A Factory Working, College Grad Getting Out of Debt

Posts tagged “raindrop

A Raindrop – Shopping for Cellular Service

One might think this is a daunting task, but considering my circumstances, it’s really not.   You see, I’ve been on my mother’s cellular plan since I was 13.  At first it was a phone just for emergencies, and was required to be carried at all times since I walked home from school until I started having extracurricular activities that kept me out until dark (I used to joke that I never saw my house in daylight unless it was during summer vacation… and honestly, that’s not far off from the mark as I really was usually at the school until 8-9pm every night).  In the beginning of my senior year I received my own vehicle and then it was still a responsibility to keep at all times in case I broke down and still needed a ride home, or just to check in if those academic extracurricular activities required us to go out of town for tournaments and the like.

Either way, I really didn’t use my phone all that much during my high school career much like most teenagers did and still do.  It wasn’t until I was off to college and away from home that I started using my cell phone more.  And honestly, that was used loosely again as it was only used when the land-line was in use by another dorm mate or I was walking while I was talking to catch up with family.  Once I came back home to save some money from college expenses and student loans (I dread to think what they would’ve been if I’d gone back to my old college…) I used it more to keep in check with my mother again much like I did in high school.

You see, I worked forty hours a week and usually had a 16-18 credit hour load during each semester.  I worked my butt off even in the summer and always took the maximum amount of summer courses possible.  I was determined to prove myself after a rocky start in the college world and ended up graduating last May with two bachelor degrees.  But I digress…

My cell phone has become a texting hub of communication for me.  I talk frequently to my guy and my mother and a few friends, but as most of my friends are still busy and have found successful career paths, it’s easier for me to text them when I have the thought and await their reply instead of interrupting them at work.  They seem to be fine with it, and a lot of communication is still done through a few instant messaging services and voice messaging like Teamspeak.  My phone becomes second fiddle and I’ve never had the need for data, let alone minutes.

Previously, we had the T-mobile Fav 5 plan. This is the one from years back where you pick five numbers and they’re free no matter what time of day you call them.  Nights and weekends were free as well as to fellow T-mobile members.  I even paid my mother $20 a month to get unlimited texting so that I didn’t drive up a bill with my social media habits. Everything seemed to be in tip top shape.  That is until we found out that they no longer carried that plan.

You might be thinking that it’s time to get a new carrier. In actuality, we can’t. You see, we live in a valley and service is limited.  Originally we had a local service until they were bought out, then we tried Verizon Wireless, only to find out they had no signal at all where we lived.  We settled and even enjoyed Cingular until they were bought out (see a pattern much?) by AT&T.  That’s when we got the notice that such a huge company didn’t care about their patrons and were not going to continue our contracts or even offer us new ones because they did not want to offer service to the area.  Wow.

So we found T-Mobile.  Needless to say, we fell in love with them (and I’m not just saying that because it’s the only cell service available), and although they’ve been a little rough around the edges at times (such as when there were talks about them being bought out by AT&T), they’ve truly been trying to be gracious and keep our service.  Thus comes to our situation that happened this week.  My mother called to make a payment and asked if there was possibly another plan that was cheaper than what we had.  She had finally gotten tired of paying over $200 for three lines on a family plan, Fav 5, and unlimited texting.  We found out that there was.

In fact, it ended up that my mother was able to save over $50 a month on the service plan, and add things to our service.  We now have unlimited texting, data, and talking for all three lines on our plan for $50 cheaper.  That’s just.. wow.  I love that.  Once I get a job again, I’ll be able to continue paying my mother the $20 a month just to help out on that bill and take care of my line, but at this moment, she’s cool with me focusing on my stuff.

So unfortunately, because we were technically stuck with same service provider, we just never thought about changing our service plan, thinking it was still up to date.  Sadly, that was not the case, but now that we’ve changed our plan, we have even more, for a lot less money.  And not only that, but I’ll be able to update my very old, 5 year phone for a smart phone.  So check your service plan.  You might be surprised at what you can do in order to get a cheaper price for a better plan.

Count those Raindrops!

-DecMeadow

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A Raindrop – Making Money by Downsizing

As I type this, I’m hearing the sleet pelt against my window and dreading having to run errands tomorrow.  Most likely that experience will spawn a new blog post, so bring it on I say! Bring it on!

One of the places that I’ll be going to tomorrow is the post office.  I have a few packages to ship and it seems that I have had quite a few to ship lately.  Thankfully I haven’t had to go to the post office almost every day like I did leading up to Christmas, but I at least have to go twice a week now.  A big reason for that is the fact that I have been downsizing on my overall collection of stuff. Since I began, I have gotten rid a total of 24 items and have received about $250 for it.  That’s a car payment.

I’m pretty happy with the fact that I am getting rid of this stuff.  I no longer have the space to hold it all, so I’ve been sorting through my items.  Those that I truly enjoy, I keep.  Those I don’t have a use for any longer, I sell on ebay.  Any items that are broken are immediately trashed.  So far things are going slow, but that’s because I’m trying to avoid ebay fees as well as insure the fact that I don’t mix item lots.  I also don’t want all of my items just sitting around waiting to be shipped and causing more chaos in my (ever evolving) organized room.

I have a very large eclectic taste for items.  So if you’re interested in anything Star Wars, Batman, Dragonball Z, or even scrapbooking, I’ll be posting up lots over the next couple of days.  I will also have a few dvd lots that include a couple of 3D movie theater glasses.  Please add me in your watch if you’re interested in any of this.  I’ll be posting a LOT of mixed lots and single items here over the next couple of months.

 

Count those Raindrops!

-DecMeadow


February 2013 Bills Breakdown

Well, it’s that time of the month again.  Time for the bills breakdown.  As you know I was able to cut my budget down to a measly $100 for the month.  Unfortunately, that still didn’t help my output vs. input.  In fact, I still had $130 output over my input.  And you guessed it, my savings account was hit because of it.  In lieu of that, I’m planning on trying cut a few other things back in order to make ends meet this month.  And we’re starting with the bills, as in I’m going to be a little more fiscally conservative with what goes to what this month.

Car loan: $3,467.71. Unfortunately this guy’s principle is going to have be shaved to a bare minimum of $10.  Sadly, I never would have done this unless I absolutely had to make sure that I could survive on $100 in a month, and the only way to do so is to shave some of the extra here to take care of the tiny budget for the rest of the month there.   Sucks.. but this month’s payment will be $261.00.

Credit Cards: Last month, I finished off TWO credit cards! (GO ME!) So in true “snowball” fashion, I’m continuing to do that.  However with the unemployment status and the  fact that I noticed that even with cutting my budget down to only $100 or less (not including the bills obviously), I was still outputting an extra $132 last month more than I was inputting on unemployment.  So instead of adding that additional money that I technically gained from losing the two cards into other cards, I’m going to try to keep my budget

  • Solidarity Visa: $2549.00  Minimum payment: $30.00. This month’s payment will be $30.00.
  • Chase: $1335.01  Minimum payment: $28.00.  This month’s payment will be $28.01.
  • Pay Pal Bill Me Later: $1866.16 Minimum payment: $53.00. This month’s payment will be $53.00. 
  • Amazon Store Card: $801.84  Minimum payment: $25.00. This month’s payment will be $41.84.
  • DressBarn Store Card: $446.97  Minimum payment: $48.00.This month’s payment will be $48.97.
  • Best Buy Mastercard: $179.17  Minimum payment: $15.00.This is still the card that I have been working on eliminating, so this month’s payment will be $40.17.

Total Credit Debt: $7,178.15   Total Payments: $241.99.

This is compared to last month’s credit debt of $7,323.49  and total payments of:  $300.00, which means my debt went down $145.34!  Yay!  Honestly, I’m totally excited that I only have to account for six credit card payments instead of eight.  That, perhaps, is the biggest accomplishment of all to me right now.  I’m kind of hoping that with my upcoming tax return that I will be able to get those two little ones out the way here soon if I have enough after I put away some for June’s car insurance payment.

Now that the big bills are paid off for another six months, I can once again up my payment budget.  I increased it this month to insure that not one, but two credit card balances are completely zero.  Huzzah!

Student Loans:

ECSI: $650.00  Still in grace period.  

Direct Loan:  $18,862.74  Still in grace period.  

I’m still unemployed.. So these are in the works of trying to be deferred at this time.  I’ll let you know if I succeed on that plan.

Other anticipated bills this month:

A bridesmaid dress = $175 approximately.  I’m scared to make such a huge purchase right now.

Complete Total Debt: $30,158.60   Total Payments: $601.00.

This is compared to last month’s $30,585.91 debt total and $601 in payments.  That means in total I have decreased my overall debt by $427.31!  I’m stoked!  Being unemployed has been very frustrating, but I’m excited to see that my focus on spending practically nothing has helped so much in reducing my debt!

Please let it rain!

DecMeadow


Living off a $100 for the Month of January

Alright guys, I know it’s been a week since I last posted, and I apologize for that.  I needed a bit of a break to recharge, as well as get a few other things accomplished.  Now that I’m back, I’ve decided that in the next couple of weeks I’m going to be working pretty hard on making sure I have some posts in the wings in case I need to take a break from the blogging world again. Hopefully I’ll be able to have about a week’s worth of posts in the wings at all times.  That’s one of my goals for February.

Now, as for the actual reason I’m talking to you.. I’d like to celebrate a little accomplishment that occurred in January.  I only lived off a $100 budget.  I should clarify on this, as I know you all are aware of my bills breakdowns that I post every month to help keep me more accountable.  Yes, I spent that money on bills, but the $100 I’m talking about right now is spending money.  This was money that took care of the rest of expenses, including my monthly prescription.  By the time January was over, I actually only spent $96.90.

I actually went under with $3.10 to spare.  Holy crap!

I hadn’t given myself a budget number for the month of January. I only told myself that I would spend as little money as I possibly can. I admit I indulged just a little bit, but I was very happy at the end of the month to see that I only spent this little.  I’m hoping that in the next couple of months that I will be able to keep this budget in order to keep my savings where it’s been: at a stand still.

Again, I feel very proud of myself right now.  Now that I know I can do it, I almost wonder if I could continue the no-spending and see if I can shave off any more.  I’m not sure if I want to risk it, because some of the money that was spent became a bit of a godsend as the items kept me from going stir crazy with cabin fever.  What do you think?  Should I continue to shave the budget?  Or did I do the right thing by being very conservative?

Count those Raindrops!

-DecMeadow


A Raindrop – Amazon Marketplace HURRAY FOR THE CHRISTMAS SEASON!

All I can say is that I am loving the Christmas season right now!  My Amazon Marketplace (which you can access here) is exploding with orders!  Just in the last three weeks, I have sold 110+ items!  That’s awesome!

Now my shop is more of a service honestly.  I sell all sorts of media including dvds, blu-rays, video games, pc games, console games, college textbooks, regular books, games, stickers, toys, whatever I can honestly for people and myself.  When I sell for others, I take a 20% commission fee as I have bulked out my shipping supplies and can save SO much money for others.  Right now, we’re rocking on the video games, dvds, and blu-rays.  So many season box sets are in my inventory and I can’t seem to keep them in stock right now!

Certainly fine by me!  If you’re needing an item, go ahead and check out my shop (DecMeadow’s Shelves) and see if anything interests you or can be a great gift for one of your family members!  Right now this is the biggest source of income I have due to my unemployment status and the more the merrier!

Make sure that you also take a peek at my ebay site as well.  I am trying to downsize on my collections and earn some extra cash to help pay for my bills.  And let’s not forget my art site!

If you want to insure that the item is received by Christmas, the last day to send out is December 19th!  So don’t delay!

Count those Raindrops!

-DecMeadow

P.S. Thanks for all your help and interest guys!  I really appreciate it 🙂


A Raindrop – Cyber Monday Prep & Amazon Marketplace

I hope you all enjoyed your Turkey Day!  Now Black Friday deals are upon us, and I’m taking full advantage considering my lack of income now!

I’m not sure if I’ve told you all this, but I have a store on Amazon.  I started out selling college textbooks for friends and myself while I was in college.  This soon expanded to dvds, music cds, record albums, video games, etc…  People come to me with their items and I sell them on my store and take a 20% commission once they sell after shipping costs.  The past few months have been slow, but because of Black Friday & Cyber Monday, I’m about to be REALLY busy.

The Christmas season is upon us, and I know for sure that I’m going to be swamped with orders.  I barely had started selling dvds and various other items last year and nearly sold $800 worth of items for people last year.  That’s not bad!  This year I have greatly increased my inventory and am hoping that it will do the exact same thing this year.  I can only hope that the economy really is taking a turn for the better.  I really need to make some money right now.

If you’re wanting to find some deals or see what I currently have online at my store, please go check out DecMeadow’s Shelves.  New items are being added every day at this point, so check often.  I would greatly appreciate your business!

Do you have a side business that you’re trying to grow?  Let me know!  Have any tips or want to sell something through me?  Again, let me know!

Count those Raindrops!

DecMeadow


A Raindrop – Overtime

Yay, Money!  I have been getting a lot of overtime lately, and my paycheck is giving me lots of gifts for it.  Even though it seems that every week I’m going into overtime for some random thing or another, I have found that I can’t rely on this all the time.  It’s great extra few bucks every week, and I try to make sure that it’s accounted for in my budget sheet because of that.

The only negative side to this is that I’m putting in a lot more hours that I don’t necessarily think is required, but when the boss offers the OT, I try to jump on it.  Of course… that’s if I have slept more than five hours when she calls my cell in the morning after a second shift and wired-filled night on the computer and reading.

Very short post, but I need to address this:

Facebook has recently only been allowing 10-15% of one’s friends and viewers to be able to see posts in their feeds.   They now want to make money this way by having people pay to promote.  So here is a simple request:  Please subscribe by email or RSS feed to this blog.  Follow me on Twitter.    Because I can probably guarantee that you may not be seeing my Monday and Friday posts on Facebook about the updates to Rainy Day.  Also, please share or like that post!  It gets better chances of being seen that way.

Thank you my readers!  I really appreciate and love seeing the traffic that this blog generates on a daily basis (5-10 and 15-25 on update days).  Let’s try and make it more!

Count those raindrops!

DecMeadow.