GI Jane Finances

July 22, 2008

Credit card shuffle

Filed under: Financial distractions — gijanefinances @ 3:09 pm

My travels in the states are coming to an end. I have one more pit stop to make before heading back to Japan on Thursday. It has been pretty expensive–with the rental cars and shopping sprees. First, on the rental cars, I will have to pay $287.50 for Maryland and about the same for Chicago. Budget rental car was the business. There was not a line, my car was a brand new Hyundai. They were very efficient and close to the BWI airport.

I had decided to use Thifty at O’Hare. The distance is a many more miles away from the airport. They took nearly an hour to process the three people in front of me. Handed out the wrong car to the person in front and then later to me. The Chrysler Town and Country minivan was nice, but did not need that much room and do not want to pay to fill that tank. So, I promptly returned it, dragging my luggage behind me. In return, I got a cigarette stained and smudged Chrysler Sebring, for the same price it would have cost for the mini-van. If I did not have a 1300 hrs hair appointment, I would have returned it. A complete nightmare. Note to self, do not ever rent from Thrifty again.

I went on a final shopping spree at my favorite mall. A beautiful dress from Banana Republic was calling my name, along with several other blouses. The final damage was $500 dollars, until I applied for a Banana Republic card and received 20% off. It works out well, because I pay off the card promptly and close it. I also got some stuff at the BR and Ann Taylor outlet in Maryland for about $600.

Vacations are always a setback. Especially if I live somewhere where stuff my size are not readily available or stores I like are not there. My budget right now is a joke. But, I still need to aggressively pay off Sallie Mae in August.

Maybe, my per diem will be a little windfall.

GI Jane

July 13, 2008

Budget Part II

Filed under: Cash crunch — gijanefinances @ 12:52 pm

I reevaluate my budget every two weeks.

Upcoming Budget:

Salliemae: $500
Current balance is $4951.95

Amex: $1076.81
I plan on clearing this off in a couple of days. This includes the New York trip and spa visit. I tried a body wrap Tuscany treatment. The treatment had me slathered in volcanic mud and rinsed off with a Vichy shower. The Vichy shower was cool. I also had a massage due to my neck killing me for the past couple of weeks. The deep tissue massage was very painful. The spa visit was $240. In Japan, a massage is like $20 without tip, for an hour! The Onsen (spa) with an hour scrub/massage and entrance fee is about $56. Can’t wait to get back.

IRA: $198.41
Emerging Markets, European Stock fund and Bonds (30% of the money)

Auto/house Insurance: $145.59

I may make an extra Salliemae payment of $500 to bring the balance to $4451. My property tax payment of $1,600 is due in August. The good news is that I expect about $1,000 in per diem after I file my travel voucher.

I have one more week of class. I plan on flying to Chicago on Saturday, staying there for 6 days and flying to Japan. I am so not looking forward to the long plane ride. United Airlines suck big time. The lack of leg room was like sitting in a box for 10 hours. I do not know how obese and tall people can deal with that.

Once I make it back, my cash impulses should settle down. Yesterday, I stayed in and did not spend one dime. Today, I plan on going to a birthday party in D.C. for one of my classmates. It should be fun.

GI Jane

July 8, 2008

New York, New York

Filed under: Financial distractions — gijanefinances @ 11:10 am

I just saw a wonderful play, “In the Heights,” on Broadway this past weekend. I always make sure to see a show when travelling to the east coast. It was not cheap. Here’s my expenses that will be out of my cash flow:

$230 for the Millennium Hotel
$135 ticket for Broadway show (already paid)
$250 round trip Amtrak (could not believe how expensive it was)

Regular expenses:
$ 767 mortgage on house up for sale
$933 rental house
$145 house/auto insurance
$400 Roth IRA
$1000 Salliemae
$39.15 cable
$15 O’club dues

Grand total: 3299.15

Anticipated utilities for house on market ???

Gotta to run…more to follow.

GI Jane

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