Saturday, December 30, 2006

New Years

Tomorrow in New Year's Eve. Monday will be the start of the 2007. I like when it works out so nicely like that.

What I always hated was when New Year's Eve and New Year's Day both fell on a weekend. You see, at the car dealership I worked at while in high school. We received a half day off, with pay, on New Year's Eve, and a full day off with pay for New Year's Day. If they fell on a weekend, we did not get that "bonus" day off.

That's actually not what I wanted to talk about.

Every New Year's Eve (well, every NYE since the 7th grade), I go to a party at my friend M's. I suppose most wouldn't consider it a party. A group of ten to twenty of us sit around in M's basement, watch "The Labyrinth" prior to midnight, and "When Harry Met Sally" after midnight. At midnight, we run outside, blow noisemakers, shoot silly string, and generally make a lot of noise. Throughout the night, we snack on vegetable trays, chips and dips, fruit, and other assorted party snacks, while sipping sparking grape juice.

My point of this is not to brag. You see, all of the above is provided to us by M's parents. I was thinking earlier tonight how lucky I am that I do not have to spend any money on my NYE festivities. That led me to think, I wonder how much M's parents spend on us every NYE without complaining or asking us to chip in?

I figure, for the cost of food, drink, party supplies, and the movies (we rented them every year up until a three or four years ago when M's parents bought them), they must spend at least a hundred dollars every year on us. That's over seven hundred dollars they've spend on our NYE party in the life of it happening. Almost a thousand dollars on friends of their daughter. I'm not even taking into account the cost of the extra utilities we use, the sleep they lose while we're there, and the time they spend shopping for all these supplies.

It's true that M's parents are reasonably wealthy, and they can probably easily afford the things they buy for us, but it's still not fair to them.

I cannot make up for the last seven years, but I think this year I will bring a small gift to them to show my appreciation. I don't know what I would have done these past years without this party, it is one of the highlights of my year, and what better way to spend the New Year than with friends?

Happy New Year to all, and to all a good (and safe!) night!

[Edit: And funnily enough, after thinking about this so much, M's mom has the flu, so we're having our gathering at another friend's apartment, and it's BYOE (bring your own everything)!]

Friday, December 29, 2006

Financial Aid

Financial aid, a subject that matters so much to some college students, and not at all to others.

I'm one of those students it matters to. My parents agreed to pay for the first year of my college, however, at the end of my senior year of high school, we found out my dad had prostate cancer. That one incident wouldn't have set them back too much, but this came after three years of him having at least one major illness (off work from two to three months). So, my parents paid for the first semester, and then sort of defaulted on the second semester without telling me.

This year, I applied for loans to cover the 4,000 dollars (approximately) each semester that was not covered by grants or federal loans, using my brother as a cosigner. The loans were approved, and then I found out that my parents hadn't paid for the second semester of last year. I recieved another 2500 in prorated (is that even the right word?) loans, leaving me with 1500 to cover. My parents assured me that they would pay for that remaining amount of money, however, it's almost January and they haven't. My mom keeps insisting she did and that finaid has messed up, but it's been so long since she started that claim, it's getting a little ridiculous. I now need to come up with 1500 dollars, so I believe I'm going to have to use my credit card to pay the amount off, at least temporarily. I'm really not excited about doing that, but I will if I have to.

I figure that if it's necessary, I have been doing cashduck and dealbarbiepays as a way to make money. I've been bringing in about 200 dollars a month from those sites, I could probably make more if I spent more time, or did some of the trial offers. My money from those sites is already paying down my credit card debt. Plus I'll be bringing in about $200 from work, and I can probably dedicate at least $75 to credit card fund. I guess it would be manageable, but I've spent all this time paying down my credit card debt, that bring back over 1,000, heck over 2,000 where it's never been before, would be very upsetting.

Oh well, thus is life, and thus is the cycle of debt. But I will be out one day!

My First Post!

I finally bit the bullet and started a blog.

This blog will be following me, your star performer, as I (hopefully) climb out of the cycle of credit card debt, save up money to pay off my student loans, and earn my way towards financial freedom.

You might ask who I am? I am, of course, Jenni, your host. I'm a 19-year-old in my second year of college. I'm born and raised in good ole' Michigan. I have a weakness for buying sweaters, shirts, DVDs, and anything at Target. I accumulated an insane amount of credit card debt in my first semester of college, and so now I'm teaching myself to be a lot more frugal. I do pretty well, however, I am human, and I do occasionally screw up.

Welcome to my journey!