Sunday, March 30, 2008

My Entrecard has moved

If you're one of my EntreCard friends...Thank you for dropping on my blog. I've removed the widget and put it on my other blog Sabrina's Money Madness. Please update your bookmarks and be sure to check out my other blog.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Should I get a safe deposit box?

I don't know if I should or not. I work for a bank so my box would be free. I'm planning on moving in 18 months so I don't know if I should even bother with it. I have one of those fire-proof strong boxes at home where I keep my papers at. The only papers I'm really worried about are my birth certificate, social security card and my passport.

I also have a few paper savings bonds that I could put in the box. I'll sit down and make a decision about it this weekend.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Investing in precious metals

I'm not really nervous about the economy. I have a fairly stable job in a fairly stable industry. No matter how stable everything seems, things can change in the blink of an eye. I'm sure one month ago the employees at Bear Stearns felt that their jobs were stable as well. We all see what happened there.

I feel like I should diversify my portfolio more. My 401k is fairly diversified although it's not my largest asset. I own 3 individual stocks which are all worth more than my 401k. That won't be true for long though. Within the next 3-6 months, my 401k should surpass the total of 2 of those stocks. The 3rd stock is worth about 5 times as much as my retirement plan so it will take a while to catch up to that.

I have a equities, cash, and some bonds. I've been investigating investing in gold and/or other metals like silver and platinum. With gold selling for over $1k per ounce, I wish I had invested in it long ago. I thought about buying coins. I can put them in my lock box to keep them secure. The good part about coins is that they are portable and fairly liquid.

I'm undecided because this might be the top of the market. That's true of any investment though. I'll look into making more investments this year. It's time for me to get serious with my investments.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I need more money

Yup I just got a raise and I can cover all of my monthly expenses. But I forgot one important thing...ME! I don't have nearly enough cash to last me through the month for shopping outside of the norm. I didn't anticipate that taxes would eat me alive like they did. I thought I would have some discretionary money but boy was I wrong!

It's a good thing I don't have really expensive tastes or I would be in trouble.

Where are my manners?

I've been at this job 3 weeks and I never sent a card to my old department. I need to send them a card for the nice party that they gave me when I left. They brought in a nice lunch spread. We had cold-cuts and a sandwich ring. We also had a broccoli and rice side dish, potatoes, green beans, and a few other vegetable dishes. There was a fresh veggie tray and a meat and cheese tray. We had soda, juice, cookies, chips and desserts galore.

They also gave me a card that everyone in the area signed. They gave me a monetary going away present and my old supervisor gave me a gift card to Eat N Park (it's a local eatery). They really did a good job and I was surprised because I wasn't expecting anything. I found some really nice Business Thank You Cards that I'm getting to send to them. I'll send one to each the supervisor, manager, and the person over my manager. I'll also send one card to the group in general. Of course I'll personalize each card differently. I could actually personalize them on the website and then just sign them when I get them.

I'm such a procrastinator. I should have had these cards mailed at least a week ago. But of course I just keep telling myself that I'm giving everyone time enough to miss me, then I'll send the card. I know they'll appreciate it because I know I would. I really miss working with them sometimes.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Taxes Suck

I got a nice raise when I got my new job. I got my first new paycheck on Friday. I didn't open it because I haven't had time so I honestly had no idea how much I had gotten. Well let's just say that I got taxed to death! I was honestly expecting to get slightly more in my check. I had revised my budget but now I need to revise it again.

I knew taxes would eat a lot of my check but this is ridiculous!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Working on getting my refund

I called the school today. They said that I could fax the letter to them. I had to write it 3 times. The first time I just didn't like the way it looked. The second time I left off my student id number. And the last time I realized that I hadn't included the refund amount.

I faxed it around 11am. Hopefully within 5-7 days, I'll have my refund back. Of course then all I'll do is send it right back to pay for summer. I don't know why they don't just offer that option.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The reason I won't graduate

I alluded to the fact that I won't graduate this year the other day. I've tried very hard to make it happen but it won't be a reality. There are a few reasons but I'll just mention the main ones.

They all revolve around money. I think the economy is headed for a recession. Although I think my job would be fairly stable, you just never know. I'm sure the people at Bear Stearns never thought that they value of their company would decline by 90%. The stock is now trading at less than $2.00 per share, which is almost pink-sheet status. They've also announced that they're laying off 7,000 people. That's a whole lotta people that will be out of work.

The only way for me to graduate in December is to spend all of my emergency fund and available cash. I would also have to charge 1 class. I would get reimbursed for 2 of those classes. But that money would go towards paying off the credit card, then paying school fees each semester. Books aren't even in the equation at this point.

With the way that everything surrounding the economy is going right now, I don't think it would be wise to have little to no cash. I can wait until May (or August) of next year to graduate. I won't be happy about it, but that's life!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

It's too bad I won't be in Florida in April

I was supposed to go visit my aunt and uncle in Florida but I don't have the money to go. The last time I went to visit them we went to a lot of local activities and things. April 5th is the 5th annual Dark Sky Festival in Harmony.

The purpose of the festival is to help promote the benefits of a night-sky free from the effects of artificial light. It's a environmentally friendly atmosphere aimed at stopping light pollution. It's believed that artificial light wastes energy, disrupts the surrounding natural environment and has the potential to cause health problems.

There are activities for the whole family including a Kids zone with a speaker talking about Myths in the Night. Look up at the stars through the telescopes, listen to speakers talk about light pollution and how to prevent it, or even enjoy the free concert by Motown artists Rare Earth. While the purpose of the festival is to introduce environmentally intelligent lighting and lifestyle practices, the event also encourages the development of scientific interest in Florida youth.

If you happen to be near the Harmony Town Square on April 5th, stop by for the kick-off festival. After all, it's free and open to the public.

I never got my school refund

When I dropped my class this semester, I was due a refund. I looked at my online account and the refund was due to be mailed to me in February. I figured it would be applied to my account for the summer. When I saw that it wasn't, I contacted the school and they told me they had mailed the check back in January.

Now I have to mail a letter to get the check stopped and reissued. I hope the money comes back by mid-April because that's supposed to be my first payment for the summer session.

Can I recreate my fantasy sports success?

In the past I've won the office NCAA Basketball pool twice. I was also pretty good with out fantasy football league. This time I'm trying my hand at fantasy baseball this year.

I was surfing the net trying to get schedules and injury reports when I came across a site where I could play fantasy baseball. Since I'm a baseball fan, playing this should be right up my alley. The league does have a $39.95 charge but if you use promo code BMC200, you get $10 off of the price. Not bad considering you have the opportunity to win money.

One of the problems that I usually come across is that I tend to pick all of my favorite players instead of employing a good strategy. With this software I can pick players head to head or sort players by position.

That feature would help me select a more balanced team than if I went with my usual methods of picking players. It would do me no good to have a mediocre player just because I like him more than a great player that would help me. After all I'm in this to win, not just play the game.

I can also stay up to date on injuries and player stats. Since I can access my account from anywhere, I can trade a player or bench them if need be.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I'm not graduating this year

I had a long detailed post about why I won't graduate this year. I don't really have a lot of time to type it up here at work. I would have to leave too much information out and the post wouldn't make sense. I will try to either write it tonight or at least draft it and post it tomorrow.

I am a little bit upset but I think it's the right decision.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Of course my salary hasn't been updated

On my new system that is. I checked this morning and I'm officially in both databases as an employee of this department. However my job title, salary level and salary range are still listed under my previous position.

One of my friends told me that it should be changed by Wednesday because that's the last day HR has to change it before payday. She also said that I should be paid my correct salary even though the system is showing it wrong. I hope so cause I will be ticked if I get my old salary for the past 2 weeks.

My access is still not activated either. But since the databases were updated over the weekend, hopefully my supervisor can put the paperwork for my access card in today.

Hopefully everything will be updated soon.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Childcare issues

Some of my coworkers have childcare issues and are considering getting a nanny. That's not something that Americans typically think of but my coworker is originally from Europe and that's normal to them. In America we think that's only something for rich people to do. But you can get a person from AuPairCare that works for a set number of hours per week. They're trained in massage and therapy techniques. They can also teach your child sign language.

I think one of the most important things that the children are exposed to is new languages and cultures during their most informative years. It's important because people that know 2 or more languages are a valuable resource in the workplace. They are usually more in demand and command a higher salary.

If I thought I could afford it, I would definitely consider an au-pair for my future teacher.

Still no access

I still don't have access at work. And my employee information is not up to date either. I'm half in my new job and half and my old job. Of course, my salary is still at the old level. My boss said that should be cleared up by Monday so it will reflect on the next payday which is Thursday.

I just want access man.

Yummy dinner with the girls

My friends took me out to dinner to celebrate my new job. It was really nice because we hardly see each other anymore. We met at our old job but a few of us have moved on since then. Catching up with friends is always good.

We went to a nice restaurant that was totally out of the norm for us. We usually do casual but this was a little more formal. We had Gulf oysters as appetizers. I have to admit that I was skeptical at first because I'm not a seafood eater. But my friends convinced me to try them. I just slurped it down so I couldn't even tell you what it tasted like. Everyone else said they were good. One person even ordered them as her entree.

Somebody got up the nerve to ask how they were prepared. The waiter started talking about heating them, then cooling them and the cleaning process. I had to tune that conversation out. I don't care about my food before it hits my plate. Just cook it well done and bring it out.

My friends paid and wouldn't even let me pitch in on the tip. It was a great time hanging out with everyone. I can't wait until we have the occasion to go out again.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

I feel like an outsider

Until tomorrow at least. I still don't have access to the building but I checked today and my new boss is listed on my file. My access couldn't be changed until that was updated. Hopefully tomorrow I won't have to stop at security to get in and out of the building. It's not that bad but it gets annoying when you have to do it several times per day.

My salary and position weren't updated either but as long as they update it by payday, I won't worry about that.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I'm not bored at work today!

Yesterday I thought I was going to go crazy I was so bored. Today they showed me a more in depth account to look at just to familiarize me with the work. I definitely won't be bored once I start doing my own work. I won't be working on my own for another week or two though.

I don't think it's a hard job to learn or to do but it's very indepth. There are a lot of steps that you have to do before you're finished. I think learning what steps to complete and when will be the hardest part of the job. I should catch on fairly quickly. I'm used to being on a steep learning curve so this job should be no different.

I've only been here two days but I do feel like I've made a step in the right direction career wise. And that's a good feeling.

Monday, March 10, 2008

I start my new job today

And I'm super nervous. I don't really know what to expect working here. It's a totally different environment than I used to work in. My old area was laid back and casual. This area is more corporate and structured.

I will also be working with a new system that I've never used before so that's a major difference. I'm wondering if I'll go into training or not. I guess I'll have to see how today goes.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Raising my 401k and my small raise

Last week I wrote I just increased my 401k percentage. In that post I talked about my raise and my 401k increase.

I feel that I should clarify what I said. I didn't get a small raise. I got a pretty nice raise actually. However, I took the job paying more money in order to pay for school. I won't see any of that money since it's going straight to tuition. My regular expenses also went up which the raise will cover. That includes my rent, my garage for my car and my cell phone bill.

Then I raised my 401k percentage. Once I'm done with school, I'll raise the 401k by a few more percentage points. I'll also take a look at my first paycheck at my new salary. If I have more money than I anticipate, I'll divert it to the 401k. I know most people would take care of their retirement account first, but school is more important right now. I don't get financial aid or student loans. I'm paying cash for school. Some of the classes are reimbursed and some are not. So I need all of the cash I can get to cover tuition.

I'll be done with school in either December of this year or April of next year. Once that happens, my 401k will become my number one priority.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

I need to relax

My friend sent me this video after I vented yesterday about getting my car fixed. He told me that I needed to relax and told me to watch the video. It's entitled learn massage. It's the same video that is used as a training tool for future message therapists. It looks interesting but I told him that I can't message myself! I hope he doesn't take that as an invitation to come over and give me a message. I'm sure my boyfriend wouldn't like that.

Watch the video and tell me if you think it helps you relax.

Learn How To Massage

Learn Massage | Massage Video | Massage DVD

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Just when you think you're getting ahead

I thought everything was going good. I got a new job with a raise in salary which will leave me with a little bit of extra money at the end of the month. I'm paid one month ahead on two of my loans and I have the money to pay for my summer class. So what went wrong? My stupid car!!!

There is work that needs to be done with the transmission. A sensor needs to be replaced, there needs to be some updates done to the sensor and I need a fluid flush and fill. Also the last owner stuck a nail in the hose connecting the windshield washer fluid to the sprayer. Then they put something down in it so that needs to be totally replaced.

The damage? $650. That is money that I was not anticipating putting out right now. I do have some money in my car account, but it's not that much. That means I have to take the money out of my savings account. This is work that has to be done. It's not like I can put it off. So I guess I'll have to tighten my belt even further until I replace my savings.

The thing that angers me the most is that this car is only 2 1/2 years old. That means the previous owner didn't do any type of maintenance on this car. And we didn't catch it in the pre-sale inspection. I had already decided that in the future I will only buy new cars instead of used. This just solidifies that position.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Pasty White Northern Jokes

I hate these jokes. They're not funny at all to me. As a black person I really find them quite offensive. So I was reading a IZEA blog post today and came across this quote:

"It's hard to believe, but spring is right around the corner. All of you white, pasty northerners will soon be bearing your glowing skin in bathing suites. You need a tan. Bad. Seriously."

My response was as follows "Why do I take stuff like this so personal? I don't know but all Notherners aren't pasty. And we're NOT all white. Whodathunkit?!?!?!"

Like I said, I know it's supposed to be funny. But it's not. I really wish people would come up with a new way to get their point across. Especially since it was the CEO of the company making said remark.