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Archive for January, 2007

do you love to retail?

January 27th, 2007 at 06:16 am

The new job doesn't start for two weeks...but how my pockets are burning to spend the money not even yet earned!!!! Already, I'm easing up on the grocery budget and creating all sorts of loopholes in my 2 -year budget plan, even before committing to it here. You know how that is....

For years, being a bit of a workaholic and living the pace and edgy lifesytle of a single woman in greater Boston, I used Retail Therapy as the total perfect escape from frenetic days and dreadful commutes. We're flooded with high end shops (and their spill over to excellent consignment shops, maybe even worse!,)and constant temptation and friends who share the disease in one form or another. Not to mention, that's my mother's particular addiction and how the girls in my family were raised----all before the retail culture was fed through the current credit card madness.

But this past period of unemployment brought into focus just how compulsive and sloppy the shopping had become. And really really hollow: clothes and stuff just go in and out of my closets, little attachment to any of it. On my last trip to my parent's house for Christmas, I really took note of their "stuff"-----most of it, like their bedroom set, living room furniture and china, I had grown up with ---they had attachment to their stuff for four and five decades! I have very few things (even if "nice") that have much meaning or intrinsic value to me. I'm not suggesting that things be so meaningful, only that we must have some things. And what is their value beyond the dollar sign?

Sorry, getting too philosophical. BUt all of this has started me looking more at old things, antiques, my old practice of saving money and researching things that have "value". But, still working on all that..and it hasn't detered me from planning the Big Trip to the Goodwill store next week...stay tuned...

New job , big resolutions

January 25th, 2007 at 04:31 am

Well, after having been unemployed since October, I 've been offered a job that I could not say no to....even though a part of me wanted to say no. That's because I've been very fortunate to have been able to work from home for the past four and a half years. But in that same time span, there a have been alot of personal and financial ups and downs. It really is time to stabilize a bit.

The job is at a very prestigious Boston hospital, pays well with great benefits. The only truly bad thing is the one hour commute each way in the horrible Boston traffic. If you've ever lived or visited here, you know how horrible the drivers are!!!! And of course, there's reporting to a boss----which I have not have to do in 6 years!

But,I can now get my financail house in order with a small degree of discipline. SO----my financial committments,that I will report progress on here, are to get my CCs in line, save for a new car and save for one of two purposes: to relocate out of New Engaland where cost of living is too high and quality of life is on the decline, OR,stay in New England where I have many professional contacts and start my own business.

I've learned alot from folks here after just a few months-and I've actually learned SO MUCH from the brief span of umemployment in terms of how much I had been truly recklessly spending in the past...and without a whole lot of pleasure.

Next time out, I'll spell out my two year plan....

half.com vs. amazon for selling books?

January 24th, 2007 at 05:14 am

It seems that most bloggers have been selling books successfully on half.com. I wonder if anyone has tried both half.com and amazon --or if you've read anything indicating that one site has certain advantages over the other when it comes to selling. Any ideas, folks???

an extra $15 a month for Verizon users

January 16th, 2007 at 03:13 pm

If you're using Verizon, you may qualify for an easy $15 a month- just for calling customer service.

I called to see if I could find a cheaper package and decided I was in the best package for me, no changes required. The rep told me, tho, that because I got both phone and internet in some specific arrangement, I was eligible for a "VIP" $15 reduction for the next 5 months. Nothin' else I had to do---except smile and thank the customer rep. Sweet!

The $38 dollar job interview-aack!!

January 13th, 2007 at 06:17 am

I'm grateful to have had two job interviews yesterday ( being unemployed since October) and I thought I was clever scheduling both on one day. Nevertheless, by the end of the day I had spent at least $36 !!

The damage looks like this:

$10 for nice resume paper at Staples, since I was aked to bring copies of my resume--which were then never asked for

$5 for 2 pairs of knee highs--unbelieveably I had none,had to buy a two-pack at the convenience store across the street---too expensive

$15 for parking for less than an hour and a half in downtown Boston

$3 for fees on ATM that was not my banks when I had to get extra cash for the parking lot!

$2 for road tolls

$1.60 for coffee (unnecessary....ok...)as I waited in coffee shop for interview time to arrive

...not too mention the packed lunch that went bad as I drove around lost in Boston!!

...and the $2 bag of fancy chips I had buy at the convenience store across the street in my end of the day MELTDOWN!!!

Oh well. One job, a free lance/consulting type thing that pays very well was offered on the spot. YEAH!!!

The other job, the one downtown,was part time but at a pretigious firm. If they offer me, I will probably say no... no Boston parking rates for me!!

I have been so lucky in the past four years---I have been able to work at home 80% of the time. I am so spoiled!!!!

Can you apply/transfer CC balances to a new card when you're unemployed?

January 4th, 2007 at 02:15 pm

I seem to remember that most CC applications ask for number of years of employment at your job. Since I'm currently unemployed, I'm reluctant to try to transfer a few hefty balances to new cards. Has anyone tried to do this while unemployed? For years I paid that monthly fee that would exempt monthly payments in the event of unemployment...and of course, I cancelled and now wish I hadn't.Grrrr.

Deprived my bank of $18 a month, thank you very much!

January 4th, 2007 at 06:23 am

Finally got around to switching my checking account over to a free account--except for charges on "foreign" ATM machines. I anticipated that the bank rep would try to talk me out of the switch, but she didn't. She did, though, " by the way" mention the ATM charges just as I was ready to stand up and leave. And she did try to get me to sign up for the bank's system of paying bills online which I 'm sure they make money from. I do pay many bills online, but not on the bank's online system. Actually, my bank is pretty good, still rather small, but you just feel you can't stay ahead of their methods. Am I cynical??

Launching Day One!!

January 3rd, 2007 at 06:34 am

After lurking in the shadows for a couple months, time to jump in and commit to sharing my financial ups and downs in the months ahead. It's been great to read all your comments---I've heard some great ideas and have used many of them! Looking forward to moving the year in a great direction!