Homeowner?

Feb. 5th, 2011 05:16 pm
drewbear: (Default)
So I've been thinking more and more lately about buying a home. This is certainly the market for it and mortgage rates are at a low. I've signed up with a couple of "search for a house for sale" sites and I just got back from a meeting with a mortgage lender. I was pre-approved for the amount that's my personal cap, so the next step is finding a house.

I'm really quite nervous about this.

The lender gave me a couple of options, one of which looks rather nicer than the others and would cover the deposit for the loan up to $8000. Even so, I'm going to be required to put $1000 into the purchase, via inspections or pre-paying hazard insurance or something, in order to qualify. It's weird, because I think that $1000 would be the most money I've ever held in my hands at once, even as a check. Even when I got my car, the payment went straight from the credit union to the dealership. I should be able to save up the money before I would actually close on the house, barring injury, accident or emergency. Still it's weird

On the plus side, the lender worked it out for me and, including property taxes and house insurance, a loan for $120,000 (my limit) would still work out to lower monthly mortgage payment than I'm paying right now in rent.
drewbear: (Drew comtemplative)
I have the nasty chronic cough every year in the autumn and winter, but it seems to have started earlier and been worse this year. Combined with some other respiratory stuff that's been going on, my doctor sent me to a ENT (Ear Nose Throat) specialist to get checked out. Just got back from that appointment and it turns out that I have a growth on my vocal cords. He says it's probably just a benign cyst, but there is the possibility that it's cancerous, especially considering that cancer runs in my dad's side of the family. So now I have to schedule a day off work to get out-patient surgery on my throat. I doubt that I'll be able to get it done before the end of the year (preferable because then I won't have to pay the deductible again), and even if I could, I don't know if I'd be able to take off work, what with everyone taking off for the holidays.

What a joyful body I have. :-(
drewbear: (Drew comtemplative)
Today is exactly 3 months since my gallbladder surgery. The scars are well-healed, but still ugly. I have some intermittent pains/soreness under the big one, but I don't think that's anything to worry about, yet. My stamina is still really low; I get winded going up a flight of stairs. I'm going to try walking more to see if I can build that up, but we'll see.

The biggest problem is stress. Completely aside from the physical recuperation, finances got royally fucked while I was out of work. I only had enough leave-time built up to cover 2 weeks of the 6 I was out, and my friends at work were only able to donate enough to cover an additional 1.5 weeks. So while I got a full paycheck for July, I only had about 1/3 the paycheck for August. Every bill but rent got pushed back. And now I'm playing catchup on them, plus having to start payments on the medical bills.

Speaking of which, even after insurance, the amount due to me was about $3000 all told. It could've been worse; if I'm reading the insurance statements correctly, the total amount charged by the various and sundry places came to about $30,000. So I'm grateful that I don't have to pay that full amount.

I just... want things to go more smoothly, you know?
drewbear: (Default)
I totally didn't realize that this was the tax-free weekend. Now I get to go buy jeans before heading home to finish getting ready for my weekend. Who knows? I might even get a chance to buy some personal electronics!

Yeesh. Time just flies by, doesn't it... I'm travelling this weekend, Matt is moving up next weekend, I win the lotto the following weekend... where does the time go...
drewbear: (genepool)
So I'm trying to get all my tax stuff in line and... I'm having a few difficulties. One of my minor revenue streams is refusing to send me a W2, claiming that since I earned less than $50, they aren't required to. Of course, since they deducted friggin' TAXES from that check, I kinda want to file that as income and potentially get it back. Also, I made some charitable donations this year & I'm trying to figure out 1) which of them are actually deductible and 2) whether I have the appropriate documentation to prove that I made the donation(s). Finally, I STILL haven't gotten my bank statements telling how much interest I earned on my accounts.

Basically, I'm about 5 documents away from actually being able to file. Yay me. :-/
drewbear: (Scarlet - math)
Okay boys and girls, it's time for a stirring round of "Supplement! That! Income!!!!"

I'm looking into ways to bring in some extra money without resorting to whoring myself out* and have come up with the following ideas, with varying levels of feasibility:

1) Buys books off the online clearance sale at B&N and resell them on eBay. Sounds good in theory, but when I checked a few of the titles I already bought, I found that eBay-only bookstores are already selling them for $1. That's AT LEAST half of what I paid for them at B&N, so there's no way I could turn a profit.

2) Buy stuff at local thrift stores or Craigslist & resell them on eBay. Might be feasible depending on the type and quality of the item, but profitability is a different story. I have a set of wood napkin rings I bought for $1 and comparable napkin ring sets on eBay are starting bidding at $1.50-$3.50 plus S&H. So I could probably sell them, but for a tiny, tiny profit.

3) Advertise tutoring services for math and science online (probably craigslist). I definitely have the skills and a quick perusal of similar services on CL show that the market will bear a decent hourly ($20). The problem is three-fold: time, educational materials, and volume. With my hours at the clinic being what they are, I would have to schedule clients either every other week or on a rotating-day schedule, neither of which is ideal. Additionally, I don't have any texts or teaching materials, much less access to the current texts and tests that the students would be using or preparing for. Both of these could be somewhat averted by working for a tutoring/test prep company like I did when I part-timed for Kaplan back in Texas. Unfortunately, I can't find any nearby that are hiring.**

4) Sell blood or plasma. For a long time, I believed that my anti-depressant disqualified me from donating blood. I was recently informed that this is not the case. However, I'm still "a man who was ever had sex with another man", so I'm automatically disqualified from, well, everywhere, unless I lie. Plus, I could only do it once every few months.

5) Become an experimental subject for medical/medicinal trials. Can't find any I qualify for.

6) Win the lottery. Been trying, although only when the jackpot is over $111 million. I *DO* know the odds against my winning, thank you, and that jackpot represents the point at which the risk/reward ratio tilts towards it being statistically viable.***

Anything else y'all can think of?

* Though if I did, I'm sure I'd receive top dollar.

** Hell, most of 'em don't even have a way to contact them unless you're looking to engage their services!

*** Yes, I am a huge nerd both for calculating the odds and for knowing what a risk/reward ratio is. Thank you for noticing. :-D
drewbear: (Default)
After going over my finances, I believe that, by massaging things correctly, I will be able to wait until my next paycheck to pay rent. Given that, I'm thinking about using the now non-earmarked money for some other purposes. So I'm giving you nice, nice people the chance to help me decide:

[Poll #1192466]
drewbear: (Default)
My plans to stock up for The Coming Event Of DoomTM have been mildly bolstered by my current job: I got an annual raise following a good performance review. It's not terribly large, but it's still nice. Also nice? It kicked in on the paycheck I just received, unbeknownst to me until I noticed that my check was larger than it should be.

All flush with my new-found riches, I did something wild and reckless: I paid all my bills for the month. Shocker! I also went out and got some things to update my preparedness checklist. And since I have some left over, I made a donation to Heifer International (thanks for the heads-up about it, [livejournal.com profile] ginmar!) and contributed a small amount to a Kiva loan to a Dominican woman.

Now I just have to get my meds refill and some groceries and I'll be set for the next 2 weeks with some left over.
drewbear: (Default)
So by now most people who chose direct deposit for their IRS rebates have their money and the paper checks are being sent out soon. So let's get a little personal, hmm? Inspired by this site, I decided to run down how I used my rebate money:

1) Deposit just over 1/3 of it into my original savings account.
2) Use $100 to open a new, higher-yield but deposit-limited savings account.
3) $100 towards extant loans. Yay, extra payment this month!
4) 3 books from Barnes & Noble (including Nurk), a pair of jean shorts from Kmart, eBay, some pizza and some "personal items" whose exact nature I won't mention here.

Since I'm slightly ahead on my loan payments and I'm getting the PTO I cashed in for my birthday on this paycheck, I may send some money towards Kiva. It looks like a good organization.

*...yeah, I don't know where that title came from either.
drewbear: (kenya bear)
Okay, so things are actually looking up for me.

1) We finally got flu tests back in the clinic, so I had one done (OMGIT'SSTABBINGMYBRAIN!!!!) and it came back negative. Yesterday evening/last night, my fever finally broke, though the cough is still lingering.
Response: keep taking the cough medicine and be grateful.

2) I just checked my bank balance to see what payments had and hadn't posted and I found that my tax refund had deposited and cleared this morning.
Response: Write a check for most of it off the account they hit and deposit it in the account at the other bank that actually accrues interest.

3) And last week, when I got this month's refill of my antidepressant? The pharmacist accidentally gave me 2 months worth, but I only got charged for 1. I didn't discover this until this morning, when I opened the bottle for the first time.
Response: Keep taking them and be grateful. Plus, I need to reschedule that psych appointment I had to cancel because I was working.

4) Finally, ALL my various bills and loans are caught up.
Response: Keep on top of them this time, dummy!

In summary: At this moment, my life is better than it has been in YEARS and if I can actually get anyone to fucking respond to my resumes, it'll get even better!

P.S. Think this would be a good place to start a belated New Year's Resolution of "Be more positive"?

P.P.S. I watched Labyrinth this morning, for the first time in years. I had forgotten a lot of the cool little elements like the Helping Hands or how the Junk Lady was trying to turn Sarah into a JL too by piling all Sarah's material treasures onto her back. Also, I didn't realize that Jennifer Connolley was only 14 when they made that movie. For some reason, I had always thought that she was like 16 or 17. The movie makes more sense to me once I realized that yes, Sarah was acting very immaturely, but that was because she was legitimately immature.
drewbear: (Default)
I loveded you, paycheck! I LOVEDED YOUUUUUU!!!

*ahem*

So. Rent is paid, groceries have been bought and I still have a positive balance. Not much of one, but positive nonetheless.
drewbear: (angry choochoo)
It really, truly, deeply sucks when you screw it up for yourself, you know?

::sigh:: At least this one is somewhat easily correctable, though damned annoying.
drewbear: (angry choochoo)
After dinner at Wendy's, I tried to call their 800 number to let TPTB know that I felt their employees had handled an asshole customer very well. I say "tried" because apparently my phone service had been temporarily disconnected for past-due payments. I was angrily curious about that, since I was sure that I'd made a payment around Christmas.

I came home and dug my latest bill from my stack of papers and looked at it. Now, keep in mind that I pretty much all of my bills online or over the phone, with the exception of my rent. As such, I pay the vast majority of them with my second paycheck of the month (the first goes almost entirely towards rent). Unfortunately, it turns out that the last phone payment I'd made was right before I flew to Houston for Thanksgiving.

Oops.

It was no big deal, though: I looked up the closest AT&T store off their website and immediately drove over and paid off the full bill. But I'm still a little ticked at myself for being stupid like that. Ah, well. 'Tis life.

GYAH!!!

Dec. 22nd, 2007 06:58 pm
drewbear: (angry choochoo)
Okay, so you remember that $50 "gift" card that corporate gave everyone in my clinic? They listed it on our paystubs as taxable income. Gift card my ass, you fuckers. I have *NEVER* worked anywhere that treated gifts as taxable income. Hell, when I worked at the BANK, they once gave everyone $200 cash in celebration for some milestone the bank had achieved. That money never appeared on my paystub and you know, as a bank, I'm sure they would know how to handle money properly with regard to employee gifts vs. bonuses vs. regular pay.

So. Fucking. Angry.

I don't know about the other clinics in North Carolina, but if half the current staff at my clinic are still there by the end of January, I'd be surprised.

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