Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I Hate My Car

Number 34 on my list of 35 before 35 was to buy a new car, this was something I was hoping to put off until I was 35. Unfortunately after $1500 of repairs the car is still cutting off at long stops. The car has been in and out of the shop for the past 3 weeks and no one can seem to find the problem and the car does not stall when they test drive it. I even drove it around with a mechanic from the shop and the car did not cut off once.

I don't know what to do anymore.

If the car can't be fixed (once they figure out what is wrong with it) I just flushed $1500 down the drain.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Closet Handbag Designer

If you have been following my journey through my many, many blogs you know I went to fashion design school. While in school I learned all of the essentials to become a fashion designer, draping, drafting, textiles etc. While I liked designing clothes, I loved designing accessories. It started with home decor accessories (pillows, place mats, shower curtains) and evolved to fashion accessories. My favorite accessory to make was handbags, I started with clutches and ended with weekend bags. The bag pictured above was made 2 years ago and I haven't sewn since.

I can't remember what made me stop sewing, I'm sure it was a combo of work stress (back then I worked with a pack of ass h&%$s) and working too many hours (12 hours a day will suck the creativity out of you).

The idea of designing and sewing again never left my mind, I would spend hours lurking on Etsy and Art Fire to see what the other crafters and designers were doing. I've done all the research into DBA's, business licences, suppliers.

So, what's stopping me?

I don't know.

New Budget

I have updated my side bars and have become both depressed and hopeful at the state of my financial affairs. Repairing my car ended up costing my $1536 which left me with only $500 in savings. I am trying to decide if I want to put that money back into my savings account or put the money toward paying down one of my credit cards. Now that I know my credit score has improved to the point that a bank was willing to give me a car loan (I was approved, but I turned it down) I am now obsessed with the prospect of paying off my credit cards.

I would love to have them paid off by this time next year, but I know that would be next to impossible. I am now willing to make the necessary sacrifices to get this monkey off my back. My goal is to buy a new car by December of next year.

Here is my new budget.

Monthly Income - $2000

Sallie Mae - $600
Direct Loan - $200
Electric - $200
Cable/Phone/Internet - $170
Cell - $100
Master Card - $100
Amex - $150
Visa #1 - $140
Visa #2 - $90
Snowball Credit Card Payment - $200
Savings - $50

I can't believe that I am throwing $680 a month on credit card payments.

My first goal is to pay off my Amex, it has the highest interest rate. I called them and asked for a lower interest rate, they told me they could not lower the rate on past purchases but could give me 7% on new purchases. I am tempted to do a balance transfer but I don't want another inquiry on my credit report.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

726 Isn't what It Used To Be

I am sad to say that my car is back in the shop again and this time it may cost me all of my savings ($2000 down the drain). I started toying with the idea of buying a new car and decided to pull my credit score. Much to my delight my credit score has risen by 26 points to an all time high of ........


I was so excited that I decided to try and consolidate my student loan at a lower interest rate. Well, the student loan market isn't what it used to be, I could only find on company that was doing consolidations and they want a cosigner.

Then I decided to try to pre-qualify for a car loan, I am still waiting for a response.

I guess in today's credit environment a score of 726 isn't what it used to be. has a credit score simulator, you input certain scenarios and it tells you how it will effect your credit score. According to the simulator if I make 3 payments of $800 over the next 3 months my score will improve to the 731 - 771 range.

Time to rework my budget.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

35 Before 35

I have been trying to thing of ways to make this blog more interesting. Half of the reason that I do not post regularly is because I don't have much going on in my life right now. I think my last blog was more interesting because I was working toward specific goals.

After surfing around on the Internet I found several blogs where people are trying to accomplish a certain amount of goals before they hit a specific age. Therefore here is my 35 before 35 list, in no particular order.

1. Lose 20 pounds
2. Grow out my hair until it is bsl (bra strap length)
3. Learn how to apply makeup and wear makeup everyday
4. Go to a thrift store
5. Develop personal style
6. Become a nurse
7. Ride in a hot air balloon
8. Start a side business
9. Pay off my credit cards
10. Renew my passport and take a trip overseas
11. Take a trip to Chicago
12. Open an IRA
13. Learn how to hem pants
14. Sew a complete outfit (jacket, skirt, pants, and shirt)
15. Donate unwanted items to Goodwill
16. Work out 3 times a week
17. Not watch TV for an entire week
18. Go on a speed date
19. Bake a 3 layer cake
20. Fly a kite
21. Eat vegetarian for 1 month
22. See an opera
23. Decorate an entire Christmas tree with hand made ornaments
24. Eat dinner in a restaurant alone.
25. Visit a Fashion Week (not necessarily New York's)
26. Make and sell something on Etsy (or Art Fire)
27. Build an ottoman
28. Go to the shooting range and fire a gun
29. Take care of my nephew all day, by myself
30. Take a yoga class
31. Learn French
32. Pay for the meal behind me at the drive through
33. Learn how to swim
34. Buy a new car
35. Fall in love

I plan to take this list on 9 items per year until I have done everything.

What is on your list?


I know I have been M.I.A over the past month, but a lot of changes have been going on and I did not want to post about them until things have settled down.

1. I have a new job.

In previous post I have written about my work schedule changing, working long hours and not being paid for them, and the possibility of my position being eliminated. I am glad to report that I got a new job with a better schedule that will allow me to take classes in preparation for nursing school.

2. I opened a store on Art Fire and Etsy.

Ever since I discovered Etsy 4 years ago I have had dreams of opening a store and selling some of the things I learned to make in design school (I need to do something to justify the $600 in student loan payments I am making every month). I haven't made or listed anything yet, but I am excited at the prospect.

3. I am recommitted to my financial goals.

With leaving my last job I paid off the charge card I opened (the only way employees could get the discount was to charge it on a store credit card), seeing that zero balance has made me eager to pay off the rest of my cards. I am making good progress with my Amex and now that I don't work where I used to work I shouldn't be making any more nonessential purchases.

I'm back, and I plan to start posting more regularly.