Friday, November 6, 2009

Lost my speeding ticket case

I just got back from traffic court - I lost. Had to pay an additional $52 on top of the $257 that I already paid. Now I have to go to (and pay for) traffic school to keep my insurance low. (After I lost, I asked the judge if he would allow me to go to traffic school to keep my insurance rates low - he said yes.)

Anyway, here's some things I noticed:

- Be respectful - to the judge and the officer - they're only doing their jobs. Address the judge as "Your honor" or "Yes Sir" "No Sir"

- 5 out of 35 cases were dismissed - Officer did not show up - that's about a 14% chance that the officer will not show up in court.

- One person fought and won against a speeding ticket - had his case dismissed because of insufficient evidence. The defendant challenged the time between when the officer first saw the defendant "speeding" and the time that the officer pulled out, raised, aimed and then pulled the trigger on the Lidar gun. Also said that a passing truck obstructed the officer's view. The defendant also had a witness with him in court - the driver of the truck.

- Most cases are lost. It's better to have your case first or towards the first. If you're last - I was near the last, about two hours last - then the judge is tired and has heard all sorts of BS reasons, excuses, and complaints from whiners, etc. and he's just not as fresh or willing to listen as he was at 8am.

- Bring a witness if you can, someone to help support your defense.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Speeding ticket court date Friday

Well, I go into court tomorrow to plead my case before a judge on why I shouldn't have gotten a speeding ticket. I'll post the results later.

Recieved a $1600 commission in October

Sales picking up recently. I received a $1600 commission last month.

Sales have been much much slower this year. I even talked to a co-worker the other day who told me he's been having difficulty this year making his house payments.

Turned in our lease - bought a used car

We turned in our 350Z last week. Bought a very well taken care of used Mazda 626. We're very fortunate.

So good to get rid of the Z and that monthly payment. It was a fun car but it was a stupid decision to lease a car. Never again. Now I've got to reallocate that money toward paying down my debt. I've got another 2 and half years to pay off our debt. Hope we make it.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Turn in my leased car

My wife and I decided to turn in my leased car at the end of October. We really didn't have much choice. I had it up for sale and I didn't get any calls. I dropped the price a lot. I even took it to Autoland and got an estimate from them - they offered 50% less than what I thought it was worth. That was a waste of time.

We're going to get a used car - a small sedan. A family member has one available that we'll be able to buy. We really got lucky on this. But I'm also going to have to pay back excess mileage charges and my tires on the leased car dont match and I'm sure the leasing company will figure out a way to charge us for wear and tear. That' not going to be fun :(

Got my court date

I paid my $250 bail. I plead not guilty. I have my court date set for early November. I already have my defense ready. I'll keep you all posted on how I present my case, how the officer presents his case and the outcome.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I'll be getting a commission check this month.

I'm very excited!

I talked with my manager today. He said that I'll be getting a commission check at the end of the month. It won't be anything big but at least it's something. I'm very happy about it!

It's actually the reason I agreed to make a large $599 payment to Citigroup (my HomeDepot account) for the matching payment.

Citigroup Match Pay

Thought I'd share this with everyone.

My 1-year Balance Liquidation Plan (a.k.a. Hardship plan, Debt Repayment plan, etc) on my Home Depot account ended last month. So today I get a call from Citibank who owns my HomeDepot CC account. They said they had not yet received a payment from me that was due on August 1st - so I was 11 days late. I explained my debt to income problems and I mentioned that it was "financially killing me."

They offered two Programs:
1. Match Pay - I make a payment anywhere from $144 to $599 and they will match it. Basically they waive a matching amount and call it a "Late Fee Credit" on my account statement.
2. PayDown 60 month program, 0%, $66/mo. I chose the Match Pay. I will allow them to issue a check against my checking account for $599 that I have setup for these type of payments. I also tape recorded the call. My new balance will be $1198 less than what I previously owed. My next payment will be due end of September at 21% APR. I'll ask for another MatchPay then or the PayDown plan.

This is the first I've heard about a Match Pay plan. It's kind of like a debt settlement plan without the dings to your credit report. Maybe some of you reading can ask for this "Match Pay" plan from your creditors to help you with your own debt. Good-luck.

I'll keep ya'll updated on whether Citigroup follows through on their promise to "match" my $599 payment.

Paid off another debt

We received a big snowflake this month so I paid off another debt. Killed. Dead. Gone.

I paid off my Prosper peer-to-peer loan that I took out in December 2007. Moving on to the other debts now.

I'd normally be very happy about it but we (my wife and I) are spending money again. And she hates the condo we live in. We've still got another 10 months on the lease. I tell her that its (the condo rent payment) helping us achieve our goals but that doesn't seem to help. She's not happy about several things: the condo, her recent surgery recovery, she's going back to work this week, shes' away from our kids, the soon to be loss of our shiny sports car (fleece) to be replaced with what I keep talking about - a beater, her approaching 50th birthday, and, her 10-year old car is also starting to break down and may need a new transmission soon. She'd rather go the Cash for Clunkers route and get a cheap new low-end Toyota Corolla or Honda Civic or Nissan Sentra or low-end Kia.

Our once high youn and fast lifestyle is slowly being converted into the old people lifestyle.

Not looking for answers. Just venting a little. Just another family frustration to deal with.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

College tuition costs

My son and daughter registered for school yesterday. It was $26 per unit. So it was 2 x 12 x $26 = $624.00 total bill.

Next bill is books. That'll be painful.

But at least we're in California so junior (community) college is cheap compared to other states.

Speeding ticket will cost $250

Got the summons for the speeding ticket. The county wants to charge me $250 for a speeding ticket that I and my wife believe was undeserved.

I go to court in September. Gonna fight it. I disagree that I was speeding - just going with the flow of traffic like everyone else. I was in a group of about 15 cars and I was not passing or speeding by anyone. My wife agrees. She'll go to court with me.

I'll keep ya posted on what happens.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Crown cost $268.00

Well, just got back from the dentist. My crown is going to cost $268.00. I had to pay half that today ($134.00) and then the other half in about two weeks when I go back to get my permanent crown put on.

Seems like I never get cavities filled anymore. It's always a crown. Without insurance it was going to cost about $750 so thank God for my insurance. They did not do a "build-up" which would have cost more so I saved some money there. Hopefully this will fix my pain problem. Dentist said if it doesn't fix it then I'll need a root canal.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Got a 3% raise!!!

Wow! I'm very excited and happy!

I know it's tough out there for a lot of folks. And I just hope the economy gets better.

My own personal news is that I got a 3% raise this month! That really helps my budget! Hopefully I'll have all my debt paid off one day. Still looking at sometime around December 2011 or early 2012.

Other news is that my wife will get a 6% raise starting in August. Every bit of good news helps.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Without a refrigerator for two weeks.

We rent. And the condo we rent came with a (Maytag) refrigerator. But there's been problems with it for almost two weeks. So we've resorted to coupons at fast food places but not for all of our meals. Sometimes a good PB&J hits the spot Other times a can of soup. But we can't refrigerate milk, any dairy products, no frozen goods, etc.

We had to toss out a lot of food that started to go bad when the refrigerator broke down. We dont own the refrigerator. And the landlord has already spent $500 trying to fix it. Maytag now says it needs a new compressor. They already shipped one but it came in damaged so now we have to wait another week without a working refrigerator.

What would you all eat? (besides MREs:)

Monday, July 13, 2009

CitiCard - had to sign up again for 1 YR BLP

My 1-yr Balance Liquidation plan with Citicard (my former AT&T Universal Card) ended last month. I missed the payment because they stopped auto-debiting my monthly payments from my checking account last month.

I explained my debt/income situation and I requested another 1-YR plan. This will be my third and final debt repayment plan with them. They said that regulations only allow three (3) one-year debt reduction plans back to back. They gave me the option of signing up for a 5-year plan with higher payments but if I missed any then there would be no other programs they could offer me - at least, that's what they told me.

So I opted for my third and final one-year repayment plan. In August of 2010 I will have to start paying a higher monthly payment and a higher interest rate. I pray that I will be in a better financial position to absorb those higher payments by then.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Setback - Got a speeding ticket

My wife and I were driving the freeway. I was going with the flow of traffic at about 76 mph in the fast lane (lane #1) when we came around a curve. There was a CHP. Everyone in front of me starting hitting their brakes. I pulled my foot off the gas pedal but people braking in front of me were slowing down faster than I was so I decided to change lanes. I put on my blinker checked that the middle lane (lane #2) was open and then I changed lanes.

As all of us passed the officer I saw him in my rear view mirror turn on his lights and speed onto the freeway. He came after me. Once he got behind me I pulled over off the freeway. He said he clocked me at 82 mph using Lidar (laser radar). He is mistaken. I told him I really disagreed with him giving me a speeding ticket since I was driving with the flow of traffic. I was only going 74 mph in a 70 mph zone. My wife agrees with me that I wasn't doing anything wrong and that I was not speeding - speed scares her for one thing and she'll always tell me to slow down when others are passing us by on the road.

Well, I told the officer I would fight the ticket. He said that he can't pull everyone over at the same time and that he has to pull over someone. I said I thought he pulled me over only because I was driving a sports car. He just repeated again that he has to pull someone over.

I told him that I think that sports car is a target and that our being the victim of a hit and run driver was proof along with the many times I have to swerve away from someone - usually a truck - that swerves into me. Just two days before receiving that ticket I had a minivan swerve into me on the freeway. The time I go that hit and run repair it cost me $1000 - $500 for insurance deductible and $500 for renting a car while my car was in the repair shop. I think people automatically assume that someone who drives a sports car is automatically an asshole and also has money to burn so they can and should pay for repairs, rentals and speeding tickets.

I consider speeding to be when someone passes me at 10+ mph over what I'm driving. When I'm not passing anyone else on the road and we're all driving the same speed - within 5 to 10 mph of the posted speed limit - then I dont think I'm speeding nor should I get cited when everyone else is driving the same speed.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

My total CC debt now at $89K

My total CC debt was once at $143K in 2007.

So I'm at least making progress in paying my CC debt off. Goal for being debt free is in three years: 2012.

Of course, I've got other worries. My car comes off a lease at end of the year so I've got to prepare for that. Either save some cash to pay what I know I'll owe and then turn the car in and then buy a $2k beater car. Or get a new loan to buy the car outright and start making new payments at end of year.

I've also got to worry about taxes next year. Since I sold our house I dont have any more tax writeoffs. Its going to hurt next year. I'll probably owe around $9K, maybe more. And being in our 50's and with so much debt I doubt we'll ever own a home again. Not that we ever did anyway. All we ever did was make payments to a lender.

Well, at least we can cash flow my kids through college. Get them into being successful adults. At least I have that satisfaction.

Added $4500 medical debt

Well, last month my wife had some elective surgery. Cost was $7000 but we paid $2500 cash and put the rest of the debt ($4500) on a new card specifically taken out for this new debt.

Well, one step forward, two steps back - in terms of debt repayment, that is.

Household Financial Corp (HFC) creditor raised rate from 6% to 28.99%

HFC raised my rate from 6% to 28.99% last month. I called and was told I was not eligible for a rate reduction because I've already been on two back to back 6 month hardship plans and I had reached my hardship duration limit with them. An HFC customer service supervisor said they would not lower my rate and that they did not have anymore debt repayment plans available for me. The supervisor recommended I call their Hardship department. Their Hardship department told me to call AICCA at 800-450-1794. AICCA routed my call to CreditGuard of America (CGA). CGA said they could put me on a 9% interest rate debt repayment plan with my HFC creditor. I am waiting to hear back from CGA (and my HFC creditor) if this is acceptable.

Hope this works out.

When I was paying 6% interest my monthly payment was $144/mo. If they jack my rate up to 28.99% then my monthly payment would be $184/mo AND the financial charge would be about $183.50/mo. SO my minimum monthly payment would just barely cover the interest.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Donations down, Garage Sales up - my personal observation

I advertised on Craigs List and we sold about $500 worth of stuff - a refrigerator, a weight machine and a couch - before we had our garage sale.

The garage sale went very well and we sold another $500 worth of stuff - about half our household items - dining room table and chairs, china hutch, dresser, clothes, tools, etc.

A couple things we learned: people found our garage sale by their routine driving through the area each weekend looking for garage sale signs. I paid $12 to our local newspaper for 2 days - a ripoff - and about $7 to the local Pennysaver. I asked people who came to our garage sale how they found us and everyone said they saw the one sign we placed at the corner.

The other thing I learned is that there are more than a couple people who make their living by buying furniture and other household items at garage sales and then load them onto semis and truck them down to Mexico - Cabo San Lucas to be exact. They then resell them at a higher profit. Its business, nothing wrong with that. But some of our buyers were a little irked because they said they see the same truck each weekend just buying up all the goood stuff from people who need the cash. I think they're irked because they have a competitor on the weekends. These buyers think of garage sales as a hobby, something to do at their leisure on the weekends. Now they must compete with people who make buying at garage sales into a business.

Reflection of the state of our economy: I talked to the guy from Mexico and asked him about his business. He said the reason why he goes to garage sales more now than in the past is because he used to buy his stuff from the Goodwill and other charity stores but there's not much available these days because people have cut back on their donated items. So now he finds his stuff - furniture, bicycles, tools, mostly hard stuff (no clothing) - at garage sales. Because people are trying to get money for things they would have otherwise donated in a good economy - like me.

Well, we're up over a $1000 bucks so I'm happy.

Daughter's boyfriend caught stealing

One of the reasons why we want to get our 20 year old daughter out of the area we live in is because she needs to be around more serious college students and people her own age who have goals.

She just broke up with her boyfriend because he was caught stealing money at his place of employment. She doesn't want that kind of boyfriend and neither do we want her with someone like that.

She really wants to get out of the community college system, get into a 4-year university environment - in the next county - and be around more serious college students than she's found at the local junior college. We're planning to help her move out by the end of June or July. Her friend said she also wants to move out with our daughter and be her roommate but they both need to find jobs in the next county - an hour away - before they can move.

The nearest university to where we live is a little over an hour's drive away in the next county. If you're not out of this area - going to school somewhere or in the military - by the time you're out of high school here then you're not left with many options. The kids my wife and I see here who are in the 18-20 age group dont really have any direction and are not receiving much guidance from their step-parents.

My kids noticed that a lot of their friends have step parents or only one parent. The friends of my kids are basically told that they're an adult at age 18 and must take care of their own medical, dental, cell phone, living expenses, car insurance, etc.

We know a 19 year old kid who had to pay for his own wisdom teeth removal - at least that
s what he told us. There's another 19-20 year old kid who is driving around with no car insurance and no drivers license because he cant get his drivers license because he cant show proof of insurance because he doesn't have the money to pay for car insurance.

The kids who dont go into the military or go off to college after high school are the ones who end up costing our society in many ways.

My 21 year old son moved out

I don't think I mentioned that my son moved out of the house last April. He got himself a one bedroom apartment. He's supporting himself through odd jobs. But he's still taking classes at the local community college. I told him that he has to stay on track and take at least a couple classes each semester so that he can get a degree. We expect him to transfer to a four year university a year from now. We'll see.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Stop renting the McMansion - save more money

I'm really excited and just wanted to tell someone.

My wife and I are going to move out of our $2000/mo McMansion (3200+ sq.ft, 3-car garage house with pool and spa) and into a $1300/mo 1300 sq.ft. condo - 1400 sq.ft. if you add in the stairs :) - at the end of the month. After you add up the savings in rent, utilities and maintenance we're going to be saving almost $1100/mo. YEA!!!

And my part-time job employer just agreed to pay me another $120/mo for more work. I'm excited!!!

I'll finally be able to realize one of my personal goals and help my kids with their college expenses. Of course they are both working and are helping pay for their college expenses too. I know a lot of parents out there dont agree with helping their kids attend a University and get a four year degree. But I believe it is my responsibility to help my kids make it into adulthood and to help them pursue their own dreams. And if their dreams entail a four-year University education then that is what I will help them to attain. Of course, they have to do the work.

We should have sacrificed earlier in our marriage. Doing so now makes me feel good knowing in my heart that I am doing the right thing. Funny thing is, it doesnt even feel like I'm sacrificing anything.

We're looking forward to living a simpler, less expensive and much lower maintenance lifestyle. We'll keep you all posted.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Wage deflation or lose my part time job

The company I've been doing part time blogging for has told me they want me to write more technical blogs and lengthier blogs. The problem is they want to pay only 11% more for 40 to 100% more work. They want me to write 700-1000 word blogs - technical how-to's - for only $5 more than what I was writing before: 300-500 word blogs.

The math doesn't scale.

I've asked them to increase the pay linearly or to let me continue to post the shorter blogs at the old pay scale. Waiting to hear back from them. We'll see.

I dont think I want to do 40 to 100% more work for only an 11% increase in pay.

This is what happens in today's economy: wage deflation.

Expense reimbursement being cut

My company also informed us that we'll no longer be able to submit expense reports for remote Internet access.

The company is trying to save money. As long as I still have a job I'm okay with cutting back on commissions and expense reimbursements.

No Commissions first six months of 2009

My company informed us that we will get $0 in commissions during the first half of 2009. Last year my commissions for the first half of 2008 were about $15,000.

I'm dissapointed but I can survive since I've cut a lot of expenses out of the budget and my debt load has gone down. My overall CC debt stands at about $89,000 right now. We're still renting and will be for most likely another couple years. My debt repayment schedule has me paying off all my CC debt by April, 2012 - another three years.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Cut out the Dry Cleaners

This last weekend my wife stopped me from dropping off my shirts at the dry cleaners. She asked me how much I've been spending. I told her $1.25 per shirt and she said that she could do them for me - I could pay her instead !

(But she's so busy though, I'm going to start ironing my own shirts and save her the stress of additional housework on top of her already stressful job and home life.)

$1.25 times 30 days/month and that's a savings of $37.50 per month or $450/year.

I love making revisions to our budget that result in more savings!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Self car repairs

Our minivan was repeatedly blowing a fuse so I Google'd the problem and found a solution. Cost me $24 for a Brake Pressure Switch that was covered in brake fluid. Took me about 20-30 minutes to install after removing the air filter. I'm sure the dealer would have charged at least a couple $100 bucks just to diagnose the "electrical" problem.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Paid off some more Credit Cards

I paid off my Orchard Bank CC and my Paypal GE credit account. I'm also going to be paying off my wife's Kohls CC right after I logoff from here.

I finally have an emergency fund of $3K. It's going to grow to $5K by the end of the week and then hopefully I can add another $500 at the end of the month.

I also just increased my 401K contribution to 3%. My employer matches up to 5% but I'm not ready to cut that much out of my take home pay yet.

I've been able to cash flow a lot of things lately: $320 for a notebook computer for my daughter to use at college, $220 to fix our washer and dryer and $280 for a set of rear tires for my car.

And I sold some things on eBay to help out. Also, my wife and I sold some of her jewelry and all of my coin collection recently for a grand total of $220. That was nice. I'll be looking to sell more things on eBay soon.

And my part-time job I have blogging about a subject I know a lot about is bringing in $360 gross each month. That helps.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Paid off CashCall

I paid CashCall !

That'll reduce my monthly expenses another $216/mo ! Yes!

Luckily I received a commission this month which helped me catch up on a lot of bills. It also helped me to pay for my daughter's books - $486 - this semester. Ouch! And I helped my son with his books. I gave him $150 to help him with his college expenses. He's pretty focused on moving out of the house and wants to pay for most of his own expenses so paid for his own school registration and I know he's saving money from his part-time jobs. He even has a spreadsheet of his expected monthly expenses for when he moves out.

But I still have other future expenses on the horizon: we need our washer fixed soon - it's leaking, and the sofa in the family room is patched with duct tape so that's not too appealing. And I'm going to be needing a set of rear tires and brakes for my car soon. All expenses that I'm putting off until one of them breaks or is in serious need of repair.

And our company just announced some layoffs last week so now I have to get intense on saving money for a longer time period emergency fund. And I dont think my son is eligible for medical, dental and vision benefits so I have to investigate a medical plan now which will cost me more money per month. And I still have to do our taxes for last year - not looking forward to that. I'll probably owe money for that. At least we are all healthy, working and my kids are still in school. Thank God we are all okay.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

New Family Budget cuts

I made some more changes this month.
- Reduced Family cell plan from 1400 to 700 min - saved $20/mo
- Cancelled Data plan (VCast) on cell phone - saved $15/mo
- Cancelled web site on Verizon - saved $5/mo
- Cancelled Credit Card Managers (3) - saved $52/mo

Net reduction in expenses = $92/mo

Friday, January 16, 2009

Paid off Christmas

Well, my January 15th paycheck came yesterday. I went straight over to Kohls and paid off the remaining $190 on my wife's credit card that we used for Christmas '08. We actually spent $340 at Kohls at Christmas time and my wife wanted to get the discounts by using the Kohls credit card. I paid off $150 of it right after New Years. So at least we did better at Christmas spending in '08 than we did in '07. What I mean is that although we spent more we were able to quickly pay it off.

And I also paid off one of my $250 PayDay loans. The other $250 Payday loan is due at end of the month when I expect - pretty sure about it - my year end commission for 2008. Should be able to put a significant amount of money into our emergency fund and at the same time also be able to pay off some more debt.

Oh, I also paid $116 in car registration fees for one of our cars. And I paid $200 as partial payment for my life insurance. That's not the entire budget of course but just explaining where the money goes.

I've been debt free two times in my life. I'm hoping third time's the charm - expect to be CC debt free in about two and a half years.

I've still got another $98,600.00 to go. Oh well, making progress. Two steps forward, one step back.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

December 2008 expenses

I also had to spend $400 on new tires for my car and $200 for a combination of new battery, oil change, rear differential change, and just plain routine service such as new wiper blades for two vehicles.

Spending $400 for tires was expensive but I could feel my tires starting to spin and the car starting to slide in wet weather. It's less money to buy tires than it is to pay a deductible and rent a car while your car is being repaired - I went through that last year. Not going to make that mistake again this year. I still need rear tires but that's going to have to wait.

For Christmas we spent $340 - still owe $190 but plan to pay that off on Jan. 15th with funds from paycheck.

Also had eight birthdays in December that we budgeted for $200.

And my son's 21st birthday was in December so we celebrated with a restaurant dinner.

I'm very proud of my son. He worked and saved his own money and bought a new (used) car for himself back in November. We sold his old car for $1350 so that helped with the budget.

Some sad news - put our dog down last month

I have mixed feelings about having put my dog to sleep last month. Our dog grew up with my kids. She was about 14+ years old. We don't know her exact age since we got her at an Adopt-A-Pet at our local Pet store some 14+ years ago.

She's had a huge tumor on her side for the last couple years, had a cyst on her back, had severe arthritis in her hips and had a very difficult time getting up by herself. And I noticed that she sometimes didn't hear me even though I'd be standing right behind her.

Earlier last year our dog groomer said they wouldn't take her for grooming anymore and told us they couldn't because she couldn't stand for long periods of time. She'd also begun yelping at night recently when we think she was in pain.

We had family over at Thanksgiving and they all saw her and said we should put her down. Even the two nurses at the animal hospital said it was the right thing to do.

When I finally took her to the animal hospital the nurses had to bring out a stretcher because she just couldn't walk at all. I think her hind legs finally gave out for good that Friday morning. Both nurses at the animal hospital said we were doing the right thing for her since she really had no more quality of life anymore. Well we all feel pretty bad over here. Not seeing her or hearing her bark or having her lick my face is tough. She was a constant source and receiver of love in our lives. We miss her very much.

Counting My Chickens

I know I'm not supposed to count my chickens before they're hatched but its part of my planning.

I'm expecting (hoping) a good sized commission at the end of January so I've been planning on what I'll payoff then. I only have $365 left on a CashCall loan that I took out back in June of 2008 so I am planning on paying that off. And I need to payoff one of my smaller credit cards in the amount of $320.

In the meantime I'm struggling to finance my budget for the next week and a half until I get paid again on January 15th. I'm expecting - counting my chickens again - about $700 over the next week and a half but I'm still waiting to get paid for some free lance work I did two weeks ago.

I've been doing some Elance work for a small company and they're late on paying me by about a week. Hopefully it is because of the New Year's Day holiday week that they are late. Also, they asked me to write some new work and resubmit my invoice to reflect the "replacement" work. They wanted half of my work resubmitted with new material. Not that it was bad but because it didn't fit their criteria for what they needed. So I wrote some new documents and resubmitted. Hopefully I'll get paid for that work on Monday (1/5) morning.

Due to that shortfall in the budget I decided to apply for two $250 Pay day type loans. The total $500 in loans will cost me $100 - that is the equivalent of almost three NSF charges that I might possiby incur without the loans.

Good news is that last year I paid about $36K in debt off. I still have another $98.5K to work on in 2009. I hope to get the total debt down to about $60K owed by the end of the year.

It will be interesting to see how I do this year. Hopefully I or my wife will not lose our jobs. I pray that there'll be no big surprises financially this year.

Right now I am late on my $200 car registration and I expect to pay it on January 15th. I did pay for my daughter's community college registration of $270. Have to budget for books though. Maybe about another $270 around mid-January. My son is now paying for his own college registration and books. He's earning his own money and wants to pay his own way. He is in a hurry to save up enough money to move out on his own. It will be weird here when he moves out. Hope it doesn't happen for a long time. Same for my daughter. I really do enjoy having a family and having them here.