Wednesday, August 31, 2005

43 things

One of my fave sites out there is 43 Things. Basically, the whole site is a list of things that people would like to do. I'm not sure why I love it so much. Maybe it is because I love making lists. Or maybe it is because I love thinking of new, fun things to do (that maybe one day, eventually, I will actually go out and do).

Of course, the #1 thing on my list is to get out of debt. When I added that to my list there were just about over 900 people on the list. What I've noticed, is that the number of people who have added that to their list keeps growing and growing. Total number of people who counts "Get out of debt" as a goal is 1,221 people! The total number of people who has actually counted that as a completed goal....only 71.

I'm not sure if the growing number of people on this list is a good thing or a bad thing. It could mean that more people are recognizing the evils of debt and are making an effort to become financially stable. GOOD. It could also mean that no one is actually ever succeeding at getting out of debt and are just losing the fight against the credit card companies. BAD. It could also just mean that the website is attracting more members and thus the numbers mean nothing. NEUTRAL.

At any rate, I hope that soon, I will be one of those who can claim "get out of debt" as one of their accomplished goals.

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Sunday, August 28, 2005

Going to the movies...

Movie ticket prices have been steadily increasing in price, to the point now where I really must want to see a movie to go see it. I mean, really, ticket prices are just out of control. Why would I pay $10 to go see a movie that I might not like? If I'm going to pay $10 for 2 hours of entertainment, it better be the best movie ever made.

Movie studios are always whining about people pirating movies and using that as an explanation of why ticket prices have sky-rocketed. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I don't buy it. Part of it has got to be inflation as well, but in my eyes, movie prices should be going down, not up. Why? Because movie theaters have managed to cram in as much advertising before the movie starts that their ad revenue alone should be able to cover the costs of the movie.

I want my movies for free if I'm going to be subjected to continuous advertising while I wait for the movie to start. FREE. Like TV. I don't have to pay the television network so that I can watch "24" or "Survivor" or whatever else comes on TV. Why? Because I am forced to sit through commercials (well I used to have to sit through commercials and then Tivo came along). Ad revenue pays for the programming. In the movie theater we are being screwed because we are basically paying the movie theater to make more money off of us by subjecting us to annoying commercials.

It's not that I hate advertising so much. O.k. I do, but I think there is a right way and a wrong way to go about it. I remember when the advertising in the theaters amounted to a few non-obtrusive slides that rotated innocuously on the big-screen against the subtle drone of some bad elevator music. That was cool because at least you could get to the theater a little early (to make sure you weren't sitting in the front row) but still carry on a conversation without having to scream over loud, flashing commercials.

Advertisers like Coke, M&Ms, Levi's, television networks, cell phone companies, etc, etc. must shell out beaucoup bucks to have their names paraded around in front of a captive audience waiting patiently for their movie to start. That drives me crazy.

What is my solution? Luckily for me, there is a theater nearby that is independently owned and still charges only $3 for a matinee movie and $5 for a prime showing. They only have 3 theaters (very limited movie choice here) and the theaters are pretty crappy but you get what you pay for. To make it even better, they don't play any crappy commercials while you wait for the movie to start.

If a movie that I absolutely must see is not playing at my dear cheap-o theater we always try to go matinee. Ticket prices are cheaper and afternoon showings are typically less crowded so you don't have to show up as early to get good seats.

Also, I haven't done this, but I know that you can buy discounted bulk movie tickets at Costco. 5 tickets to AMC will run about $37.50 and 5 tickets to Regal will run $34.99, so you can get matinee prices at any time.

And last but not least, I Netflix any movie that I may be interested in seeing but am not dying to see right away.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The Simple Life

I admit, I used to want a lot of crap. DVD's, clothes, shoes, books, perfumes, make-up, you name it. I loved the feeling of going to the mall, looking at all the things to buy, giving myself over to the abandon of choosing whatever I wanted, watching the cashier ring up all my purchases and then handing over the credit card so that I could finally possess all of these "things". I got a rush from carrying around loads of bags and then rushing home so I could go through all of the stuff again. The rush, however, was like any drug, and only lasted a short time and so it was necessary to repeat, repeat, repeat. Until of course, your whole life is just FILLED with crap!

Crap here, crap there, crap everywhere so that you don't even know what crap you have, so you have to go out and by the crap again. Then you end up with crap to the third power because crap breeds crap. You run out of room to put all the crap. You hide the crap under your bed. You trying to get creative with how you arrange it in your closet. You have to buy storage systems (more crap) to organize all of your crap.

The crap takes over but somehow you just can't part with it. You think, "Well someday I might want to wear those pair of shoes" even though you have not worn them for 2 years. Or "someday that book might come in handy" because you never know when you will need to look up info on the nomads of the world.

You know its bad when you go through the closets and it feels like Christmas. "Oh I forgot I even had that". Even though you probably haven't looked at it or thought about it for 5 years, you just can't part with it because "you never know".

Well, I have definitely stopped acquiring new crap but haven't done a thing about getting rid of the old crap. Ok, well I did get rid of the old laptop and I have been selling books. But I am taking it to a new level. Cleaning out the closet. Cleaning out the garage. If I haven't used it for a year, it's gone.

I think there is something to be said about living simply. Only buy what you need and put it all to good use. No waste. Less stress about things breaking. More mental clarity. Better feng shui. More money in the bank.

I'm going to clean out the closet and try to sell whatever I can. If it doesn't sell, it will be donated to the Good Will and hopefully someone else will be able to put it to good use, because its not doing any good sitting in my closet!

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Sunday, August 21, 2005

Caring for Our Furry Loved Ones

I have two sweet precious kitties, Isabelle & Samantha (yes, they are named after soap opera characters). They are both very special to me and I fear the day that they will get sick and leave me. I take them in regularly for all of their vaccinations, make sure that Samantha (the outdoor cat) is in by her curfew so that she won't be eaten by coyotes, and generally make sure they are well taken care of and loved.

But lets face it: pets can be expensive. If anything does happen to the precious furry ones you could be paying thousands of dollars out of pocket for surgical procedures, treatments and medication. Pet medical insurance is available but costly. I haven't done a lot of shopping around but at one site they would charge about $35 a month for full coverage which works out to be $420 per year. If you have 2 cats like me, that would be $840 a year!

Well, Isabelle and Samantha are both due for their vaccinations. I was ready to call the vet to schedule them for their annual torture (they hate the vet) until I read this article on Smart Money called "10 Things Your Veterinarian Won't Tell You". In it, they claim that vaccinating your pet on a regular basic can be more harmful than helpful. Really, it makes sense for your vet to encourage you to bring in your pets every year for their vaccinations, because they make tons of dough on these routine visits. But before you go in make sure you ask the vet to take into consideration your pet's:

  • age
  • current health situation
  • lifestyle (indoor/outdoor)

Doing so may ensure that your pet is not receiving unnecessary vaccinations that could cause cancer or epilepsy and saving you money at the same time!

Also, make sure that you check into low-cost vaccination clinics that may be available. Our veterinarian offers half-price vaccination clinics on Saturdays. Clinics may also be available at your local pet store.

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Saturday, August 20, 2005

Long Term Financial Goals

Now that I have finally gotten up some momentum and am paying off my debt at lightning speed, I feel like I might finally be able to see the light at the end of the credit card debt tunnel. I feel like I have had this burden on my shoulders for as long as I can remember and don't know what I would do without it. So, I started thinking of what my financial goals are for when I have finally defied my debt and decided I should lay out some of my long-term financial goals.

1) Pay off the Student Loans

When I started aggressively paying off my debt, I decided that I would think of my student loans as completely separate from my credit card debt. I pay about the same amount of interest on my student loans as I do on my credit card, but my reasoning was that credit card companies are way less forgiving than the U.S. government if I was late on a payment. Plus, I can use the interest I pay on my student loans as a tax write-off.

But alas, it still needs to be paid off. Write now I have $9,823 in student loans and pay only $106 every month. I hope to be able to pay this off in a year after my credit card is paid off.

After the student loans are paid off, I will be completely debt free!

2) Save up a $10,000 Emergency Fund

After I pay off all my debt, I want to make sure that I never ever have to be in debt again (aside from a home mortage). I think $10,000 would be a good amount of money to have for those emergencies that always tend to pop up (i.e. an appendix bursting...oh wait, I don't have an appendix!). Not only that, but having $10,000 in the bank would mean that I would never have to feel financially insecure again. If for some reason I hate my job and wanted to quit, I would have the power to do that. If I lost my job, it would not be the end of the world because I would have enough of a cushion that I could live comfortably for a few months while looking for a new job.

3) Save up a down payment for a house

This will be a doozy. Housing in California is ridiculously expensive. I was looking at condos thinking maybe I could find something for $300K. The only condos I could find within that price range were ghetto 1 bedrooms. I'm not sure how young people ever buy a home in southern California but I'm hoping in 2-3 years that my boyfriend and I will both be able to save up $25K to buy a condo/home somewhere!

4) Save for retirement & Pay off the mortgage

Once all that is taken care of, its just a matter of making sure that we are set for old age. It would be lovely to be able to retire early, sell the house in so cal, and buy a French Chateau where I can enjoy my time relaxing, drinking wine, having a vegetable garden and tending to my 20 cats. That would be the life!

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Wednesday, August 17, 2005

What people will do for a $50 laptop

O.k. so you might have already seen this but wow, I just had to say something about this. Apparently a mob broke out when they were selling laptops for $50.

"People threw themselves forward, screaming and pushing each other. A little girl's stroller was crushed in the stampede. Witnesses said an elderly man was thrown to the pavement, and someone in a car tried to drive his way through the crowd."

What the heck is wrong with some people? I may be nuts but I'm not going to kick someones grandpa just to get a cheap laptop! Geez. Get your heads checked people.

It reminds me of the time that Ikea had a promotion at their stores where the first 50 people who showed up to their stores dressed up as a Christmas present would receive a $100 gift certificate. My boyfriend and I thought it would be fun to go and we were willing to get up pretty early for $100 gift card each! So we can some big boxes, wrapped them up in gift wrap and headed over to the Ikea store at 5 a.m. By the time we got there, there were hundreds of people already lined up. People had tents, sleeping bags and had set up camp right out there in the Ikea parking lot. At first we were just going to keep driving, but I really wanted to get out and talk to these people. They were some hardcore folks. Some of them had been there camped out for 2 days! Others were waiting in line in the freezing cold even though they were clearly not the first 50 people. One lady was freaking out because she was number 51 and was duking it out with numbers 49 & 50.

But c'mon! Lets get real people. $50 laptops and $100 Ikea gift cards is nothing to get worked up over!

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We're in the money...

I'm doing the money dance right now cuz I'm in the money! My money making "schemes" are finally coming through!

First of all, I finally got rid of my broken laptop. I sold it to some freaky guy on craigslist for $300. He told me he was going to use it to do some medical research in Cuba and at first I thought, wow thats great, it will be put to good use. But then he kept talking and talking and was getting a little looney, telling me that this medical device that they would be using could be hooked up to anyone, the device would scan the persons body and it would tell you exactly what was wrong with them. If that wasn't cool enough, he then said that the device would "heal" whatever was wrong with you by sending out electrical energy waves. Whatever! Apparently, he has to do all of this "research" in Cuba because the FDA and the drug companies have him on their hit list because of this ground breaking technology. Hmmmmmm....well later I checked out his website and found out that he was selling these things for $12,000 and he was throwing in a "free" laptop with the purchase. Ha! Now I think I've figured out where my broken laptop is going! Regardless, he did pay for it and now I am $300 closer to getting out of debt.

Also, the auction ended for the cell phone that I won in my sweeping days. I got about $120 for the phone which is pretty dang cool!

And...if that wasn't cool enough I have been selling some of my old books on So far only about 5 books have sold out of about 40 but I think that since school should be starting soon a lot of people will be looking for books for their classes!

So grand total for all of my exploits has been about $410!

I do have a comment to make that is totally unrelated. I went to the gas station today (and paid wayyy too much for gas) and decided to buy some gum. I was feeling adventurous so I thought I would try this new flavor called "Cherry Chill" from Eclipse. I'm not quite sure what exactly I was expecting but I was not expecting to get a piece of gum that tasted like a cough drop! So please, whatever you do, don't waste your money on this crappy ass gum!

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Sunday, August 14, 2005

Getting All Gazelle Intense

I'm sure a lot of you have already read or at least heard about Dave Ramsey's book the Total Money Makeover. Well I finally got around to checking it out at the library and started reading it yesterday. I can't say that the book has taught me anything new or radical but it is a great motivational book. Ramsey talks a lot about "getting gazelle intense" about paying off your debt and saving money and while I think I have been super focused for a while, the book has reaffirmed my craziness and reassured me that it is o.k. to be a little whacky and a little maniacal about getting your finances in order.

So with that in mind I started to think about how else I could speed up the debt elimination process. I decided to finally try to sell some of the books that have been collecting dust or sitting in the garage for some time now. I kept all of the books from my college years and thought perhaps one day they would come in handy so never wanted to get rid of them. Truth is, there is probably only .01% chance that I will ever need or want to read these books again, and if I do I could just go to the library and check them out. So I went through all my books and came up with a total of 37 books that I have put up for sale on If they all sell I could take in about $275. I predict that a lot of them will probably not sell but money is money and besides that I'll have gotten rid of some unnecessary clutter.

I'm also stepping up my efforts to sell my broken laptop. It is a good laptop that just needs some repair so I am pulling for $300. I also have the cell phone that I won up for sale on ebay and right now the bids are up to $90 and there is still 2 days left on the auction. I am crossing my fingers! If all of my plans pan out, I could get a maximum of $675!

On another note, today is the 3 month anniversary of my blog! So happy birthday to the blog. When I started I was $19,794.23 in the hole. Today I am $15,688.50 in debt so in 3 months I have been able to pay $4,105.73. If I keep it up at this rate I will be out of debt in less than a year!

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Saturday, August 13, 2005

Update: My Identity was NOT Stolen

Everyone can rest assured that my identity has not be stolen (me most of all)! Disaster has been averted and the charges should be taken off my card soon.

This is what happened.

After writing the blog post I told my boyfriend all about my little fiasco (yes, you guys get the news before the bf) and he was like "thats weird, I just paid my Cingular bill". He looked up the exact amount of the bill he just paid and it matched exactly to the new charges on my credit card. He said he paid his bill online and that normally when he goes to pay his credit card info is already in there and he just has to verify the amount and click o.k. So he goes back to the page where he paid his bill and MY credit card number was there. We haven't really been able to explian why my credit card number was showing up on his account. I have tried to run through all the possibilities and ruled them all out:

1) I have never used my credit card to pay for anything on his computer (I haven't even used the credit card for over a year)
2) We have never shared a cell phone account
3) I don't even have an account with Cingular
4) Our cell phone numbers are no where near being similar

The only thing I can think of is that we share the same address and they somehow mixed them up. Either that or my boyfriend thought he could pull a fast one on me. :P

At any rate, he called Cingular had them reverse the charges and all should be well. They couldn't offer an explanation either (no surprise) but it worries me that my credit card information could so easily be accessed by another account. Why do they even still have my credit card on file? Perhaps I'll have to have my credit card number changed!

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Thursday, August 11, 2005

What the F*^%&*?

I am so lividly mad right now. I was checking my online credit card statement as usual tonight and noticed something that sent me into a fury. The balance was as it should be, $15,788.50, but when I looked down at the pending charges I saw a charge for $52.36! I don't know what this is all about as I have not used this card for purchases in over a year. I don't even keep the card on me. It is tucked away in a drawer somewhere so that I never ever use it. Not even for internet purchases. So where the heck did this charge for $52.36 come from?

I called my credit card company and asked them why there were these pending charges on my account. He said that it was a charge from Cingular and that it posted to my account with a valid authorization number. WHAT?!! Cingular?? I'm not even a Cingular customer! Well, I used to be but then they got on my nerves so bad that I switched to TMobile. So what the heck are they doing charging my credit card when I haven't been their customer for 9 months now??

The guy said that he basically couldn't do anything at this point because it hasn't yet posted to my account and I should call back in 48 hours and I could either file a fraud claim or enter a dispute. I'm sure that will be 48 hours of pure hell for me. I've asked them to put a hold on my account just in case any new freakish charges try to show up on my account. Knowing me, I won't be able to sleep because I'll be thinking all night how someone is trying to sabotage me and steal my identity! ARrghghghgh.

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Tuesday, August 09, 2005

I won, I won!

Before I started blogging I had this other little obsession that I thought would help me get out of debt quick. I have a confession to make; I was a SWEEPER. Sweeper as in sweepstakes enterer. You would not believe the inordinate amount of time I spent searching for sweepstakes and entering them. I had a whole system going. I had software that swiftly entered in all of my contact info, spreadsheets of all the sweeps I was entering. I was Sweeps Crazy. I hoped and hoped I would just win a car or some grand prize cash jackpot and my debt woes would be over. I entered sweeps while watching TV, while talking on the phone and basically any free moment I had. Until one day, my spreadsheet file got corrupt and I was devastated at the loss of all that time and effort I had put into it. I mourn the loss of my spreadsheet.

So for all my blood, sweat, and tears of entering sweepstakes the fruit of my labor was basically a $1.00 cash prize from Webstakes and an XXL t-shirt from Sirius radio.

Until today...

I got a package in the mail today and was positively perplexed because I hadn't ordered anything recently. I opened it and there it was. The 2004 Nascar Nextel Cup Series i736 cell phone. I had totally forgotten that I had won this on an instant win sweepstakes I had entered months ago. Now, I am not a Nascar fan, nor do I need a new cell phone, but I can try to sell it on ebay and get at least (hopefully) $100 for it.

This will definitely not get me out of debt but it makes me feel like I at least got something worthwile out of my sweeping days.

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Monday, August 08, 2005

How to get yourself into $30K of debt

I've received enough comments that express mild amazement and puzzlement at the magnitude of my debt that I feel it again time to explain how I got myself into this mess in the first place. My very first post does a good job of setting the scene but I can't expect all you late comers to sift through all my posts to get the full story. So here goes...take notes; it's a skill to accumulate so much debt in just a few years.

It all basically started when I was 19 years old and did a study abroad program in Paris. I had received a Platinum credit card with a limit of $5,000 not too long before my departure. At that time I was pretty responsible with my credit cards; I used them but always paid off the full balance every month. Why they decided to give a 19 year old full time student with only a part time job is beyond me...but they did.

I had loads of fun while I was abroad. Too much fun in fact. Money wasn't real to me. The ATM never told me what my balance was and I wasn't receiving any statements or bills in the mail so I was completely oblivious to how much I was spending. I went out all the time and could easily blow $50-$100 a night on dinner, drinks, and taxi fare. WTF was I thinking? I don't know. Anyways, I would aslo travel on the weekend going to other cities and spending money on hotels, souvenirs, more drinking and going out, clothes, who knows what else. My rationale was that I would only be able to do this once so I might as well live it up while I was there. Instead of using cash for all of these things I ended up using my credit card and it was all downhill from there.

By the time I came back I had amassed a couple thousand in debt. Can't remember exactly how much. Problem was was that I didn't have a job so I had to borrow money from my credit card to pay for the credit card. Smart, I know. Even smarter was that when I came back my spending habits were still out of control. More shopping, more going out, more stupidity.

I also went back to Europe to visit some friends and backpacked for about 3 weeks. I didn't have the money to do it so I just put it on the credit card.

By the time I was going to transfer to UC Berkeley I think I had about $6k in debt and I was living off of financial aid. I finally got my act together but was living off of about $17k/year paying $800 for one bedroom sharing an apartment with 4 other people, tuition, books, and a credit card payment to boot. So I didn't make much progress on paying it off. In fact, it just got worse because I had to pay for furniture, dental work, lord knows what else. I think once or twice I had to put rent on the credit card. But I was living honestly like a monk; I never went out; I never bought clothes. It was crap. By the time I graduated I was about $11k in debt.

So when I graduated I didn't have a car. I bought a car. And it wasn't cheap. I think I paid about $18,000 for my car. Please don't say anything. I eventually transferred my car loan to my credit card so I could get a lower rate and so I would only have one bill every month.

So there you have it. All my stupid mistakes laid out for all to see. But I've reformed and am determined to learn from my mistakes and try to start over with a clean slate. Initially I wanted to pay it off in 2 years from when I graduated college but instead I've revised my plan to do it in 3 years (2 years from when I started this blog).

I hope you've enjoyed this little blast to the past and don't think I'm too crazy. ;)

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Saturday, August 06, 2005

You all are just so predictable

How did I know I would get my ass handed to me if I mentioned that I might move out thus crushing any dreams I had of paying off my debt in a timely manner. Thank you, thank you. You will have your way. I have had the "moving out bug" thoroughly chased out of me (much to my boyfriend's chagrin). I guess I will have to "suck it up" and be patient until I can exorcise my financial demons.

Tips to Help You Save Energy - Part II

I don't know where you live but it is dang hot outside where I live. Here are some tips to help you stay cool and conserve energy (and money) at the same time.

* Schedule regular air-conditioning checkups. Just like your car, your air conditioner needs a regular tune-up. With proper care, your air conditioner will last longer, operate more efficiently, and save you more money.

* Get off to the right start. Read the owner's manual and follow the manufacturer's instructions before turning your system on for the first time. The following spring, have a trained service person do an annual checkup.

* Keep it clean. Keep your air conditioner clean, inside and out. Check, clean, and replace the filter regularly (do not operate the unit without filters). Clear away accumulated dirt and debris from the outside condenser units annually. (Follow the manufacturer's instructions for your specific model.)

* Install your air conditioner in a shady location. Air conditioners exposed to direct sunlight use up to 5% more energy.

* Precoolers can reduce your cooling costs if you have a central air conditioning system and live in a hot, dry climate. A precooler is a water-cooled device that attaches directly to the front of the air conditioner's condenser unit. The precooler draws hot, outside air over water-saturated pads. Water evaporation from these wet pads lowers the temperature of the air before it enters the air conditioner. This precooling enables the air conditioner to work more efficiently and use less energy.

* If you live in a hot, dry area, an evaporative (or "swamp") cooler can be an inexpensive way to cool your home, either replacing or assisting regular air conditioning. Evaporative cooling is much simpler than air conditioning and uses much less energy. An evaporative cooler uses a simple fan mechanism to draw hot, dry outside air through wet filters. The resulting evaporation cools the air that the fan then directs inside.

* If you live in an area with a moderate climate, you may be able to use a whole house fan for most of your cooling needs and reserve your air conditioner for the hottest hours of the day. Because whole house fans depend on cool outside air, coastal areas (and other locations that are cool in the evening) are ideal. If your neighborhood remains hot in the evening, a whole house fan isn't right for you.

Whole house fans are usually installed in an attic, flush with the ceiling of the house. When outside temperatures are cooler than inside temperatures (usually at night), the air conditioner is turned off, and the windows are opened, the whole house fan pulls cool, fresh air into the house through the open windows and pushes the hot inside air out through attic vents.

* During the summer, heat trapped in your attic can increase the temperature throughout your home. Though not as effective as a whole house fan, an attic ventilation fan pushes hot attic air outside, reduces the attic temperature, and cools the rooms below.

* Simple and functional, ceiling fans are one of the most decorative ways to control the temperature in your home and are effective during the summer and winter. In hot weather, a ceiling fan on high speed can lower a room's temperature by as much as 10 to 12 degrees. This reduces your air conditioning needs substantially. During the winter, a ceiling fan set to a slower speed moves rising warm air around the room.

* Know your numbers. If you have central air conditioning, set your thermostat to 78°F or more during the summer, 85°F or more when you leave your home for more than four hours. Unless you have furniture, art or equipment that could be damaged by excessive heat, turn your cooling unit off when you leave your home for more than 24 hours.

* Don't overcool. Don't turn your thermostat lower than normal to cool your home faster. It won't work.

* Keep heat-producing appliances away from your thermostat. Heat emitted by television sets, lamps, and other appliances will make your cooling system work harder.

* Use zone cooling. To avoid wasting energy -- and money -- cooling a room you're not using, close doors and/or vents to that room. (To avoid damage to your central cooling system, close off no more than one-fourth of the area of your home.)

* Use your shades. Closing drapes and shades -- especially on southern windows -- will help keep the sun out and your home cool. Cover eastern windows in the morning and western windows in the afternoon.

* Beware of humidity. When outdoor temperatures rise, avoid activities that generate humidity, such as cooking, bathing, laundering, and dishwashing. Wait until the early morning or evening. Your kitchen's exhaust fan will help get rid of heat and moisture, in addition to cooking odors.

* Use air conditioning wisely. You can still control your cooling costs on days when you have to use your air conditioner. Keep all your doors and windows shut and avoid using a humidifier or evaporative ("swamp") cooler at the same time you run the air conditioner. The leaks, drafts, and moisture added by humidifiers and evaporative coolers force the air conditioner to work harder and use more energy.

* Consider your landscaping. In the summer, leafy trees provide cool shade. In the winter, bare branches allow the sun to warm your home. Small shrubs can block heat reflected from patios and pavement. And planting vines over southern windows can reduce the effect of the sun's heat.

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Thursday, August 04, 2005

I suck so bad

Ugh, I've been so bad about updating this blog this week. Everytime I try to start I get perturbed and disgruntled and have to take a break. I always think if I walk away from it later it will come to me easier but it never does.


I need to move out of my familial home. It is just too much for me. I have been living at home for over a year now and I feel as if I will go bonkers if I don't get out of here. The lack of space, privacy, the long commute are all enough to drive a person mad. But lets face it, rent is not cheap. Then you have to think about all the bills....the electricity, the water, the phone, you know.

I figure if I move out I will only be able to pay half of what I am paying towards my credit card debt every month. At my current rate I should be out of debt in about 16 months. If I move out I won't be out of debt for another 32 months which is almost 3 years. I would have to change the name of my blog and I would feel like a total loser.

So what's worse? Living at home or living at debt?

I did make a concession. Earlier I wrote about my Thai vacation that I was planning on for November. I have been looking forward to this trip for a long time but I really can't justify spending $2k on a vacation when I live the rest of my life stressed out about my debt. I am going to wait until I'm out of debt and can truly enjoy the vacation to go.

Sorry if this post is a little sporadic. I just had to purge it out of me! ;)

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