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Sayonara Sallie Mae!

September 15th, 2014 at 09:16 am

I just paid off the remaining balance on my student loan. I just wanted it to be over and done with, and I had the cash sitting in my checking account (earning zero interest) anyway.

I used their loan payoff calculator, which insisted that it took two days for an electronic transfer to go through. It didn't, so I wound up overpaying by 67 cents.

They better give me my extra 67 cents back...

Elder-care costs

January 3rd, 2007 at 01:16 am

An article in the New York Times caught my attention recently: Elder Care Costs Deplete Savings of a Generation.

This brings to the forefront one of my major worries concerning my parents--specifically, my mother.

Oh, it's true that she refuses to invest in the stock market for retirement, insisting that it's an unwise and risky gamble. It also doesn't help that her income is low, and unlikely to increase. On top of that, she overspends to keep up appearances and bolster her fragile pride.

But that's not all.

I also have much reason to believe that she is suffering from an undiagnosed mental illness. And since she and I have a crappy personal relationship (possibly exacerbated by aforementioned mental illness), I don't have the leverage to convince her to seek treatment.

Although her prognosis differs dramatically depending on the diagnosis and severity of the disorder, I do fear the worst. And mental illnesses are so stigmatizing and dehumanizing.

I guess that's another reason to keep chugging at the financial planning, huh?

Credit card companies are grand

November 6th, 2006 at 07:32 pm

This is from the October 23rd issue of Time magazine, "How credit cards soak you", p. 90:

"Card companies are weighing a fee for people who pay their balance every month."

Well, isn't that grand.

I stand by my old adage of "TRUST NO ONE" when it comes to any entity that attempts to profit off of you.

You can never let your guard down, can you? Argh.

Free stuff from Craigslist!

September 7th, 2006 at 05:21 pm

I just discovered this as I was browsing craigslist for local waitress openings...

Under the "for sale" section, there is a link named "free".


There's even a post for bunnies! BUNNIES! Hutch included!

I think I know where I'm getting my furniture from now on. Big Grin

What books on personal finance should I read??

August 23rd, 2006 at 05:18 am

I really enjoyed last Friday's excursion to Barnes & Noble to read up on personal finance.

I think I want to make a habit of this. I'm going to go every Friday.

I want to learn more about:

- basic economic theory
- investment options and how to evaluate them
- how current events interplay with the world economy
- real estate
- inspirational tales of success
- anything else that might be interesting and/or useful

So, recommend your favorite book to me! In fact, recommend ten! Tell me what the book is about, why you like it, and, if applicable, how it has helped you.

A little bit about myself

August 12th, 2006 at 09:18 am

When I started this blog, I was just looking to record, lab notebook-style, my daily financial dealings and thoughts.

I didn't actually expect anyone besides myself to, um, read it. (I don't think I would have written about birth control in my first post, otherwise. Embarrassment)

But with 500 hits in less than a week and comments on nearly every entry, to boot--I am apparently very, very wrong. EEK!

So I think it's time to introduce myself. *waves hi*

My name (online, at least), is Mimi. I'm 21 years old, currently located in New Haven, CT. I just graduated from college this May from a small and extremely expensive liberal arts institution with a BA in Biology.

I think my background explains why I tend towards frugality. My family and I are immigrants, and I grew up in New York City before moving to Connecticut for college and life beyond.

When I was little, money was always tight, and my parents' jobs were never rock-steady. When I first came to this country, my father was a Ph.D. student bringing home only his stipend, and my mother worked as a cashier in a Chinese restaurant. We lived in a crappy neighborhood (lots of muggings and shootings and street drugs), and tried to make do.

Although the financial situation eventually got better (and then worse, and then better again), money was never taken for granted. And I learned subconsciously and from a very young age not to desire anything frivolous or non-essential, and to save for tough times. I never borrowed money for anything I couldn't afford--the only exception being my education.

Now, I'm living on my own and trying not to botch it too badly. I have a pretty good head start, I must admit--I'm not a spender, I save, and I try to look ahead. I know my chosen career in the academic sciences probably won't ever bring in the big bucks (unless I sell out and to go biotech), so it's important for me to start early in learning to manage my money, and do it well.

I'll stop here for now. If anyone has any questions, feel free to comment or e-mail me. I love to chat. Smile

I have health insurance!

August 7th, 2006 at 06:32 pm

Okay, let's get this show on the road.

Got my benefits package today at the Yale new employee orientation. So, I have:

- free health plan
- free dental
- free life insurance ($5K)

...and an option to set up a tax-sheltered retirement fund (since I don't qualify for the fancier plans like matching contributions, boo). Which I'll do, as soon as I crunch some numbers and wrap my head around the two investment firm options.

Pretty decent, if you ask me. Especially the health plan, which seems to cover practically everything (including infertility treatments... o.O). I wonder how much my birth control pills will cost, though. The prescription drug benefit has a $200 annual deductible, then 80% coverage after that. Will have to compare health plan vs. Planned Parenthood. I've been getting them for a steal at $10/pack, and I have a feeling I'm going to realize that soon.

Also got free breakfast and lunch, and brought home four free drinks: one orange juice, two Snapple pink lemonades, and one Snapple mango madness. An added bonus, since I don't treat myself to flavored drinks and juices very often. If I want something sweet, I just add honey to my water.

I also 'accidentally' took (ahem) two pens and two pads of post-its. Yes, I'm shameless. Shut up.

*contentedly sips pink lemonade*

Oh, and WordPress. Cute. Smile