Bit of Ivory

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April 28th, 2010 · 1 Comment

It’s a slow day at work today (two of the three CPAs I work for are on-site with clients this afternoon), so I decided to actually update this thing. Hi. Anyone still there?

I’m actually really glad it’s slow, because I was up until 2:30 last night reading The God of the Hive. Considering I started it at about, what, 10:15 PM (I had spent all day re-reading The Language of Bees, that’s not a bad read rate. :P I knew it was a stupid idea to even start on it, since the previous book was a cliffhanger, meaning it was highly unlikely there would be any lulls to allow me to get bored enough to fall asleep. My second mistake, of course, was taking it to bed with me, instead of being sensible and leaving it upstairs to await the morning. You’d think that after more than 25 years of being literate, I’d learn my lesson by now. Apparently not.

The book was very good, though, and worth the sleep-deprived hangover of today.

I read it on my nook, since it’s the end of the month and I’ve already overspent my book budget. I couldn’t *wait*, though, so I overspent it $9.99 for the ebook instead of $16 or so for the hardcover. I’ll buy the dead-tree version next month.

This whole sticking-to-a-budget thing has never been a strength of mine, so it’s not surprising that I’m overspending. Part of it is that with starting work again, I’m finally able to get necessities that I’ve been putting off while I was unemployed (like work-appropriate clothes that fit– 9 months of unemployment turned me from semi-lazy into super-lazy as far as physical activity is concerned), and the prospect of a nice paycheck twice a month has made me a bit, umm, giddy. But I’m determined to make it work, even if it is a work in progress. I’m trying to follow Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps to becoming debt-free and financially responsible. My tax refund went toward my Baby Emergency Fund of $1000 and paying off one of my credit cards. If all goes as planned, I’ll be out of debt other than my student loan by the end of the year (maybe even sooner, if I can force myself to make lunches instead of eating out everyday– a problem for both my wallet and my waistline). At that point, I’m going to squirrel away money so that when I start library school (hopefully in fall of 2011) I won’t have to get any more loans to pay for it. The student loans will go into deferment, then I can pay off the loans when I have my MLS In my hot little hand.

I think I will have to go cash-only, though. My debit card is just too tempting.

My job is going well, now that I’m through with the craziness that was tax season. Note to self: mid-March is NOT a good time to start working for a CPA firm, especially when you essentially have to train yourself. We’re now into the much-calmer quarterly/payroll tax season, and I– yes, I– was able to compute and pay the firm’s payroll taxes. I’m so proud of myself.

I still have occasional moments of displacement, though, wondering how someone with an English MA and who hasn’t taken a math class since the age of 16 ended up working with all these numbers.

In order to keep my language skills from completely atrophying, and in an effort to make even more money to pay off my debt faster, I’m looking into doing some freelance editing in the evenings. If anyone has any leads for such a thing, do let me know, will you?

Loving Season/Series 5 of Doctor Who so far, although I still get a pang when I think about Ten. Eleven and Amy are awesomesauce, though, and Steven Moffat is still brilliant.

Tags: Life · Work

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 ben // Apr 28, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    The best way we’ve found to budget and keep a spending limit without having to do micro budgeting: get a 2nd checking account.

    Account1: monthly, known bills. This is the account where auto-debit stuff happens. Think of it as the account the computers use.

    Account2: discretionary spending account. You put your allowance in here. Every month, or every paycheck, you divvy up your money and put spending money here. When its gone, its gone. You always know how much money you have to spend because (like cash) your balance is your budget. Never write checks against this account, only visa/debit transactions so the balance is updated nearly instantaneously and you never have checks floating around out there that you have to keep track of.

    Simple, no hassle budget that doesn’t take a lot of upkeep, also not overkill if you don’t have a ton of money to deal with in the first place.

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