Becoming Jill: Adventures in Adulthood

Progress Report: Week One
March 16, 2010, 12:23 pm
Filed under: money | Tags: ,

So, I’ve been at this whole blogging and accountability thing for a week now, so I figured I’d let you all know how I’ve been doing with getting my life in order.

Happily, there’s a lot of good news to report!

As I wrote earlier this morning in my cathartic rant, my food support was re-established! This is great news, as until I had my inaugural trip to Aldi’s last week, I hadn’t gotten food since early January. I am looking forward to once again being able to have fresh food and veggies in my diet on a regular basis!

I found a cheaper cell plan! My friend Chandra helpfully commented on my earlier post, and told me to look into Credo Mobile. I had never heard of them, so I did a bit of investigating, and came up with all kinds of good news. Credo is paying the fee to break my contract with Verizon ($155!), giving me a free phone (with 2-year contract), and reducing my bill by about $60 per month. They lease air space from Sprint, so I am not concerned about having bad service. I’ve spoken to their customer service people about 5 times this week, and every single person has been very polite, knowledgeable, helpful, and a native English speaker! I am really excited to get started— my new phone should arrive in the mail tomorrow. I will miss my fancy Android phone, but beggars can’t be choosers! 😉 Another great thing about Credo is that they donate a percentage of their profits to non-profit organizations, and the users get to vote for their favorites!

My forbearance request on my student loan was finally approved! I am not quite sure why it was never approved the previous two times I applied, but hey! If it saves me 80 bucks a month, who am I to argue?

I did my taxes all by myself! This may not seem like a big deal, but I have never done my taxes before. I always thought it was scary and complicated, but it’s really not, especially if you don’t have much income! I was able to e-file my federal taxes for free, but I have to do my state taxes by hand to save money. Karen says that I don’t get to spend money to make my life easier, and since she’s the financial guru, I have to do what she says… I was putting off doing the taxes because I was afraid I would owe a bunch of money I couldn’t pay (sound familiar?) but instead I actually get a pretty nice refund! Minnesota refunds renters a percentage of their rent payments, which helps. Go Minnesota! Instead of just throwing my refund at my credit card bill, I will divide it by 12 and use a portion of it each month to pad out my budget.

There’s a little bit of not-so-good news, too, but the good happily outweighs the bad. I was hoping to sell plasma to earn a little bit of extra cash each month, but when I went in for my first appointment, I was rejected because my veins are too small! It was quite frustrating, because I was really counting on using that money to balance my budget. Unfortunately, I can’t really will my veins to increase in circumference…

I still have two big tasks on my plate: I haven’t gotten in touch with my car insurance company yet to discuss lowering my rate, and I haven’t figured out what to do about my credit card. Karen advised me to leave the credit card to the last, as I would need to have all my ducks in a row and know exactly how much I could afford to spend each month on a payment before I negotiated a lower interest rate and monthly payment. So, after I talk to the insurance people, I’ll be ready to start on that.

I’ve been looking at several options with the credit card. At first, I considered working with a credit counseling agency, but decided not to, as they all charge a monthly fee. At the suggestion of my fellow VISTA Desirée, I am considering applying for a personal loan. I could pay off the credit card in full, and then pay back the bank or credit union at a much lower interest rate. I’d love to hear more suggestions!

OK, I am sure there’s more, but that’s all I can think of right now… Thanks for all the great suggestions I have gotten so far, and please keep them coming!


3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

good job! I am proud of you and think you made great strides this week. Now it is a challenge. This will help you in lots of ways! Still would love to share brown eggs with you. Ha

Comment by Aunt ruthie

Yay! It sounds like lots of good news this week. I’m so glad Credo worked out. 🙂

Comment by Chandra

Yes, things have been going pretty well, overall! My new phone should arrive today… hopefully UPS won’t come until I am home from work!

Comment by becomingjill

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