Having Nothing Never Felt So Good…

This is the best $0 has felt in a long-ass time.

It took me a little over three years to clear out the debt I had accrued since being hired to my current job.  A lot of people in debt talk about how they have this single, solid number that they need to work down to clear themselves of debt.  Mine had always been revolving.

About a year and a half ago, I prematurely declared victory over my consumer debt.  I was doing fine, but I got comfortable and started spending money on the card again, playing a game of  “buy an item here, buy an item there, let it accrue a finance charge, and pay 200% over the minimum payment and I’ll be fine.”

But I was not fine.  I re-accrued all of the debt I had worked so hard to pay down.

Since I started to get steady-income-spendy in 2007, I’ve paid about $10,000 in principal and fees on this credit card.  There are so many other things that money could be: down payment and initial payments on a car, down payment put in a brokerage account for a down payment on a house, money for The Boy and I to have a nice wedding…

I’m going to keep this credit card, I use it to make purchases online and for the cell phone bill.  But I’m going to go back to how I was with my credit card in college: limited purchases, track every penny, pay the debt down in full.

I have one card that still needs to be paid down to be entirely consumer-debt free (Mary Kay inventory), but I can now slog this credit card’s payment into the other one, and I will clear that debt out by April of next year.

It feels good.

Friday Five for August 27, 2010 – Lids

Hello, and welcome to this week’s Friday 5! Please copy these questions to your webspace. Answer the questions there, then leave us a comment below so we’ll all know where to check out your responses! Please don’t forget to link us from your website!

  1. What did the last hat you wore look like?
    This is actually the hat I bought from Etsy.  I like her things, buy from her.
  2. What’s your strategy for unscrewing those stubborn jar-lids?
    Brute force, “loosen the lid,” and then have my brother, Dad, The Boy or a male co-worker get it open for me.  Hey, at least I can say I tried.
  3. How good are you at keeping a lid on it?
    Very good.  I have some secrets that no one’s ever heard.  I only mention things to people that I would have no problem attaching my name to.
  4. Here in Hawaii, people are often very self-conscious about their eyelids. How do you feel about yours?
    They’re fine.  I wish my eyes weren’t as deep set, so people could see what color eyeshadow I’m wearing.  (Because no, I don’t eyeshadow halfway into my brow bone).
  5. Are you acquainted with anyone named Lydia?
    I know no one by that name, except Lydia the Tattooed Lady.

Source: Friday5.org

That Guy

The Boy started a new school year this week; which I helped him prepare for by populating his calendar on Google with all of the events pertinent to him in his two-schools and district-wide for the remainder of the calendar year.  I always love that feeling of newness in the school year, and the excitement of things to come.

I’m starting my two-days-a-week classes at CSU next Tuesday.  I’ll be back at the downtown campus, which is a little weird for me as a graduate student.

When I went to AU, I was a full-time student-in-residence (well, I had a dorm on campus, but I didn’t spend any time there), so I was very connected to what was happening on campus on any given day.  When I went to Tri-C, there was no on-campus housing, and it was considered a commuter- and part-time school, so activities were pretty limited.

But now that I’m a commuter and grad student at CSU, I feel very disconnected from the campus scene.  Not only do I not live on campus, but I also only attend classes for a fraction of a week there.  I still get all the email posts about the goings-on, but very little of it pertains to me.

It’s just a weird feeling to be academic and at the same time out-of-the loop.  50% of me wants to be involved – some of the events on campus look pretty cool, but the other 50% of me is very reserved: I don’t know anyone on campus, I don’t even spend the daytime hours on campus, and no one wants to be the creepy grad student lurker who shows up in a sea of undergraduates.

Wow, that last rationalization made me feel old.  There is 8 years between me as a young grad student and incoming freshmen.

Maybe it’s better that I don’t try to relive my glory days of UG interloping on my graduate school campus’ festivities…

Friday Five for August 20, 2010 – Mint

Hello, and welcome to this week’s Friday 5! Please copy these questions to your webspace. Answer them there, then leave a comment below so we’ll all know where to check out your responses. Please don’t forget to link us from your website!

  1. How picky are you about toothpaste?
    Very, actually.  I’m currently using Colgate’s Advanced Whitening paste.  I use paste only (not gel), I don’t use anything with stripes, or with any other flavors than mint, and I don’t use baking soda taste/texture.  Colgate isn’t the cheapest, but it’s definitely my favorite.
  2. What’s the best cooked dish you’ve had that included mint?
    Not a cooked dish, but I love me a mojito with fresh muddled mint.
  3. How far would you have to go from where you are right now to get a breath mint?
    Not sure.
  4. Got any gum?
    No, actually.  Like my toothpaste, I’m picky about my gum.  I like Eclipse Spearmint, and I usually buy a flat the 60-piece tubs  from Sam’s Club, BJs, or BuyTheCase.Net.  I’m currently out, and I have a single 60-piece tub of Orbit (meh) in my cup holder in my car.  Nothing at my office desk, nothing in my purse.  I’ve been meaning to put it on my shopping list.
  5. What’s something you keep in mint condition?
    Since collecting all of my state quarters, I’ve gotten bitten by the numismatist bug, and when I see a coin I like (currently the 2010 penny), I’ve been slipping a single one into a coin collector sleeve and keeping just so I can have them.

Source: Friday5.org

More Geek than Hipster

My brother was able to upgrade his phone, and decided on the older Motorola DROID A855, which he was then able to do a BOGO on, so I decided that I would go halfsies with him on his phone and upgraded to the Droid, too.

Can I just say I’m in love?

I was getting sick of BlackBerry.  It’s fine if you’re going to use it for work: coordinating your calendar and your contacts, and that’s it.  But that’s not what I use my phone for.  I did use it to sync my Calendar and Contacts (both through Google), but I also used it for Twitter, Mint, TripIt, my to-do list, and keeping notes.  Blackberry’s application processing and interface were “meh” at best.

My favorite feature on the Droid and Android OS is that everything syncs automatically with Google.  I feel a lot more efficient being able to make changes on my desktop during business hours and seeing them on my phone when I’m not near a computer.

And I got a cool phone without having to buy an iPhone and joining Satan’s mobile network.