Debt status: January 09

Sadly, my debt has increased.  This trend will continue until I can get financial aid.  While it is discouraging to see the percentage paid off shrinking, I must remember that I have been keeping the interest accrued around zero.

jandebt

Free subscriptions: Elle and more

mags

I’ve got more magazines for you!  Elle and Elle Decor, and Woman’s Day are offered through Mercury Magazines.  Finally, RewardsGold is giving a free sub to Body + Soul.  As always, comments on these magazines or their offering sites are welcome and encouraged.  Since I already get a ton of free magazines, I can’t take part in every offer, so feedback from others is helpful.  To explore these magazines’ websites before you decide to get your free subscription, click any of the titles below.

Elle

Elle Decor

Body + Soul

Woman’s Day

Boing…

Nooo!!  After digging my claws in to get hold of my finances, I have screwed up.

Yesterday, I got sick and went to the doctor.  I paid for my copay and then went to pick up my medication.  I had to wait for the medication, so I went across the street to get some food (since I was going to be on a restricted diet for a little while).  I went back for my medication.   Since I started using a register to keep track of my check card purchases, I have been keeping up with that thing daily.

I’ve been low on funds in my accounts lately, but I knew that I had just returned a pair of shoes and would be getting my paycheck through direct deposit tomorrow.  Therefore, by checking online and taking note of my balance in my register, I figured I was covered for the medical and food costs.

emptyThe $165 bank fee on my account this morning proved I was very wrong.  At first, I didn’t understand what happened.  After a call to the bank and some careful examination of my online bank register, I figured out my mistake.  In a nutshell, money going into my account (paycheck and shoe return) takes longer than I assumed.  Money going out of my account (despite it too being listed as pending) is deducted instantly.  Unfair?  I think so, but now that I know the rules, I won’t be making this expensive mistake again.  I guess that’s why the fees are so high.

Status report

Not much excitement in my financial world.  I am low on spending money.  I’ve borrowed from my emergency fund to pay for textbooks, and I’m waiting for my refund check.  I suppose it’s a good thing I had almost forgotten that I had an emergency fund, because it’s not to be used for just anything.  Normally, I wouldn’t have even spent the money on textbooks, but I knew I could refill it with my refund check.  I had already decided that the refund check would go to textbooks (since it’s my loans and my loans are for tuition and textbooks).

I’ve done a great job of not spending money on campus so far.  I haven’t gone to the vending machines but once.  I haven’t been running to the bookstore to buy candy.  I have been bringing my lunch consistently.  Hopefully, I can spend less on food than I did last semester!lunch

More about textbooks

Having already made this semester’s rant about the price of textbooks, I’m going to spare you the figures and get right to the point.  I wasn’t sure how I was going to be able to pay for this semester’s books.  I need them sooner than I can afford them; my loan refund check doesn’t arrive until February.  Since I know I’ll need to read them before Valentine’s Day, I was going to borrow some money to pay for my textbooks, repaying using the refund check.  Then I realized something.  I was amazed at myself for forgetting my emergency fund!  I had enough money in that account to pay for my textbooks.

pigbank

The reason I didn’t think of using that money sooner was that I didn’t consider this financial need an emergency.  A need, yes, but not a real emergency, because I did have other options.  However, I realized it was ok to “borrow” the money from my emergency fund because I would be depositing the borrowed amount as soon as I get my refund check.  I know I’ll pay myself back, too.  I’m getting close to fully funding it, which is one of my goals for 2009.