<< Back to all Blogs
Login or Create your own free blog
Layout:
Home > Archive: January, 2010
 

Archive for January, 2010

Step in the right direction

January 28th, 2010 at 07:59 pm

We got our state tax return today & its amazing how paying something off feels

I paid:

* The interest that was accruing on my deferred student loans
* Paid OFF my daughter's braces
* Prepaid the homeowner's association fees for our rental property for all of 2010
* Paid an extra $1000 on my credit card & when our federal return comes we will pay that off

Hopefully 2010 is a kinder year to us financially than 2009 was.

I just calculated what we owed at the end of the year and I can't believe how much in denial I was.

On 12/31
$8K on CC #1
$9K on CC #2
$28 on CC #3

That's $45K in credit card debt... and the sad part is I know where EVERY penny went to

We started with $8K in CC debt, then we incurred $15K in rental property repairs, $10K in our personal residence, our computer died & we spent $2K for a new desktop so I could work, then my Dad died and that made up the rest with having to fly 6 people to Hawaii... the rest is interest & fees.

I always knew the balances on the cards, but never added them up. And never disclosed them here cause I was ashamed. When I came here, we were just down to $8K in credit card debt from $17K.

But after this next month, it should be

CC#1 Gone
CC#2 $7500
CC#3 $27000
Total CC Debt $34500

An improvement but we still have a long way to go & I just hope this upcoming move doesn't set us back. I don't think it SHOULD because the Navy will move us & my job is going with us, so I won't have the usual expenses associated with a move except setting up a new house. But the Navy gives around $2400 to help take care of that stuff and rents in the new place look like they are around $1200 or so.

*shrug*

We'll see. I still have the inheritance & our emergency fund of $1000, so we have a total savings of around $11K that should be able to cushion us if something comes up.

I'm still not sure what to do about the surgery but I realize I'm going to have to take it one day at a time. I had the consult with the surgeon, its just now getting an estimate of charges & finding out what insurance will or won't cover.

Extra money

January 25th, 2010 at 01:36 am

So I was thinking much of our money issues would be solved by giving DH an allowance. Instead I feel jipped because when he takes these trips & gets extra money - that goes to just him.

He came home today and we got into an argument about it. He told me that he doesn't see why I'm making a big deal out of it because he's going to use the money to pay for the things that he needed that we didn't have money in the budget for.

But what I wanted to do was to put the money in the bank account & then use the checking account to pay for what he needed as he got the money.

What caused the blowup is that I found out he took all the money out in cash. We have an online bank... so how are we supposed to pay for his books that he gets online if we have cash? I don't send cash in the mail.

So now only does he get $50/mo in allowance, he also gets $137 from his trip and next week he'll probably get another $100.

I feel jipped. Especially when my $300 office technology reimbursement money goes directly into the joint checking account and is used to pay bills.

I'm considering scrapping the whole allowance thing. I don't know what the answer is. Maybe I should just start putting that $300 every quarter into my "own" money. That seems to be the cause of the resentment, that I get money but don't even think twice of it becoming part of OUR money to pay down the bills (you know, since we have about $40K in CC debt)

Maybe I am being unreasonable. I don't know, but the whole argument soured his homecoming. I honestly wish he was more hands on with the finances. My whole desire to control the money comes from the stress I get dealing with it & again I asked him to help me but he just told me it'll do no good because I'll do whatever I want anyway. Basically saying its either him or me handling it, there is no middle ground.

So I have no clue. Will probably have to think about this one for awhile cause its hard to be objective about the situation when you're in it.

Taxes

January 21st, 2010 at 06:05 pm

Well I filed today.

And with that I'll be able to pay off one of my credit cards, re-fund my $1000 EF, and put a substantial amount towards paying down my other credit card.

I'm still not 100% sure what to do about the surgery though. I have a consult set up on Monday to discuss my options.

However, I did find out that even if I get insurance to cover 80% of it, I will still need to front the money and they will reimburse me when the insurance company pays.

So I am not sure what to do because even if I have to front the money and insurance reimburses me, that would eat up all of my inheritance.

Oh well, one day at a time.

Does it ever make sense to finance something?

January 12th, 2010 at 11:33 pm

DH and I are sort of at a crossroads with a decision.

I have something wrong that causes me daily discomfort. But the surgery to fix it is in the range of $9K to $16K. Healthcare won't cover the surgery because it seems popular in the cosmetic practice.

However, at times I've found myself at such desperation I've been tempted to do something myself. But I know having a physician do the procedure is best... if I try to attempt anything I'll probably just be another ER case.

There aren't many doctors in the area who do the procedure, just one. I had a consult with her & didn't like her bedside manner. I felt like she barely examined me... to top it off she was extremely cheap - $1300.

She also uses another technique than the one I'd like which I've heard results in the most complications.

So the doctor I would want to do the procedure, is the one I quoted the $9K-$16K because he's more expensive & I'd have to travel to his office.

All of DH's arguments against doing the surgery make sense. I completely agree... until the next minute where I'm reminded of my daily discomfort.

So I wonder, does it ever make sense to finance something like this? I know I'm definitely not objective & I can't be in this case. I'm trying very hard to accept this as it is and tell myself we can't afford to "get it fixed". I won't die as a result of not having the procedure, but it seems to be getting worse over the years so I know at some point... this WILL have to be done.

*shrug*

As I said, I know DH's arguments make sense and I don't want to argue with him about this, but its getting to a point where I just want this fixed and I'm tired of crying over it. So I keep wondering, if not this year - then when? There never seems to be a right time.

So I thought about doing one of those surgery financing things. Its not something I'm excited about, but I just want the daily discomfort to stop.

Resume dilemmas

January 10th, 2010 at 07:14 pm

There is one part of my resume that always trips me up and I KNOW a future employer will ask...

"How do you live and go to school on East Coast but your place of employment is on the West Coast?"

And if I state that I've been telecommuting 100% of the time for the past 5 years, does that make my job any less legitimate? How do employers look at that sort of work?

Our CFO has offered for me to use him as a reference, and I know my prior supervisor would be a good one too. Which I'm sure is another red flag, my CFO is on the West Coast but my prior supervisor is on the East Coast.

So how do you explain this in a resume? Do you omit that?

I could see the resume being tossed out completely if it doesn't have locations. So I'm not entirely sure how to navigate this.

But I like how our HR person words the company description in the latest job posting she listed:

__________ helps people improve their lives by connecting them with expert advice. Founded eight years ago, we manage four brands with over 30 products that help men and women become more successful in their relationships. We are the dominant provider of relationship self-help advice, as well as have other products in categories that include entrepreneur and business coaching. Our entire team works from home (we have no physical office) and we have about 70 people in 28 different states in the U.S.

Job title

January 8th, 2010 at 10:45 pm

What job title would you give this?

My company isn't big on titles. You could call yourself whatever you want essentially. The only purpose they develop titles is to let outside companies know what role that person serves internally. For example, I've seen my boss refer to herself as the Partner Manager or as an Account Rep. The person who coordinates the deals has called himself the VP of Business Development or Advertising Director.

So just to give you guys a background as to WHY I'm confused.

But anyhow, I'm updating my resume and for my current job I don't know what to put. I don't work in Quickbooks. So I don't want to put a false title associated with my resume as I plan to apply to public accounting firms.

So here's what I do... essentially I have been called a "Data Analyst", "Business Analyst", "Budget Analyst", and I'm just not sure what the most appropriate "title" is.

 Developed & evaluated compliance with the departmental budget in accordance with the company’s overall strategic planning.
 Performed variance analyses to identify areas for improvement in the department’s budgeting process.
 Reconciled vendor invoices against contracts to ensure proper billing.
 Ensured that vendor accounts were paid on time and in accordance to contract terms.

Things to ponder

January 7th, 2010 at 05:52 pm

I updated my resume today & kept asking myself - what type of salary would my resume command?

And then... will I be ready to enter the work-outside-the-home workforce by September?

I looked into childcare options for the four kids. The older three could go to after school care for about $300/mo. My youngest would be the most costly at around $600-$700/mo. So I would be spending approximately $1000/mo in childcare. Summertime would be horrible at around $2000-$2800/mo

On top of that, gas and work clothes expenses. Probably an additional $200/mo in gas and an initial upfront cost of $300-$500 for work clothes depending on the type of attire.

Right now, I make $2165 take home. In order to net the same amount, I need to make about $3200-3600/mo.

I'm skeptical. And DH's hesitation is related to having to take a pay cut w/no guarantees of what the pay growth really is. How long would we have to struggle?

I am volunteering for VITA this year & after I pass the CPA exam, I'm going to take a Quickbooks Certification course online to add that to my resume. That along with my 5 years of work experience in the payables process for my current company, I hope will at least command a salary that will allow me to leave my current job w/o forcing my family to struggle.

I'm nervous... incredibly so. But I feel like the longer I am not in the accounting field after graduation just serves as a negative to my career.

Sure, I'm home with the kids and get to spend precious time with them - but at some point I'm going to have to fit in those "entry-level" years to really get anywhere. With my youngest turning 2, she's almost ready to start preschool. So I figure starting a new job in September would be good, I just hope I can earn at least $45K or more because even at that level... it'd be a net paycut to me due to the additional expenses I need to incur.

Big changes ahead

January 4th, 2010 at 05:47 pm

Well, its official... we're moving to the West (not so much Coast).

Middle of nowhere, but thats what DH wanted. To be back West.

Not sure what to do with this house. If we short sell it will trash our credit, but if we rent it out - it'll be at a $500-$700/mo loss. Otherwise we have to estimate coming to the closing table with $80K.

We could deal with the $500-$700/mo loss. But trashing my credit score with a short sale be a tough one.

With my degree in accounting, maintaining a good credit score is important to me if I want to get a job in the field.

So we'll see.

On top of that, the base itself is so remote that they don't have internet available except dial-up and satellite. The nearest town that has DSL that would allow me to keep my job, is 50 miles from the base.

The schools are better there, but still - that is a 1 hr and 15 minute drive and sometimes longer depending on the weather during the winter months.

Its close to my Mom, and 12 hours away from my brother, and my Aunt could visit us easier - so thats a positive.

But I've also been informed we may need to look at getting a 4WD vehicle. We just got DH's car less than 6 months ago and it'll be paid off in a year. For a brand new car, I made him promise it was the LAST car he was getting till he retired.

Well, obviously something has to change. And we really don't want to get rid of the car since we plan on keeping it after this next duty station... so we plan on trying to find a beater car with 4WD to use during the winter months.

So these will all be big changes, but I have two hopes for this year:

To pay off both of my credit cards

To have our TOTAL debt (including homes) under $700K this year. To put that into perspective, we are currently at $740K. $11K of that will be paid off in the next couple of months.

Stressful, but we're going to try to find a rental home in the new area. Dh will have to commute the 1 hr and 15 minutes, but the commute seems unavoidable regardless because the area is so remote.

However, living in the larger town will allow me to keep my job and IF I ever did lose my job, there are CPA firms in that town & the next town over that I could try to get a job.