Things & Stuff
2008-12-30 - 12:28 p.m.
Can you believe it? It's almost 2009.
Get ready to break an old habit. It's a habit we all have, it's learned behavior, and we have to make a change every year to break it.
We have to learn to write "2009" on every check we write.
Thought about my financial situation last night.
I'm still kinda on the ragged edge, but it's getting a little better. Last year I took some of my tax money and opened a secured credit card. The plan was to help rebuild my credit and, by using the card for emergencies and making payments when I do use it, have money socked away for when I really need it.
So far, it's worked out pretty well. The emergencies have been mostly due to auto repairs, so therefore I have been carrying a balance for most of the time I've had the card. However, I have been making payments every month, usually two- to four-times the minimum amount due...and, since the card is issued by my own bank, I can simply do a bank transfer to make a payment - no need to mail anything. I'm hoping that this will be taken into account when the card-year is up. If the bank approves, then the security deposit in the account will be returned to me and it will become a "real" credit card. If that happens, it will stay an emergency-only card.
Also, I've been scanning the months ahead to look for what I call short-checks. Since my days off are usually the same, I can look at how the work pay periods fall and how many days I should get each pay period. An "average check" is eleven shifts. A "short check" is ten, which is usually followed very quickly by a twelve-shift "big" check.
The bitch is February. Since the pay period is Feb. 16th - 28th, that will be a nine-shift check. I have a name for that, but it's not a nice name. That check will get in my hands in mid-March. So I'm looking at a crunch there.
There is a bright spot on the horizon. Last year, I had my tax appointment in early March. So my tax refund may come in at that time. That will save my ass quite spectacularly. The band may also be playing at Cero's by then, so there may be a safety net there, also.
I usually talk to my tax guy in early February, and set up the appointment then. So I'm going to try very hard not to obsess over this. If worst comes to worst, I'll buy some groceries with the credit card and pay it off when the refund arrives, which shouldn't be any later than the end of March.
At least that's the plan. And you know what they say about the best-laid plans.
Dennis Miller said something on The O'Reilly Factor that caught my attention. He'd been very critical of Barack Obama during the election. Now that Obama has been elected, Miller pledges to support the man "who is now my President", and even hopes that, in four years, he'll be enthused about voting for Obama in 2012.
I also have been critical of Obama, primarily due to his policies and the amazing double standards the media applied. But, like I said before, my attitude is now more of a "cautious optimism".
I still don't agree with some of his policies. If I am critical, I will do my best to not treat him the way Democrats have treated President Bush over the last few years.
I truly do wish him well. I'm sure soon-to-be-President Obama will do the best he can. Just know that not everything he does is going to be universally acclaimed.
Since I haven't mentioned her in a long time, let's talk about Britney Spears.
What a difference a year can make, eh gang? Remember those meltdowns - she shaved her head, refused to release her kids to Federline, went to rehab, showed up late to a custody deposition, etc.
Now, it's late December. She's got a new album, "Circus", that's hit #1. She's on tour. She's talking about the meltdowns with a what-was-I-thinking tone. She seems to have her head screwed back on straight.
Maybe she got a life coach. Maybe she got her act together on her own. However she did it, I congratulate her. She fell a long, long way. Now she's climbed back up.
No joke. Well done, Ms. Spears. Please keep it up through the new year.
Today I have to go to Mama Cozza's and check the band set-up...BEFORE I go to work.
There will be a post tomorrow.
Be seeing you.
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