The un-grumpy edition

I’ve been struggling to write something constructive here all day. I’m recovering from a two-day migraine that is merely a splitting headache at this point, and I’m on my last thread dealing with my current job. If my last day here weren’t tomorrow, today would be.

So while I’m not sure I can manage to be cheerful and helpful here today with links and happy progress, I think I can be “un-grumpy”.

I started reading a book I grabbed from Michael this weekend titled A Very Hungry Girl by Jessica Weiner. I’m only 39 pages in, but it’s a tear-jerker.

Continue reading The un-grumpy edition

Tastee (del.icio.us) links! (April 21st)

Links for April 21st from 15:32 to 22:38:

  • Michael Jackson's Credit Card – Another absolutely hilarious prank. Read all four pages for a gut-buster of an prank.
  • The Visa Prank – I'd never heard of this prank site before, but this Visa prank is hilarious. Read all three pages of it.
  • Language of the Perpetual Poor | Frugal Dad – I knew a few of these "perpetual poor" types when I was growing up (especially in extended family), but happily, my parents weren't this way. It's a heart-breaking list to read, to me, because I have an acquaintance or two who keep themselves down.
  • Top reasons people don?t budget – This is a really good listing of reasons why people don't budget, including, of course, ways to overcome those obstables.
  • The Simple Dollar » Sunday Conversation #1 – Holy crap. This man saved 53% of his net 2007 income. Now, I have a friend who lives like this, and it works really well for him. Alas, it's hard to talk to him about money, but I find this sort of thing inspirational.
  • Twenty Sided » Blog Archive » Print Job – This is a hilarious tale of a wayward printer, followed by a rant against modern printers. My laser printer does decently well at being a printer, despite its tendency to overheat and fake jams when he's given ginormous jobs while sitting on carpet.
  • Ludus Novus :: Race and Responsibility – WO offers up an opinion of the Resident Evil 5 race issue. "Games are art. Artists have a social responsibility to try and prevent their work from promoting or encouraging ideas they believe are evil or undesirable."

On tax returns and economic stimuli

So, as I’ve made clear in the past, I’ve decided to take on my debt full-tilt using ideas from Dave Ramsey’s books and various financial blogs I read.

My budgeting earlier this year was skewed by irregular income for a couple of months, courtesy of leaving teaching, having unemployed time, then starting a new gig.

I’ve been chipping down at one debt in particular these past few months — it’s a credit card where one charge went just over the credit limit, blooming in fees and extra charges beyond what I could pay during my paycheck-to-paycheck living while teaching.

I made out like a bandit on my tax return this year, both on the federal and the two states I filed for. Other friends seem to have made a lot more, but I’ll take my $1200 and run, given that I owed last year.

That $1200 will get me current on that credit card — the first, often-unmentioned step of Dave Ramsey’s plan — and the remainder, along with my economic stimulus check of $600, will get me very close to the starter $1000 emergency fund. I went ahead and created myself an account and snowball plan at What’s the Cost. Luckily, my two highest interest debts (don’t even ask) are my smallest — the two credit cards. After that, my next biggest is a loan from my parents, but that’s zero interest. I think I’ll still go ahead and knock that out before I tackle my student loans, especially since there’s a real person on the other end of that debt.

Paidtwice wrote just this morning about how debt sucks because every windfall is already spoken for. I don’t resent using $1800 to pay down my debt, and I don’t even feel bad about not stimulating the economy with my $600 check. I find it satisfying, like she does. If I were free as a lark from debt and with a good emergency fund, I honestly don’t know what I’d spend the money on. I’d probably invest some and use the rest to plan a trip to Texas to visit T-dawg, my parents, and the sister (who’s growing up way too damn fast!). I’ve always lived paycheck-to-paycheck and fighting with debt, so that kind of windfall, with no real strings attached, is foreign to me. At tax time in two years, though, let’s see where I am.

I’ve been eagerly and repeatedly checking my bank account for my refund deposits. I want to get this ball rolling. 🙂

Tastee (del.icio.us) links!

Links for April 21st from 13:38 to 13:46: