Saturday, January 31, 2009

Number Crunching 147

Quicken Cash Flow = 1162.81
STEF Total = 306.20

January Budget Meeting

Reconciling Quicken with bank statements: Done.
Reconciling last month’s budget: Is finally done, but I’m not proud of it. I ended up borrowing more money from Republic Finance to pay off my overdue auto insurance and to keep from losing the coverage. I’m not even going into the problem and did-good-with categories for this month.
Leftover amount = 844.16
Creating next month’s budget: Done.
How much cash can I have: Didn’t figure that out.
Automatic payments: Everything paid and everything is set up.
Reviewing short-term savings goals: Still trying to reach the STEF total.
Update NetworthIQ statements:

Update NCN Savings Chart:

Overview and plans:
  1. Update the Bills List with all current accounts and passwords. Found out that Chase Student Loans, Nationstar,, and Netflix are not on it.
  2. Tweak the NetworthIQ statement once I have verified the balances for
    • Sallie Mae
    • Chase Student Loans
    • Republic Finance
    • Citifinancial

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Friday, January 23, 2009

Number Crunching 146

Quicken Cash Flow = 447.97
STEF Total = 436.20

Enter receipts into Quicken: Done.

Reconcile Quicken to online accounts: Done.

Add totals to spreadsheet: Done.

What did I accomplish during the week?
  • Downloaded TurboTax – 2009’s payment due Nov. 1st = 59.95
  • Had to check with Nationstar again because their letters for the past due amount were sent before I made the payment plans. I got the letters and freaked out that they had canceled the payment plan. Everything is still set up.
  • I can’t figure out what went wrong with the Graphic Smash payment. Voided that payment.
  • Checked out It’s a site that pays for writing, unfortunately not for fiction which they also accept. So now I have a choice to make about how to sell my nonfiction.
  • Cleaned up the harddrive’s Budget folder. Much easier to find the files I need now.

Your Money or Your Life Exercise: Just guess.

Plans for next week:
  • Figure out how to pay off Liberty Mutual past due.
  • Do taxes with Turbo Tax.
  • Set up ING Direct savings account with $183.50 at the least. That amount equals one month of the STEF goal total.
  • Join Walgreens Easy Savers program.
  • File paperwork in binder.
  • Clean out binder of 2008 data. (I think I may have already but I can’t remember if I did.)

This is how easy updating the budget should be, providing I clean out the inbox every day and don’t let the stuff pile up.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I’ve Got Typing to Catch Up On

I never mean to fall behind. Often time, can’t be helped. But I am tired of all my energy going to playing catch-up. I haven’t figured out quite how to balance it yet.

Sporadic news: I feel officially old now—I’ve had my first slip in a shower. I managed to come down on my left thigh across the bathtub wall. The bruise is so deep, there is still no discoloration on my skin even though I’m going on day five since. And all because I was trying not to get my hair wet.

The Dark Knight on an IMAX screen – I wish those seats would come with seat belts. Course, the scenes that induce the falling sensation the most are right at the beginning.

Movies to see: Coraline, Inkheart

Funny thought related to movies: To the makers of My Bloody Valentine 3D, your horror story must suck if all you’re advertising is the 3D shock effect. Hint: go research a movie called the Tingler and see how well the shock effect worked for them.

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The BookWorm

Friday, January 16, 2009

Number Crunching 145

Quicken Cash Flow = 570.31
STEF Total = 446.20

Enter receipts into Quicken: Done.

Reconcile Quicken to online accounts: Done.

Add totals to spreadsheet: Done.

What did I accomplish during the week? I called Nationstar and not only did they get my payments, I also set up a new payment schedule to get current with my past due amounts. I also need to remember that I have to call the April payment in myself.

I also found a bad flaw with the financial planning I had done for the month: forgetting to pull out gas and grocery money when figuring out with which paycheck to pay for which bills. So I made the following list to help me remember what still needs to be paid next check.

It doesn’t look like they stopped doing subscriptions at Graphic Smash, but that my payment didn’t go through for some odd reason. I’ll have to research that more.

Bills that must be paid by Jan. 30th paycheck:
  • Nationstar Mortgage = 494.30
  • Savings for Driver’s License renewal = 7.17
  • Citifinancial = 137.98
  • Republic Finance = 99.00
  • Chase Student Loan Servicing = 35.91
  • Atmos Energy = 61.04

Your Money or Your Life Exercise: Nope, still ignoring it. For shame really, since I do like the book so much.

Plans for next week:
  • Check with Nationstar Mortgage and make sure they have received payments.
  • Check with Liberty Mutual if payments have been received.
  • Download TurboTax software.
  • Set up ING Direct savings account.
  • Check with Graphic Smash and see if they have canceled subscriptions
  • heck in with Paypal as to why the subscription didn’t go through
  • Join Walgreens Easy Saver program

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Inbox Freakout

What’s the easiest way to give myself a the-inbox-will-never-empty panic attack? Put a thick book in there that only needs to be shelved, pile papers on it, and forget it’s in there. Stack gets closer to the basket’s top and cue the freakout. The task I’ve been avoiding like an office plague took about twenty minutes this morning to empty.

Headlights got fixed Sunday.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Writing Goals for 2009

Cherie Priest had a post (I’m slowly catching up on my blog reading) in which she had gave her final fiction tally for 2008, which was under her goal amount, and she also said how she reached said goal amount. 1000 words a day times 365 days = 356,000 words for the year. Totally doable goal for a year, so I’m borrowing it for 2009. I just have to remember that only fiction counts.

So let me do some math. 32,923 words written as of December 31st. Add that to 365,000 and I get 397,923 as the number I plug into the marathon tracker. Having technical difficulties setting that up, moving on.

Projects! There’s so much bouncing in my head, in my notebooks, in my computer that wants to get done! This is where my Writing Project list comes in so handy. I already have so much on it, I don’t need to go looking for something in the idea folder. Maybe that should be a goal for 2010—pull an idea out of the idea folder.

First Draft Finished
Biker Mice From Mars: Wars Are Won By Those Who Dare: Turbo
Biker Mice From Mars: Evil Jack: For Worse

Finish with Publication or Submission
Tin Man: Dragons and Ninjas

Tin Man: Pirates of the Nonestic

Boy, do I still have stuff listed after that, but I don’t want to over plan. Seriously, if over planning is my weakness, I’d much rather wake up in June and say “I finished all that; what’s next?” Plus there’s the nonfiction to consider too. Bloody nonfiction getting in my way. ‘Dems the breaks, cherie. (And I have no idea why Gambit suddenly sprouted in my head.)

Besides with the epic tale Tin Man: Pirates of the Nonestic is shaping to be, I’ll probably kill my word count on it and whatever Strix shapes into.

Now off to be responsible and cook food and finish reading so I can get on with more responsible things.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Friday, January 09, 2009

Number Crunching 144

Quicken Cash Flow = 725.67
STEF Total = 571.20

Enter receipts into Quicken: Done.

Reconcile Quicken to online accounts: Done.

Add totals to spreadsheet: Done.

What did I accomplish during the week? Not much of anything financial. Well, unless you want to count overspending the grocery budget.

Your Money or Your Life Exercise: Nope, still haven’t gotten to it.

Plans for next week:>
  • Check with Nationstar Mortgage and make sure they have received payments.
  • Check with Liberty Mutual if payments have been received.
  • Download TurboTax software.
  • Set up ING Direct savings account.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Trying a New Idea

Actually a couple of ideas, so bare with me while I detail them.

A). Melatonin is helping me wake up on time. I’m guessing my body really wants to go diurnal, and has no desire to get up if it’s not daylight yet. I’ve woken up better on the two days I took melatonin than on the days I haven’t. I’m also going to get a multi-vitamin that has a healthy dose of vitamin D, since I have to waste all my daylight hours out of the sun.

B). Cooking two breakfast meals and 4 entrĂ©e meals is the right balance to get me through the week. Point being I must get everything cooked on Sunday. I lucked into this realization after way too much over-thinking it. Winn-Dixie had a meat special on some cuts of beef, chicken, and pork, and I stockpiled. So then I got some fresh veggies on sale—salad mixes and squash and Brussels sprouts—and decided to cook four different meats since I already had salmon in the freezer. I pulled out South Beach Diet recipes I wanted to try, and then managed to get six days of different lunches and supper out of them. And most recipes made enough servings I could freeze one for later.

The one drawback I found was I didn’t quite have enough Tupperware to single meal portion out everything. Next week, I’ll make sure I have my lunches and breakfasts for work portioned out first because the supper and home lunches will be okay in a larger container. I will also have to ration off some dessert too, since I already ate all the Jello sugar-free pudding.

C). Alternating reading hours for the writing hour. This one really hurts my heart. But the truth is I’m starting to ignore what else I must get done in favor of my semi-created world. I can squeeze in the writing at the paying job; I don’t squeeze in the research reading nearly as well.

D). Paying myself for reading. Yeah, I’m going to bribe myself. Fifteen minutes earns $0.25. As of Nov. 24th, I’ve only earned $11.75. I’d love to get enough on the reading to pay for an external harddrive. (I learned the shelf life of burned CDs and DVDs isn’t as long as I thought and now I’m petrified I’ll lose all my story data. An external harddrive is the first step in dealing with that fear. I need $55, so I have $43.25 to go. *Crossing fingers that it’s doable by third paycheck this month*

If this experiment is successful, I may start bribing myself for purchases I want to make with other chores I hate. After all, I want a DVD burner for the computer and then the set up so I can transfer my VHS tapes to DVDs. I want a dishwasher. I want a Victorian faucet that must be one of the most expensive faucets in the world for my bathtub.

That’s it on life changing ideas. This weekend will probably have me tied to the chair doing all the reading I have been avoiding. I have a few big rocks I still need to accomplish this week, and sadly, it took until Friday before I felt I could do anything.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

2009 Movies

Okay, John Scalzi has given me heads up for some things I hadn't heard of in the chute.

I also want to add Underworld: Rise of the Lycans and Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li. I have no problems with fun B-grade material. Hell, I liked the Van Damme Street Fighter; it manages to pull EVERY CHARACTER from the game and by the end of the film they are all in the game costumes and do their victory pose (at least the good guys do). Mortal Kombat's sequel tried to do the same thing and failed miserably. I like Mortal Kombat, but when Christopher Lambert doesn't show up for the sequel, you need to be worried. I only got through the mess because the lead actor was cute and I kept waiting for them to reveal the dead Johnny Cage up and fighting (like he does in the game). Johnny Cage stayed dead. Mortal Kombat's sequel I don't own on DVD.

Now, will I have money for all this fun time? I hope so.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

What Makes Tuesdays So Hard

I got up yesterday full of energy and mostly ran on time. Got to work on time, despite finding out that both my headlights had burned out (drove with the brights on which still worked and hated every minute of it. I apologize to everyone’s whose eyes I hurt). I started feeling sluggard throughout the work day, but I got through telling myself I needed to make my stops, cook dinner, and early bedtime. I broke down and bought dried pineapple at Wal-Mart, and the sugar rush got me home.

Got home too late to change the headlight lams and felt completely unmotivated to do anything. Cooked the ginger chicken with stir-fried veggies, but only ate a couple of bites. Went to bed at 9:30pm and then had a fit trying to fall sleep. That took anywhere from thirty minutes to an hour; I didn’t watch the clock.

The end result being I was only able to pull myself out of bed with enough time to get dressed, get lunch, and cook supper since I won’t have energy tonight to cook. I even washed dishes while I was waiting on the oven. It was like a cascading pattern of lateness. Which leads me to my question, why is Tuesday so hard? What makes it so hard? It’s supposed to be Monday. The whole world stereotypes Monday as the worst day of the week.

Today, I’ve drunk less caffeine—just in case that was it. I can go straight home and nuke supper—no stops to make. I’ll be sure to eat a handful of nuts before I walk out the door for my homeward commute. And hopefully, I’ll get home with time to do headlights.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Monday, January 05, 2009

New Year, Same Old, Same Old

So the inbox, weekly planning sessions, action steps were all supposed to help me be more productive. And I'm sure they do work, if I actually got them done. This is the year for not insanely heaping more onto my plate and then going crazy when it doesn't get done. This is also the year for not skipping meals on the weekend and then wondering why I feel like shit by nightfall.

I'm skipping the resolutions; they don't work. Instead I think I'm going to have improvement milestones. Mainly because a year is an insane cutoff date for the goals, and hopefully so I don't feel bad with the fall down and get back up routine.

Improvement Milestone #1: Finish Baby Step #1 and start on baby Step #2 by Dec. 31st, 2009.
Improvement Milestone #2: Graduate by May 2009.
Improvement Milestone #3: Have successfully turned all my school energy to another project--probably writing related--by Dec. 31st, 2009.
Improvement Milestone #4: Fit into size 12s by Dec. 31st, 2009.

Nothing too extreme there I hope. All able to ease right on into my life.

Daily schedule: There are nine things that should be done each and every day. Well, they aren't, so something needs to give. Exercise and general straightening don't need to happen every day, but need to happen more than once a week, so I'm going to alternate them. Three days of exercise and four days of general straightening so the place doesn't look like a dump. I'd love to let washing dishes go officially but it already happens unofficially enough.

Here's to slowly creating a saner schedule.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Friday, January 02, 2009

Number Crunching 143

Quicken Cash Flow = 632.59
STEF Total = 271.20

Enter receipts into Quicken: Done.

Reconcile Quicken to online accounts: Done.

Add totals to spreadsheet: Done.

What did I accomplish during the week? My mortgage was sold by GMAC to Nationstar. Here’s to hoping I have a good relationship with this new company.

Your Money or Your Life Exercise: Still been too busy to get back started on this.

Plans for next week:
  • Check with Nationstar Mortgage and make sure they have received payments.
  • Check with Liberty Mutual if payments have been received.
  • Download TurboTax software.
  • Set up ING Direct savings account.

Read Free!
The BookWorm