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.

22nd-May-2005

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.

 

15th-Jun-2005

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??

SoCal:
+ 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.

 

15th-Jun-2005

Ladies and Gentlemen,

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

 

23rd-Jul-2005

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.

 

6th-Sep-2005

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!!

 

29th-Sep-2005

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!

 

9th-Oct-2005

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.

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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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