You might want to look away, guys, as this post is all about bras.
Or you might want to stick around for that reason, but unless you wear bras (hey, no judgement here, do whatever you gotta do), it might not be that fun, as we're going to be talking about BUYING bras.
As every woman knows, a well fitting bra is worth its weight in gold.
And for those of us who are a bit more...er..gifted in that area, the COST of a well fitting bra is way more than it's weight in gold.
I went to Victoria's Secret this weekend to get fitted, as my current bras have been fitting a little funny. I'm of the belief that EVERY woman should get properly fitted for bras - some department stores do it, just ask, and both Lane Bryant and Victoria's Secret do it. It's fast and easy and FREE and will save you tons of uncomfortable moments of having to readjust your boobs in public. Not that I would ever do that. Ahem.
I'm up another cup size (WHY? FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE, THEY ARE BIG ENOUGH), so new bras had to be bought.
Now, before people point out to me that you can get bras MUCH cheaper than Victoria's Secret, I know that. I spent two hours in four different department stores and Target a few years ago, tried on every single style of bra in my size as I could, decided on two, took them home, and then discovered they just didn't give me the support needed for all day. Vicky's is EXPENSIVE, but give me support and comfort. Like I said, worth its weight in gold.
2 bras? Ninety seven bucks, kids. NINETY SEVEN DOLLARS.
At least they gave me a free pair of panties.
Viewing the 'Retail Hell' Category
You might want to look away, guys, as this post is all about bras.
Things that need to get done in October, as we've been putting them off due to lack of money. But now that I've gotten my first full paycheck from my new job, we're a little better off and have some extra money to play with.
-new tires for my car
-new tires for Brandus' car
-repair/replace speedometer for my car
-check on SRS light on my car and fix airbag if needed
-cleaning for me (find new insurance card!)
-cleaning for Voldemort (no dental insurance)
-cleaning for Brandus (this won't happen this month, but I have to start nagging him early about going)
We have $405 put aside for cars, which will pay for at least 1 set of tires. The speedometer replacement will be HORRIFYINGLY expensive, I'm sure. Any suggestions for what to do/where to go/who to ask?
It's been quite a while since Ive blogged over here..since well before we moved.
We've settled from Alaska to North Carolina, found a decent apartment and jobs.
Brandus is not liking his teaching job this year. Im not liking the fact that this comes out in yelling fits at me over stupid stuff.
Im REALLY not liking that they "lost" his license application at district office, and have been paying him as a first year teacher with his BS for the past two months.
Im subbing in second grade at the moment, which is fun most days, and exhausting all days.
The child is in daycare, which is spendy, but he loves it, they love him, and we think it's really good for him.
But, I do have a problem. Seeing as murder is a crime, is there ANYTHING I can do to deal with the man in my life whom I love very very much that is REFUSING to deal with the current financial issues we find ourselves in? He wont sit down and talk to me about where we are, doesnt want to look at numbers, and if I bring it up, there's a yelling fit on his end.
He's being an ostrich.
And yeah, we're getting paid a FRACTION of what we got paid in Alaska. Im not working an entirely steady job. He's getting shafted $500 a paycheck. i GET all that. But its the 8th of the month, and we're already down to $67, and he WILL NOT help me.
What the heck do I do? Im really starting to get cranky about it.
So, out of curiosity, I took a look at how much I owed last year on the credit cards vs how much we still owe.
And I got depressed when I saw the numbers.
Last year: We owed 15,000
This year: We owe 10,000
And I thought, that's it? 5000 is all we've managed to pay off? What the heck did we move to Alaska FOR?
But, then I started really thinking about it.
Yeah, 5000 doesnt sound like much, especially with how much money we're currently making - but we had a baby. We moved. We traveled this summer.
We managed to put almost $3000 in savings for our next moving adventure.
So, while we didnt get out of debt, which I was really hoping for, we did make a dent. And we've got a good emergency fund.
And a baby.
So, hey, not too bad. Not bad at all.
Last year, with me being pregnant, we were heading in to Anchorage about once a month.
Our flight there cost $1300 for the both of us, then hotel, food, fun...it added up.
And I knew that. I knew it cost alot.
But it really didnt hit me until last month, when we both got full pay, and didnt have to go in to town at all.
I had $200 left at the end of the month. And that's after paying all of our bills, paying off $400 in credit card debt, and putting a full $600 in our EF.
Wow! Think how much I can actually do the rest of this year if we can keep from going into town!
Quick credit card roundup, just for tracking purposes
We HAD the Discover paid off in full and were just using the USAA card. However, the USAA card is an American Express card, and so not everywhere takes it. Which doesnt work when we've just discovered that our insurance doesn't cover well baby visits or immunizations - which we dont know until AFTER two visits.
Discover: $460 - should take 2 months
USAA: $10,770 - I transferred all balances over to this card last month
We have an Old Navy card too, which needs to be paid off. But, it looks like the online access has been changed, and I cant figure out how to get into my account. This is wildly annoying.
However, last month's statement, which is wrong, says $205. We'll go with that.
Total cc debt: $11,435
Basic: $75 - this is short term, immediate access type funds - like, if we suddenly notice we overspent. This had more, but money for this past month's doctor visit had to come from somewhere.
Ing: $492 - there is $200 direct deposited everymonth
Emg: $647 - this is my personal account, and i dont want to have to use it for moving or whatnot, but i want it included as EF
Total savings: $1214
Yeah. Thats just a little lopsided, dont you think?
So, Im trying to work out the difference between paying down the debt, and saving for the emergency fund.
At this specific point, we have about $11,000 credit card debt. Which sucks, and we're working hard on it.
We also have about $400 in our EF right now - we had closer to $600, but the health insurance hasnt reimbursed us for our flight out to Anchorage yet.
When your kid is running a 105 fever under 6 months old, you tend to not be as concerned as you should be about tracking receipts for reimbursement purposes.
So, obviously, our debt far outweighs what we got in the bank.
And we're planning on moving at the end of this year. We're not sure where yet, or if we're staying in Alaska or moving back to the lower 48.
We know we need to save money to move - and that if we move back to the lower 48, its going to cost quite a bit.
We need to save for the move.
We need to pay down our debt while we're making pretty good money.
How do we split it?
60/40, debt focused? 50/50?
I have no idea!
Im planning on sitting down this weekend and making up a list of the places we would like to move. Then, we've gotta think about moving costs, living costs, buying new things...
Any advice on moving and saving? Or on figuring out how to save FOR moving?
I was making the rounds of my financial statements today and out of sheer curiosity, requested a credit increase on my USAA card.
They raised the limit from $1500 to $20,000.
When I realized that was more than I owed on all of my other cards put together, I called up USAA and requested a lowered APR as well.
They dropped it 4%, which means it is now the lowest of all of my cards.
So I transferred my Discover ($6600) and my REI Visa ($4200) over to the USAA, and now have only ONE card I have to worry about paying - with a lower interest rate than ever before!
Hopefully, ill be able to post more soon, but with Voldemort being almost 5 months and already trying to crawl, my time is a little limited.
Here's what's left that we owe, credit card wise. Im leaving out the car and student loans.
Dis: $6,361.32 (sigh)
USAA: $281.11 (which Brandus will pay in full by next week!!)
And then Old Navy, which we normally pay in full, which is about $150 right now.
So hey! We're making SO MUCH PROGRESS!! *spins*
When I come back, does anyone want to hear about cloth diapering or bento lunches? We've been doing both, and its helping financially.
Old Navy -
Now: $4980 (*sigh*)
I swear, everytime I go out of town, Brandus completely forgets how to use his OWN DEBIT CARD and uses a credit card. Im going to have to take them away..again!
New month, new tracking! Plus, Im still really really excited about the Chase card being GONEGONEGONE.
Old Navy -
*dances* Slow and steady! The Old Navy card is next on my list, as it has the next highest interest rate.
So, current plan is to pay off that stupid thing as fast as possible. Its not that much, I know, but its THERE and it annoys me, because it ISNT much money. If..that makes any sense.
Ive done our taxes as far as I can so far..Im missing a W2, which means Im going to have to give in and call the Ice Cream Queen at my last job at ask where on earth it is. Im also still needing my Roth IRA info and one or two other bank related things. But, so far, we stand to get at least $1000 back, which will go towards credit cards and baby savings.
I move to Anchorage in less than 2 months! EEK!
Yesterday was the most glorious of days. PAYDAY! and not only was it payday, it was payday with BACKPAY for the past four months. So, I got an extra $600, and Brandus got an extra $400.
I was very excited. We discussed sending it straight to savings for the Tadpole. We discussed using it for credit cards and paying off the Old Navy card, as Brandus bought clothes while he was in Anchorage.
So, last night, he mentions that he is going to put some money from his account towards THE BANE OF MY EXISTANCE, the Chase credit card. "Ok," says I, thinking it would be a couple of hundred dollars, which would go nicely with my already sent but not yet credited $300 for the month.
He can't do it online, because the internet is being obnoxious, so he grabs the phone and ducks into the bedroom.
When he comes out?
HE HAS PAID OFF THE WHOLE THING. $1,433.84.
THE CHASE CARD IS NO MORE.
*dies of happy*
Now..I just need to figure out what Im going to do with that $300 I just sent in electronically...
I called Chase, and very politely asked about my APR, stating that I had gotten an offer for a new card with a much lower APR (which was true) and asked if there was any way they could lower my APR or match the offer. Otherwise, I would be transferring my balance to a new card and canceling the Chase.
Without changing inflection, looking up my payment history or anything, the guy said, in a very bored tone, "No, there is nothing we can do to lower your rate. It is as low as possible."
I said, "Thank you, I'll call back and cancel this credit card tomorrow."
No willingness to work with me, nothing.
So, I opened the new USAA card (which gives me another card, which I REALLY dont like), which has a 18.15% APR - but a 0% APR on balance transfers for 6 months. And then I transferred as much as possible over to the new card.
So, Im still carrying a balance on the Chase card, but Ive cut it in half.
So! One of my goals for 2007 has at least had some progress.
Chase: 1,374.84 at 22.99% APR
USAA: 1,475.00 at 0% APR
Ill get that stupid thing paid off and cancelled yet!
It seems like everyone is a little confused this morning! (well, its morning for ME!)
Ive been thinking about that troublesome Chase card with the 29.99% APR. I applied for a USAA AmEx with a 0% APR on balance transfer for 6 months, which Im happy about. But..the limit is $1000, whereas we have $2800ish on the Chase. Should I call USAA and explain the situation (and that we just got raises, YAY!), and see if they will raise the limit so I can switch the full amount over to the new USAA card? Or should I transfer as much as I can, and then pay on both cards, paying special attention to the Chase?
There is a 3% transfer fee, but really, thats not much money compared to the extreme APR going on here. Last month, I paid JUST the minimum payment (as an experiment), and only $7.42 went toward the balance, thanks to finance charges!
Im stumped as to my next step. *sigh*
Also, we currently have a $380/month car payment (yes, I know its high. Its Brandus's car, his baby, and its the one he REALLY WANTED). I have an automatic payment of $400/month set up - I always figured it would help if we were ever really behind and couldnt pay the whole thing. Should I keep it at $400, or should I pay just the basic payment and add that $20 to a credit card?
The paying extra came in handy this last month, when things were REALLY tight thanks to Christmas and traveling. I only owed $50 for the month, which was nice. But, its probably not the best way to go about getting everything paid off.
Gah. Its all so complicated!
But, hey, I DID learn that our teaching contracts for this school year have FINALLY been approved. Yes, 4 months after starting teaching! And along with that, both myself and Brandus are getting a raise of about $1200 a year, retroactively. WHOO!
Our health insurance finally sent us the money they owed for the last 2 flights and Brandus's last visit to the doc. They still owe me for one half of my flight, plus, we didnt have time to go by the place to turn in our travel receipts for January.
But! $1800 back in our pockets! WHOO!
We are discussing where to put it. A small portion needs to be put towards a new ferret cage, as the one we have for Juice is just one of the little "starter" cages, and its starting to fall apart less than 6 months after getting it.
The rest? Im hoping towards the cards, as always! And probably a little into savings, just because.
As I was checking my Chase card account balance online - as I do to make sure it hasnt been used or anything, I noticed something interesting.
In December, I checked the APR, and it was 27.24%.
Today when I checked, it had been RAISED to 29.99%.
I pay ON TIME. I no longer use the card, and havent since September. Why on EARTH would my APR be going UP? Especially as I am paying the card DOWN?
Ill be calling them today to see if they will be willing to reduce it. If not, USAA told me i was preapproved for a new card, which isnt something I want to do. But, if it will get me a much better interest rate, Im willing to do it so I can get this thing paid off faster.
This is the one card that is just KILLING the budget.
Any advice is highly appreciated!
1. Pay off Chase credit card - currently $2754.30 with a whopping interest rate of 27.24%. Yikes!
2. Track budget with PearBudget, a free spreadsheet budget program. it breaks it down into a day by day, month by month thing, and i like it.
3. Move Roth IRA from current bank to USAA where I can actually access it and put money into it.
4. $20 Challange - I have no set amount to aspire to, i just want to play! Change and any dollar bills that can be set aside, as well as figuring out how to sidetrack Brandus when he goes to the store to pick up this and that, mainly because he is bored.
I would like to have 5 goals, but I cant think of another one that is all that important to me. Except for the "Save for this summer" goal, but I want a specific amount before I write that down as an actual goal.
I know I just did this two weeks ago, but Im doing it again, because we've actually made a little bit of a dent, and Im excited!
Old Navy -
The Old Navy would be down another $75 or so, only i really needed maternity jeans!
I hope to have that one completely paid off by January. We should be getting some cash and checks for Christmas, and I want anything we get to go towards getting RID of that bill completely.
Of course, then we found out that we get paid on the 22 of this month, instead of the 31, which made me really excited and got me picturing this one bill gone...
And THEN i remembered that it meant our paychecks have to last a month and a half instead of just the normal month! Ack!
And teachers dont really get Christmas bonuses, so no hope for that. Oh, well.
HA! All credit cards are once again under their limits!
And I managed to sneak an extra $15 to the Old Navy card, and an extra $50 to the REI visa.
I would have sent it all to Old Navy, only I panicked about the REI, thinking that the minimum payment wouldnt bring me enough under the limit.
I figured out how that one managed to get overlimit though. Brandus "accidently" used it instead of his own check card at the native store.
On the same day.
oh well, he is leaps and bounds better than he used to be, so Im not going to do more than tease him about it.
But! Hey! Back under limits for all cards, and actually watching the numbers DROP! WHEEE!
I also managed to locate another $1.68 in change, bringing the piggy up to $13.55. As soon as I get to Anchorage on Monday, Ill deposit that, and hopefully send it towards the Old Navy card too!
Currently owed on the credit cards, according to online, up to the minute reports:
Discover - 6,697.95 (limit: 6,700)
Chase - 2,886.37 (limit: 3,000)
REI - 5,073.15 (limit: 5,000 ACK!)
Old Navy - 509.79 (limit: 600)
Ill have to edit this when I get home and can locate the latest REI card statement. I cant remember my online login information to look now! (FIXED)
Discover card is the only one that got used this month(at least, on purpose), and that was a $35 payment to ETS to get my Praxis score reports sent to the Alaska teaching license place. There was also a mystery emusic.com charge to the chase card that I have to track down, because i didnt do it, and the husband knows i would have to kill him.
Im very close to the limit on all, which looks bad. But when you realize we were OVER the limit on all three of the major cards, its very exciting to see the numbers starting to drop. Even if it is so.very.slow.
What's really sad? Before we moved in together, I HAD no debt. And we were doing ok, but then we went to Vegas for a long weekend (4 years ago), and to Disneyworld on our honeymoon (2.5 years ago), and to Italy for our first anniversary..and then brandus was in school and out of work for a year and a half..