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Love & Peace!! (Yeah I just got done watching some Trigun...)
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All entries for 2006
12/26/2006: My 3 day weekend.

12/23/2006: Gift giving.

12/22/2006: Mind of Mencia

12/19/2006

12/16/2006: Where have I been?

12/09/2006: Only the minimum.

12/08/2006: untitled

12/07/2006: untitled

12/05/2006: Public restroom experience.

12/04/2006: Closer to my goal!

12/02/2006: Baffled.

12/01/2006: Where has my week gone?

12/01/2006: Why me?

11/30/2006: Wash your hands.

11/28/2006: Something is very wrong...

11/25/2006: Do you dream in different languages?

11/22/2006: Sex, deception and Taiwanese vs. Japanese.

11/22/2006: Psychos, houses and mother-in-laws who can be considered psycho.

11/20/2006: Big trucks + me driving = 90% change of accident

11/17/2006: Blogmad.net

11/16/2006: WTF!

11/15/2006: Angel and Vic Zhou

11/15/2006: Vengeance is best served slow.

11/14/2006: There needs to be a time limit rule...

11/13/2006: Mars.

11/10/2006: Where is the rain!

11/09/2006: The cleaning ninja!

11/08/2006: Confession is good for the soul.

11/07/2006: Over priced movies and kids.

11/06/2006: Marie Antoinette.

11/03/2006: Uneasiness

11/02/2006: Dirty looks...

11/02/2006: Menopause Fairy where are you?

11/01/2006: WOOT!!

10/31/2006: All in a name...

10/31/2006: I feel the love!

10/30/2006: Personal space.

10/29/2006: Finally done!

10/29/2006: Password protected recipe.

10/28/2006: Almost there.

10/27/2006: Appropriate gifts.

10/27/2006: untitled

10/26/2006: Behold the power of QVC!

10/25/2006: Do you want fries with that?

10/24/2006: Random thoughts.

10/20/2006: Fickle and can’t seem to learn...

10/18/2006: I want...

10/13/2006: Finding happiness in hectic times.

10/11/2006: Being responsible SUCKS!!

10/04/2006: And then there was none...

09/30/2006: Only to be single...

09/22/2006: Free at last!

09/14/2006: My mom always did tell me not to stare at people...

09/12/2006: Manga, homeless, Jun <3 and lack of sleep.

09/10/2006: Karma.

09/07/2006: His ears must have been burning.

09/06/2006: Bangs head against wall...

08/31/2006: Hot water.

08/22/2006: No pain, no gain!

08/17/2006: Mixed feelings...

08/15/2006: Buyer beware and why I dislike UPS!

08/09/2006: Hobo Stew.

08/07/2006: Oh to be so close and yet so far away...

08/06/2006: "I long for you." It's a compound of love with zero impurities.

08/05/2006: In need of a maid...anyone willing to work for free?

08/04/2006: Say WHAT?!

08/03/2006: Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho…Back to work I go!

08/02/2006: Is there a doctor in the house?

07/30/2007 10:44 PM
Living within your means.

A co-worker of mine gave me the article below and after the couple of blogs that etheracide made I figured I should post it. (This is going to be a long blog, skip to the bottom if you want to just read the aritcle.) I'm actually shocked that I'm thought of as horrible because I think it's chicken shit that I should feel sorry because he went to school which he couldn't afford and took out loans that he couldn't afford. If I had known him at the time I would have advised him against it. It's really all about living within your means. When my husband and I got together WE decided that since we could only AFFORD for ONE of us to go to school it would be him. I'd hate to break it to him, but I'm not stupid and I know that property tax includes the education for the schools in the city you live in. I live in Clovis for crying out loud and have been told many times if I think about buying a home here I need to consider how much money they put into public education here. So now you're saying we should not only pay for K-12th grade, but also people's college education? Why? There are plenty of other ways people can get money from the gov. or the schools they apply to.

It's not society's job to hold anyone's hand and get them to be their best. It's the person's parents when they are younger and as they get older (junior high/high school) they need to be the ones pushing themselves to be whoever they want to be. It's not my mom's job, she's a teacher, to push her students to want to become more. It's her job to teach them and get them to know and learn as much as she can. If you always have someone pushing you and making you be something then you will never learn to push yourself. You will never push yourself and fuel your own will power to the point of wanting to be something more or better. In fact it may end up back firing.

I feel bad for people who fall on hard times, but I will never feel sorry for people who make their debt and then say society should have helped them avoid those costs. If you are mature enough to go to college then you should have been mature enough to think of what the outcome of those loans would have been. A large debt that would take a long time to pay off. I've worked my butt off ever since I got out of high school. I have credit card debt, car loans, a school loan, etc. I pay them without complaint (Ok, so I was pissed about how my car insurance raised when I moved 40 miles closer to work.) because I made those choices. I picked out the cars we have. We made purchases on our credit cards knowing full well that we'd have to pay them back with interest. Luckily because we are both making a decent amount it's gotten a lot better, but when I was the only one working times were very hard. I almost laughed when one home loan person said he needed to tell me that once my husband and I are earning 100K a year you can't claim the PMI on your income taxes...and he was sure that was going to be soon. Either he knew about a raise that I'll be getting in my review or he thought I was doing a much different job then I am. We aren't even half way to that amount by the way.

Right now the US does not pay for anything higher then High school. This does not mean that you can't get free college education. There are grants, scholorships, loans, etc. Our new receptionist went to Fresno State instead of the college of her choice because they offered a full scholorship. If you live in the US research every cent you can get from schools and our gov. and get anything you can. Don't apply for it months ahead make sure it will get to them by the first date they start considering people. I'm guessing you didn't work during high school. I grew up with and new many schoolmates who worked while going to school. They HAD to. It's great to get a college education, but think before doing it. If you're going to need to take out student loans for your first two years go to a city college. If you missed the deadlines for grants, scholorships, etc. wait until you can apply for everything. Waiting one year for your AA won't change anything. Instead work for that year and save as much as you can for what you want.

Also if you take out school loans pay them while in school. A novel thought I know, but well worth it. Even if it's just a little bit it will chip away at some of the loan so it won't be so big when you get out. The interest on most school loans is less then most personal loans and they pushed at least me to take out more then I did because the interest is cheaper. I didn't need more so I only took out exactly what I needed. I went to college and I made small monthly payments on my student loan. Because of that I was able to pay it off in 2 years making only the minimum payments amount. (We're still paying off my husband's student loan and we probably won't for many more years to come.) I also know many people who went to school and worked, I know I did. They only took the classes they could AFFORD to take or they saved up until they could afford classes!

It's no secret I want a house, but I'm not jumping in without thinking though. I've received a ton of different type of loan quotes figuring out what's best for us. What will work out the best for us. Luckily a co-worker of mine has taught me a lot, but it's part of researching what you want. There are always hidden costs in everything and only those who have bought a new track type home will know the things my co-worker has told me. I know how much we can afford. I know how much we want to spend. We want to be able to save. We want to put in so much money for credit cards since just because we'll have them paid off doesn't mean we won't use them again. If we can't get things paid off in time then we won't be getting a house. We won't buy the house and hope everything is always ok. We both have worked very hard to raise our credit to ruin it by buying a house we really couldn't afford.

Time for bed. Time has definitely gotten away from me.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

TheStreet .com
10 Commandments of Personal Finance
Thursday July 26, 10:42 am ET
By Jeffrey Strain, Special to TheStreet.com

For some people, getting personal finances in order is more grueling than wandering the desert for 40 years.

But it doesn't take a miracle. If you are looking for some basic guidelines, just follow these 10 commandments:

1. Thou Shalt Take Action
Reading about how to improve your personal finances is a start, but it has absolutely no meaning if you don't take the action of putting what you learn into motion. Before you can get anywhere with your personal finances, you need to begin -- right now. If you are reading this article, you know that you should be taking steps to get your personal finances in order.

Print out this list and place it where you will see it every day, so that you are reminded that personal finance is a priority in your life and that you will take some action each and every day to try to improve your lot. If you aren't sure where to begin, start with getting your banking accounts in order.

2. Thou Shalt Pay Off All Credit Card Debt
Credit card debt is, in most cases, the No. 1 enemy to your personal finances. It can have a huge negative effect if your credit card bills are not paid off in full every single month.

Sit down and work out a plan to pay off any credit card debt that you currently have, using the snowball method that best fits your personality. Make this a top priority.

3. Thou Shalt Understand the Difference Between Wants and Needs
To keep your personal finances in perspective, you need to understand the difference between wants and needs. There is nothing inherently wrong with small luxuries, and you should be able to enjoy many of the nonessential things you have. But it is important to realize that wants are not needs. If you master this skill, your finances will be in much better shape.

Take some time to critically look at your true needs vs. your wants. If you are having trouble distinguishing these, set up a plan to eliminate impulse spending.

4. Thou Shalt Live on Less Than You Earn
There are no two ways around this one. If you want to keep your personal finances in order, you need to live on less money than you make. That means either purchasing items and services that are less than you currently make, or figuring out a way to increase your salary so that you can spend more, but still less than you make. Either of these is perfectly fine.

Track your spending to see if it is more or less than you are earning each month, and create a budget so that you can continue to track it in the future. If you are spending more than you make, you need to decide whether to curb unnecessary costs or figure out how to increase your income. Most people can balance their budget without changing their current lifestyle.

5. Thou Shalt Pay Yourself First
Before you pay any of your other bills, you should pay yourself a minimum of 10% of your take home pay. This money is not part of your monthly spending budget.

Go to your bank and set it up so that your paycheck is automatically deposited, if possible. Then set it up so that an automatic payment is immediately taken from your paycheck into a specified account that is not used for your monthly expenses.

6. Thou Shalt Set Financial Goals
In order to reach your financial goals, you need to know what those goals are. Nobody can determine these goals except for you. You need to take the time to figure out exactly what your financial goals are so that you can take the needed steps to reach then?.

If you don't know specifically what you financial goals are for this year, next year and 10 years from now, take the steps needed to create them.

7. Thou Shalt Educate Yourself and Be Responsible for Your Decisions
While it may be more convenient to hand over all your money matters to somebody else, you will not do this. Part of being financially responsible is having the final say in all decisions about your money. That does not mean that you can't seek out advice and get opinions on your finances, but in the end your money is your responsibility, and you are the only one who is going to truly look after your own interests. If you have designated someone else to take care of your finances, begin to take back control. No matter what, spend an hour or two each week reading articles on personal finance subjects or visiting Web communities where you can ask questions.

8. Thou Shalt Save and Invest
Take the money that you pay yourself first and either save or invest it to make it grow and work for you in the future

If you are carrying credit card debt, invest in it first. But also make sure to take full advantage of the saving and investing opportunities that are available. If your company matches 401(k) contributions, contribute up to the match and try to maximize your Roth IRA contribution. Make sure you have an emergency fund.

9. Thou Shalt Protect Your Finances
You will take the necessary steps, usually through insurance, to make sure that your assets are protected in case of a disaster.

Take the time to make sure that all your assets are properly insured, and re-evaluate this every few years or whenever a major life change occurs, such as marriage or a new addition to the family. Also be sure to compare insurance rates on a regular basis, since this is a competitive business.

10. Thou Shalt Donate to Worthy Causes and Those Less Fortunate
No matter how desperate your finances may appear, if you are reading this article there are a lot of people that are far worse off than you are in the world. It's important to nurture a sense of giving and to be thankful for the small things that you do have. That means donating to worthy causes on a regular basis.

Find a few causes that you believe in, and give to them generously. Don't assume that money is the only way that you can give. Volunteering time and skills are also appreciated by most charitable organizations. You can research organizations at Web sites such as Charity Watch. If you don't know where to begin, three that you may want to consider are Kiva, Modest Needs and Doctors Without Borders.

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07/29/2007 9:05 AM
Couldn't sleep.

So I didn't fall asleep until a little after 2:30am PST or more and then I woke up at 6something am and then again a short while ago. It's hard putting my thoughts together. Today is the day for my mom's open house. I don't think our realtor promoted the open house like she should have since they aren't that big of a deal in Fresno/Clovis. They are in Madera though. I hope everything goes well since the sooner she sells her house the better for us.

I was sure I gave Nuttz a link to the new homes I want to live in, but seems I didn't. We are most likely going to buy their Camden one story. It's cheaper, still very nice and plenty of room for my husband and I. It would be really nice if we could buy their Primrose series. It's kind of funny that these are two of their cheapest homes and yet I love the floor plans and layouts of these the best. The other homes I am going to look into are the Bonadelle homes and the McMillin homes. A co-worker told me how she used to play softball/baseball on the corner across from where the McMillin homes are built and the neighbordhood wasn't very good at all. It makes me question the neighborhood. Is it really safe or does it just look safe. They aren't in a gated community so it makes me wonder. It would also mean we'd need a security system to get the same home insurance discount we would in the Wathen and Castanos homes. Also while the Wathen and Castanos homes are farther from both of our work there are freeways nearby. The other two homes are just farther and the freeways aren't very close by.

It's all just a waiting game right now. If we can't get the money together in time then we're stuck. I've been looking at older homes and it's sad. The ones I like are too far away or in a crap neighborhood. The ones in the right neighborhood are going for the same price or more then a new home. It's crazy if you ask me. I refuse to buy an older home for the same cost of a new one!

I never got my review before the President went on vacation. Now I have to wait for a week until he returns and even then it's still up in the air about when it will happen. At least I'm not worried at work about it, but I'm sure once he comes back that will all change and I'll be the stressed out nervous wreck I was before he left. I can't help, but worry about it since I've been screwing up lately. It seems that he wasn't told about them though since I kind of mentioned how I have screwed up lately and my boss who talked to me those times gave me a "don't say anything about it" type of look. I figured the President knew since...well he's the President. I guess he doesn't.

I got to see the inside of where my office will be moving to. It's nice, but it's going to be a pain going to and from work. It's a long drive so I'll have to take my lunch everyday or eat out, no more going home and watching Star Trek Voyager episodes. *sigh* My space will not be cut, but everyone who has an office right now will. I have a feeling that my desk top space will be cut down a lot. While the square cubicals have more room, they have less desk top space. I need my desk top space! I'll just have to make due, like I had to when I was promoted. I miss my reception desk since it had a TON of space.

Ok enough of my ramblings. Time to clean the house and do some laundry before my mom comes over today. I'm going to drag her around to some homes to get her opinion of them since my husband hates to window shop and he really hates to window shop for homes. He wants us to pay off more on our credit cards before we think of buying a house. He's right and we will, but if we can afford to do it why not? It will take 1-2 months for the escrow so by the time we've bought the house I hope to have 2-3 of our credit cards paid off.

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