September 14, 2009

Cable is Canceled!

I haven't done anything about getting a second job yet.  I'm still waffling about whether or not I want to use my my free time in that way.  I guess I could try and quit if I don't like it.

Anyway, I did make one good financial decision: I canceled cable.

For several non-consecutive years prior to moving to NYC, I didn't have cable.  I barely had my DVD player hooked up.  And I liked it a lot.  I felt like I had more time to do things and like I got more reading and writing done.

But when I moved to NYC, I had to get cable because that abomination of customer service known as Time Warner Cable didn't offer an internet-only option.  Well, lo and behold, I recently found out that they have that option now!

So, I canceled cable! That will save me about $75 a month! It's not much, but it's something!

Posted by: Flibbertigibbet at 10:14 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
Category: Money, Money, Money!
Post contains 159 words, total size 1 kb.

September 13, 2009

Savings Opportunity!

I have been very slow about my new financial goal.  Today, I spent some $175 on groceries, a ridiculous amount. BUT! I did discover this week a ripe savings opportunity.

Before I moved to NYC, I didn't have cable television.  I have satellite for ALMOST a year, but it was really to placate visitors.  I liked not having television because it left me with a lot of free time.  When I moved to NYC, I could not get cable without internet, so I started watching television again.

It takes a LOT of time!!!

Well, Time Warner appears to have started offering internet-only!!  For just $35 a month for the first month.  BARGAINS!

So, tomorrow, I am going to scale back to internet-only if I can.  It will save me nearly $100 a month!  And I will be able to watch most of my shows on the internets.

I will let you know how it turns out.

Posted by: Flibbertigibbet at 08:31 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
Category: Money, Money, Money!
Post contains 158 words, total size 1 kb.

September 04, 2009

Riddle Me This

For some reason, our office administrator at my work takes attendance every day.  They've done it for as long as I've been here, which is over three years. And no one has given me an explanation as to why this is being done.

When I prodded the office manager for an explanation, she told me that it was in case something bad happened to us they would be able to start looking into it right away.

I heard that one guy overslept and the office manager started calling his emergency contacts, which was his mother.  Of course, his mother was terrified because her son was "missing."  As it turned out, he just had his cell phone on silent and so didn't hear the calls.

The admin has missed my PDO announcements several times.  And she has called me in the middle of client meetings before to see where I am -- even though I'd alerted my team and my manager that I would be on site with a customer.  I've also gotten "Where are you" emails from the admin on several occasions while I was in a staff meeting with the rest of the managers in the office.  It shouldn't be a mystery as to where I am if EVERY MANAGER IN THE OFFICE is in the same place.

My opinion on this is this: I am a manager myself.  I have a small staff.  I can keep track of them without any help.  If someone unexpectedly does not turn up to work, I can alert the "authorities."  But I am a grown man.  (Yesterday was my 32nd birthday, even!)  I do not need anyone keeping tabs on me for my own good.  I find it very annoying.

What makes this even more ridiculous is that since we've moved to a new building, they don't even walk around to look to see where everyone is.  They just send an email.  And email that you can respond to from your BlackBerry or web mail or anything.  It's a shoddy system ripe for fraud.

But my own boss insists that we do need someone to "take roll" every morning.  She didn't have an explanation, either.

Does your work do this?

Posted by: Flibbertigibbet at 08:10 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
Category: At My Work
Post contains 371 words, total size 2 kb.

September 01, 2009

My Financial Health!

Ok.  So, here's the deal:

I paid off my credit cards at the end of April. It was frikkin' AWESOME.

But then I moved at the end of May.  That was an expensive prospect.  I had to pay the broker and put down a deposit and buy new furniture.  I also went on a couple of shopping sprees to make my life more comfortable.

So, here's where things stand right now according to Mint.com.

Cash: + 2,886.36

Credit Cards: -$8,429.10
Student Loans: –$24,261.29
Mortgage: 
–$90,205.50
Line of Credit:
–$25,171.30

My primary concern is the credit card dept above. The student loans are cheap debt and the real estate debt helps me on my taxes.  So, my primary focus is paying off those credit cards.

That $8K, let's just call it $9K because I just bought myself a couple of appliances for my kitchen for my birthday, is not small to me.  You'll recall it took me roughly four months to pay off $6K in credit card debt at the beginning of the year.

Well, I'd like to pay this off before the end of the year and I only have four months left: September, October, November, and December.

In the middle of that, I have a trip to Aruba.  And there's a trip to the Bahamas in March 2010 that I'd like to go on.  And I am anticipating BIG changes in May 2010.  (Those are yet to be decided, so we don't talk about them.)

In four months.

That means I have to pay more than $2K on my credit card debt each month.  How is that even possible?!?

I get paid about $1,700 every two weeks.  My rent is $1,500 a month.  Cable and internet are $131 a month.  My gas and electricity vary, but are about $75 a month.  So, that's $225 a month in utilities because I'm bad at math.  TOTAL, that's $1,725 in basic expenses.

Ok.  Now I'm starting to wonder what I'm doing with that left over $1,500 a month.  (Remember: I am bad at math.)

I do tend to spend about $150 a week on groceries, but that still leaves $900 for other junk.

If we assume that I can automatically pay $900 on my credit cards -- barring paying for ANYTHING else like eating out, going to Aruba, painting my apartment, or anything else -- I really need to find $1,100 a month to pay them off in the time frame I've chosen arbitrarily.

That means two things: cutting costs & increasing income.

Cutting Costs
I can EASILY cut my grocery costs down to under $125 a month.  EASILY! That will leave me to find $1,000 a month in extra income.

Increasing income
This is a challenge.  There are ways I could make my career more profitable, but right now I'm really looking for something that will keep me where I am and completely sane.  This means I need something relatively mindless because I absolutely do NOT want to think about whatever my second job is while I'm at home.  I also need to be able to maintain some semblance of sanity in my private life.  (Private life being the parts I blog about.)

My best friend, Johndavidov, used to clean houses in Georgia, so I am looking into that.  Not only is it very profitable, but I have a certain marketing advantage in that I am not a Latina.

In Georgia, Johndavidov used to charge $30 an hour for his services.  I could charge at LEAST that much.  Since I need $1,000 a month and I estimate that each apartment will take a minimum of three hours AND I would not like to maintain more than three clients a week, I'd need to charge some $38 an hour. 

3 clients a week * 3 hours * $38 an hour = $1,368

That's more than enough to meet my goal.

Now I have to line up my clients!!!

Posted by: Flibbertigibbet at 09:55 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
Category: Money, Money, Money!
Post contains 659 words, total size 4 kb.

Picking it up again!

Ok. I haven't blogged here in a while, but this blog is continuing to make money for me. I feel like I should keep this going.

So, while my other blog, Treygivens.com, is intended to be more introspective, more political, I think this blog is going to be a little more subversive.  Maybe I'll talk about romantic things or job things, but mostly I intend to talk about money things.

Maybe this is just me as a southerner, but talking explicitly about money is considered to be in poor taste.  Since I don't really care about that, but I also don't want to distract from the larger, more principle-related issues I think using this blog for that topic makes a lot of sense to me.

What do you think?

Posted by: Flibbertigibbet at 09:11 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
Category: Money, Money, Money!
Post contains 133 words, total size 1 kb.

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