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Friday, August 22, 2008

Show me the Money!!

Since taking a 2nd part time job I've been really thinking a lot about how much money I spend, the amount I put into savings each month (currently nonexistant), what steps do I need to take to become completely debt free and what planning I need to think about to someday (hopefully in the next year or so) buy a house.

My plan when taking a 2nd job was that the income from said job would be split between savings and paying off existing debt, most of which is medical bills aquired before I had health insurance.

A few years ago I was up to my eyeballs in debt, to the tune of around $28,000. I called a few
debt consolidation places and was repeatedly given a "pay back" amount that was considerably higher than I was able to afford at the time.

I mean if I could afford to pay $500.00 a month to the people I owed money to then I wouldn't need a
debt relief agency! Sadly the only debt help that was looking available to me was bankruptcy. So I called up an attorney, forked out a nice little chunk of money that left me twitching for months to come, and a few months later, viola! I owed nothing.

Three years later and I am for the most part still debt free. I mean I have a car note, which is technically considered debt, and thanks to a back injury and car accident (and no health insurance!) I have a nice little chunk of change that's considerably past due to various hospitals, labs and physicians. Oh and there's that pesky ambulance ride I've yet to pay for.

This morning on the way to work I was thinking that I needed to open up my handy dandy excel spreadsheet and go over what I owed, to whom and work out a time table of when I expected to be able to pay it back.

I have to admit I'm not very savy when it comes to finances. I know how to be thrifty and spend the absolute minimum to get the most desireable result, but when it comes to 401k plans, investing and retirement I'm a self proclaimed dunce. Or at least I thought I was. has a questionaire that you can take and it tells you what your Bill IQ is. I didn't do as badly as I expected.


From this test I realize that I need to suck it up and sign up for one of those credit monitoring programs. It's always a smart idea to know what's on your credit report, know what your score is (I have no idea!) and make sure that when you pay something off the company actually reports to the credit reporting agencies that you no longer have a debt with them.

I also realized that I need to check into the 401k my company offers and speak to someone about smart investing. I understand a stock portfolio about as well as I understand Latin (read - not at all). But there are people who for some unexplainable reason love math and accounting and all that jazz lol who can help me not be such an idiot when it comes to preparing for my future.

So if you're anything like me, or heck even if you think you know it all head on over to and see how money smart you are!

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