Recent Divine Discussions

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Citibank Ultimate Savings Bonus

I am trying to figure out where to open up an account to use as my laptop fund. I am trying to find an ongoing bank bonus that I can take advantage of. Only thing is that I would also like to have access to my funds via a debit card. Only bank that does this is Citibank but I am not sure if I will qualify for their bank bonus since I already have an account with them.

Anyways I ran across this Citibank promo and I thought I would share it with you guys:

Fine print:

This offer is not available at Citibank Financial Centers.

† You must apply online at citibank.com or by phone to open a Citibank® Ultimate Money Account and link it to a checking account you have or open in one of the following qualifying relationship packages: Citibank® EZ Checking, Citibank Account, Citibank Everything Counts® or Citigold® Account. Your Citibank Ultimate Money Account must also appear on the same statement as your checking account.

*Annual Percentage Yield (APY) is accurate as of 06/26/2007 and is subject to change without notice. Two rates can be applied to the balance in your Ultimate Money Account. The rate is not determined by the balance in your account or your other accounts at Citibank. To qualify for the higher rate, you must make at least two electronic bill payments (through Citibank Online, Citi Mobile(sm) or Citiphone Banking®) from your linked checking account during the calendar month preceding the statement cycle date. To provide faster service, requests to pay down your linked Citi line of credit, loan, or credit card are processed as transfers, and do not count toward the bill payment requirement. Also, authorized deductions from your checking account by a third party do not qualify as online bill payments. If the bill payment requirement is not met, a lower rate will be applied for that statement cycle (4.50% APY as of 06/26/2007).

The rates will apply only to accounts opened through citibank.com or by phone and may change after the account is opened. Fees may reduce earnings. Deposits are subject to Citibank's standard funds availability schedule. All accounts are subject to approval. Customer must be a citizen or resident alien of the United States (U.S.) with a valid U.S. taxpayer identification number. Persons under 18 years of age are not eligible. Offer may be modified or withdrawn at any time without notice and is not transferable.

**$50 Account opening bonus offer is only available for first-time Citibank deposit account customers, and will be paid only once to any individual. Persons who currently have or at any time have had a deposit account at Citibank (or any of its predecessor banks) are not eligible. To receive this offer you must open a new regular checking and Ultimate Money Account by 08/31/2007. $50 will be credited to your regular checking account within 120 days from the end of the statement period in which your account was opened. Account must be in good standing at the time of the $50 credit. The amount of any bonus payment will be reported to the IRS as interest earned in the year credited.

Free Citibank EZ Checking: To qualify for Free Citibank EZ Checking, you must apply online at citibank.com or by phone for both a new regular checking and Ultimate Money Account in the EZ Checking package by 08/31/2007. Your relationship package will then be free of monthly maintenance fees and per-check fees. Charges for other account-related services may apply. All accounts are subject to approval. Regular checking accounts do not earn interest. Offer is only available for first-time Citibank deposit (checking or savings product) account customers. Persons who currently have or at any time have had a deposit account at Citibank (or any of its predecessor banks) are not eligible.

Bonus

I received my bonus today. And it is $400 more than I estimated. They didn't take out as much taxes as they did last year. Last year my bonuses were bulldozed by a 52% tax. Well this time it's only 32%. Interesting. I don't understand why my bonuses and my salary have such a different tax bracket. There is only a 16% tax on my salary.

Oh well. Thats the government for you. N-T-WAYS............my mind is racing of what I should do with the extra $400. I have already done my budget and have my plan laid out. So do I revamp the budget and factor in the extra moola?

Decisions, decisions, decisions!


I think I will take a $100 of that $400 and put it in my laptop fund. I'll take the rest and deposit into my spending fund.

I like the whole idea of having a fund for a big purchase you would like to make. Gives you time to think about the purchase and be more rational in what you buy. There are certain things I want for my house that are not exactly on the "need" list. I want an exercise room with an elliptical and a treadmill (at the least). I also want a sleigh bed. I have a bed right now but I WANT a sleigh bed. Instead of just buying these items on the spur of the moment after I buy my house (Lord knows I'm capable of doing it too), I can set up funds and save for them. This way I won't be likely to charge the purchases and then not pay the balance in full.


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Laptop update

Well I received some great ideas regarding my need, I mean WANT of a laptop. LOL. And Krystal at Give Me Back My Five Bucks gave me the awesome idea of starting a laptop fund. And that is what I have done. I have set a goal of $500 for my laptop fund. Like I said in my previous post I don't need no top-of-the-line model with trimmings galore. I just need a decent notebook that will allow me to take care of personal and work business when I am on the road. So $500 should get me that. D.C. at Debt Challenger reminded me of the tax-free days that the Government does right before school begins and she says that computers are included. So that is something to look into.

I plan to put $50 a month into my laptop fund. If I stick to that plan I will reach my goal by ............... April 2008. Hmmmmm...........your right D.C., patience is a virtue. OMG! I don't think I can wait that long. I didn't realize it would be 10 dang on months. LMAO.

Ok rewind.

I will do the $50 a month for now BUT I will also put in $50 each time I receive additional income like a bonus, tax refund, etc
. Hopefully I can find a laptop for way less than $500 during the holiday sales like Black Friday or Cyber Monday.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Laptop

I want a laptop.

Not need but WANT a laptop. Real bad

I have a suped-up desktop. It has all the trimmings and takes care of business when it comes to work and personal use.

But a laptop would be so convenient on those trips to my parents place. Or at work when I am on the road and no access to a computer.

I can get a decent laptop for around $700 bucks after mail-in rebates but that sure is a lot of money to spend on a convenience.

All my co-workers have one. Even the dang on interns. I am an engineer for goodness sake. Engineers are supposed to have all the neat gadgets like laptops, desktops, digital cams, etc. Sounds bad doesn't it? I know I shouldn't try to fit the standard but damn it its hard not to. Its like "Keeping up with the Joneses" engineering style. LOL.

It's not like I'm the typical engineer anyways. One more difference won't hurt to much.

Maybe I should search Craig's List for an inexpensive one. Like under $300. Or maybe I should forget about the laptop entirely.

*sigh*

I'll still have my dreams.....

June Monthly Report

Well June wasn't too bad. I originally set myself to reach a 700 credit score by July but that is definitely not going so happen to I pushed in back two months. Hopefully I reach my goal by then.
Still searching for ways to bring in additional income. Since my daughter will not be with me for the summer and I have free time I think I will attempt the whole NSA (Notary Signing Agent) thing. I need to do more research and get my license in the next two to three weeks. Cash Duck is still going well. I am doing good the Pinecone Research but thats only about $15 a month. I found some more GPT (Get Paid To) sites but I need to make sure they are legit first. Once I find out the good ones I will do a post and list them.

I want to take advantage of the free time I will have for the next two months and bank in as much extra money as I can. Once my Sweet Pea comes back it will once again be her world. She will be back in school and I want to get her into to some extracurricular activities. I found a place called the Young Chefs Academy that offers cooking classes for kids ages 4-16. My baby loves to cook and she could make new friends. I also want to get her in a sport. She seems to like cheer leading and dance. Is it wrong of me not to want her to do something girlie like cheer leading? Probably is.... *sigh*. A lot of the places offer a free class to 'test' things out. I'll take advantage of that and let her decide which one she likes better. I also want her to take swimming lessons. Living in Florida, I believe that to be essential to a child.

Needless to say I will be a very very busy single mom once she gets back. And I wont have any time to work on getting extra money. With my recent raise I won't have to do to much to keep my current financial plannings on track.

Well I am off to come up with a "July Goals" checklist. I'll post that tomorrow when I am done.

Dimps out.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Credit Score Update

Credit Score as of 5/17/07 (average of all three credit scores):

678


Credit Score as of 6/20/07 (average of all three credit scores):

664

Down 14 dang on points! Ugh! I think those two new accounts I opened up in the last 3 months caught up with me (Discover and Chase). And most likely the extra $1000 I added to my credit card debt in April might have done a bit of damage also. This is why I hate moving. I got stuck paying two rents and all those moving expenses and deposits. I know it will pay off in the log run since I did save myself $300+ a month and now stay in a larger and nicer apartment.

Well I need to get back on the ball with that. I have to have the following items in check before I can start home shopping:

  • Get debt-to-income ratio down to under 40%. (currently at 42%).
  • Get credit limit-to-credit balance ratio under 50% (currently at 39%)
  • Have a credit score of 750 or higher by August 2007 (currently at 664)
  • Have $3000 saved in my Emergency Cash Fund (currently $677.34).
  • Have $4000 saved up in Home Purchase Fund (currently $701.99).

I hope to achieve all 5 by February 2008. I have already met the credit limit-to-credit balance ratio. I just need to make sure I stay below 50%. The struggle never ends.

Dimps




Redefining Motherhood!

Nuf said!

Hope you all are having an awesome day. I know I am. :-D


Dimps Out

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Today was a good day :-D!!!

Yes indeedy! Today was an awesome day.

The president of the company came in today and wanted to speak to me. My heart started pounding. What in the world was going on? Was I bout to get the pink slip? Nope! Mz Dimps got herself an 8% raise and a nice chunky bonus. A very chunky bonus! OMG!! My cheeks hurt so much from smiling so hard. God is good! I prayed and prayed about this and then out of the blue the blessings came.
You ever notice that when you get good news like a bonus or a raise at work that you can't get any work done the rest of the day? I spent about an hour or more calculating my new salary and trying to figure out what I would be taking home every paycheck. If my calculations are correct I will be taking home an extra $125 EACH paycheck. YEAHH BOYYYY!!!

And if you thought the good news ended there you were dead wrong buddy. LOL. I just realized that because my daughter is staying with her grandparents this summer I do not have to pay for her school. That means Mz. Dimps has $420 that she will NOT have to dish out for the next 2 months.

What is a girl to do with all this new found monies?? For the next two months alone I will have an extra $670 in monthly income. I already decided to split my bonus up between my two savings accounts. Now I need to decide if I will apply ALL the extra money to my debt, save some and apply some to my debt, or save all the extra cash and keep applying the current $500 a month to my debt like I have been doing. Based on my estimates I will have $1170 dollars left over each month after I deduct my expenses. If I incorporate my savings goal of $100 a month I will have $1070 left over each month. This is only for the next two months. So I am looking at about $2140 to fidget with. That amount could really put a nice dent in my debt. It would also look good in my savings accounts.

What is a girl to do! LOL. I'll let yall know when I come up with a plan. Until then, anyone have any thoughts?

Monday, June 18, 2007

Total damage from "Get-Fine Day" = $97

Not bad huh? Well there is a method to my madness.

  • Hair: $17 for extensions. $35 for the style. I go to a local college student who has been doing my braids and sew-ins for the last year or so. I would have paid $100 at the hair salon.
  • Nails: $17 + $3 tip = $20 for a full set. The regular cost is $22 but college students receive $5 off on Sundays. Yes I used my college ID card. And yes I graduated in 2005. Oh well they don't know that........LOL.
  • Facial: Free. Did it myself at home. Unless I can find a spa that can give a facial formulated for my type of skin, I will always do it myself. Last time I attempted a facial at a spa I broke out even before I left the seat. Ugh!
  • New Fit: $25 total. I went to one of my favorites, Burlington Coat Factory. I luvs that store. Bought myself a cute top and some slacks.

And where did I find the money to pay for all this? Cash Duck silly. LOL. I received my second payment via paypal on Thursday. $160 for my spending pleasure. kee kee. Well I am happy. I ended the day watching the Celebrity Fit Club season finale. Dustin is such an a-hole! Yeah I said it......lol.


Dimps Out

Sunday, June 17, 2007

I'm back!!

Hey all!

Sorry I have been MIA these past couple of weeks. Work and life has been hectic. I just got back in from out-of-town. I went down to South Florida to see my parents and siblings. My mom just had surgery for her fibroids and my daughter has been bugging me to go to see her fam for the longest. My mom is doing well and will be taking the whole 6-8 week recovery time to rest and heal. Per my mom's request, my daughter will now be spending the rest of the summer with them. YESSS!!!!!!!!!!

So I am child-less for the next 2 months or so. I am so giddy I can't stay still. This will be like a vacation for me. LOL. It sounds bad but you gotta understand; For the last 5 years it has been nothing but my daughter's world. Everything I did had to do with her in some way. This will be the first time in a LONG time where I can actually plan a weekend just for myself. Or go out with my friends and not have to worry about a babysitter. I can actually get ready for an outing an hour ahead of time instead of three. LMAO.

I will be back on track with my blog starting today. So look out for another post tonight. I am off to start Dimps "Get-Fine Day". LOL. Getting the hair did and nails did. Shoot I might even let someone give me a pedicure (I don't like folks touching my feet..LOL). Then off to buy a new fit. I have definitely earned it. Who wants to join me???!!

Be easy,

Dimps