Thursday, November 30, 2006

Gift Card Warning...

Make sure that you check the terms on gift cards. Check for processing fees, expiration dates, and also check to see what to do when a card is lost or stolen.

Here is an article from that warns about buying gift cards. Holiday shoppers click here.

Time for Final Exams…

I took four classes this semester: Labor Law, Negotiations, Legal Writing Seminar, and Evidence. I will finish two of my classes next week, receive a take home final due on the 13th and finish up with my last final exam on December 18th.

I registered for my LAST AND FINAL SEMESTER of law school and I am gearing up to finish strong. No job offers yet but the operative word is YET! Something will come my way. Something good!

My 29th Birthday is on Saturday!!!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

6 Ways to Cut Heating Bills…

Today is payday so I am rounding up the figures for November to see how much my net worth declined this month. Hopefully, it won’t be too bad. I will report the results soon.

In the meantime, has an article that details 6 ways to cut your heating bill. I know that changing over from a manual thermostat to a programmable thermostat has already reduced my electric bill considerably.

Check it out here.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

401k Contribution…

I decided to change my 401k contribution rate from 5% to 10%. This will amount to approximately $675 contributed each month. Although my employer only matches 5%, I know it is a good move in the right direction towards establishing a continuous pattern of saving. I was going to wait until next year but I can’t come up with a good answer for why I should put it off when I am blowing through cash and don’t have sufficient income at the moment for debt repayment.

Why change to 10% when I have so much debt?

It’s easy. I am simply out of control and living way beyond my means. I know that I won’t touch my retirement account so it is safe and out of harms (MY) way. Right now, it is the only method of savings that I have. I am going through the savings in my checking account left and right now with irregular and unexpected expenses popping up everywhere.

  • Car Insurance Deductible = $250
  • Passport = $100
  • Sister's Destination Wedding = $1,600
  • License Plate Renewal = $100
  • Christmas = $1,000 Budget (just being realistic about this one – saved in ING account for Christmas)

It just makes sense to me to make sure I am doing something right. In my bleak state, here are some good things.

  • Everything is paid on time.
  • $50k in equity in my condo.
  • I have been a homeowner since age 25.
  • Graduate from law school in May 2007 – just 6 more months.
  • Flexible repayment for student loans.
  • Private loans don’t go into repayment until February 2008.
  • Car is paid off and I am content with driving it for many more years.
  • I am able-bodied to get a second job if necessary once law school is over.
  • I have great employment credentials.
  • I have the love and support of my family.

In the grand scheme of things, I am doing all right. Things will get better. I just need to stay focused on the big picture.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Lacking Motivation…

I am sincerely lacking motivation these days and yet, I have so much on my plate it’s crazy.

Here is a brief list…

  • Working full-time
  • School part-time – 4 nights a week
  • Car accident – neck still hurts a little
  • Mom recovering from knee surgery
  • Sister getting married
  • I have strep throat but feel much better
  • Having a hard time trying to find a law job after graduation
  • Student loan debt is piling high
  • 25-page paper due in a month
  • Class presentation in 2 weeks
  • Final exams start in a month

Need I go on? I keep telling myself that I only have until May and then I graduate but any law student knows that graduation is when the REAL work starts. LOL Needless to say, I am at least looking forward to finals being over and getting a chance to relax.

Like most PF bloggers out there who may dread the purchase of Christmas gifts, I am looking forward to just spending some quality time with my family. Fortunately, with my upcoming graduation, my sisters nuptials, my mother’s retirement from teaching after 35 years, and my 30th Birthday (shhhhhh!!!!!), we are keeping gifts light and going heavy on having a good time with each other.