Quicken

So, I checked my Quicken today and right now Quicken predicts that I’ll be $80 overdraft by the end of the month with my current pace of spending. I’m sad about this, but not terribly so. I have stuck to my $10/day food budget and I paid for the rest of this weeks doggy daycare for Jack.

My electricity bill was higher this month than I expected it to be, so I signed up for Budget Billing, where they approximate what I will spend in a year and divide that by 12. Then I pay that amount for 11 months. Then in the 12th month there is a rectification where I pay the balance of what I used but didn’t pay for or they pay me for my over payment. The nice part about this is that for the next 11 months I know EXACTLY how much my electricity bill will be. That will make bill paying and budget planning much easier.

I should be getting 1) my federal tax refund next week and 2) my reimbursement from the conference I went to next week. That will total $1200. This money is going 1) to putting my emergency fund back at $200 if I pull any money out of it because I’m getting low for the month since I had to pay almost $800 out of pocket at the beginning of the month and then 2) to pay off my car repairs and if there is any left over after those things 3) to pay off my store credit cards. By the end of May my only revolving debt should be my credit card and I’ll be able to focus more monetary efforts towards bringing it down.

I also opened up a Sharebuilder account through ING because they were doing a special promotion. Buy 1 stock before May 2009 and they’ll give you $25 to buy more. I couldn’t refuse free money and have been contemplating lately how I should buy some of these bank stocks while they are super cheap. So I’m going to purchase some large bank stocks over the next couple months and get money in the process. The goal will be to buy about $50 of each of the major banks (BofA, Wachovia, Chase, WaMu, Citigroup, and maybe Goldman Sachs). I’m planning on using some of my state tax return to do this. By using the tax return I won’t be using money that I have budgeted for other purposes. Since it is such a small amount of money, I know that I probably won’t see great gains on these stocks, but since I’m not retiring any time soon I feel that right now is a great time to put some money in the stock market of companies that our government has decided that they won’t let fail. Thus, in some form, I think they’ll be around in 25 years and that their value will be greater than what it is today.

Things to do:
1) After this current billing cycle, call Sprint and have my billing account changed
2) File state taxes

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