unbibium: (animated pacman)
this morning I spent a lot of time going through paperwork and making sure my COBRA premiums are paid, trying to squeeze the last drop out of my FSA, and filing an unclaimed property form with the AZ Department of Revenue.

COBRA premiums are brutal and make me want to cockpunch every pundit who went on TV who called Obamacare "socialism". I might get on AHCCCS instead for January but maybe I'll get hired by then?
unbibium: (Default)
Insurance decided not to pay for my last two psychiatrist visits. OOPS. And I have another appointment this Friday.

I'm hoping it's just some clerical snafu, like they misspelled my birthday on a form or something.
unbibium: (Default)
I did my taxes. I'm getting a lot more back because I lost so much in the stock market.

I had no idea how much I lost until I looked at my records.

I wonder who has it all now.
unbibium: (Default)
Well, after nine years of working, my keep-slack-in-checking-account method of budget keeping finally bit me. Most of my credit card charges I made in Canada were overdrawn, seven in total. Thus, my trip cost me $192 more than I thought it would, in bank fees.

Sadly, if I'd only checked, I would have been able to use that emergency credit card that I've never used. It would all have been paid off by today.

Fortunately, my direct-deposit came in on Friday, but what I have is all I'm left with until the day after Thanksgiving.

bux

Nov. 9th, 2008 09:40 am
unbibium: (kuribo)
So what's the best way to get Canadian dollars out of my Chase checking account? I neglected to cash up at an ATM before going through the checkpoint. The exchange desk at the airport was buying US$ at CAN$1.09 and selling at CAN$1.27, and something tells me I can do better than 8% commission if I go to the right place once I land.

US Airways Flight 506 leaves in an hour and a half. And it looks like my slacks are coffee-stain-resistant.
unbibium: (homestar smart)
I almost missed this important fact about the stock market collapse:
AIG was replaced in the Dow Jones Industrial Average by Kraft, the makers of Cheez Whiz.
Entire Sam Stark column, and the usenet post I ganked it from.
unbibium: (o rly)
Someone in the office had trouble finding change for a $5, and had to borrow a dollar. I wondered why we don't have dollar coins by now.

I checked the US Mint's website, and we've been minting $1 coins with the first eight Presidents on them since 2007. And this is the first I ever heard of it. Other people in the office also had no idea.

Isn't the US Mint supposed to try to make the public aware of new currency?

On the bright side, they're the same weight and consistency as Sacagawea dollars, so the 60% of vending machines that support those will support these. But try spending them at a bar.

lol ebay

Sep. 6th, 2008 07:20 pm
unbibium: (Default)
I've finally gotten around to testing and photographing all my Nintendo 64 stuff.

I have a console, an A/V cable, power supply, and three games:
  • Papar Mario, in the box with instructions,
  • Super Mario 64, loose,
  • Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, loose, faded label.


I'm taking a look at existing listings, to try and get a feel for the market. I can't really decide whether it's better to sell the whole thing as a lot, or sell the console and games separately, or sell each game individually. Do any of you have any opinions on this matter?

faaaa

Jun. 26th, 2008 04:19 pm
unbibium: (Default)
My aunt, who's a realtor, took me to a couple of houses in the area today. There's one town house that's perfect, and a great value. It's two bedrooms, everything's brand new, the kitchen is great, it has a washer-dryer, stairs, block construction, one-car garage, all that. The fact that it's under $150,000 and somehow not a shit hole, that's impressive, and it's a deal that might not last long, even in this market.

The problem is, when I told her my salary, she agreed that I was underpaid, especially considering that I've been working where I've been working for eight years. And she suggested that I seriously look for better work. And I hemmed and hawwed and gave her the usual excuses that salarymen give when they're feeling too down-trodden to put out a shingle. And she suddenly became concerned that maybe I shouldn't anchor myself down to the southeast corner of Scottsdale.

Except, they're trying to move us from hourly to salary, with an appropriate adjustment. I started at $15/hour in '00, and I'm at $22.11 right now. In the past, my excuse was that I hadn't been exposed to any technology that wasn't a specific invention of my own company. But now, my role has expanded, and I might be able to hold my own in another company.

But I think we all know what's really going to happen: I'm going to stay here and coast. So if I'm going to coast, I might as well be earning equity.

Also, even in that corner of Scottsdale, it's pretty damn easy to get into downtown Tempe by bus, and that's where the hot jobs are, right?
unbibium: (Default)
Does anyone here know their credit score?

Mine's never been below 700. That surprises me, because I flaked out on my student loans for a year once.

I haven't yet dared to look at an actual credit report. I probably have little two-digit debts I need to pay off here and there.

If I buy a house this year, I may not have $50,000 holed away for a down payment, but I can at least get a good interest rate on the gigantic principal I'll be taking out.
unbibium: (Default)
So I checked my account balance today and I was overdrawn by six dollars. Fortunately I had a $25 FSA check that I could deposit this morning; hopefully that means I've dodged any fee I'd have earned myself.

Usually I keep at least a rent check's worth of slack in there, so I don't have to worry about keeping my checkbook balanced. Eventually it would swell up to three months' rent, and I'd spend a few hundred of it on a little vacation. But that hasn't been working lately.

Inflation, weak dollar, bawwww. I think I just blew too much money on last year's move, and have been spending money emotionally. What I need is a plan. Here's a start:

1. Instead of having fast food for lunch, I'll have either leftovers or some cup ramen. Cup ramen will be my punishment for not having leftovers.

2. I'll return that book I got through amazon.com that I know I'm not going to read. Yes, it means I'm eating the handling charge. I'd rather get $25 back than have it take up space and earn me nothing.

3. Cancel GameFly. I originally thought I'd save money because games are expensive and I only play them for a week and forget I own them. A better plan is to just not spend money on games anymore unless it's that must-have one, like Super Mario Galaxy. If I need a new game, I can break out any number of old PS1 titles I still have in the shrinkwrap.

4. Remove the digital tier from my cable. I'm basically paying money for the privelege of leaving Attack of the Show on in the background.
unbibium: (Default)
I'm seeing a lot of ads for foreclosure sales and auctions on the TV and radio.

My skeptic fu is weak in this regard. And I'm eager to get out of apartment life. But there are a few reasons I'm not buying into it hook, line and sinker:
  • I know that they're buying commercial time, so it follows that somebody's expecting to make a profit by making me call that 800 number.
  • I also figured that there were enough people out there whose literal job is to just hunt down, buy, and flip foreclosed homes. And I'd be competing against them with no experience.
  • Buying any home sight unseen gives the risk of maintenance problem. Buying a foreclosed house gives the added risk of a house with every window broken, the toilets and refrigerator removed, and the interior walls all spray-painted with "FUCK YOU COUNTRYWIDE".
But, a bunch of emergency expenses and the recent stock crash have recently decimated my savings, during the one year I expected to save money faster than the housing prices were going up. So if 2008 is providing some unique opportunity to get into home ownership, I'd like to hear it from someone who knows a little more about what they're talking about.

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