As part of my goals for 2009, I vowed to read more. I’m aiming for a book a week, but sometimes it takes longer.  I’m plugging along though.

I won’t do a typical book review because frankly I hate them. What I’m going to do is 10 lines of 10 words or less. I’ll try not to ruin any endings or give away major twists.

Hopefully it will give you enough of an idea about if you want to read the book or not.

***

Solomon vs. Lord (Paul Levine)

“Slacker” Rule Breaking lawyer meets By the Book recent graduate.

End up on the same side of the courtroom

Trying major murder case; client is innocent or is she?

Rule Breaker and By the Book falling in love story

Lawyers work together to get official custody of nephew

Decently written side characters to provide comic relief.

Interesting twists and to keep you on your toes

Lots of Jewish phrasing/ “culture” thrown in for good measure

Makes you want the underdog to come out on top.

Loved it! Have read it several times – good laughs.

 

There you have it. Go get it from the library and read it. Let me know what you think!

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Other than my financial goals for this year, I have some other ones relating to life in general. These goals are about expanding my mind (more than likely without chemical enhancements), being healthier (maybe lose a few pounds, a little less round), happier and a better person.

Pipe dreams? Maybe. Who knows? Not this girl. Not until she tries at least!

I’ll put them in the side bar as a reminder of what I’m working on, but you can read Goal Number 1 (read a book a week) and Goal Number 2 (work out at least 4 times a week) here.

Wish me luck.

So I’ve been trying really hard with the savings, budgeting, etc – but I had to take money out of my savings account (linked to checking) for two things. It really stung to do so, I actually thought about waiting it out, but decided that these expenses were necessary.

First, I had to pay a $30 feel to apply for a job with the state. (I hope they let me take this test, there is no reason they shouldn’t, but if I can’t take it? They don’t give me my money back. If you’re wondering, I think that’s crap.)

I applied to take the test because if I take it and get one of the open jobs? It’ll be more money right off the bat AND a significant increase for next year.

(Of course I applied for jobs in Texas too, so we’ll see if anything pans out.)

The second thing I took money out for was a new laptop AC adapter.  Last night I was sitting there and all the sudden my laptop shocked me! I looked down and the power light on the adapter was off. 😦

I knew that this was probably coming. Needing a new one – not getting shocked. I had taped the connection together months ago and was waiting to see what to do in the mean time.

Well, my hand was forced. I went to BestBuy.com and they had some on sale. It was still more than I wanted to spend, but I also had two $25 gift cards for BestBuy so I only paid about $40 for the adapter.

The good news from last night? My student loan was bought out and they sent me my new payment amount. It’s about $100 now which is good news in a way. They also reduced my interest to 4.7% which isn’t fantastic, but MUCH less than the personal loans through my bank.

I’ll take it for now and when I figure out what I’m going to do about a new(er) car and finish the credit card debt I can re-evaluate what’s being paid to the student loan people.

Of course, if I were to win Mega Millions, this would all be resolved…

Happy New Years to everyone! I would like to take a moment to wish everyone a year full of Peace, Love & Happiness. I hope that 2009 shapes up to be better than 2008 – even if you had a good year!

So I opened a ING account for savings. As of today, there’s only $20 in it, but I’m having $25 put in each paycheck – hopefully, I won’t even miss it. (My raise will be about $43 per paycheck.) I can also send money to it whenever I want from my checking account.

I’m also toying with the idea of putting 10% of one paycheck into my local savings account and then 10% of the other paycheck into the ING account. That way, I have some money in case of emergency, but not access to all of it right away. (ING has a 2 business day transfer time to get your money back.)

Even if I don’t send any more money to the ING account, by this time next year, I’ll have $650 put in, plus interest.

I’m also going to be linking my other checking account to the ING account so I can put half of my HSA flex money into it directly. (That will be an additional $425 a year!)

By the way, I’m doing 10% of my TAKE HOME pay, not that the amount before taxes. For now, if I get a new job or make more money, I’ll change that. For now, it’s less panic inducing to do it this way and I’m still saving money.

I realize that the amounts and goals that I’m talking about are a lot lower than many of you are looking at both for savings and debts – but baby steps in savings for me…I’ve never been a saver and this is new to me!

I’m also going to try and update goals/debts monthly in my side bars so I can see my progress. Does anyone know where I can get those cute little progress bars for wordpress?

I was reading blogs this morning and saw this post. She talkes about getting some stock in GM (about $100 worth – and at $2-$4 a share, that’s quite a few shares…)

(Simple math folks:  if I got 50 shares at $2 a share and it went up to $20 a share. Well, I have my 50 shares and they’re now at $20 a share so then I have $1,000. If it returns to $30 a share then it’s $1,500. Or am I missing something?)

I actually had a similar thought not too long ago. Not specifically about GM, but about the low priced stocks.

Any thoughts? I figure the stock market is like Vegas, “Don’t put anything in you can’t afford to lose.”  and I’d have to look at some things, but I could probably afford to lose $100. I did get that bonus after all…and it’s not ALL gone.

Thoughts? Can you even buy that little of stock?

If enough of us bought $100 worth of stock would it help the market or be wasted money? This turn around won’t happen over night, but I have faith that it will happen.

I made a decision regarding the bonus…

(It will apply to any and all income regardless of the amount or source. )

While I did use more than I anticipated on baking supplies, shipping supplies and a few left over holiday gifts that needed to be purchased, I did put 10% of it into my savings and accounted for it on the balance sheet I created to track it before I spent any of it.

I’ve made the executive decision that any and all income (from work, surveys, gifts etc) will have 10% put into savings right off the bat. This does not include flex spending accounts because it goes into a different account entirely and I’m trying to save it independently.

While officially my budget tracking doesn’t start until January (new year, new start) I figure it can’t hurt to get a jump start and practice.

So our bonus End of the Year Performance Dividend” was handed out yesterday. It was more than I expected, but less than I hoped.

BUT considering a good portion of our budget relies on school budgets and participation it’s understandable. That and the economy being what it is…oh well.

The question now is: What should I do with it?

I have some holiday shopping I’m going to finish with a bit of it but that’s not more than about $100.

There are some items that I would like to pick up for Etsy supplies, but I don’t NEED them…I could put it in the new laptop/new camera fund…

What do you do with “extra money”?