GI Jane Finances

June 30, 2008

Family ties

Filed under: Aim high — gijanefinances @ 10:02 pm

I adore my baby brother. We are seven years apart, but he is turning the big 3-0 in a couple of months. I always worried about him since he started ditching high school. He was on the wrestling team, until the absences proved too much for the coach. I think attending high school regularly is a life skill of stick-to-it-tiveness. He also underachieves and easily distracted.

Finally, he started working full-time for the past year. It does not pay much…about $9.50 an hour. He has been living like a rock star for so long, that actually working a 9-5 now is great progress. I just want to step in and rescue him from the minor debts ($5k student loan and collection debt), so he can restart his life unencumbered.

Brother can make more at my dad’s job, but he is so hard headed. My goal is to try and convince him when I visit in a couple of weeks. Wish me luck, he needs it.

GI Jane

June 29, 2008

Globetrotting

Filed under: Living the good life — gijanefinances @ 1:16 pm

OK, it has been a week back in the states. It was a horrific 10 hours to Chicago. The seats had no leg room whatsoever, and I am only 66 inches. United decided to add an additional section called Economy Plus where you can get 5 more inches of legroom. I seriously considered it at the kiosk, but not at a price of $700 more. United is on crack. I really need to figure out the point system, so I can upgrade to first class.

This school I am in has a lot of homework. I have to write a massive essay that is due tomorrow. The instructor had the nerve to email more case studies to read over the weekend. Today’s goals are to:

1. Write essay/read case studies
2. Do laundry
3. Exercise

Yesterday, was my free day and prep for the essay. I saw Wanted–which was awesome. I decided to update my wardrobe for a mere $350. I purchased three dresses, one skirt, two Romeo and Juliet t-shirts and two necklaces. Not bad, love being next to an outlet mall. I actually got a coupon for Of 5th Ave: buy one, get one item 50% off from 30 Jun-6 July.

Last night, before drifting to sleep, I remembered all of the bills awaiting me upon my return home. My property manager emailed me about owing her $129 for fixing the washer. I still owe $1600 in property taxes in August. The good news is my student loans will be about $4900 on 1 July. I have about $6000 in emergency savings. I wish it could be used to wipe it out entirely. But my house is still on the market, and will come out of pocket. Today, is an open house with another price reduction–the same amount I paid for it in 2004. Sigh.

At least I found my missing decoration.

GI Jane

June 20, 2008

Traveling woes

Filed under: Fits and starts — gijanefinances @ 12:33 am

I have no idea how to pack lightly–tons of toiletries, 4 pairs of shoes and Japanese souvenirs for family/friends. I am 100% sure that I will have excess baggage fees. Thankfully, my orders authorize reimbursement. This will be the first time that I will be travelling with a laptop. So, I have one big suitcase (my uniform items took up 50% of the space), small one, laptop briefcase and a mid-size purse. Whew!

I was told last week that the Air Force Personnel Center is missing two decorations for my upcoming 2 year Below the Zone promotion board. I have a snowball chance in blue hell of being pick up. However, my school board will be meeting next week and I was rated as a top pick. The board will look at my records and the missing decorations may be a red flag. If I was allowed to ship all of my goods instead of 2,000 lbs, I would not have to call all over creation looking for it. Plus, the Military Personnel Flight here no longer holds hard copy records as of 2007–when I moved here. Very frustrating.

Nevertheless, a bunch of my friends, co-workers and I will be heading downtown for fine dining at a really cool restaurant. We will be spending the night; and I plan on taking a shuttle to the airport the next day.

Until next time,

GI Jane

June 18, 2008

A Seller’s hell

Filed under: Financial distractions — gijanefinances @ 11:36 pm

(Apologize for lack of posts…I will be traveling soon and having problems with feeds for several months.)

Anywhoo, my house is still on the market from April to now. I decided to lower the price again. I am anticipating paying about $10k out of pocket for realtor’s fees and taxes. Not a fun place to be at all. I have no equity to speak of and my ARM expires next September. Yuck.

Update on student loans: balance $5400.

Emergency Savings: $6k.

I would love to knock out the SL in one fell swoop. However, I still have a house on the market with anticipated costs to unload. Plus $1,600 of taxes to pay in September. As Dave Ramsey would say, “forget the cheese, let me out of the trap.”

The good news is that I will be heading to school in the states for a month. The bad news it will be a little expensive, even after the per diem. I have a ticket for “In the Heights.” The last show I seen on Broadway was “Chicago” with Bebe Neuwirth in 1998. She was flawless and it was a magical experience. Hopefully, I will be able see the 8th and I production in D.C. at the commandant’s house. So before leaving for the states, I went to an awesome Onsen (Japanese bathhouse) for a scrubbing, massage and soaking. I am so hooked, can’t wait to start that up when I return. It was only $6 for the sauna, salt scrub room and baths. The sauna and salt room even had a TV in it. The Korean scrub and massage was $36 for a half and hour. They also had outdoor baths and a heated slab of stone that had water flowing on it. Also, for $4 you can have a steam/sauna room experience. I am so hooked and it is only 10 min away.

All this to say, when the smoke clears upon my return to Japan in August, I will be able to gain some traction without a lot of financial distractions/upheavals. Just in time for the Onsen.

GI Jane

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