Blast from 5 years ago

I have never mentioned that I attempted to keep a budget blog before, have I? (Fun fact: I actually didn’t remember this briefly-kept journal!  I just got an email yesterday when it received its first comment ever.  It was spam.)

I recently stumbled on an old blog I kept for about 3 months in 2005. I find my cluelessness so completely charming, and I thought I’d share it with everyone!  Lots of mistakes here, just for proof that I didn’t spring fully-formed from my father’s forehead like the Athena of personal finance.  Some of my best learning experiences came from mistake I made early on.


So here are a few basics about me for all zero people currently reading this journal:

* I’m 22 and I just graduated from college with an engineering degree from a Big 10 school.

* I am currently unemployed, living with my parents, and frittering away my savings.

* I have a boyfriend who’s pretty much in the same boat as me.

* I love Excel and I like making up a budget every month. Right now the only things on my budget are bar money and my cell phone bill, but I suspect that will change when I get my first job.

* I suspect I’ll be taking on a lot of debt in the future, and this will be a good place to record how I plan to deal with it and when I actually meet my goals.



I have 2 job offers pending right now.

One is in Seattle, Washington. I would be designing hydraulics systems. It’s weird, though, because I only briefly talked to a recruiter about it. I wish they could give me some more information about the job.

The other job is in Southern California. There are a couple of people I will be working under, and they are all super, super nice. After my interview, they took me out to dinner and insisted I order drinks and dessert. Then they organized my flights so I could see my sister while I was out there. The only problem is that the job is in their Quality organization. I think I want to work on something more technical.

So, Seattle:
+ It’s pretty!
+ Design is definitely the area I’m most interested in!
– I’m just not that into hydraulics.
– I don’t really know anyone in the area.
– My future boss didn’t even try to contact me until I requested it. How weird is that??

+ California just sounds cooler!
+ This is the industry I want to be in!
– It’s quality.
+ It’s mainly about getting a foot in the door, though.
+ My bosses are fun!
+ They want to pay me $60K!!!
– Although that’s probably because the cost of living is so high.
++++ I’ll be near my sister.



Ladies and Gentlemen,

I’m moving to California! [insert California-related song lyrics]



I just applied for my first official credit card!

It has a 0% interest rate until November. Do you know what this means? Business casual clothes shopping spree!

Okay, in the interest of being faithful to my screen name, I guess I’ll have to disclaim that statement. I honestly do believe in budgeting and saving money. But since this card has 0% interest, it’s really the most cost-effective option at this point. So instead of having to spent the minimal amount of money I have right now, I can put it on the card and make the minimum payments. This should be cheaper, right?

I’m not starting work until September, there’s no way I can afford my current lifestyle until my first paycheck unless I do this.



I found the most perfect apartment ever! It’s one of three units in a little white house with blue shutters. And — get this! — it’s only one block from the ocean!

The price is a little steep – $1350 per month for one bedroom – but it is seriously the most perfect apartment ever! And hopefully Chad (my boyfriend) will be able to find a job here as well. We practically lived together in college anyway, so we could share a bedroom.

Anyway, I’m crossing my fingers that I get this apartment!!



I’m pretty bored at work at the moment, but this just gives me time to sit and look at the balance in my 401K. My company matches up to 6%, so I’m putting in 8% so I can get the full match. It has made $2.34 since my first!official!paycheck! that I got last Thursday.

It’s really sad how much got taken out for taxes. Nearly $700, *poof* gone!

I broke down and had to ask my parents for money. It sucks because the down payment for the Dream Apartment was $1350, partial first month’s rent was $675, plus I have to start up all the utilities, which is nearly $150 in deposits. My company gave me an allowance o cover a lot of those costs, but things are looking pretty tight.

I also bought a car. It’s a new 2006 Toyota Corolla. I know you’re not supposed to buy new cars, but since I’m a girl and know virtually nothing about cars, I didn’t want to get a lemon. Because you know I would buy the car that doesn’t start if a salesman was nice to me. I got it for a decent price, with a sweet sound system thrown in, in this seafoam-green type color. I think I’m getting hosed on the interest, though. 10.95%. Ouch.

(I must confess, this is my own fault. This random bill came, apparently Verizon didn’t forward any of my bills after my SOPHOMORE YEAR IN COLLEGE, so now there’s a debt collection after me. I did give them a forwarding address! It’s only $33 or so, but it’s just so stupid that I have to pay for that company’s mistakes. So a check for $33 has been dispatched. I’ve learned my lesson: just because you give a forwarding address doesn’t mean that Verizon will send anything there. Maybe in a few months I can refinance my car.)

In good news, money-wise, love-wise, and life-wise, Chad got offered a job during his visit out here. I have a roommate!



Right now I’m pretty worried about money.

I put my car bill somewhere, and now I can’t find it! While this might not have been such a problem if I had already paid one (since I plan to use online billpay from Wachovia for all my bills!), I have no idea where to send the check.

Also, they gave me a big bunch of paperwork to fill out, but I never did. They haven’t said anything to me (and really, I think they’ll only need it if I default on the loan, which I am NOT doing), but I’m worried that if I wait too long they’ll send someone after me. Logically I know this is far-fetched, but I can’t help but worry.

I need to make bigger payments on my car. This interest rate is just not on. I need to pay back my Mom and Dad for the loan they gave me. I have had to ask for a reprieve for the past 2 months, and while I know they probably don’t mind because, duh, I’ve only been working for a month so far and of course I have no money, I still hate owing people money.

Of course, we all know that I didn’t get that credit card paid off until almost a year after I started working. And that I refinanced the car after a year and paid the whole thing off after two year (said car has just had it 5th birthday. Yay car!).  And that the apartment – which really could have been the biggest financial mistake since it ate up half of my take-home pay – was amazing and we lived there for four years.


3 Responses

  1. You are so cute.

  2. I second that. You’re adorable.

    (Also, I never read my old stuff. Makes me cringe..)

  3. LoL I loved reading stuff from your old self. Also – crazy how much of what you said is like the RECIPE for financial craziness!

    I particularly smiled and then sighed at this:

    “It has a 0% interest rate until November. Do you know what this means? Business casual clothes shopping spree!”

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