Wednesday, December 19, 2012

This year is coming to a close

I didn't get all of my resolutions fulfilled this year and since we're at the end of the year I know I won't. However there are some things that I'm going to get done.

I will save money in my investment account. I sent a lump sum of money earlier in the year however I didn't send my monthly amounts. I've just been spending that money on dumb stuff instead of investing it. I want to do a better job of that next year.

I also want to save a lot more cash next year. Whenever something happens, I like having a few extra bucks in my checking or savings account that I can spend without any repercussions. Most of my cash is tied up in cd's which works for me. That way I can't fritter it away on odds and ends. I'll add to my cd's next year and also add to my liquid cash accounts.

I'll probably write up one set of resolutions and post them across all of my blogs.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Dealing with effects of today's economy

I recently read an article about a company that was laying off a significant number of workers. As part of their settlement package, they would be offered almost a 12 months of pay.

That seems like a lot but in this economy they would still be on the edge. Especially since jobs are so hard to come by. Sometimes that means making drastic changes to ones lifestyle. That's where a company that specializes in debt relief comes in. And you have a variety of options including debt consolidation, debt settlement, a consumer proposal and finally, as a last option, bankruptcy.

Before you chose do anything and possibly make things worse, you should contact a Certified Debt Specialist like Shelia Cockburn Esq. With a law degree from Fordham University, Ms. Cochburn has over 8 years dealing with litigation and prosecution matters in the areas of debt collections, business transactions and intellectual property. She is licensed to practice law in both the U.S. and Canada.

While Cockburn & Associate, LLP is Debt Settlement for Canadians company, they use principals that anyone could use. Check out their blog and read the articles and help yourself get out of debt.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Why I stayed so long at my last job Part I

A lot of my friends ask why I stayed so long at my last job if I didn't like it. It wasn't for lack of trying to leave either.

When I first started my last job the requirement was 6 months before you could leave for a new job. In my 3rd or 4th month they changed it to 1 year. Instead of fighting to get out, which I should have done, I decided to tough it out for the full year.

After the year was up, I only posted for jobs that I really wanted. I wasn't competing against a lot of people but some of them had much more experience than I did. So it was a tough road but I wasn't discouraged. After 6 months or so I had only applied for 4 or 5 jobs.

To be continued.....

Monday, November 05, 2012

I'm settling in nicely at my new job

Whenever you go to a new job there is a learning curve. My curve seemed steep because what I'm doing is new but it wasn't that steep at all now that I think about it.

I don't want to make it seem like I'm totally okay just yet but I have to say that I'm settling in quite nicely. The new area is pretty quiet but it's also pretty loose. There are some people that stay to themselves and some that love to talk to anyone that will listen which is right up my alley.

All in all I like it and I can see my staying for a while. That is in stark contrast to my last job where I didn't like it from the first week.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Going through growing pains at work

It's always a challenge learning something new. Especially when it's totally outside the realm of what you already know. Right now I'm just trying to hang on and keep my head above water with everything that I'm learning. If I fall behind, I don't see any way to catch up.

On the positive side, it's a positve learning experience and there is plenty of room to grow. Or I could just wait until my year is over and move on. Either way, it's up up up I go.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Making new savings goals

I have a savings plan that I posted on my other blog. It's a pretty easy plan that should be easily attainable, especially since I've received an increase in pay! Now I need to come up with a long term savings plan.

The majority of the extra money that I'll be making will go directly into savings. Some of the money will go towards upcoming expenses (like health insurance) and some will get incorporated into my monthly budget. This way, I don't have to cut anything, I can increase some categories and still save at the same time.

I still need to come up with a long term plan though. I need way more money in savings to have a healthy emergency fund. The money from my new salary earmarked for savings will go into the long-term fund. The money that I'm currently saving will go into my short-term fund. My eventual goal is to have 6-8 months worth of expenses between the two accounts. Needless to say, that's a 3-5 year long goal because I'm not going to save that much money overnight.

I'll just plan on getting my short-term goal in check and go from there.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

I'm still job hunting

I have 2 jobs in the pipeline that I'm currently working. I don't really think I have a shot a either job but for various reasons.

Job 1 - there is another equally qualified candidate that I know the manager is looking at. She's a networker/brown noser which helps her. Don't get me wrong, she is qualified. I just think her people will help her.

Job 2 - is only 1 grade higher than where I am. My salary is currently at a level 2 grades above where I am. I don't think this new job will want to pay my salary when they can get someone for a few thousand dollars less than I'm already making. I've already decided that if this job offers me even a minimal raise, I'll take the job to learn new skills as well as raise my profile.

Hopefully I'll hear something within the next week. The waiting really is the worse thing.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Boo hoo Overtime is over

It happened so unexpectedly too. I knew it was coming to an end because my coworker told me that our manager had been hinting around to it. Then one day we came to work and were told that as of Friday, there was no more overtime. This happened on a Tuesday. Luckily I was hadn't planned on any more overtime so I was good. At one point I was living to make the overtime but I think I got burned out.

We may have more overtime at the end of the year but I wouldn't count on it. To be perfectly honest, I hope I've found another job and won't be in this area to worry about overtime. I'm just glad it lasted as long as it did.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

My project is finally over

I never thought it would end. I've been working on a several month long project that was a killer. Towards the end, my manager decided that they wanted it done sooner rather than later. So they threw 2 extra people to help me out with a 3rd doing minor work. Instead of taking another 3-4 weeks, we finished up yesterday.

Now I'm working on a normal work project that will take 2-3 weeks. No rushing and no one breathing down my neck. Just working at my own pace and getting my work done which is just the way I like it.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Probably not New Jersey bound

My nieces' birthday is tomorrow. I thought her party was planned for this Saturday. Unfortunately I got my days screwed up and her party was actually last Saturday so I missed it. That was the main reason for me to drive to New Jersey. Yes she's only turning 2 but I still wanted to be there.

Right now I'm totally exhausted. I have a lot on my mind and it seems like nothing is going right. One of my coworkers even remarked that I looked stressed, which I am. So I think I'm just going to use the next couple of days to rest and get myself together.

I still have some vacation time left later on this summer so I might drive down then. But tomorrow is definitely a no go.

Monday, July 02, 2012

I didn't book my trip

I was talking with a friend of mine and he suggested that I go to my destination next year. The reason is simple, it would cost less points. Or to look at it another way, I would get to stay longer for the same amount of points.

My hotel is 20K points right now. I usually go on vacation in May and during that time of the year you only need 8K points. So instead of 40K for 2 nights, I can spend 32K for 4 nights and have points left over. I also wouldn't have to take any money out of my pocket. As it stands right now, I would have to pay for at least 1 night, but by waiting I would have enough points to not pay anything.

Hopefully I can still find something for this year so I can still take a vacation. I surely don't want to wait until next year!

Friday, June 15, 2012

I want to book my vacation

I'm sitting here at my desk pouting right now. I have some free hotel loyalty points but you can only book 60 days out. I still have 11 days before I can book my 2 free days. I can cut that to 10 days if I use the 2 free days first and the paid day last. Either way I have too long to wait.

The worse part is that I can't even get my airline ticket yet. If I book the ticket and then can't get the hotel room, I'm stuck like Chuck. Most of the hotels are easily $150 per night. So instead of airfare and about $150 for a hotel, it would cost almost $450 for a hotel. Yuck.

Next year I plan on going on vacation in May like I did in the past and just using my August vacation as a staycation. That will make things so much simpler.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I haven't decided if I'm going to New Jersey or not

I just don't feel like taking that long drive. But since almost no one in my immediate family in New Jersey has a car, I would be at a distinct disadvantage if I rolled down there without a vehicle. Did I mention that they like in the sho nuff ghetto?!?!? Umm yeah, I'm surely not trying to take a bus down there.

I also don't feel comfortable staying at anyone's home. It just feels weird if it's not my house or my mom's house. That means I have to shell out money for a hotel. I did find a hotel for 2 nights that will cost around $115 but I would have to leave Saturday. I was thinking about leaving Saturday anyway but I want the flexibility of being able to leave on Sunday.

Luckily the party isn't until the middle of July so I still have a while to think about it.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Doctors have a new tool to add to their arsenal

I know most people think that doctors are perfect and everything is right at the tip of their fingers, but they need help too. Now they can use a service called Doximity to make their day a lot easier. It's a physician only network so there's no bogging down of the system. And to make it easier to use, it's available on the web, and by phone for both android and the I-phone. Personally, I like the android system better but that's just me.

Anyway, say a physician is looking for a Spanish speaking doctor in California who treats abdominal aortic aneurysms. They can type those keywords in the search bar and Doximity will find a match for their patient. For instance Jonathan Wade DO is an example of a doctor that meets those search criteria. Once his profile comes up, the referring physician can see his profile including languages spoken and specialty and areas of interest. Doctors save so much time by having this resource at their fingertips.

This is an exciting new tool for doctors to start using.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

A big bank rules in my favor

Now imagine that! I went to an atm to take money out of my checking out. But I looked at the balance first, and the machine ended the transaction. Then I started over and took the money out. But I was charged several fees for this transaction including a foreign atm fee and a fee for looking at my balance.

Normally I don't fight fees because I figure it's my fault and I just pay them. In this case I didn't realize I had to pay to look at my balance as my main bank and my smaller banks don't charge these fees. Well I called the bank and politely asked to have the fees waived. I had also made a deposit that morning so my account was back in the black. To my surprise the csr said that they would waive the fee as a courtesy and credited the small amount back to my account. I also didn't incur any overdraft fees.

From now on I'll just use the account for my small purchases and no more atm withdrawals. I'm pretty sure that I won't be as lucky the next time and I certainly don't want to press my luck.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

My savings are adding up

It can be a task saving money. It's hard to do and easy to get discouraged. One thing that I do is make my money inaccessible. I put it in the most obscure, out of the way bank that I can find. Then I'm not too tempted to go and get it out. I have one credit union where I don't even have a debit card. Now admittedly, I only have $250 in that account but it's a start right? Especially since that's my Ebay money. No sales means no savings for that particular account.

The hardest thing for me is to just keep it going. To get to that magical, mythical 3-6 months emergency fund is going to take a while. I do know that slow and steady wins the race but it gets really hard to deprive yourself of things and have the fortitude to slip that money into your savings account.

I know in the end I'll be glad that I stuck to my plan, but I can't wait to get there!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A fancy little birdhouse for our garden

Guest post written by Roberta Tiemann

When I like to do something, I like to make sure that the result of it is perfect. You can call me a perfectionist, for sure. So I'm that way with craft and household projects. I felt like taking on a new project myself and decided that it would be a great idea to try and make a fancy little birdhouse that I would be proud of for years. Not a standard little cheap one.

Like with any project I take on, I like to do a fair share of research on the best way to approach it, so that's what I did with this one too. When I was researching how to make a high-quality birdhouse, I saw the site and after I looked through it a little bit I decided to use it to help settle our family's debt. We've had it for a while and don't want to be haunted by it for any longer than necessary at this point.

I found this really awesome fancy birdhouse example and I can't wait to try and make it for our home. I can't wait to make it and put my own little twist on it.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Still waiting

Ughhh I haven't heard anything from any of the jobs that I applied for. I've applied for several jobs both internally and externally. There is one job that I really want. It's in my field but again someone with the right degree can trump me. I've also noticed that managers tend to look at my current job and not my previous jobs which is where most of my experience lies.

The job that I really want is at a great company with a wonderful culture. I've heard nothing but great things about the company in general. It's only been 2 weeks so I'll wait another week or two before I throw in the towel.

Fingers crossed that something good happens soon.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Applying for a new job

I just applied for a new job. That's nothing new because I've been applying for several months now (actually a lot longer but I won't go into that). This job is different because it's a semi-good fit but it's external.

It's only a semi-good fit because I have the knowledge that they want but I don't have the degree that they want. I do have a degree just not in their preferred field. This is such a tough job market that people with Master's degrees are taking what are normally entry level jobs so I'm not holding my breath to get a call.

The external part does worry me a tad bit. I'm used to the corporate culture where I work and the thought of going to another company does scare me a tiny bit. But at the same time, I refuse to just sit back and stay at a job that isn't offering me anything. I may not get another job any time soon but it sure won't be for lack of trying.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Author: Jonathan Suarez

My husband is in the military, and he’s currently stationed overseas. For obvious reasons, this is very hard on all of us. I know he misses me and our two children, and it’s hard for us not knowing what’s going on over there. We do our best to email back and forth as often as possible, and we have become dependent on Skype as well! It’s so wonderful to be able to see each other while we’re chatting, even though we’re thousands of miles away! We don’t always know when he’ll have the opportunity to use a laptop, so I’ve started taking mine with me everywhere, just to make sure I’m ready to talk when he’s available. We’re so lucky that with our new wireless internet I’m able to connect to Skype no matter where I am. That has been such a huge relief. I no longer have to worry about racing home from the grocery store to make sure I don’t miss his call—I just pop my laptop open while I’m sitting in the parking lot! It’s such a wonderful way for us to stay in touch, and there is nothing the kids love more than to see their Daddy’s face!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Should I reapply or not?

I really don't know. I applied for a job that I didn't get. I interviewed for it and everything but the hiring manager went with another candidate.

Now I found out that the department has more openings and they're hiring several more people. The only problem is that the job is several grades higher than the last job. There is always the possibility that the manager can offer me the job at the lower level but I don't know if I should apply or not.

I didn't get the job the last time but that doesn't mean that I won't get it this time. There is also the possibility that my application won't get forwarded because it's such a high jump. I'll probably go ahead and apply and let the chips fall where they may.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Small time investing

And I do mean small. I have a stock account but not a lot of money to put in it. I have a few hundred dollars right now but not enough to really invest in a big company. I want my money to really work for me though so I've been looking into Penny stocks as a small piece of my portfolio pie. I know they can be risky but they can also be very rewarding.

I did my homework on a penny stock before and I would have made a tidy sum had I invested when I wanted to. Instead I waited and the stock shot up beyond my purchase limit. And that's what most people don't realize. A penny stock should be researched before you sink your money into it.

Me personally, I always research as much as I can before I lay my money out. But I see another good buy, I'll be ready to pounce.

I hate when I have to compete with friends for something

Especially a job like I'm doing right now. There are 3 people from my area and 1 person from down the hall that all had interviews for 1 job. The question though is how do they decide between the 4 of us? We all have similar skills and similar backgrounds. Although I know that I have a skill set that 2 of them don't have and I know the other candidate is really strong in a area where the 3 of us lack.

I haven't even considered that they still have more people to interview. The next few weeks should be very interesting to say the least.

Saturday, January 21, 2012


Thanks for the guest post by Donn Schroeder

I have finally talked my grandmother into entering the world of technology! She is the lady that still pays her bill by writing a check and mailing them in through snail mail! The idea of using email is truly foreign to her. But, she said she would try it if I helped her get everything all hooked up. Thankfully, I found some great Wildblue packages to get internet hooked up in her house. Next was setting up an email account for her. I was bummed when groovygrandma@yahoo was taken as a username! We settled for GroovyGma. Now that I got her account set up and she is emailing, she is loving it! She is so sweet. Her emails are always like a novel and basically just consist of her typing out all of her thoughts. I also think it is hilarious how quickly she responds to my emails that I send her. I mean, how many times a day is she checking her email? It is nice though because I can easily email her and make sure that she is okay. Now, it is time to get her on Facebook!

Friday, January 06, 2012

Debating between investing or buying an ipod

I know it sounds like a slam dunk right? Of course I should invest the money and not worry about the ipod. But I'm really torn. I want to diversify into precious metals. I'm thinking of small graded coins instead of bullion or jewelry. Not a lot, just one or two pieces.

On the other hand, I've been coveting the ipod for almost a year and I'm ready to pull the trigger. As of today, I have $175 in gift certificates with another $25 to be added within the next couple of weeks. Maybe I'll wait until I have enough to totally cover the ipod purchase and make my decision from there.

That gives me at least until April or May to make a definitive decision.