Some Good Things

Lately I have been going through some emotionally tough times, much like being in a glass case of emotion. It's why I haven't been posting as often here and on twitter. To counteract these blue feelings I am going to list some things that actually made me smile in the past two Read more

Comparing Yourself to Others. Don't Do It

Over the holidays I spent all of my time with family. At any given moment I was spending time with someone who was a blood relative of mine.  That may not seem weird at first, but spending three weeks with only people that are related to you gets to Read more

Lookmatic Review of Prescription Glasses

I love getting new prescription glasses but I am not willing to pay hundreds of dollars to be able to see fashionably. So I shop online for my prescription glasses. I have used Coastal.com before but lately I have been hooked on Lookmatic. They have frequent sales on  their inventory Read more

Debt Collectors are Weird

It's a week later and there is still no resolution as to who I am supposed to pay and how much I have left to pay on my Best Buy account, which is now in collections. After I specifically clarified which number and email address to contact me, my Read more

Some Good Things

Lately I have been going through some emotionally tough times, much like being in a glass case of emotion. It’s why I haven’t been posting as often here and on twitter. To counteract these blue feelings I am going to list some things that actually made me smile in the past two weeks to keep my spirits up.

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I attended StartUp Weekend in March and my team won 3rd place! I met so many cool people, it was one of the best weekends ever. No joke. The organizing was smooth, the people were all positive and everyone had a different idea. Can you tell I like working in groups? All the meals during the weekend were included in the registration, which was an awesome deal and we even received a t shirt! I would highly suggest attending a StartUp Weekend in your area if you have the chance. One of our prizes was this really cool poster from StartUp Vitamins, a sponsor for StartUp Weekend.  StartUp Vitamins is a company that creates great motivating posters for your home or business. Matlock picked me up a RIBBA frame from Ikea, which actually fit and only cost $25. Frames are expensive, so that is a great deal. To pass on the good vibes, I am also giving away a poster (18x 24″) or  T shirt of your choice (unframed). Just like AND comment on my Facebook page with your favorite quote from StartUp Vitamins. You have until May 1st to enter. One winner will be selected on May 2nd.

I went on a Easter Begg Hunt with Cassy this weekend. We walked around the city with a basket and ‘begged’ for easter eggs in local shops. Most of the eggs had dog treats in them, some had prizes. We didn’t find any with prizes but it was a beautiful day and Cassy got this priceless photo with the Easter bunny. I spent the entire morning with my dog, which is great and we both got plenty of exercise. I even reached my FitBit Steps goals twice this weekend! The registration was free to attend and to get a bag of coupons was $2 that went to a the Powell Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), an all-volunteer, all foster-based dog rescue  shelter, so that was great for my wallet, my piece of mind and Cassy was happy to be walking around the city streets.

Starbucks coffee really kept me going! I usually get a hot grande mocha or a iced mocha latte. Yes there are some people that think paying $4 for coffee is absurd but it gets the creative juices going and tastes good too! One of my favorite artists, Michael Phillips was also in town for the CCAD Art fair and while I was at StartUpWeekend, Matlock bought another one of his framed pieces to add to our growing collection. The red framed piece in the collage above is what it looks like. Two weeks ago I also was asked to speak about a leadership program I am a part of at the Columbus YWCA. I am happy to speak in public, but always get nervous leading up to it, no matter how prepared I am. It was a pretty big room full of ambitious people, which was cool. I like having opportunities like that to practice my public speaking skills. Makes me feel important, valued and challenged.

Something else that made me somewhat happy is that I found out that I only have $3,640.80 left to pay on my car loan. I calculated that if I continue my monthly payments of $250/month I will have 15 payments left and be done with this loan by next summer. But $3,640.80 seems so close, so I think I will start snowballing more and increasing my monthly payments little by little. Those are my highlights of sunshine that helped me get through the past few weeks. What about you? What is keeping you going this week?

Posted on Thoughts By Sofia Sofia in Animals, Giveaways, Pets, shopping, Technology 4 Comments

Comparing Yourself to Others. Don’t Do It

girl typing on macbook with nice watch on wrist

Over the holidays I spent all of my time with family. At any given moment I was spending time with someone who was a blood relative of mine.  That may not seem weird at first, but spending three weeks with only people that are related to you gets to be a bit weird. You begin to lose perspective, well at least I do. I digress. Yes I have a huge family. Over half of my forty-plus cousins are working adults, so we often talk about ‘grown up’ things: work, raising families, bills, what’s next in life etc. .

One particular cousin I had not seen in over seven years. Let’s call her Sally. People change over time and those changes are duly noted by certain family members. Sometimes it’s changes in your appearance, your behavior, or interests. This cousin of mine, Sally,  is about 8 years older than me. She is a doctor and married to a doctor as well. Last time we saw each other she was getting ready to start her medical residency. There is some family drama included, but those details aren’t relevant here. Let’s just say there’s a reason that it’s been over five years since we have seen each other.

Anyways, so we were at a nail salon getting pampered and making small talk before some wedding related festivities. I had already noticed that Sally is really into name dropping designer clothes, shoes, bags etc. Earlier I asked her if she had seen my Toms shoes around the house, she replied, Tom Ford?. We are obviously in two very different tax brackets. Making small talk while waiting for our manicures to dry, Sally talked about the southern city she lives in and quality of life. She was constantly comparing it to other metropolitan cities such as New York or Boston. I asked if she was going to stay in her current city long term (due to her husband’s job they most likely will). But she continued to talk about, what seemed like, justifying her life choices to live in this large southern city as opposed to one on the East Coast. She then decided to drop how much she made on a part time MD salary (a six figure number) as well as her husband’s salary working full time as a radiologist (an even bigger six figure number, working 4 day weeks). This was a bit unnerving. I didn’t ask her how much she made. It was no secret Sally was doing well. Doctors on average make decent money, this is not news. Carrying around her Louis Vuitton purse, Tory Burch boots and mention of a $400 Vitamix blender were enough of a hint.

By the time my nails were dry, I was very put off by her sharing this information with me. I don’t care if the number is accurate or inflated but what is the necessity? I don’t think she’s a better person for it. If anything it makes her seem very money hungry. Was she trying to figure out how much I made? Was she overcompensating her lack of presence for the past seven years, by making sure I knew she was working hard? I don’t know answers to those questions but it was weird.

Of course then I internally started second guessing myself. Am I making enough? (Probably not) Can I do more? (Yes) where is my life headed? Do I talk about money like that? Do I ever sound that obnoxious to others? Am I behind in life? And on and on. I didn’t let it simmer for very long, but then again I am sitting here in an airport terminal while waiting for a flight blogging about the encounter. I have to put it all in perspective. I am doing much better than I was a year ago. I have made progress with work, paying off debt, being happier. There are areas I can certainly work on: time management, being more physically active and building my savings. But for my particular situation, I am doing okay. I could be doing better, but I am not in a bind. So right now, I am going to focus on myself and now worry about someone else’s salary and the bills they have to pay. Keeping the eye on my prize and comparing myself to myself is what I need to do. There’s a great article on medium titled “How to stop giving a F@$% what people think” that you can check out by by Sean Kim.

Have you ever had a friend or relative talk about money with you, leaving you feel inadequate or insecure? How do you deal with these feelings? When is it alright to see how you measure up to others?

Posted on Thoughts By Sofia Sofia in Holiday, Money, Personal, Work 10 Comments

Debt Collectors are Weird

calling debt collectors

photo credit: hub spot http://offers.hubspot.com/free-stock-photos

It’s a week later and there is still no resolution as to who I am supposed to pay and how much I have left to pay on my Best Buy account, which is now in collections. After I specifically clarified which number and email address to contact me, my work and my parents numbers were being contacted by some guy named Earl G. (?). Never left a call back number or even a voice mail. Only saying that he is looking for me. I call him back this morning and their office isn’t open at 8:30AM so I wait until 11 to be safe and call the number that I saw on my work phone.

After Earl gives me his schpeil again and I tell him that his company has all my information already because I emailed it to them last week. I remind him that I haven’t heard anything from anyone at my direct line but instead keep getting calls to my parents home and my work number, which they shouldn’t do if they actually want to talk to me. He “deleted” the old numbers they have on file. I told him I don’t really trust that, because that’s what I was told last Friday by a Dan G. and my parents are still being annoyed by Earl. He then tries to negotiate, “offering”  that if I pay in one lump sum he will knock down my debt amount to $1885, which he reminds me is 60% of my original balance. No dice. Why? It’s 60% of my original balance because I have been making consecutive monthly payments for the past six months, which is why the balance should be wayy lower than $3100. A deal would be settling a lump sum of $1200, which is 60% of my current balance, which according to my records is $2100. Telling me that 60% of my balance is $1800 is not helpful and only proves that Earl can do basic arithmetic. He reminds me that my account has been accruing interest for 66 days now. I told him the interest rate has never been disclosed to me. Can he tell me what it is?  He doesn’t say. He now is confused and needs to talk to his supervisor.

So after being but on hold for a good 12 minutes, he gave me his manager’s email address so I could once again email them my paper trail of what I believe I owe. That email was sent along with a rant of how poorly their internal communication has been and that I cannot pay on an account that I don’t have correct information on. Earl said he would call me back in the afternoon after I send the email. Email is sent with all attachments and copy of the email I sent last Friday. What is this? Groundhog’s Day?

two hours later

Earl calls back. This time to the correct number. He says he received my email and it will be reviewed by their client. He won’t know anything further until Monday. He asks what time I should call on Monday. I say 9:30 AM and he said he doesn’t get into work until 11 AM. Then don’t ask what time is good for me if you can’t accommodate for that time. He will call me back on Monday with any updates and is sorry about the lack of communication. For a company whose job it is to get money from people, Earl and his coworkers are doing a pretty lousy job. So now I am back to waiting another weekend to figure out what is going on. Have you ever had a similar experience? I hope not. I am now going to make a grocery list and find coupons online of things I need to purchase.TGIF.  to be continued. . . 

Posted on Thoughts By Sofia Sofia in Debt, Money, Money Update 6 Comments

Happy Valentine’s Day

living room with white chair

photo credit to: http://deathtothestockphoto.com/

This Valentine’s Day I am staying in. Like a lot of you out there, I will be watching House of Cards Season 2 on Netflix. It has started snowing outside which makes staying in even more appealing. Matlock and I ordered takeout from a local restaurant ($35), are watching House of Cards (monthly Netflix subscription $7.99) and snacking on some cheap chocolate ($5) with the pets on the couch. It’s really nice to have a no fuss Valentine’s Day. What are you up to tonight? Doing anything special? I hope you all have a safe and warm Valentine’s weekend!

Posted on Thoughts By Sofia Sofia in Food, Holiday, Money, Personal, spending Leave a comment
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