Recent Divine Discussions

Monday, April 23, 2007

Health Insurance: Survival Guide for the uninsured

I am happy to say I am quite blessed in the area of health care. My employer pays 100% of the cost of my health care plan with Aetna with no direct costs to me. All I have to do is pay the co-pay at each doctor visit. My plan covers everything except dental, which is common. Unfortunately there are millions of Americans who do not have health care. I found a very good article written by Liz Pulliam Weston on MSN Money. The article list various resources and programs that can help someone who does not currently have health insurance.

A survival guide for the uninsured

The more than 45 million Americans without coverage will get sick more, earn less and die earlier than those with insurance. Here's where to find help if you're caught without it.

By Liz Pulliam Weston

If you recently lost your health insurance, or if you've never had coverage, then you're part of an unfortunate but growing national trend.

The ranks of the uninsured have grown by 11.2% just since 2000, according to a new study by the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. More than 45 million people lack insurance, and millions more are considered underinsured, with gaps in their coverage that leave them exposed to catastrophic medical bills.

In fact, medical bills are a factor in about half of all consumer bankruptcies filed, according to a Harvard University study.

(continue reading article)...

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Credit Score Update

Credit Score as of 3/21/07 (average of all three credit scores):

644


Credit Score as of 4/19/07 (average of all three credit scores):

667

23 points in one month. I am psyched. My goal is to reach 700 by August. Then I will look into refinancing my car loan.

Dimps

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Out of the darkness, into the light

Can you tell that my favorite color is purple?! Hehehe. Well it was looking a little dark in here. Thought I would brighten the place up a bit. Anyone know how to get some other templates than the ones they offer through blogspot??

Well I am off the work......gotta see a man about a shuttle (I work at NASA). ;-)


Quotes of the Day:

""God didn't promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, sun without rain; but he did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way.""

""Worry looks around, sorry looks back, Faith looks up.""


Song of the Day:

"Me Time" by Heather Headley

Thursday, April 12, 2007

CashDuck, Moving, and Finances

Hey there blogger fam. Just wanted to hit you all up before I go ghost for a couple of days. I am moving tomorrow and I will be to busy to be chillaxing on the comp. Until then here is an update on my financial journey:

I have made $105 from CashDuck since last night. I only had to shell out $8.95 in shipping and handling fees for some free trial stuff. Not a bad turn around. Needless to say I am very content with the site and the obvious perks.........xtra income and sometimes neat stuff (I bought a pair of sterling silver earrings for $4 in one of the deals).

Due to my trip out town for Easter and moving costs I have added an extra $400 to my credit card debt. Yeah yeah yeah. I can hear you all now. LOL. I already knew this month was going to be crazy so I was a little prepared. I had $500 set aside this month to pay on my CC debt (on top of my minimum payments) so I will actually come out $100 on top. So no worries. A tiny set back. But starting in May I will be paying about $300 less in bills than I pay now and I'll have xtra moola coming in from my online hustling (see previous post). So its all gravy.

I am still in the midst of getting accepted into NSU in order to start their MBA program. I will contact my student loan folks Saturday to discuss having my loan repayment go on deferment a month or so before I start classes. I'll save $145 a month.

As soon as my credit score hit 700 I plan on refinancing my car loan with my credit union. They have pretty good rates and I love their customer service. Hopefully I can get $200 or so knocked off my monthly payment. That would be even more moola to save.

*singing*

We're in the money,
We're in the money;
la la la la...........yeah you know the rest. LMAO

Alrighty. Thats all folks.

Dimps out

CashDuck Update

Well I made $20 bucks on CashDuck last night. Only took me 30 minutes. Not bad......not bad at all. If I can devote an hour a week to that site and make at least $30 bucks each time, I can have a monthly income of $120 bucks. Oh yeah baby! And this money will not be used to pay any debt or bills. This is strictly spending money for me and my sweet pea.

If you want to join follow this link.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Making Xtra moola on top of the day job

I have been surfing the net trying to find ways to make some extra money. I have been looking for opportunities that wont be overwhelming and where I can earn a decent paycheck (at least $350 a month is my goal). I have listed the results of my search below:

  • AGLOCO - Short for "A Global Company." Concept is pretty simple: Join for free, download a viewbar, get paid for actively surfing, and get paid even more for referring others. You can sign up with them using this link.
  • EbookDrop - Largest electronic book buyer. They will buy any book you have to sell thats in their system. Some folks go to thrift stores and purchase books there and then turn around and sell it on this site. As a recent college graduate this site is ideal. I have so many books from school that I have no need for.
  • CashDuck - CashDuck has many different offers. Some are free and some are not. You get paid various amounts for each offer you complete. (I made $140 in two days)
  • Ebay - Good ole Ebay. You know the deal. I am moving on Friday and while packing I have come upon things I dont need or use anymore. As soon as I am moved and settled, I will sell the stuff on Ebay. I did this earlier this year and made $250 bucks. Interesting how your crap because someones treasure.
  • Mary Kay - I am an independent consultant. I have been for about a year. I have been slacking on my game but I will be starting back up soon. Contact me via email if you are interested in becoming a consultant.
Thats about all I have found at this point. If anyone has any suggestions feel free to comment. I'll keep you guys updated on how each one is going for me.

Dimps Out

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Sweet Pea's ATM (21st century piggy bank)

Well my sweet pea received her ATM in the mail today. She had a total of $9.25 to deposit in it (grandma hooked her up with some ones). She is loving her machine.....maybe a lil too much. LOL. She keeps asking me for more money to put in. I explained to her the concept of an allowance and that she doesn't "get" money she "earns" it. Thank you D.C. for the link to Target. The ATM is awesome. It calculates how much she has total and everything.

Well I am going back to packing. I move on Friday.

Get $50 for opening Wachovia Free Checking

This is a pretty cool offer. I'll probably jump on it.

When you open and fund a Free Checking account online with $100 by April 24, 2007, Wachovia will automatically credit your account with $50. Here are the terms and conditions:

To qualify for the $50 bonus offer, you must open and fund a new Wachovia Free Checking account online between 1/29/07 and 4/24/07 by clicking the "Apply Now" button.

1Customers must open and fund this account in good faith with a minimum opening deposit of $100 in new funds to Wachovia to be eligible for this offer. This account must also remain open and in good standing through 04/30/2007 in order to be eligible for the $50 offer. Limit one bonus offer per household. Not valid with any other promotion or offer. Accounts subject to approval. Other fees may apply. The $50 bonus will appear in the form of a credit to the account within 60 days of the offer expiration date. The value of this bonus may be reported to the IRS and the recipient is responsible for any related federal, state, or local taxes.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Happy Easter Weekend!!!

Me and my sweet pea are leaving today to go to the grandparents in South Florida. I hope everyone has a Happy Easter weekend.

Much love and God Bless!

Dimps

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Going back to school for my Masters

After much debating, researching, and comparisons I have decided to go back to school for my MBA. Wooohooooo! LOL

And I am terrified. Why? I am scared of failure. Big time. I am scared of struggling again. I went through my undergraduate college years as a single mother working part-time gigs and still managed to obtain my Bachelors in Industrial Engineering. So why be scared now? Well now I have a career....a full-time position with many responsibilities. I am still a single mother who's 4 year old is having behavioral issues at her private school. A 4 year old who is starting to wonder why other kids have fathers who pick them up from school and she doesn't. (FYI her dad is an a-hole who wants nothing to do with his child...he has never even seen her........his loss)

Will I be able to handle the pressures of a engineering career, raising a 4 year-old, and pursuing my Master's degree and still accomplish all the goals I have set forth for myself? As long as I have God at my side and in my heart, I believe I will complete any journey I set forth on. It may get real trying at times but I have gone through worse.

Ok........enough pep talk........now to the nitty gritty.

I researched the MBA programs at my alma mater and some other Florida schools. I was looking for the following:

  • online program or one with a schedule that would compliment work and daughter
  • low cost
  • length of program is 24 months or less
I chose a school that would be the best fit for me and my situation. NSU has a 18-month online MBA program. It will cost about $25K total to complete (which turned out to be $15K cheaper than the other colleges). I spoke to an advisor and he said that I needed to complete my application and FAFSA and have my official transcript sent to them by June 1. If I can get all that done by then I will start classes on July 2. (WOW! I'd be back in school in like 3 months.....).

Well I just completed my FAFSA online. I am going to complete my application to the university in a few minutes. And tomorrow I will handle getting my official transcript from UCF and sending it to NSU.

Unfortunately the company I work for is a small company (only 50 employees) and does not offer tuition reimbursement. So I will be responsible for paying for graduate school myself. This didn't sit well with me since my whole financial empowerment plan was to get out of debt, especially regarding my student loans. But a good friend reminded me that getting my MBA will give me access to a higher income bracket. So basically it will payoff in the long run. And I wont have to pay on my student loan until I graduate. That saves me $141 a month for 18 months ($2538 total). I am debating if I should direct the extra money towards my savings or towards paying off my student loan.

I am real psyched. Its a huge step but definitely in the right direction. I am of course staying with my current company and taking full advantage of the flexibility.

So now I have the following goals set for myself:


  • Pay off credit card debt by December 2007
  • Lose 140 pounds by Feb 2008
  • Buy my first home by March 2008
  • Have my MBA by summer 2009
  • Make $80K or more by the end of 2009

Keep me in your prayers.

Monday, April 2, 2007

My weight loss goal (yes another non PF post...lol)

Why am I losing weight??? Well here are the top 3 reasons:

1. My health needs to improve.
2. My sister is getting married in 6 months.
3. I need to be more confident about myself and my looks.

I started on my weight loss journey on March 5. I began it with a detox. Of course this detox was not easy. It basically consist of eating nothing but fruits, veggies, and some starch for 9 days. And they can only be steamed, broiled, grilled, baked, or raw. No meat! No sweets! No alcohol! No fast food! No fish! Crazy aint it.Well I have learned that I aint gonna reach my goal without some sacrifice. Now I ATTEMPTED the 9 days. I only made it to three. A sista gotta have some chicken...........

The list below are foods ALLOWED during the detox period:

All fruits in any quantity
All vegetables in any quantity except:

white potatoes
avocados
Good sources of protein:
chickpeas
beans
tofu
lentils
Brown Rice (2 cups cooked per day)
2 cups of low-fat or skim or soy milk per day
Water (as much as you like)
Oatmeal (1 cup per day)
All herbs and spices
6 oz. low-fat yogurt (2 times a day)
4 egg whites per day
2 cups of herbal tea per day

If something is not on the list. YOU CANT HAVE IT!!! Period.

I also hired a personal trainer. Her name is Shellita Boxie and she is wonderful. I meet her for about an hour and 15 minutes every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. All other days I am required to do at least 30 minutes of cardio on my own.

As of March 30 I have lost 12 pounds.


My goal is 75 pounds by August 25 for my sister's wedding. I have a goal weight loss of 140 pounds over all.

Wish a sista luck.

Car Insurance update

Well I did some car insurance shopping today. And I am sticking with Statefarm! LOL. The quotes I got winded being $40 MORE than what I currently pay. So yeah.....at least I can say I tested the other waters. I will be calling my insurance company tomorrow to see whats up with hooking a sista up with another discount or something.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

My Sweet Pea/Drama Queen

So today I decided to start teaching my daughter a lil about finances. She is 4 years old now and I am realizing she knows more about money and how it works than I thought. So with that said I have set her up on a weekly allowance of $2. Of course this will not be free money. She will have a list of shores to complete every Saturday and once she does them all she can get her allowance. I am going to buy her a piggy bank this week. I don't want the old fashioned one. Hopefully I can find something that is similar to a bank or vending machine. I will set up a savings account for her and we will make deposit every month or so. This will teach her abouts saving her money. And I think I will set up a day every two weeks for us to go to the store so she can purchase something with her new earned money. Only thing I need to figure out is what bank to open her account with. Needs to be one that is open on Saturdays so my sweet pea wont be overwhelmed by too many customers and can take her time making her deposits. This is gonna be soooo cute!

My daughter has two personalities. I swear she does! LOL. The one side is this innocent, sweet, and precious lil girl who I call sweet pea. The other side...........lord will work my damn nerves and has the sassiest mouth. That is when my sweet pea transforms into Mz Drama Queen. LAWD that side of her can work my dang on nerves.............*having flash backs*

Still debating on where to open my daughter's college fund or if I should even be worrying about one at this point. My BFF Karla Pea says I should at least wait until I buy my first home which sounds reasonable. We shall see.

Dimps out.....