Money

Worth it? I think so...

So they finally have the tollway built right to my front door now. Before I had to drive to and from work via normal city streets. It didn't cost me any money but it cost me about 45 to 50 minutes each way. Well now the toll way is finished and it has changed my life.

First of all the time. It now takes me less than 20 minutes to get to work. Not only that but I get there at 75 mph and on cruise control. Lets say that it's this 20 minutes vs. our previous 50 minutes. That's a 30 minute savings, EACH WAY. Multiply that out and that is a savings of 260 hours every year.

Now the money... It now cost me $1.70 each way in tolls. If you multiply that out you end up with $884 each year. That's a lot of money to just drive to work. But is it worth $884 to save nearly 11 days worth of driving. I think so. That's 11 days I can use sleeping, playing, loving, working, learning, or just doing something crazy like being with family. It's worth it...

Bad things at good times...

So nearly the worse thing just happened. Luckily it happened at a pretty good time. My iPod is dead, well at least severely wounded. The right, or next key has stopped working. This means no next song, no games, or no using anything that need to go to the right. Normally this isn't the end of world, I just bite the bullet and go buy another. But let me say this, not counting my normal monthly bills, over the past 7 weeks I have spent $12,000. That is correct. It's not a typo, that's twelve thousand dollars. I don't need another few hundred dollars tacked on that.

Now the good part. One, I own an FM radio for my iPod. So at least I can plug that in, and at least for skipping to the next song I can use the radio to skip forward. The other good thing is I did include the cost of my soon to be iPhone in that $12,000 number. With a new iPhone I will have all the functionality of my old nano so at that point the broken nano will become a "moo" point. (Thanks Joey) I suppose I can limp along for another week with a half dead iPod knowing the iPhone is coming...

ick…

Just just looked at my check book for the first time after taking Brandt to the dentist. He had a root canal and a porcelain crown done. A couple of years ago he took a nasty spill on his bicycle and killed off one of his front teeth. It had turned gray and I was concerned that with him being a teenager it would impact his self confidence. So we decided to get it fixed. It's looking really good. I'm sure once they are finished it will look completely normal. Well anyway, today was the first time I looked at my checkbook since cutting that nearly $1300 check. Luckily I had the money in the back so it's not like we are going to be eating from the dumpster in the back of McDonald's or anything, but it still hurts none the less. Anyway, I just wanted to say... Ouch!

I’m gonna feel that in the morning.

And I did feel it the next morning. Yes I finally bought a new car. I'll have pics up shortly, well assuming that I can get it washed. It was the weirdest car deal I've every had. Since I got 0% on the loan along with the current job situation most of the normal rules don't exactly apply. Anyway, I'll get to work on those pics...

Down Payment

The good ole IRS.

So seeing how today is tax day. How fitting would it be that I recieve a letter from the IRS today. Yup, it seems they are "Examining" my 2004 returns in great detail. I think that's just their way to saying "We aren't going to offically audit you if you pay us money". And you guessed it. That's what they wanted. $784 to be exact. Well I wasn't initally very happy about this. Not that I currently am, but I was even less happy when I first opened up the mail. I tried to just set it on the bar and hope that it just goes away, but then I remembered that it had a "Were going to cut off your nuts if you don't" kinda deadline on it. So I finally read it and they were claiming that I took out over $3500 in retirement out of my 401k. Well I hadn't heard anything from my 401k people in quite some time. I called them and figured out what was going on. I had a 401k out there that had done pretty well for me. I had mostly forgotten about it. Not completely but just mostly. I didn't realize that any 401k under $5000 can be just turned off with out any real notice after your no longer employeed with the company you started it with. Evidently that's what happened. In June of 2004 they closed my account and sent me a check. To a home that I hadn't lived in a year. Needless to say I didn't cash that check, and luckly for me neither did anyone else. So after I got in touch with Meryl Lynch, no easy task on tax day, I put all the pieces together and talked them into reissuing the check to my new address. So even though the IRS charged me $784 to find my 401k for me, ML is sending me $3500 to pay that with. So, big picture, I did loose money. Taxes and penalties and I no longer have a 401k, but at least it didn't hurt as much as it could have.

$$$

So I'm off to a poker game in an hour or so. Do you think they have any idea what they are getting themselves into? Cuz you know I watch that celebraty poker show, so I must be good. I think they are really after me this time cuz I took over $100 from them last time. Not bad for a $20 investment. Anyway... Wish me luck!

$$$

Jeff sure makes a lot of money. But I guess he's worth it. You'd think paying him that kinda bank they would be able to afford a decent crew chief. Or at least one that doesn't look like a mutant.

Forbes.com

Life can be cruel

This month has been the worse month financially I've had in, well, just about forever. It started out with my computer bursting into flames. Well things were OK on the money front so I purchased a new PC, $1500. Two weeks later my Truck died. I barely made it to the dealer, that cost me $1000. Then I found my truck inspection is out and I have three tires that wouldn't pass, another $500. I had to replace my TV, another couple of hundred dollars, I changed my insurance so I got an unexpected $500 bill for that. The transmission on my washing machine when out, $400 for that... Then finally this last weekend my hot water heater exploded on me. Between a new heater, tools, and cleaning of the carpet that ran just over $500. Gezz... I can't tell you how wrong my horoscope was! :)

Good news, Bad news

Well I really don't know how to take this all. Today I got my tax paperwork from my mortgage company. On the good news side I've only been in the house 6 months and I've already paid over $1400 in principal. I think that's pretty good for my first 6 months of a new loan. Then the bad news. My payment is going up almost $50 a month. It's cuz the taxes and on top of that they are just getting ready to most likely pass a school bond which will jack it up another $15. That's going to take a big chunk outta the extra money I've been putting into this thing. Oh well, what can ya do?

Should I or should I NOT!

Well, today I went and rode that bike. It was realllllly nice. It's not perfect but it's also a few years old now so I didn't expect it to be. It has a crack in the lower fairing. It can't be seen but it is there. The water temp gauge doesn't work but he's thinking something is unplugged cuz it stopped working when he removed it and he just never got in there and checked to make sure everything was connected back up. I rode it for a little while. At first is was quite a strain on my hips since I haven't rode a crotch rocket in a few years. It's basically like getting saddle sore from riding a horse. Same thing. Anyway I was definitely afraid of it at first but after about the second or third block it all came back to me. It's only been between 6 and 7 years since I've rode but you do kinda, well you don't forget, but you get rusty. Well after about 15 minutes I was all comfortable again. After I got off, the feeling that I was having all scrunching up my legs while laying on the bike came back but in reverse trying to stand up straight. He also said that my neck would hurt the first couple of times until I built up the muscles in my neck. Ya know holding up my big ole melon head with a helmet to fit. And he was right. I'm not really sore now but I can feel it. Anyway, now I get the fun of trying to make the decision. As much as I want it, it'll still be a tuff decision. I'll let ya know.

Help, Please……

So today I had to try REALLY, REALLY, REALLY hard to to make one of those impulse buys that I'm so famous for. I had made plans to do one of a couple of things this winter/spring. 1. Get my private pilots license. 2. Buy a 1973 Dodge Dart Swinger. 3. Buy a boat that I could both fish and ski out of. 4. Buy a motorcycle. I kind of had to rule out the pilot thing even though that's what I want the most. The initial cost isn't really the problem. It the cost of staying current after getting my certs that the problem. $200-300 a month I'd imagine. I kind of ruled out a boat unless I found the perfect deal. That's mostly cuz a boat is generally considered a hole to chunk money into. That leaves the Dart or a motorcycle. Basically with all of these things I'm not just looking for the right toy for the right price. I'm looking for the perfect toy at the perfect price. Well today I think I stumbled onto one of them. It's a 2000 Kawasaki ZX7R in all it's green glory. It's got low milage and all the upgrades it needs. He's asking way less than what it's worth. I could just buy it and turn around and sell it and make a pretty good profit. Anyway, I wanted it soooo bad but I talked myself out of it. Well not completely, I'm going to go ride it Sunday, but I did talk myself outta cuttin a check right then and there....

More Good News

Normally when you call to check on an account and you puch in your number to find your balence or your last recieved payment it's a pretty sad chore. Then if you call and for some reason it can't find your account and the system bounces you around till you finally get in touch with a customer service rep that's also not a good thing. BUT, when the reason that it can't find your account is because it's paid off, zero balance, over, done, or finished this is a good thing. My final truck payment finally cleared and I offically own it now. ''''yay'

Oh yeah baby!

So today I had my 3 month review at work. It went really well. Not only did they say a lot of really nice things, but I also got a raise. It was a really huge rasie or anything. It was only 4% but that's not bad after only 3 months. They also put me on their bonus program which was really nice. So I'm feeling a bit more comfortable with the company.

P.S. YAY, Brandt comes home tomorrow!!!!!

I’m Looking

So it’s official. I’m in the process of buying a house. I’m a little upset with my mortgage guy right now. He’s all excited to get started but seems to be way too busy to actually start. I may have to got elsewhere to get my loan. I think that’s the scariest part because it’s the part I know the least about. All that interest rates stuff not to mention the insurance and taxes. I want all of that stuff all wrapped up in one payment. Later this week I hope to post my list of things about the house. Ya know things I want, things I don’t want, and things that wouldn’t be bad to have but I don’t want to pay more for. Ya know things like a pool. I’d love to have one but I won’t pay 1 cent more for the house cuz it’s got a pool. They are just too temperamental. Anyway… gotta run. Works calling….

The Interview

So bright and early at 8:30 this morning I had an Interview with a Healthcare Provider for a position as Senior LAN Manager. They had just let the previous guy go a couple of weeks ago and things were starting to go to hell in a hand basket. That right there tells me something about there network. Anyway I knew I had the qualifications they were looking for. I read the add and it was pretty much exactly what was on my resume. I just had to nail the interview. I got in there and he was pretty nice. He really only asked me one question. I answered that, and then just basically talked to him for the next almost two hours. So it was a very informal interview. Unfortunately I wasn't dressed for a informal interview. I had the full monkey suit on... suit, tie, and Dilbert boxers... everything! I talked to there 60 year old PC tech. He's quite the character. Anyway they said they were interviewing 5 people and I was number 3. He said as of now I had the job unless someone knocked me off the top of the heap. That's good news. And on top of that it's for more money that DDi. Speaking of DDi, I got home and had two messages on my answering machine. The first was from Greyhound wanting to set up an interview. The second was from DDi's former VP of finance. He said that himself and the former President of Value Added where in the process of buying the sheet metal division of DDi. He said I was the best IT guy that he knew and wanted me to come do some contract stuff for them. DDi is keeping all there IT guys so the sheet metal is with out any network support. Right now they have a lot of work to be done. They have no FTP, Web, or email. So I get all the fun things... Anyway, so on the job front it was a pretty good day. More to come tomorrow when I'm not nearly as tired..... Yawwwnn...

Update: Here's the pics...

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