Sunday, March 29, 2009

The lowdown on the credit score front

I really like its name, but that is not why I'm introducing Credit Karma to you.

I first learned of Credit Karma from Single Ma at Fabulous Financials, I must have been reading her archives because that post is quite old. Anyway, I learned of credit Karma a couple of months ago.

Since then I learned an overall credit score based on what they told me and did nothing more with it. I just went and checked today really not much changed. I won't reveal my score but it is shameful and disgusting. So it is time to do something. What I can do? I don't know, there isn't much room with my income to really start paying off debt. At this rate though I'll never be able to buy a home and that is one of my dreams (isn't it everyones?).

There are a lot of features there besides obtaining your credit score. Go ahead take a look around. So far my favorite feature is this one Credit Score Simulator. Although, I'm not liking what I'm seeing there and what its going to take to get a high enough score to make a difference in home buying land at least I have an idea.

I can see also that realistically I can't afford a home it there is a mortgage calculator for home affordability it says that my maximum I can afford is $34,604. That is quite discouraging on some levels, but it will keep me staying my course with schooling.

I'm still playing over there, I can't believe I didn't use this to its full potential when I read about it. I'm glad now that I was reminded when reading my email today.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

WWYD Wednesday: Frugality

This week I'm not going to post a scenario... well maybe I am.

You are learning that in order to work with your budget and live within your means you have no choice but to be extremely frugal.

Most people cut their grocery bill down, however some have cut it as far as humanly possible. Other things to watch and cut could be utilities, and cutting of course cable, internet and phones out.

WWYD to live within your means? What exactly would you cut down? What are things you are unwilling to live/go without.

My partial Answer to what are things I am unwilling to live/go without: For me technically it is possible to live without the internet but it would severely impact my life to do without it and it would negatively impact my schooling and how quickly I could get it done. Going to the library is rarely an option for me besides my library has 1 hour time limits on their computers and internet time. In order to do my classes it is a requirement to have high speed internet.
I'll comment more as I think more on it and see what you all have to say that will help me too. I figure need an emergency game plan to put in action if it ever needs it.

Photo by: Bottom of the Glass

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

More on car repairs

So today I'm having some of my car repairs done. The other day we bought a new hose for the windshield washer solvent and that solved that problem total cost $2.67 not too shabby. The hose was cheap and it was rigged but works and best of all it isn't one of those rigging things that will damage anything else.

I bought the parts for the power steering pump, brake pads & rotors. Total cost $123.99, $20.00 of which I get back when I bring in my old power steering pump leaving the cost at $120.99. I do have to pay the guy repairing the vehicle a total of $50. I love it he needs money and I need repairs so we both can do each other a favor. He works out of his driveway today for a small amount and I can afford it YAY!!!

Total costs for parts and service for today: $170.99 not too shabby.

While it isn't quite as cheap as DIY and I could have tried to get a used pump, this makes me happy for a couple of reasons. I'm not quite sure how cost effective a used pump would be or if it is something that should be put on used and I can't do this work myself.

Now I need those pesky gaskets (trans pan and oil pan) replaced and I think I'll be good to go. I need to find a garage to do this as the car will need to be lifted for the work. Cross your fingers that the brake issue fixes my problem and it isn't something much bigger.

What have you done for auto repairs? Do you barter for services? Do you do it yourself or do you go to a garage or a friend?

Side note. I decided to add a feature to this blog WWYD Wednesday where I'll post a scenario either one a reader submits, my own or a made up scenario and ask WWYD. I thought it would be a good way to get the blog going in the right direction and keep me posting as well as help out the readers.

Photo By: The Prime Buyer's Report

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Feeling discouraged, and car repairs

So I started my savings, I haven't been able to add much more to it and now I'm going to have to take from it.

My car (as usual when I get to this point) has taken a turn and is in need of repairs.

So far it needs:
  • Rotors and brakes
  • Power Steering Pump
  • New hose for windshield washer solvent
  • New Gasket for oil pan and trans pan both fluids are leaking
It wants:
  • Front end work that can wait
  • Rust prevention
  • The remote start I got as a gift installed
  • Whatever leaks badly when it rains so I get a soaking floor on the front passenger side
I still owe on this car so it isn't really feasible to look at other vehicles. The car is 7 years old. I hate the car. However, it has a lot of money sunk into it already. I bought a lemon I think from my mother at blue book value at that. Never buy from family, EVER!

As luck would have it, I only have to buy the parts and give my boyfriend's BIL a few bucks to work on it. It is still depressing, this car has had a lot of work done to it.

I've been discouraged about this and so I haven't posted. I am trying not to go back to my old stick your head in the sad ways so I'm posting here.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Variable Expenses

Variable expenses in my expenses are a source of anxiety and confusion. I'm not quite sure how to account for them and figure out what to budget each month for each of them.

Also, some months I don't have those expenses and some I do. I keep forgetting to add certain things to the budget because it isn't something I've needed to spend on in a while. Like household items, sometimes I don't buy any for months and then bam I run out all at the same time and need new of everything, which can get expensive for the month. How do I figure out how much of these items I use in say a year and budget out the money for them all year long so the money is there when I need it?

What variable expenses do you have in your budgets? I know I'm overlooking items and I'm afraid of doing it all wrong again.

Photo by: FCN

Monday, March 2, 2009

WWYD Edition 1: Accepting "gifts"

Okay new edition to my blog, not sure yet how often I'll do this but I figure its a great start to getting interaction between bloggers so WWYD?


You are practicing becoming financially healthy, your friends have more money to play with than you do for whatever reasons (it doesn't matter the reasons in these scenarios they vary anyway). At various times they all want to do things with you, you turn them down. Except each time they beg and offer to pay.

What do you do?

They call it a gift, you feel like its charity. Which is it?

Is there a point you just always say no?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Score!! Found Gift Card

So last year I got a gift card for Christmas (yes OVER a year ago), and I lost it, I couldn't find it anywhere.

Yesterday in my attempt to clean out the car for my trip into Canada on Wendesday I was getting in between everything and I found it!! What is great is I'm flying out of Windsor and need to bring my laptop and school books with me, that is NOT going into checked luggage, too much worth there. So I was at a loss at how I was going to bring stuff for me, as that will have to go into the overhead compartment its a rolling laptop bag that will have 4 college text books and my lap top. Unless I found a big enough purse, I had almost resigned myself to not having anything for that 12 hr flight (including layovers). Now that I found this and it was a score I can get that purse.

Unless anyone has some other suggestions on what I can do to pack a few magazines, a book and headphones, along with essential supplies that I'd need to carry like you would in your purse. I'm game for that because then I can use the GC for essentials with coupons and really be saving.