Jul 30, 2008

To defer or not to defer?

As most of you know, I will be starting grad school next month (actually in less than three weeks!!). This gives me the option of deferring my student loan payments until I graduate, which will be either in two or five years, depending. But deferment seems to have some major flaws. These are my options:

a) I can defer and postpone all interest payments, which they will later tack on to the principal of the loan! Needless to say, deferring without paying interest is not an option for me at all- I could end up owing over $23,000 as principal by the time I graduated!!

b) I can defer and still make interest payments, which would run roughly $300 every quarter. I would have to save $100 each month to be able to afford paying off the interest payments, and my principal would stay at roughly $16,000.

c) I can keep right on making payments to the loan, and keep chipping away at my principal. Right now, my payment is only $150 every month.

So looking at it this way, the winner is: C!! I just have to move some things around within my budget to find an extra $50 every month. Hopefully, by the time I graduate, I will have paid off a fairly good chunk of my loan. :)

Jul 28, 2008

Flat tire?!

Saturday afternoon I was driving out to Lancaster to visit some college friends. It was a beautiful day- windows down, radio up, sunglasses on, dance moves stellar. Suddenly a blaring horn brings me back to reality. A man in the car next to me was pointing frantically at the front of my car. Seriously freaked me out, I pulled off at the first exit (which was Reading- not where I wanted to be at all). I jumped out of the car only to be faced with a small nightmare- a flat tire!! On a tire that I just bought recently! Needless to say, I was pretty pissed off.

But then, my fortunes changed. A good samaritan came up to me and offered to change my tire. Then he went above and beyond and filled my old tire back up, checked where the leak was, and determined it was only coming out of the stem! There were no holes or rips in my semi brand new tire at all! It was what I like to think of as a small miracle, and I only had to pay $20 to repair it.

Thank you to random helpful strangers (and my Lancaster friends for helping me put the fixed tire back on).

Jul 26, 2008

Beach again!

I just got back from my family vacation at the beach. It was so much fun, and it was really nice to relax and not have to work (or do anything really). Plus, I absolutely love the beach! We did all kinds of cool things too, besides fry on the beach- wing night, bbq's, shopping, and going to see Dark Knight. That's the second time I've seen it actually, and I do recommend it. The movie is everything amazing- intense, scary, funny, etc. And Christian Bale makes one dashing Bruce Wayne.

Anyways, now that I'm done with my Batman lovefest, it's time to break down the finances for my vacation. It's not looking good- I spent about 80 bucks total. My parents paid for everything else, which was nice (and one of the perks of a family vacation!), but I found all kinds of pretty/unique/heavily desired items to decorate my new apartment with. You can tell I'm getting old when I get excited about house decorations and kitchen tools. I feel kind of bad spending so much in one shot, but I need to decorate my new grad apartment with something. So now I have some very special touches that will take the apartment from boring to awesome!

Jul 16, 2008

I think they're after my job...

So we have something new at work now- a log of calls and packages received. I have to tally every call i get during my afternoon shift (4-6p), and every package that comes in for one of the residents. The CEO says that this is because of something which was brought up at the board meeting, but won't say exactly what. In my opinion, I think it's because they are trying to cut corners, possibly by getting rid of my job. Or at least the evening part and making it part time. Because seriously, my job is by far the easiest in the place, and involves the least amount of work. I try to make myself as useful as possible, but I still end up doing almost nothing all day.

All of this isn't exactly tragic for me, because I'll be leaving in under a month (already!) to go to grad school. It might just be a good thing I'm leaving when I am. But it is still a little disturbing to think that if they hire someone else after me, and they are looking to get rid of my position, then that person will have to go through some major drama...

Jul 14, 2008

I just saved a bunch of money on my car insurance...

... by switching to Geico! Ok, ok, I'm sorry- I couldn't resist. But it really is true this time. I will save about $200 every six months on my premium, while getting the exact same coverage as my old company. For someone who will soon have to live off a grad student's budget, this really is music to my ears. That money can be put to use for better things, like groceries or books (ugh, I can't believe I'll soon be back to blowing all my money on books again).

Although, on a slightly sadder note, last night was the first time in my life that I ever bought gas over $4 a gallon. I was actually quite proud of the fact that I had avoided it until now, but I know I can't avoid it forever.

Jul 6, 2008


Today I went to the mall, primarily to shop for my two friend's birthday gifts (their birthdays are this week). I set a goal of $20 gifts for each of them, which ended up working out perfectly. It took me such a long time to find good presents, especially since I get so picky when chosing presents for my friends. I always want to find that perfect gift. And I did today! For my one friend I got a cute pair of flats and some earrings, and for the other I bought a top and some lotion. I'm totally grateful for all the summer sales that were going on, since I could get them a few good presents instead of just one. So that's the good news. The bad... I also bought a shirt and some earrings for myself. This is kind of what always happens when I go shopping for someone else, but I only let myself get one shirt and said no to all the others. But now I am so tired, it's been a really long time since I spent so much time at a mall!

Jul 2, 2008

June is over...

I think I'm still in shock that June is already over. My summer is passing way too quick, and it's a little depressing. *sigh* Ah well, at least June was a good month budget wise!

Income: $1,300 expected/$1,330 actual

Loan Payment $155/$155
Gas $135/$159 -- I budgeted a little extra after last months gas fiasco, but still went over. But it's alright, at least I didn't double my expected amount!
Cell Phone $25/$25
Fun Money $45/$42 -- Yesss, under!
Dining Out Challenge $75/$72 -- Also under!
Netflix $15/$15
Misc. $50/$70 -- I couldn't resist VS's semi-annual sale. Plus I needed to buy supplies for the tree I bought in FL.

$750/$792 -- I split the dough evenly between my emergency and car repair funds. :)