Monday, October 18, 2010

Stalk, much?

I have to admit. I'm a bit of a stalker. (please don't judge)

I haphazardly happened upon a person's identity who may (or may not) have taken a position I interviewed for last year. Once I stumbled upon that person, it was not even a question of whether or not I should... I just did look up another position for a completely different company I interviewed for. It felt weird trying to figure out and look up these random people. Finding out things about them and seeing photos of them. But I felt justified in knowing that they were in some way "better" to these companies, these hiring managers, than I was (at the time... *smirk*).

Google yielded me the regular social media and networking sites. I weighed their qualifications and could see how they may have appeared to be better than me. Of course who knows how they interviewed. I didn't necessarily wow the socks off of anyone.

I have to admit, it was a little like finding past boyfriends and comparing yourself to the women they married. You have a critical eye and believe you're getting somewhere with your actions. But once the evaluation is done, you don't feel any better about yourself.

Perhaps I should start my New Year's Resolutions early and vow to never look back. Do people really accomplish that feat?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Onward and Upward

Despite our recession, marriage is still in full force. And I believe it.

How do people get married? Just up and one day decide to join everything that's hanging out and wrap it with a great big bow? During my past relationships, I have had so many friends meet, date, plan and then follow through with a wedding... in the time my relationships have just stalled into neutral and coasted into a ditch. Now I am beginning to wonder if there's something wrong with me. Or the people I choose. Or perhaps I'm too lenient with their way fare ways. (Or perhaps I over-think these things...)

When I was little, I thought I was unlovable. Literally. Those words are written somewhere in an old middle school diary. I remember writing about how I feared that no one would ever be able to love me, all of me. I'm not sure where that came from. I wasn't the most popular kid in school and was very self-critical. Could this be self-inflicting? I remember a pattern of sabotaging relationships early in college (now that was mature, wasn't it?). Haven't seen that rear its ugly head recently. Perhaps now I'm just choosing the wrong people. But isn't that answer a little too easy?

And it's not like I have to get married to move on with my life. Or technically to become an adult. Though it would just be nice to know that someone thought I was lovable. All of me.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The end/beginning

I've ended it with the person I was seeing. Reflecting back, I see myself as a better person before I met him. True, there were some serious upheavals in my life during our time together. And I may have been the person I am regardless of our involvement, but I feel better without him. A little worn for the wear, but better. Freer. More me.

I don't want to vent or digress, but he wasn't getting me to where I need to be. He was distracting me (and himself) instead of moving forward. It just took me a little time to figure that out. I feel like I give everyone time and none extra is given to me. Time runs out.

I made a list of goals yesterday and ways to achieve them were defined. I want to go in the right direction and speed my life up. There was a time when everything was hectic and at the same time lovely and enjoyable. I feel like I'm trudging through molasses these days.

I had some wine tonight and that's relaxed me. It also gave the sniffles... hmmph.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Life isn't fair

Another wonderful life has been snuffed out. A beautiful person who carried with her a piece of my being has left us all. Yet again, the shroud of protection around me from birth is being chipped away and left open to the cold. I'm not replacing people or places or things. I'm clinging to the past, the love, the warmth.

The more people leave and depart, whether voluntary or involuntary, the more inward I turn. Licking my own wounds is easier to do than expecting others to do it. I'm a sad, sad person right now. I mourn her life, as well as everything that she represented: the ones who have gone before. All that could have been, all that was and all that was supposed to be. Plans are cancelled. Dreams stunted. Time stops when someone leaves. It's silent for just a moment and then WHOOSH! the world passes the event by and it's suddenly yesterday's news. I wish it would just slow down and provide me with time to grieve.

Saturday, July 3, 2010


I am where I am right now due to all of the choices and decisions made in my past and where I will go will for the most part depend on all of the planning I have completed for the future.

While I do not take my current situation for granted, I am not as content as I think I could be. The true definition for me of unhappiness is thinking there is a place better than the one you're in. I never planned to have my life the way it is now and perhaps that's why it is the way it is now.

I work hard. I am a nice person. I don't take huge risks. I have grown to believe in myself. I am independent. I don't know when I will be able to relax and be content with my life. It just is. And I accept it. It's not better than my father's or my grandfather's life. In many ways, it's actually worse. I feel like they worked in vain trying to make my life better, easier, more "whatever". And I have squandered it by not planning and not knowing. In a way, not caring.

I've made poor decisions by not deciding.

Being paralyzed by fear and rejection, embarrassment and ridicule. From people I don't even like or care about.

I thought my life would be so different than it is now. Ask me how and I don't know the details. I just feel like I am spinning my wheels.

Monday, June 7, 2010

A late fee and a revelation

So I have a late fee since I haven't paid my one (count it, people, ONE!!!!) actively used credit card on time. I seriously don't have a clue what happened. You would think with only one card, I would remember to pay on time and in full. Oh well. I will call them tonight and work something out. I checked online and the last time I paid late (and called and got the late charge taken off) was after Christmas 2008. January, to be exact. So at least it's not recent.

In other news, I was looking through some old photos of myself and realized that I don't look the same as before. Before what? Before everything. The layoff, the family issues, the pain, the stress, the sleeping too much replaced by the sleeping too little, the not eating right, the not exercising. My skin doesn't glow anymore, my hair is blah. In a way, everything that has happened to me could not go unnoticed to my appearance. I just didn't realize how much it had.

I used to look at people like me and think "Gosh, what happened?" Life, that's what happens.

I got excited about something so small this weekend: planning it and making choices. It felt so foreign yet so good. I think when my life became dictated by everyone else, I sort of gave up making choices and making myself feel better. I guess that should be my goal for the next month: Make more decisions and feel more in control of my life and thus, happier.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Update on Goal Progress

I feel that I'm seriously slipping. I haven't been true to my spending goals as well as my social goals. I just want to hide away (I prefer "hibernate") and eat lots of take-out. I have freezers full of great food but I am always too tired to cook.

[is that a whine I hear?]

I've made some progress with socializing, but nowhere near where I need to be. I keep trying to put myself out there, but so much has happened in my life that I constantly feel like no one (except bf) really understands me. I feel like I'm receiving acceptance, they just don't understand me.

I don't want to venture out of my cocoon. Is that really so bad?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

No winning, but no losing either

Well, I didn't win.

I had to close the FIA card. However, the last customer service rep I spoke with took some pity on me and decided to move over most of the available credit to another card I have that is also linked to their company (oy... so many cards, so few companies). So I will have a closed (albeit by the consumer) card on my record, but still maintain the amount of available credit.

So I guess I haven't lost anything, either.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Card Troubles

Well, it's happened. I was sent a notice late last year and now it's taking effect.

My FIA card is charging an annual fee.

I have not gone down peacefully.

I've been on the phone with six (yes, SIX) different "customer service associates"who claim different stories for why my card was even chosen for an annual fee. Some say it's because I don't have accounts with the bank. Some say "someone else makes that decision" and then when I ask to be forwarded to that person or people, they somehow can't figure out where to send me. Some say they have no clue why my card was chosen and side with me on the reasoning that I don't deserve a fee. Still others claim less than 1% of users were chosen to pass extra charges onto. (Lucky ME! I don't win anything except the very best prizes)

They all tell me I will have to close the account to see the fee disappear. Oy vey.

Let's clear some things up, first of all. (this is similar to my nicely phrased rant to all of these "customer service associates":

- I have great credit (okay, not perfect, but nothing absolutely terrible)
- I use this card (as in, all the time)
- I've paid interest in the low double digits on this card since I've had it
- I've had this card for over 10 years (it was one of my very first)
- This card does not offer any benefits (the whole point of an annual fee)
- I don't usually pay this card off every month
- FIA makes more money on my interest each year than they would with my annual fee

I don't want to close this account, because I have a high available balance and a 10 year track record. Differing reports online tell me it won't ding my credit score that badly or it will take a while for any dinging to seriously affect my score. I just don't want to be forced into closing an account.

One service representative tried to break the annual fee down into months and tell me it "isn't really that much". I nearly died. My response was along the lines of: "Well, hey why don't we break it down into days or minutes or even seconds... it's still the same amount per year!!" Are these people really that dense? It's as though she was trying to make me feel stupid for arguing about "so little an amount". Of course, I had to use her own argument against her and said "Well, if it's such a small amount, why do I have to pay it? Why doesn't FIA pay it for me?" To which she daftly replied: "This is our policy on annual fees". I swear I could hear a breeze blow through her brain. She was just that dumb. Or just that bad at customer service.

I just want to WIN. It's not really even about the annual fee, now. It's about breaking them down.

If I cannot win and I have to close this account. I vow to never EVER use FIA again. I got their card when I was young and impressionable (a market they're losing out on now). They dropped me when they didn't care for me anymore (aka: couldn't make enough money off of me). My only move after 'losing' would be to boycott them. For the rest of my wonderful life.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Big Level Off (or Current Net Worth Approximation)

After updating this month's net worth, my graph is beginning to level off. Up 0.59% from last month. Paying off (mostly all of) my credit cards has certainly decreased my liabilities (yay!). My retirement account depreciated a bit. Hmm... It's currently at a previous employer and I'm not sure what I want to do with it.

I remember calling the retirement company and asking if I had to make a decision by a certain date or forfeit my funds. Upon hearing that I didn't have to make a decision, I literally squealed. No joke. The woman on the other end must have thought I was crazy. I guess I like not having to make serious decisions on someone else's timeline. I like to make decisions when I want to. Deciding when to make this is all the fun!

Soon, there will be a new feature to my blog. It will stay a secret for now (it's still in the works). But it will provide more of a peek into my personal life and my goals and dreams. I can't wait to surprise you!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Not quite done yet...

I was so excited to have paid off my credit cards, I forgot about the residual interest monster. Creeping in to ruin my perfect zero balances. Arriving in light-as-air envelopes. There's no way to escape them. They come in small one and two digit numbers. But they'll make you whip out a check of log in once more to the card site after you thought you were all done.

So far today, I've called three companies and had the best luck with Capital One. $20-something: poof! Gone! It appears I perform better earlier in the day with women rather than later in the day with men. Some of them are so matter-of-fact: "That's legitimate interest... you're supposed to pay that." I'm doing my best to act dumb to get out of these little inconveniences. I know it may still be my responsibility, but I am willing to keep calling. To reach a woman. Earlier in the day. Who will erase them. Forever.

In other news, I was alerted by Mint that I had a $99 annual fee on a completely different card. Interesting. I don't pay annual fees. Especially on cards without points or miles or doodads. What's the point? Again, I reached a man (a gruff man, at that) who proclaimed that I was sent a notice back in October to the effect of this change. After confirming my address with me, he insisted that I must have received it. I demanded that I heard nothing of the sort. In all honesty, the mail he's talking about probably got shuffled away with all of those resumes and job offers. I had bigger fish to fry at that time.

So I will have to pay off and close that account. Bummer. I will try to call tomorrow and reach a woman or a manager and wave my long credit history in their faces. The only caveat is this card used to be with my bank and then it was sold to another creditor. So they don't know of my long history and clout with the bank. This could get ugly.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Goals for 2010

I'm jumping on the bandwagon and creating goals.

[I guess if all the other bloggers were jumping off their proverbial bridges, so then would I]

I don't usually do this sort of thing, especially in the financial realm. Well, I have more short-term goals. Such as, get a paycheck, pay my bills, get a paycheck, pay my bills. I do believe goals would help me reach my full (financial) potential, though.

Backstory: Before attending a recent wedding, I read up on some blogs about the exorbitant costs involved in destination weddings. So I decided to budget and save the amount I needed in cash before charging up a card. It was fun to put together the spreadsheet, figure out the amounts for the different travel options and have an exact number to aim at saving. While I didn't reach my goal of saving the entire amount (bummer! but I got very close), it was actually a fun challenge to see how much I frugalize to make my budgeted goal.

Side note: friend and I are not that close anymore and it's really fun to vent (quietly to myself) the exact amount I spent being there for her on her special day while she's not really here for me now. Just a tip for the future, ladies (and gents!).

So here goes my fun goals!
Personal Savings
I would like to have at least $15,000 in personal savings at the end of the year. This would be roughly an 8-12 month emergency fund.

Credit Card Debt
I will not accrue any credit card debt for this calendar year. (barring any emergencies!)
I will use cash as much as humanly possible.

Student Loans
I will pay off at least half of my student loans ($9k) by the end of this year.

There. That should give me something to measure in 12 months.

As for personal goals, here are what I am aiming for:
Lose Weight
Who isn't listing this one? okay, you with your hand up, I officially hate you!

Make New Friends
This may be hard to balance with my financial goals since friendships do seem to leak my funds. (gifts, lunches, dinners, etc.)
Be a Better Friend to Those Who Are Already My Friend
As easy as a phone call, as hard as just being there. I need to reward those who already love me.

Simplify Life
I sometimes make it a habit to make things harder for myself, instead of easier. Here's a reminder to not torture myself this year.

Organize my Surroundings
This is the work that will lead to simplifying my life. I am always losing things and waste valuable time searching for the most inane things. Why not just organize ahead of time to avoid this wasted time and energy? Methinks others do this already. I was just born and bred to be messy and somewhat enjoy the challenge (but certainly not the stress) of having to find things in a pressured situation.

Okay, so wow. Those personal ones are not very measurable. Perhaps I should set up monthly milestones to achieve for those.