Tag Archive: budget


So I had the good fortune recently of using my card at one of those hacked/compromised retail stores. My bank was nice enough to issue me a new card. The problem was not only was I not informed of this but then I never received it. Because time had passed between when they sent it to when I should have received my card, they took the initiative to cancel my card. Yep, the card I was still using because I was not told any of this. I had to call and complain because my card was randomly being declined; randomly meaning not every time I used it. I assume the credit card part of my card was canceled which allowed me to use it as a debit card with no problem. But with all this and a missing card out there, they had to cancel all these cards and send me a new one. This was really inconvenient to me.
 
I started to wonder again if I should switch completely to cash and only use my debit card for specific things. There are all these articles on the internet saying why one is better than the other. I decided to do a post of my personal pros and cons of using cash and ask for feedback:
 
 

Pros:

  • Everyone takes cash.

I don’t have to worry about declines or malfunctioning machines.

  • No overspending.

I don’t usually overspend. I only buy food and supplies. Sometimes I buy some candy that was not on my grocery list.

  • No fraud.

There would be no way to control the money in my pocket from someplace else.

Cons:

  • No record of charges.

I’m used to having a record of what I spend and something bigger than a receipt to prove I bought something.

  • Loose change.

I don’t use a purse or wallet so everything goes into my pockets. I don’t mind having it but if I buy stuff at a few places it may build up.

  • Emergencies.

Cars break down and other such unexpected events happen. This is probably the reason I would never be without a card.

  • Can’t buy online with cash.

A huge issue for me. Online shopping is so much better than going to a store full of people and may be not finding what you want. Plus there are those great cash back websites that give you a rebate from certain stores/companies when you purchase items online.

 
Overall, it looks like cons win. I think what I may do is decide what I should use cash with and what I shouldn’t. It may take a while for me to get in the habit of using cash. I do like money as everyone does. I don’t even think it is evil. People are evil and money gives them the opportunity to do whatever they want. I tried to think of a good photo or video to go with this post (as you do) and I immediately thought of this from Monty Python (the first time I typed this I did Money Python).
 

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That’s right.  It is almost the end of the US government fiscal year.  And you know what that means? Time for the threat of a government shutdown.  This is the time that all government workers watch the clock on Monday to see if they have work tomorrow (or the near future).  It really doesn’t matter to the House or the Senate because they won’t be affected.  Why you ask?  Because America, Congress is rich.  Even if the shutdown affected their jobs, which it won’t, going without pay would not break their bank or send them into cycle of debt.  People seem to forget that normal everyday people work for the government as well.  These government workers include military and civilians.  The majority of those people are not rich and their jobs have been compromised for years with every budget reduction.  I think all people can relate to their employers making decisions that make their jobs more difficult.  Imagine if not only do you hear rumblings at work about it but on the news and the internet.  You couldn’t escape it because it is always there.  Congress has complete control over these people’s lives through salary, taxes, and laws (let’s face it there are not laws anymore only bills that gets defeated in one house or another).  Maybe when people talk about those lazy government workers they should think about these things.  I would also like to leave you with this thought.  All the other countries have government workers on the military and scientific research side that they are investing to improve their countries’ standing in the world.  How do you think that will affect the future America with their underfunded researchers and their worn out military?

Since I watch all these things online, especially now that I’ve given up cable, I wanted to find a good way to share funny things I see.  Therefore, I got a youTube channel.  I know no one is going to sit through whole episodes to see the 2 min I’m describing. So you should expect many more video clips.  This is the first of 2 videos I will share.  This is a clip from the show QI about the puzzle jug I went crazy for awhile ago.  One day, I will have some of these.

 

Also, an update on my trials and tribulations.  Still no real job yet.  I’m going to have a phone interview next week so that is good.  Still no word on how much I’ll get in unemployment that applied for probably 3 weeks ago.  I did get info on what I could get but that isn’t official yet.  So just waiting.  Still trying to cut down on electricity but I’ll need to wait to see if it pays off when I get the next bill.  Since I’m driving less, I will save on gas and that apparently is going up in cost.  I know I should be talking about the political nonsense goings on but I’m still busy with all this job stuff.  Eventually when I know what is going on we will return to that.

So I applied to have my federal student loans deferred and scheduled to have my cable shut off (keeping internet of course).  The same day I called the company, my cable started “acting up”.  At least 3 times today my picture has frozen up for no reason.  That used to happen randomly anyway but never every day and never several times a day.  I think they have a switch that says lost cause.  Now they can mess with me I guess.  I am also taking steps to cut down on my electricity to save money.  It is a work in progress.

Just now I was watching Fight Master which is the reality show for Bellator (a MMA organization).  I know nothing about Bellator so I need to learn how it works there.  The fights today were really good.  It all makes me want to train in MMA.  The day I have a good job and some extra cash I am going to find a place to learn MMA.  Some place that seriously takes girls who want to learn that stuff.  I took some kickboxing years ago which I loved but it was part kickboxing part exercise class.  It was taught by a woman who was competing in kickboxing so I assume she knew what she was doing.  I’m going to make that a new goal.

I just started my first week of part-time employment.  Of course it is a huge pay cut but what can you do?  I managed to get a temporary position at my “past” employer since my previous position was limited on how many contract renewals I could get.  Plus budgets continue to shrink, especially in the area of research, so really it is good for both parties.  Therefore, it is time to re-evaluate the monthly budget to make sure I can live on the new income.  Once I get that first pay check, I should know for sure what is to come.  Also, in my state, I may be eligible for some unemployment even if I work part-time.  I applied and am waiting to see what that looks like.  Generally, I believe my income will be down by about 40% but we all know bills stay the same.  They will probably increase with me being home more.

I set myself a couple tasks for this coming week.  Today, I made a list of my current average monthly expenses.  This week, I’ll go through to see where I can cut from using less electricity to student loan payment adjustments to probably getting rid of the TV portion of my cable bill (obviously I need the internet portion).  This will involve most likely hours on the phone with companies but when money is involved I can stay on the phone all day.  My other goal is to start cleaning house on the items that I own.  I have so much stuff I really don’t need.  If I do get a real job soon then I can move quickly and with less stuff.

You can look forward to more posts and updates now.  I figured why not be honest about the struggle to come.  Not giving too many specifics but enough to give good explanations of my reasoning.  I know others go through the same type of things.  And just to say I am not a crazy shopper.  The only reason I bought new clothes is because I lost 30 lbs and I needed new jeans that would fit.  A good need for new pants I think.  The only thing I probably waste money on is food.  I like good food and that is a problem, but I will drastically cut down on that now.

This Fiscal Cliff Mess

President Obama just spoke to basically say to the congress:  Do your job just like everyone else is expected to do!  It’s so true.  My boss says you need to do this by this date, and then I do it.   The fiscal cliff isn’t even something that needed to be done.  Congress made this up so they could be forced to do their job in the future.  Now, they don’t want to act and make a decision.  It’s the House’s job to initiate budget bills and such so that’s why Rep. John Boehner, Speaker of the House and Leader in the Republican Party, had all the pressure on him to do something.  But, of course, he has no real power to do anything that all of his people will agree with and support.  Then, this week he said why doesn’t the senate do something about it?  You know why Boehner?  Because it’s your job!

On CSPAN, the Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell tried to say the same thing.  Why doesn’t the Senate Majority Leader put together a bill that the House can pass?  That’s the question he asked.   Harry Reid, the Senate Leader and Democrat, says we have things ready but you won’t deal with us.  It’s almost a joke all this back and forth.

Unfortunately, this is just the beginning of the budget mess to come.  Once the House and Senate fail to agree and they fail to put the bill on the floor that the President just mentioned in his mini-speech, they still need to deal with the debt ceiling which is another battle over money.  After that, there is the federal budget to negotiate in March.  Each one is just another cage for the politicians to get into to fight over.  Maybe the UFC can do a pay-per-view to settle these things or even American Idol could to a text in vote to decide how their congressmen cast their votes.

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