Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Wait 'Til I Get My Money Right

I've finally got my financial plan down for the year. With a little help from MP Dunleavy and the MSN Money message boards (an absolute staple in my daily internet usage), I've sent the following goals:

- Build up an emergency fund ($2,000)
- Pay back a $3,200 personal loan
- Reduce my $41,000 (I KNOW...ugh) student loan debt by $6000
- Save $3000 for a down payment on a car
- Stop using credit cards unless I can pay the full balance at month's end
- Use cash only for all non-bills

Whether they're modest or ambitious, I can't say at the moment, but I'm hoping I can get all of it knocked out. Now, if I can only stick to this plan and still make it to Vegas next weekend for my friend's bachelorette party.


I swear I take one step and take two back. It's ok though. I'm feeling a little more in control now that my car is fixed.

*Just remembered that I have to pay to get that out, too. DAMNIT!!!*

Now I have to make the executive "can I afford Vegas" decision. Sure it'll be a weekend of fun and moments of semi-debauchery, but the main chick planning this is married to an NBL player and we're all supposed to stay at the Wynn...

Choices, choices.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

What I'm Reading Now

In an effort to increase the amount I read (and the trips to my current favorite bookstore/gallery/weird gift shop, La Luz de Jesus in Los Feliz), I thought I'd give a small update on the book that I'm currently getting into. This time, it's Hot Water Music by Charles Bukowski.

It's more a collection of several short stories than a traditional book, but it is damn.entertaining all the same. Interesting and extreme characters coupled with obscene language and circumstances are making this one a very fun one for me.

In an unrelated incident, it's raining like crazy in L.A. right now and my trusty, no power steering having car with over 176K miles on it decides to get a flat tire. Lovely. Sometimes I don't know if I should just cut my losses and get another one. The "buy-itis" (coined by my daddy - LOL) I am afflicted with wants a shiny new thing, but I've been so used to not having a car payment...decisions, decisions.

It seems that whenever I'm set to go one direction, something manages to find itself in my pathway, and screws up my plans. Story of my life...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

So now that I'm 24...

I'm finally feeling my age. Not physically, but mentally. This year has been dubbed "the year I get my ish together" and I'm off to a good start. I've broadened my personal horizons (in the past month I've eaten chapulines and buffalo - which is incredibly tasty), and I've stumbled upon some information that will hopefully bolster my finances to where my retirement savings will no longer be a worry of mine.

And if you're shaking your head at me worrying about retiring at the age of 24, you need to reevaluate your plans and get started putting some money away somewhere. Money saved now works a lot harder now than it will later on down the line.

Anywho, once I find out some more information I'll share, but for now, all I know is that it involves compounding interest - the concept that if I give you .01 today and double it everyday for a month you'll be *ahem* markedly affluent by today's non-celebrity standard.

Aside from that, I had a wonderful birthday weekend - got to see Eddie Izzard perform live at the Coronet, celebrated 100 episodes with my fam, and I went to the King Day Parade - which is always marked year in and year out by multiple fights.


Sometimes I just.can't.stand. black people. I swear. At one point during the parade, the Mayor of L.A. was running around greetign people (he always does this - LOL) and a teenage girl behind me asked "Who is that?"

I told her he was the mayor.

She replied, "So. People are out here acting like he's somebody."

"But he's the Mayor of Los Angeles."

"And? He ain't nobody."

Lawd Jeebus, help these children.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Guilty conscience

So I just had to "cuss out" my cousin over email because of a quote that he mistook for an attack on his character.

I thought in nearly all black families, quoting Coming to America was something like a favorite pastime. I guess not. John Amos' line about Hakim needing to "stay off the drugs" if he wanted to keep working at McDowell's was taken WAY out of context, and someone decided to express his disdain at my comment.

FIRST OFF: The quote was an addendum to a response to something ridiculous he asked of me (i.e. "Are you serious? 'If you wanna keep ___, you need to stay off the drugs' ").

TWO: He's on that ooooooo weeeeeee every.time. I see him.

Now when someone calls b.s. on me, I'm woman enough to admit that I have faults. However, under no circumstance am I going to sit idly by while a hypocrite is telling me that I'm being inappropriate when I'm joking.

Foolishness. I just had to vent. LOL.

My birthday is next week. 24. Wow. I finally feel my age. I've always felt older for some reason, but this year, I'm feeling like I'm on an even keel with chronology.

My resolution (11 days old and all) is to get my financial life under control: paying down the $43,000 I owe in student loans (yay me!), creating a budget that I actually stick to, shunning my credit cards, and saving as much as possible.

Let's hope this all works out. I'll try and remember to update my progress with this endeavor.