get the sales.

It's really a win-win situation.

Ugh I had more income than I thought

I just got a 1099 for a company that I totally forgot working for. I remembered getting money in 2006 but I thought I got the last of the money in December. It turns out they held my money until January 2007 before they paid me. This company didn't take taxes out so it's my responsibility. Great I was hoping for a refund and now I'm finding out I made more money than I thought I did.

The sad part is I have no idea where that money went.

Maybe we should go to Las Vegas

John and I were talking about vacation again last night. We really want to go on a cruise but since we'll both be in school this year we won't be able to afford it. I wouldn't mind going to Mexico or Jamaica but that will be expensive too. After we went to Wheeling the other night John suggested Las Vegas.

He doesn't gamble but I reminded him that there is so much to do in Vegas besides gamble. We can visit the casinos to see the different themes, shop in the stores and boutiques or go to one of the many events that are always in the city. There are magic shows, sporting events and concerts galore. Or we could always get tickets to the Pro Bull Riders. We're both city people so to see real bull riders would be a treat. Imagine walking down the strip and seeing real cowboys. That would be crazy.

I know they have the show there every year. It's one of Vegas' annual events. I keep trying to tell him that there is so much different stuff to do that he doesn't have to worry. The Grand Canyon or the Hoover Dam also come to mind. Of course, I'll send him out exploring and site-seeing while I gamble. After all, it is Las Vegas!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

I won $60 yesterday

We went to the casino last night and I won $60 on the slot machines. I was losing at first then I put my last $20 in and and won $100. I had put $40 in all together. We still had fun though. I won't be going back to the casino for quite a while. I am not about to give that money back.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Win a pair of diamond earrings!

Well Valentine's Day is almost here. Do you know what you're getting your sweetheart? How about a pair of beautiful diamond stud earrings? Here's the best part - you can win them! They're one carat tw and 14kt gold. You can choose from round or princess cut earrings.

Interested? Of course you are! All you have to do is visit Goldsmith Jewelry. Then get a link to their site and blog about them and you're entered. How easy is that?!?!

I shouldn't tell anyone. I want to win these for me!

Birthday gifts

John's birthday is at the end of the month. I had a great present planned, now I'm second guessing myself. I don't want to say what it was because sometimes John reads my blog trying to figure out what I'm thinking. Just in case I decide to stick with my first instinct, I want him to still be surprised.

I'm sure he'll be happy with whatever I get though. He's a real easy going guy.

Valentine's Day is coming up soon

Are you looking for valentines day flowers for that special someone? Well check out for all of your Valentine's Day needs. I hope John buys me some flowers this year. I've been having a crappy couple of months and that would be a really nice gift.

I hope he gets roses. My favorite are actually peach followed by yellow then red. I guess I'm just not a traditionalist. But I do love flowers. Hint, hint. Oh, and some candy would be nice. And a great big teddy bear. Not that I'm being pushy or anything.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

I got my money for my books

I sold some of my books online instead of at the book-store this year. I didn't feel like going to the school that had the math class. The econ books are from last spring but they didn't reuse the books so they wouldn't buy them back. The online store gave me $23 for them so that was better than nothing. I also got $54 for my math book. I probably could have gotten more but I just wanted to get rid of the book.

I could have used an online book auction but I didn't have any nibbles and decided that I just wanted to get rid of the books sooner than later. I ended those auction early. I'm happy with what I got cause it's better than nothing.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Learn how to make money with a real estate website

There are a ton of money making websites online. Most of them all tell you the same thing which is start a website and get investors to buy links on your site. Take a gander through the many sites out there that deal with this topic and you'll see that they basically tell you the same thing.

Well there's a site out there for people interested in real estate. It doesn't involve buying houses and renting them out to dead beats either. I mean really, who wants to deal with that. You get a bunch of people who don't pay their rent on time or who destroy the property that you've invested so much money in. You should check out the Real Estate Investor Websites and you'll learn a bunch of tips.

Tips like how to leverage your time and money into building wealth. It will also teach you how to generate leads and turn those leads into sales. These leads are generated morning and night, even while you sleep. These websites are easy to get up and running too. Most of them are ready in just a few days and they're professionally designed. You also have a personalized email address giving you more credibility.

At the very least check out the site and see if it's something you might be interested in. Who knows by this time next week you could be a real estate guru!

Still waiting for my tax info to come in

I know businesses have until the end of January to mail out tax forms but I was hoping to get them early so I could file my taxes. How much I get for my refund will determine what I get to do for vacation. I would like to take a long weekend vacation so I hope to get at least $400. I will have to pay a small amount to the state and the city as usual.

Wanting to move to your own domain?

Are you on blogger too? How about vox, myspace or livejournal? Don't you think it's time to move to your own domain? Most of the bloggers that I know that take blogging seriously have their own domain names. What most of us have done is just to move our name from to just That's what I did with both of my blogger blogs.

But what happens if you move over and get stuck with a horrible host. I mean DreamHost is double billing their customers! How on earth do you deal with that. It's not as easy as just moving. Some hosts try to lock you in long term. Well you could find a great deal like the Lunarpages Offer for DreamHost Customers. Their offer is very generous. Starting with a $40 off hosting with Lunarpages by using code DHRefugees. If you don't get it, that's another slam at DreamHost. They will also add up to 9 months of paid time the customer has spent with their DreamHost contract to all former DreamHost customers. Of course this is a lunarpages special only.

Lunarpages to the rescue!

On our basic plan just increased and is massive and ideal for bloggers! You get 15,000GB of Transfer & 1,500GB of storage, free domain name & 10 add-on domains for $6.95 a month + loads more. When considering web hosting there is only ONE option,! We have been in business for over 8 years & we provide beginner (LPQuicksite), basic, business, windows, Linux, VPS & dedicated hosting services.

Our plans support Ruby on Rails, JSP/ASP & we have PHP5 & MySQL5 servers & our plans all come with unlimited databases, email accounts, FTP accounts & parked domains.

Lunarpages also pays generous affiliate commissions $65 and if you sell one of our dedicated hosting plans we pay $180 -

Why not give Lunarpages a try. Especially if you need to move to your own domain. There's no time like the present.

I shouldn't count my chickens before they hatch

I know the old expression and I know not to do it. But I did it anyway and the situation did not work out to my advantage. I was supposed to get a promotion as soon as she was able to get it approved. I assumed that I would get it by December so I made a new budget taking into account a modest amount that I thought I would get.

Enter December and my supervisor basically told me that I'm not getting the promotion at all and my raise is now going to be at the end of March. She also gave me a semi-bad review so I'm not expecting much in the way of the raise. Meanwhile the new amount was in my budget making me short every month. Luckily I'm able to meet that shortfall but it's not easy.

Lesson learned. Now to not do it again.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Collecting soda tabs for Ronald Mc Donald's House

So who takes the tabs off of soda cans to donate to Ronald Mc Donald's House? I know I do. Most of my friends at work don't though. I drink a can of soda everyday at lunch. (Ok so it's diet, give me a break!) I make sure to always take the tabs off to save and throw in the box that we have here at work. If I drink something at home, I'll keep the tabs until I have about 10 then bring them to work.

Here's the real question though: What do they do with those tabs exactly? Wouldn't it be better to recycle the whole can? I don't know what got me to thinking about this but nobody seems to know the answer. It really doesn't matter, I'll keep throwing my tabs in the box.

I haven't even graduated yet

I still have several classes to go before I graduate which I'm working on slowly. I figure it will take me another year or so to be done. But my advisor is already pressuring me to go to graduate school. I was totally surprised at his suggestion because my gpa isn't the best. But just from talking to me and based on my work history he thinks I would be a good candidate for the program.

To be honest I never even gave serious thought into getting a Masters Degree. Especially since I just went back to school and I'm going part time. I don't even have to stay at my school, I can go somewhere like Capella which is a online school. Then it won't interfere with my work schedule and I can study at home. There are more than 20,000 students from all 50 states and over 56 countries studying at Capella. With over 100 specializations and 15 certificate programs, I could keep my current major or branch out into another field.

This is a decision I have to think long and hard about. It's as much about money as anything else. I know that this will be hard work so it's not a decision that I want to make in haste.
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Monday, January 14, 2008

I'm doing my taxes online

I always go to the IRS website and look for the websites that offer free tax services. I usually have to use a different service each year. My taxes are fairly simple and I don't need a bunch of complicated schedules.

I will be deducting internet and phone expenses this year though. But I won't try the home office deduction and all of that stuff. As long as I don't owe I'll be happy. Last year I thought I would owe and I wound up getting a $275 refund which was cool. I did owe the state $25 though. I always owe the state because of interest and dividends.

Like I said, any refund is good with me.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Britney Spears is out of control

That poor child has lost her mind. At first I thought maybe she was just going through post partum depression but she never seemed to come out of it. I think the real Britney is finally coming out. She's been under so much stress that she's lashing out.

Britney had her squeaky clean image which was never really her. It was just a manufactured image that the record company and her managers came up with to help sell records and it worked. But Britney was overworked and under so much stress that she finally snapped. She's abusing drugs and alcohol and putting her kids in jeopardy. So much so that her ex got custody of the kids. I think the only things that's going to work for her is long term drug rehab. I say long-term because she has some issues that she needs to work out and coming home too soon won't help her.

I hope she doesn't end up as one of those child stars that ends up on the fringe of society. You see it all the time. The book "Underbelly - The Palm Beach No One Talks About" touches on this. It's written by the father of a drug rehab graduate. It's unbelievably heartbreaking to read some of these peoples stories. You're just genuinely happy when they turn their lives around.

I just hope it happens for Britney before it's too late. If not for her sake, then for her kids sake.

No open appointments until March

I have to wait until March to get my eyes examined. I called on Friday and the first available appointment is late March. If I don't want to use a whole day off from work, I can take an appointment in April and I would only have to use 2 hours instead of a whole day.

I hope somebody cancels so my appointment can move up. I need new contacts and glasses.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Shopping for new glasses

It's time to reconfigure my budget for the year. I'm short in some areas and over in others so I have to move some money around to make the numbers balance. I get new glasses every two years and this is the year for a new pair. I found somewhere online to get them really cheap. My Great Discovery: sells only their own brand of glasses and they start at $8.00 per pair. Umm, that's complete with prescription. Shipping is $4.95 no matter how many pairs you order. So for all of the fashionistas that have a different pair of glasses for every day of the week, you can have 7 pairs of glasses for less than $75.

I have to get my prescription from my eye doctor. I know he'll be ticked because he can't sell me his frames with the 200% markup anymore.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

There is one bright spot today

They changed the law for taking out the occupational tax this year. If you owe more than $10, they have to pro-rate it out of all of your annual checks. We pay $52 and get paid 26 times so they'll take $2.00 per pay. That's great news for me because now I have an extra $50 in this check.

I'm sure I'll spend it all in on place.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

All that glitters

Must be gold. I was watching the Travel Channel and they had a program on a ship wreck that had been salvaged. Among the items recovered were jewelry, ingots and gold bars. The gold bars were solid and heavy. Those bars are from the 1500's and they are worth much more today than they were then. That's the beauty of gold, it retains it's value and even increases exponentially.

Financial advisers often say that they best way to preserve your wealth is through diversification. Gold offers a great way to diversify your portfolio. You can buy gold in coin or ingot form and keep it yourself. Or buy bullion or bars from a company like Monex and their depository will hold it for you. No matter which way you decide to buy it, gold offers a great way to diversity your portfolio.

I'm not taking a class this semester

I just read the syllabus for my class and the professor is expecting waaaay to much work. It's an upper level course which usually means more work but this woman is ridiculous. She wants a 10 page paper for our final presentation. Unless you turn in a group paper then it's 25 pages. We also have a mid term take home exam that she gave us sample answers to. She wants 5-7 pages for each answer and there are several questions. So it may be 2 or 3 questions at 5-7 pages each.

This isn't even a writing course. Uh-uh no way. I'm outta there.

Monday, January 07, 2008

A new form of blog advertising

I investigate all forms of advertising for my blog and I just found another one. It's Pay Per Play Online Audio Ads. The ads don't take up any of the valuable real estate on your blog. It works behind the scenes in your blogs template. You hear a 5 second audio ad where it's appropriate. It runs alongside your existing ads so you don't have to decide between ad programs.

The best part is that it pays you based on 100% of your visitors. Since they don't have to click on anything you get the higher effective cpm rate possible. Needless to say, this will be up and running on my blog very soon.

Moving is a pain

My boyfriend moved into a new apartment. This apartment has no blinds or anything on the windows. This is unusual to me because every apartment I've ever lived in had blinds or curtains already up. He bought blinds but he can't get them up. His maintenance man at the new place is no help either so he doesn't know what he's going to do for the time he's there.

He's already planning his next move.

Another coworker is getting married

All of my coworkers seem to be getting married recently. Another person got engaged over the Christmas holiday. Her engagement ring was one of her Christmas presents. She also got a really pretty pendant and something for her car. Now she's trying to set a date and she's looking for cheap wedding invites for her guests. They've decided on a small wedding with less than 60 people.

This is a second marriage for both people so they don't want to spend a lot of money or throw a lavish bash. They can find wedding cards online and buy them even more inexpensively than buying them in the store. Wedding cards are the least of their worries for their wedding though. They're more worried about food and alcohol for their guests.

When I look at how much money people spend for their weddings, it just reinforces my idea of getting married in Vegas.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

I need cash badly

How in the world am I going to work full-time, take a class, and work a part-time job. I don't know but at this point I have to. I don't have enough cash in my savings account right. I also need some work done on my car and who knows how much that will cost.

When it rains it pours.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

We need a faster internet connection at work

My internet and intranet connection is so slow. The intranet just lets us access documents for internal employees. There are days when I can't access the intranet at all between 2pm and 4pm. My company should probably look into Telnet servers. They are compatible with Windows servers including Vista and Xp (which is what we use). The software is fully customizable and can support multiple connections simultaneously.

I think it's crazy that such a large corporation has connectivity issues.


I really don't make resolutions because I don't keep them. I have good intentions when I make them but a monkey wrench often gets thrown in the mix. Take school for instance. I had every intention of getting B's in all of my classes. Then I had this hard economics class that I totally tanked. I may be able to get my grade back up to a low C but I know he's going to make my make-up assignment extra hard.

I also made a resolution to save $500 cash which I did. But because I got a bad grade in school, I didn't get tuition reimbursement which made me use savings to pay for school this semester.

Who knows it's still early in the year and I might make a few resolutions after all.