Oct 30, 2008

I have converted

I finally converted my rollover IRA into a Roth!!! I figured I would take care of that now, since my numbers are considerably lower than what I started with. And as far as I know, you only have to pay taxes on what you have in the account, not what you originally put into it. I had to open a brand new account and transfer the entire fund over, so I thought they would liquidate it and I would buy into the stock again. But that's not how it works; they just switched the whole thing as is. That's good, because I'll keep exactly the same amount of stock. So now my money can grow and I won't have to pay any taxes on it in 40+ years when I retire!

Oct 29, 2008

Halloween is coming...

This week is like the week from you-know-where, so I can't wait until it's over. But I have a lot to look forward to this weekend, because a) I get paid on Friday b) it's Halloween!!! and c) my best friend is coming up to visit me for the weekend. I'm going to cook her a nice dinner on Friday night so that we can save a little bit of money and not go out for every single meal over the weekend, and she is bringing some pie for dessert. :)

I decided for my Halloween costume this year I'll be Audrey Hepburn a la Breakfast at Tiffany's. I'm so excited to dress up (Halloween is my favorite holiday)! And the good thing is, all I had to buy were gloves ($7), a cigarette holder ($3) and a tiara ($6). The dress and pearls I just borrowed from my mom, so it is an almost-free costume! Now I just need to figure out a good party to go to... literally all dressed up and nowhere to go.

Oct 28, 2008

Lewis Black, the election and other randomness

Last night I went to see Lewis Black, the comedian. I didn't have any clue at all who he was before I bought the tickets, but a friend wanted to go, so I was in (of course). He turned out to be really funny. I guess he would be really offensive to some people, but I thought he was cool. He said a lot of things about the state of affairs in this country that I really agree with. My favorite was when he said that America threw all reality out the window about 10 years ago. "Who needs drugs nowadays? Just pick up the newspaper and read about the presidential campaign, it's like you're reading a bad novel. It isn't real life- it's surreal." Hear, hear.

Speaking of, can we just get the election over with already?? I am so sick of hearing who is ahead in which states today as opposed to yesterday, what horrible things will happen if the other party wins, and every little detail of what Sarah Palin is doing. I can't wait for election day to come so I can vote and then find out what's what. No more speculation, no more media bombardment-- I will know who my new president is.

In other news, there was apparently a huge riot downtown on Saturday night after the PSU-OSU game... which was epic by the way. I hope you all watched it. I am kind of sad that I missed the riot though. It would have been really interesting to be there and to watch. I had no idea it even happened until today though, when it was the talk of the town.

Oct 22, 2008

AES Success!

My student loan is finally back to normal... after about a month of dilly-dallying on the company's part. And yes, I checked into it and I could still make payments (and did, in fact) while it was in deferrment, but it's the principle of the thing. I was really annoyed that they could just do whatever they wanted with my loan, without even checking with me first. But after the polite-yet-borderline-nasty letter I sent a few weeks ago, I am now officially back in repayment!! Woot!

Oct 21, 2008

Second Teaching Review

Today I had another review of my teaching. I was uber nervous because the first professor who observed my class a few weeks ago basically ripped me apart. She hated my class and the way I teach, which made me really upset. I was worried that I would never get the hang of teaching and that my students would do poorly overall.

Things are looking up now, though. My class had one of the best averages on the departmental midterm, and the professor who reviewed me today had many nice things to say. It was so helpful to hear the things I am doing right; it really improved my confidence and mood towards teaching after getting blasted last time. She said she was impressed about how knowledgeable my students are. She also told me that I have a great rapport with my students and that I am comfortable in front of them, even if things get bumpy during the lesson, which are things you can almost never teach, you just have to have. These compliments are great, because sometimes I feel like I really have no idea what I'm doing and it's obvious. The professor's criticisms were only that I the way I explain things is too metalinguistic and that both my students and I need to use more German in class. I feel that these are good criticisms that I can use to improve in the next few weeks, until she reviews me again.

Oct 14, 2008

Penn State

Today was an absolutely beautiful day. I wandered around campus taking everything in and discovering new places, and I was completely and utterly happy. It was one of the best feelings I've had in awhile. I know I have at least two more years to live here, but I really am going to miss this place when I go.

In other news, not doing so well on the saving money front. I tried to keep my fun spending under $40 a week, but since I had a friend visiting this weekend we went a little buckwild. Now I only have 80 bucks left for the whole month, which includes: food, gas for a trip home this weekend, and fun money. This is so frustrating because somehow this always happens! I need to start keeping better track of my expenses, like I used to do before school started. Oy.

Oct 10, 2008


The stock market? Seriously? I just lost around $300 in 2 weeks, and I know that's paltry compared to what most people have lost. Good thing I don't need that money for another forty years-- I feel bad for the older people who need it soon. In all honesty, I am starting to get pretty nervous about this, especially since people are going absolutely crazy and making everything worse. Have they learned nothing from our country's history? But I guess there's not too much I can do about it, so we'll see how it pans out in the next few months I guess. Hopefully it will at least stabilize soon!

Oct 1, 2008

October Goals

Well, it's October now, and since I overspent hardcore last month, I'm going to set some budget goals for this month. Hopefully this month I can stay on track!

October Goals:
1. Don't spend more than $40 a week on entertainment/dining out. This is a lot of money each week to be spending, but last month I went wayyyy over this. It's depressing, but this month I will do better.
2. Try not to waste food so much. I have been trying a whole bunch of fun new recipes lately, which unfortunately never turn out well. Usually I'll make enough for a whole week of leftovers, but if I don't like the recipe, it doesn't get eaten. I am going to still experiment, but half the recipes so that if I don't like it, I'm not throwing my money away.
3. Have some money left over at the end of the month to put into my IRA. Now that I have my IRA all set up and ready to go, I am excited to start putting more money into it!

It's funny how things work out sometimes

I'm not really sure if this qualifies as bragging, but I finally bought a mutual fund for my IRA. I put the order through Sunday night, and it went through Monday afternoon... after the huge drop. So basically I was able to buy a lot more shares, dirt cheap. That certainly makes me happy! Now all I have to do is sit back, wait, and hope that things with the market get better eventually.