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Archive for February, 2006

Tax return received

February 26th, 2006 at 02:00 pm

I received my tax return on friday. $234.17 total, $200 of which was due to the savers credit ($100 from my 401k contributions and $100 from deciding to open an IRA in order to get the full credit). I went ahead and scheduled an extra student loan payment and am waiting for it to post.

Spending is alright. The budget is getting kind of close, but I shouldn't have very many purchases next week. We're stocked up for groceries for a while.

I'm motivated to find a new job. On Friday I found out that my manager has accepted another position with the company, and will be leaving April 1st. I don't know if I can handle another change in management, and having to prove myself again. It always seems to set back my progression in my job when this happens. I've been with the company 2 years, and this is my third manager. Very frustrating.

In good news, I found out that I started working for my company at just the right time. When I started, they began matching 401k contributions 30 days after you started, and the pension is set up in such a way that you started vesting after 2 years and received full vesting at 5. Now, you have to work with the company for a year before you receive any 401k match, and you don't have any pension vesting until the 5 year mark.

Having a pension seems kind of weird to me, since it's not that common anymore. My pension is funded by a percentage of my income plus it earns interest. If I leave the company right now, I have a choice for how I want to receive the funds. You can take them in cash, or roll them into your 401k (the later being the option I would choose).


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Spending:

2/23
$4 coffee

2/24
$8 lunch at work
$8 dinner out
$6.46 cigarettes

2/25:
$34.03 groceries
$5.96 cigarettes

$27.97 left in budget (til 3/3)

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Savings:

2/24
$0.55 savings on cigarettes
$0.06 interest earned on checking account
$234.17 tax return received (pending on loan)

2/25
$3.50 grocery card savings

$4.11 total extra for next loan payment

Crazy, crazy work

February 22nd, 2006 at 08:56 pm

My work is driving me insane this week . . . At least we have a new person hired, so once he's fully trained that will help.

A lot of what I do is back-up work for the two sides of the bank branch (teller and "new accounts" -- basically people at a desk). I'm so tired of being caught between the two sides. I have to cover both sides, but since both sides are crazy busy (and people are sick or on vacation) I end up being the person who is told "can you do this, I'm busy" or "I can't help, I'm busy." Yeah, we're all busy! I have work other than directly helping customers too! Sheesh.

Alright, that was my rant Smile

Thankfully my manager is cool. She knows how hard I work and went to the table to get me a large raise last June. She bought me a donut today as a thank you for all the craziness the last couple weeks Smile Very sweet.

Spending was okay, but I really need to stop buying coffee. I think it's just a stress reflex. I get this glazed over eye feeling and head to the coffee shop Wink

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Saving and Spending:

2/21
3.99 coffee

2/22
3.99 coffee
15.87 cigarettes

98.46 left in budget (til 3/3)

Working computer!

February 21st, 2006 at 11:56 pm

Just a quick post since I'm so happy that our computer is back up and running. Yeah! It took my boyfriend all of five minutes to fix it Smile

Anyway, things are going well here. Some spending today . . . I'll post totals tomorrow.

I realized one of the reasons my last paycheck was larger than expected (besides the overtime). Once a month my bus pass comes out of my paycheck. My employer pays half, and the rest comes out pre-tax. This last paycheck it wasn't deducted, so I got a bit worried that something happened.

Turns out for some reason they'll be taking my February bus pass payment (for a March bus pass) out in the first check for March. April gets taken out of the second check in March. I'm guessing this has something to do with receiving 3 checks in March, but I'm not sure why they changed it.

February being a short month shouldn't affect it since we are paid every two weeks rather than twice a month. Maybe something to do when when the company actually buys the passes? Oh well, at least I know my pass is paid for Smile

MIA blogger . . .

February 20th, 2006 at 04:27 pm

Yeah, I know I've been really bad about posting. My computer at home is still not connecting to the internet, and I can't fix it. My boyfriend said he'd work on it this weekend, but didn't get around to it.

Last friday I got a larger than normal paycheck because of some overtime. I used all the extra towards my student loan, so my normal planned payment went from $160 to $248.12. That brings total extra payments for the month to $426! Smile Some of the extra is also from savings: coupons/grocery card savings and a HSBC account opening bonus.

I've been tracking all of my grocery store savings, whether it's through store cards or coupons, and using those for debt payment. It's really easy since they're listed right on the receipt. I just subtract whatever savings I had from my checkbook, and then add the total to my next planned debt payment. At first I was worried that I would end up running out of money, but so far I've still stayed in budget. I just divert more towards debt payment and make those grocery card "savings" actual savings Smile

It feels good to see the balance of my student loans going down. I'm on track to pay off my first private loan in May.

Spending for the month is also good. Here's a breakdown:

Must Haves: 53% (goal 50%)
Save: 30% (goal 30%)
Wants: 10% (goal 20%)

I know those percentages don't add up to 100, but that's just because the month isn't over yet. I have $122.31 left over 'til my next paycheck, plus an end of the month bonus check.

January Recap (a bit late)

February 13th, 2006 at 10:32 am

I finally have a computer that works at home, but it's still having problems. Oh well, I figured I should start by posting my January recap. Overall spending was good . . .

Must Haves (goal 50% or $854.22)
~ Actual: 42.3% or $721.75

Save (goal 30% or $512.53)
~ Actual: 32.3% or $552.35

Wants (goal 20% or $341.69)
~ Actual: 25.4% or $434.10

I was overbudget for the "wants" category, but I also did well in "save."

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Here's the break down of debt/savings in January:

Savings:

~ $0.06 short-term savings
(down $363.53)
~ $31.00 long-term savings
(down $869.00)
~ $1,015.93 IRA
(new this month, used short-term
and long-term savings to fund)
~ $2,767.51 401K
(up $276.72)
~ $304.51 vested Pension
(up $21.64)

Total Savings: $4,176.64

Debt:

~ $2,413.45 Private Student Loan 1
(down $476.55)
~ $3,288.26 Private Student Loan 2
(down $31.81)
~ $8,333.54 Government Student Loan
(down $58.74)

Total Debt: $14,035.25
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Overall it was a good month. I met my goals for paying off debt and opened a Roth IRA. The use of savings is a bit deceptive, since most was in order to open the IRA. The rest was planned expenses for a trip to my parents and for my boyfriend's birthday.

Broken computer . . .

February 7th, 2006 at 01:40 pm

It seems like it's so long since I have posted. My computer at home has had internet connection problems. We think it's the router, but right now it's not really working very well. And work is just too busy.

January wrapped up pretty well. I'll post the numbers when I'm back up and running at home. I came in underbudget, and made some extra student loan payments. Overall a good month.