Thursday, April 17, 2014

Saving on the cell phone bill

Needing to save on our monthly bills, one of the things that I  needed to save on was the Verizon cell phone bill, which has been incurring overage charges due to our current plans being only 700 minutes shared between the two phones. We have no land line so we definitely needed to an unlimited talk/text plan. 

I decided to finally get Republic Wireless cell phone service. Our new Smartphones, Moto X, are arriving on Monday! I can't wait! This will be the first time that I will own and operate a smartphone. The last two months, I had been paying $160 for our two lines at Verizon.  It takes a lot of calling when you're trying to find a job! Republic Wireless just posted my first statement and I'm so happy to a cell phone bill for two lines as low as this (the first bill statement is included after the page break): 


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Wednesday, April 09, 2014

New Job!

I finally got confirmation that I was selected from a recent interview. It's a job within the field but it doesn't nearly pay as much as previous job but at least, I can start focusing on debt repayment and paying some bills!

I'll be making $20,000 less than what I was making but I'll still be keeping an eye out for better job opportunities. On the other hand, the job seems alot more interesting the previous one. Once I gain more experience in this particular sector of the field, I can actually (potentially) make more than the previous one, which was pretty much at the top end of the pay scale for that specific type of job.

Now, I can breathe a little bit easier knowing that I will have money coming in to the bank and not just going out. Finally, some good news.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Where are Storms when we need you?? Waste of $50

Last Year, as part of the "employee appreciation program" at R.'s work, there were several discount packages and coupon packages available for purchase. I know, instead of performance incentives and awards, they get this at year's end. Lol.

Anyway, R. called me on the phone and asked if we wanted to get a package or two since we had not gone on vacation or anything for over a year. The first thing on my mind was "I'd like to learn how to snowboard this winter season" so, I asked him to buy a ski/snowboard package. He bought a package for $50 that gave 8 lift tickets, two "Learn how to ski/snowboard" tickets, and a couple of Buy One, Get One free lunch tickets. It's basically a coupon package for Mt. Baldy in California. It's the most local place to go skiing. I didn't want to drive to Mammoth or anything too far. It seemed like a good deal at the time.

I should have paid more attention to the weather. Of course, California has suffered and suffering from a prolonged drought season with little to no rainfall/storm events and since we bought that package, I have been checking every weekend to see if there is snow or not and there hasn't been an opportunity to use this package at all. Why did I pick, of all seasons, this season to buy a ski/snowboard package without doing more research.

Of course, since the tickets were bought in October 2013 for the 2013-2014 ski season, so there was that possibility/hope that we'd have at least one chance to go snowboarding. Now, the only option I have left is to use the tickets for "scenic lift ride"....which is basically, getting into a rickety lift ride that goes up and down a mountain with some trees to gaze at. We'll still do that just so that we are not just throwing $50 away but I'm not sure if we would even be interested in going to Mt. Baldy four times (8 tickets, two of us).

I guess, at this point, I'd be happy to have any getaway even if it's not going to be as spectacular as we had hoped.

Has anyone used/bought any discount packages through the "employee appreciation" program and not regretted it?

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Amazon Prime Increases Fee to $99 Per Year

Amazon Prime is great for people who have online shops, etc, because of their unlimited two-day shipping. I actually prefer netflix streaming over Amazon streaming. I found out today that Amazon is increasing their annual membership price from $79 to $99. Also, I found out that the student membership will increase from $10 to $49 per year.

My mom has an Amazon Prime account that she uses mainly for her Kindle's lending library....which i thought was abit much for one free book per month. Now, that it's $99, maybe she would finally drop Amazon Prime. She never ships anything or buy anything from Amazon anyway.

I think you still have some time to sign up at the old rate. So, if you need this service, I'd sign up soon!

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Withdrawal from 401k Plan Decision

Withdrawal from 401k Plan is i know a horrible thing to do since I will only be getting some money after taxes and the entire withdrawal amount but as I'm still going for interviews (nothing heard back yet) and am not seeing too many job openings that apply to what my skills at the current time, I'm getting antsy!

On one hand, I want to take everything out (or most of it out if the plan allows me to) to pay off the current debt and have money left over to cover a few months expenses. On one hand, it's all the money that I have been socking away since I was 26, when i started contributing to retirement. The current balance of my 401K plan is at $151,000 (a few hundred more). Also, I have about $11,000 in a traditional IRA and Roth IRA. In addition, I have about $55,000 in my pension account, which i could leave in that account for annual pension payout of $16,000 per year when I retire (earliest retirement age is at 50 for this account). Or i can withdraw that money out. At age 36, I wish I am not faced with making these decisions since it will be hard to build up/make up any retirement withdrawals I make.

Currently, I'm leaning towards leaving my pension account alone...$16,000 per year guaranteed money when I retire is not great but it's better than nothing. I'm leaning towards withdrawing my 401k plan to pay off the debt...which means I might have to take out $100,000 to cover the taxes that will be taken out from the withdrawal amount. I will need at least $50,000 after taxes to pay off debt and to have some living expenses covered.

Either way, it's such a depressing decision. I will wait another month to see if I might get a comparable job by then since my tax refund will be covering April's mortgage. If not, I will just get any job and hopefully, will be enough pay to pay the mortgage, expenses, and minimum debt payments. R. is still in the process of being hired from his temporary position to a permanent position (pay will be the same but with benefits)...which means his monthly pay will be at least $300 less than currently (medical insurance for both me and him). But at least, there will be medical insurance available for us still. At least, that's something good.