Monday, June 30, 2008

Independence Day Comes Early!!!

It's finally the end of June and I have A LOT of progress to report finally! At the begining of this month, I posted that my goals were to:

1. Avoid Evil Overdraft Monster

2. Stop Payday Loans Forever

And I am happy to report that, drumroll please....

I succeeded in both of my goals!!! It is such a relief to know that the money I earned this month actually went towards ME and what I needed to pay and didn't just dissapear out of the bank before I could even make a sustainable budget.

But, and here's the thing I've been sitting on for a while now. In the process of making these goals, I had to take a good hard look at how much my financial mistakes have cost me. And it's pretty damn shocking. So, please try not to judge me too harshly when I reveal the numbers:

This chart shows how my money has been spent from March 13 (the earliest I could look up online) to today. And it includes:

$2,375 in LOAN repayment. $100 of which was repaid to Friend A. $240 I eventually got back. But I did end up paying a grand total of $2035 to Payday Loans in three months time. And it's FINALLY OVER. My last payment posted on Friday. I am so happy I finally got out of the disastrous cycle. Now, I will have SO much more money to devote more wisely each month.

I also managed to avoid the Evil Overdraft Monster fees at my bank. Something that I've paid, wait for it, $741 to since March 13th, representing 7.41% of my spending. $741! That's more than a month's rent down the drain. Never again!!

Now that I have finally been released from the shackles of payday loans and regular bank overdrafts I am looking forward to planning a Master Budget that's more realistic and building an Emergency Fund so I never have to borrow money again!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Budget Buster - Bachelorette Trip

So, it's summer. Wedding Season. Dog Ate my Finances recently posted about the expenses of being a bridesmaid, and I am dealing with the same issue right now. As luck would have it, my Sister is getting hitched. And I have been honored to be chosen as her Maid of Honor.

Now, as you know, it is traditional for brides and their bachelorettes to celebrate the bride's waning days of singledom with a night of debauchery known as a Bachelorette Party. Think tacky t-shirts and wedding veils and a night of dive bar-hopping. Sounds good to me.

Alas, Sister is not the tacky type. Think Charlotte from Sex and the City. Yup. That's Sister to a tee.
So, we decided instead of the traditional plastic cup and tiara affair to embark on a Bachelorette Trip. I won't tell you where we're going but Puff Daddy hangs out there.

I've known this has been coming for a while, but frankly just haven't had the means to budget for it. My parents told me they wanted to help out, which is great, but we haven't discussed particulars yet. So I am leaving town tomorrow with around $280 not already budgeted for. I need to pay:

$225 - hotel
$42 - transportation
$40 - chip in gas money
$50 - approximate fancy dinner + 1/5 Sister's Share
$25 - casual dinner + 1/5 Sister's Share
$20 - Pancake Breakfast + 1/5 Sister's Share
$50 - Alcohol
$452 - projected Weekend costs

And THEN, there are the things I have already paid for, including:

$5 - Light Up Novelty Rings
$14 - T-Shirt Transfer Paper for craft Project

Party Store
$3 - Bachelorette Party Banner
$3 - Pin the Bowtie on the Bachelor Game
$4.50 - Pink whistles on a chain

Discount Store (from last pay period)
$20 - 5 tote Bags for craft project
$5 - 5 handheld fans
$10 - 5 Pink beach mats

Spencer's Gifts
$13 - Novelty Veil
$4 - Novelty Shot Glasses

Total of Crap Bought for Weekend = 62.50

Grand Total of Weekend (Projected) = 514.50

Now, even though it looks like I have purchased a LOT of crap, I found a couple of ways to save. One is, I made really nice tote bags for all the girls (except me because I actually forgot to count myself, darn!) that look sorta like these:

Except, instead of paying $37 + $7 in personalization costs from, I was able to find inexpensive tote bags for $4 each at a discount store. Then I made a design on the computer and printed it out on t-shirt transfer paper. They look pretty great if I do say so myself!
So, alas, I am hoping everything will work out. Her other friends make considerably more than me so maybe they will chip in more for alcohol, dinner, etc, but I can't really count on it. I am looking forward to a fun (if expensive) weekend!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Budget 06/25--7/08

I wish it were July 9th RIGHT NOW because I would finally have money!!! But alas, this pay period is same old visit to Being Broke Town. I know I shouldn't get ahead of myself, BUT on July 9th I can 1) Pay Back Boyfriend AND 2) Start Emergency Fund!

But, right now, owing to my soon-to-be-annulled marriage to Payday Loans and the upcoming Sister's Bachelorette Trip, here's what I got:

Starting Balance: 1220

Rent - 690
Professional Fee - 65 (will be reimbursed)
Payday Loan - 195 (LAST ONE!!!)
Hair Cut if I have time - 30 (or less)

Which leaves us with about $240, which would be PLENTY if I didn't have to go on this trip this weekend.

Oh, the glory of being a Maid of Honor. My parents have sworn up and down they will help BUT they tend to underestimate the cost of things so we'll see how much they can help with.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Where it Went 6/11-6/24

I'm proud to report I finished out this budgeting period with a POSITIVE balance! Granted it was only $0.69 but it's much better than dealing with the Evil Overdraft Monster.

So here's how I did compared to the Budget I laid out for myself:


65 - Utilities (65)
48 - Cell (48.65)
175 - Payday Loan (175)
125 - Nice Collection Agency (125.81)
406 - Student Loan (406.96)
225 - Work Trip (38.50 - more explanation below)
85 - Boyfriend Birthday Gift (75)

Not Budgeted For But Paid:

50 - Credit Card - this payment wasn't yet due but I worried about being able to make the payment so close to rent being due and while on Sister's Bachelorette Trip next weekend so I just went ahead and paid some to it in advance.

207.50 - Cash Withdrawals. This is much higher than I anticipated. There are several explanations but the main reason is: I can't live on 90 bucks for two weeks. Just can't do it. Luckily I'll have a more realistic Budget in effect in two more weeks. $40 of this was spent on accessories for Sister's Bachelorette Trip (sigh).

Boyfriend's Birthday Gift - only ended up being $75 but I did withdraw $40 on Boyfriend's Birthday Weekend since we were out of town.

So..the work trip. I want to post more on this experience later as I found it very valuable and it may mean for some additional income soon. But, bottom line is, Boyfriend offered to put most of the expenses on his Credit Card since he knew I didn't have enough credit available on mine. I hate to rely on him like this but I promised as soon as I got the reimbursement check I would give it to him (work is paying for the trip). I also told him the additional money I owed him would be paid back in just two more weeks.

So, there it is. I consider it a victory considering it's the first time in recent memory I have not withdrawn my account in a two week period. Baby steps, I realize, baby steps.

Monday, June 23, 2008

300 Million Dollars?!

Must learn how to make an automobile battery. Hey, I have a lot of education, I'm sure for 300 million dollars I could figure it out.

I Found My Student Loan!

So you'd think if you owed someone over $28,000 they would make it pretty easy to get in touch with them, correct? Well, alas, that is not the case. About a year ago, I was hounded relentlessly from my Private Student Loan lender. They called my parent's house, they called me, so on and so forth. Until finally, Dad decided to allow them automatic access to his account. It was something we had talked about while I was still in college and I knew he had committed himself to help me pay off this loan.

Ever since the automatic payments were set up, they have ceased all contact, only sending me a receipt of interest paid for my taxes (sent WAY after I had already filed BTW, but I already deducted the maximum $2,500 for this anyway). Part of my July Goals (which I'm thinking about early) was going to be "Find Private Loan Lender."

But, alas, I have found them. See, the Lender and the Guarantor all have different names from the original Loan Company I got this loan from, making it hard to figure out. And while there is a free lookup at the Department of Education for any federally insured student loans, the same does not exist in the murky Private Loan industry.

It was frustrating to see that despite a YEAR of Dad making a $303 monthly payment, my Principal Balance has only gone down about $1k. soon as I can swing it, I am going to devote all extra cash towards making additional payments to this lender.

But first, I need to:

1. Pay off all short-term debt (Boyfriend, Friend C; maybe Utilities even though I reached a Settlement Agreement with them).
2. Pay off Capital One (This is almost a Short Term Debt as I only owe about $400 on it).
3. Build Emergency Fund

But hopefully I can start making regular payments to this loan on top of Dad's monthly contribution.

Friday, June 20, 2008

A Little Friday Humor

Nothing much is funny today. Busy as a bee. But since I'm a New Yorker interested in politics. I think the fact that Hillary Clinton is "in serious debt" is pretty damned funny.

Cry me a friggen river.

If only I had $11 million I could "loan" to my campaign.

Don't lose any sleep over the Clintons this weekend would you?

Sallie's Niece to Dad: No I Don't Need Money!

So all but ten minutes after I lamented on the fact that I don't have a lot of money for this weekend, Dad calls. He is a consultant and gets paid infrequently but it's always on a Friday.

Confession: I take money from my Dad.

And before you start saying "Oh lucky you Sallie's Niece, you get free money!" let me tell you it does not come too often, it is not a lot, and there are always STRINGS attached.

String 1: The bank account he uses to send me money is in my hometown, staffed by several girls I went to high school with. Despite the fact that it is probably against SEVERAL laws, they freely tell him how much money is in my account. That is one reason why I transferred my bank two years ago (the other was I got a free Ipod Nano!). When it is low, he lectures me.

String 2: He tells me what to do, where to live, whom to date (well not really) but he's your typical overbearing father type. He knows as long as I continue to accept this money, I will never be free.

String 3: While he loves to just randomly give me money at his leisure, if I ever dare to ASK him for money, I get an hour lecture on how I need a new job, need to move to a new city, etc.

So I told him I was good for now (I think he was shocked to hear it!) BUT that I could use a boost for the upcoming Sister's Bachellorette Weekend (next weekend). This much is true. It's shaping up to be a real Budget Buster. My Mom already promised to help out, but I wanted to cover all my bases.

No free money for me. Must stay within my means this weekend. Wish me luck!

The Work Trip Means Lean Weekend

So I just booked my train ticket for the work trip I'm taking. I know I'm getting the money back but it's frustrating to have it go out the door when I so want to be able to have a fun weekend. I guess I should see it as an investment in myself. When I complete this work trip I will be eligible for more money (yay!). Not like a raise. It doesn't even have to do with my current job (even though they're footing the bill) but it makes me eligible to bring in additional work outside of my primary employer. I'm still learning about the process (that's what the trip is for) so I don't know what the likelihood of me being able to start picking up outside work right away is. Also, I must emphasize this: even though it will mean more money, it will also mean MORE WORK.

Oh well, the bills don't pay themselves I guess. I'm currently looking into expanding my income in several ways. Alas, you have to spend money to make money sometimes.

For example, I want to be able to do real estate closings. And for $150 I can purchase the CD/workbook that explains how to do all this. I've considered looking for a mentor who can help me with the process, but I probably should get the book anyway. Once I get this going, I can make about $400 a weekend for just a couple hours of work.

BUT: I have no experience so who would hire me? Also: no liability coverage. Need to investigate policies.

Also, for a one-time $150 fee I can become a licensed Real Estate Agent. That sounds pretty awesome because of my recent interest in Real Estate.

But: I have no experience and who would hire me?

So there it is, all the dirty litle secrets I can share anonymously today.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Right Time to Buy is Now (except we can't)

So since this topic is fairly interesting me and at least some of my readers, I just wanted to share my thoughts on why (if you had enough of a down payment) it's a GREAT time to buy a house/condo etc. And it's anecdotal evidence so I'm not so sure it's applicable to every market.

But take this condo Boyfriend wants to buy is being sold for $149,900 (according to the Seller). Yet, it is listed on Zillow as being offered at $157,900. The seller even told us he would take off 2% since Boyfriend is not working with an Agent. That brings us to about $143,000 (aka $12k cheaper than it was when it was listed on Zillow 168 DAYS AGO). It is a STEAL (which is what we'd have to do to purchase it but that's a whole other story).

Check out this lobby! Right now I have to dodge crackheads to get to Boyfriend's Apartment!!

And, besides having a place to stay, what would purchasing this condo mean in the long term? Take a look at this fancy chart courtesy of Zillow showing the property valuation over time:

In the past five years this place has TRIPLED in price. In fact, had I not gone to school and just moved up here after college and bought it for $60k in 2003, I would have 1) not had to pay rent and 2) made $80k. Damn, I'm in the wrong business.

But anyway, that's my two cents, coincidentally that's also all I have to devote to a condo purchase right now, but if only....

Mortage Lender Says Ha Ha Ha!

Ok, so I consider myself very up on the news and current events. And not just that Jamie Spears had a baby, but current events as well. And yes, I've heard about the subprime mortgage drama going on and how it's screwing up the economy. Lalala. But somehow I really didn't think this would impact Boyfriend's quest to purchase a condo.

Hey, last year a mortgage broker pre-qualified ME for an $80k mortage which I turned down because it wasn't enough to buy a cute house with a yard and a driveway (what was I thinking? I could have gotten a condo with that much and would probably started becoming more aware of my finances after going through the process). Alas, what a difference a year makes.

Boyfriend went to Lending Tree and filled out all the pre-qualification forms and by the time I had come home had gotten 4 "Approved" notices from 4 different lenders. The devil is in the details, however, as it seems there is not a snowball's chance in hell he is getting a mortgage without at least 5 % down.

And why is this? He credit score is about 750. His income is almost TRIPLE the median FAMILY income for our area and his debts are less than $10k. But, money talks, and he has none, well practically none.

I knew all about FHA loans and that you could get a mortgage with only 3 percent down if you were a first time homebuyer so we figured on a $125k(target) condo he would only need about $4k. Alas, FHA loans are not available in all condos. The mortgage broker he spoke to told him he should get a house instead. As if!

And, before you ask, why does Boyfriend have no cash? Well, I guess that's his story, but it may have a little something to do with the fabulous ten day vacation we took in April.

I even have fancy pictures to show for it. But, we're learning our lesson and a condo is just about 7 months of saving away. Perhaps by that time we'll be ready to live together!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Boyfriend Buying A Condo - An Update

So on Monday I mentioned how Boyfriend is looking into buying a condo in our city. It really is a Buyer's Market in our area right now with rent prices going up (yup, mine did) and house prices going down. We both like the idea of a condo because they are convenient to everything (we both walk to work and to each other's apartments) and don't require any upkeep. The one he really wants is soclose to my apartment it will make trekking back and forth a lot easier and is in a much better neighborhood than he is currently in. It's in a really nice building, has all new appliances (stainless steel!), and is very spacious.

The budgeter in me thinks wouldn't it be easier if we could just live together. This decision has already been pondered and my parents said you should never make that kind of decision based on money (I wouldn't but why not factor it in?!) so we decided to hold off on cohabitation for now. I really hope he gets it though so I can live vicariously through him (the more fiscally responsible one) for the exciting home-buying process.

I Signed Up for Pay Per Post!

So all the cool bloggers were doing it. I like money. I like writing about things. So why not make some money writing about things? I've seen that a lot of bloggers out there have been using Pay Per Post, especially those working towards getting out of debt. Why not me? It looks like a pretty good service and every dollar counts (or so I'm learning).

I know Chicky was able to make $26 in one day of posting in order to buy running shoes. Which reminds me, I need some new sneakers as well. Or some new work shoes would be nice as yesterday my shoes made my toes bleed (ouch) and the friggen office I work in was out of bandaids! But, alas, I also need to pay for my many many bills first (utilities, credit card, and guess what - a brand new doctor's bill just came in the mail!). All funds that I make from Pay Per Post should go towards my very very dismal Emergency Fund (which right now is $3 in rolled quarters in my desk at work, ha!).

I'll let you know how it goes! If you want to sign up too, check out their web site:

Monday, June 16, 2008

June 2008 Goals, Midway Report

So in the beginning of the month I posted my June 2008 Goals. They were pretty small but very very important to me:

1. Do not get overdrafted by the Bank!
2. Stop Payday Loans forever!

Here's how I'm doing at the midway point of the month.

1. Haven't been overdrafted. Check! Spend less than I earn. Spend less than I earn. I'm doing all I can to stick to this goal.

2. Pay off remaining payday loan. Almost check! I have scheduled my VERY LAST payment on my very last loan for next Thursday. They payoff amount was $195, a high price for freedom, but worth very penny to get out of this terrible hole. I can't even imagine what life will be like without spending upwards of $400 a month on payments and fees.

I've even started making a list of things I want to focus on in July. One of them is to never ever use an out-of-network ATM machine again less I incur the Evil Bank Fee Monster. Still got a ways to go in the month but things are stable for now.

Boyfriend Birthday and Budget Envy

So today is Boyfriend's Birthday. We had a very nice weekend away seeing two concerts by his favorite band. I had been pondering what to do about paying for the hotel for this trip like I had promised but I had a heart to heart with him recently and said I really couldn't swing both nights plus a gift so I offered to either pay for one night or both but no gift, so he said not to worry about the hotel. Because of the scheduled work trip I have very little money left over after all my monthly expenses were paid. I am waiting and waiting (okay it's only been a few days) to hear back from my last job interview I went on last week because if I did (cross fingers) get the job, I wouldn't have to go on this pricy trip. But alas, no news yet.

I did spend less than I anticipated on Boyfriend's Birthday gift, however, as the item I wanted to purchase him proved elusive. One of the things I got him was "Home Buying for Dummies" because he is looking into buying a condo (more on that later!) and is devouring all he can on the topic at the moment. I gave it to him last night after we went to see a place together. I'm excited for him, but also a little jealous. I've wanted to buy a place for a while now. There are condos and even houses in my city I can get for LESS than what I'm paying in rent. But, alas, the lack of a downpayment and shoddy credit makes this dream just a dream for now.

Friday, June 13, 2008

A Little Friday Humor

Nothing is really funny today as I am SO busy with work and have no chance of escaping early for Boyfriend's Birthday weekend to commence. Since 1) I am stressing about hearing about the potential new job and 2) I'm off for a weekend of music, I thought this post was funny from a web site called NotHired, where people post silly errors on job applications or weird cover letters.

Happy weekend everyone!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Lights Are On...and Finally Someone Is Home

It feels good taking charge of my finances for once. But it seems like everyday I must deal with how irresponsible I was in the past. I want to go back in time and chastise my former self. Like how did I let my utility bill get to be $450?! Who knows. But the point is, I finally called them and worked out a payment plan.

I payed $65 yesterday. And for the next eight billing cycles I will be an additional $30 to whatever I owe. Sounds good to me. Well no, it annoys me that I owe this much, but alas, it's time to pay the piper (or the utility company).

My landlord just mentioned to me that I should look into getting some CFC bulbs. I've read about them and heard they save a lot of money on energy costs and last for years. I'm definitely going to look into them.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Budget 06/11 - 06/24

My interview went very well! I am cautiously optimistic. There's been a lot of financial news of late, each may require a full explanation, but first my budget:

Starting Balance = $1219 (it's actually a little more but I am keeping the excess from the last budget)

65 - Utilities (I settled with them and set up a payment plan!)
48 - Cell
175 - Payday Loan (one more payment to go!)
125 - Nice Collection Agency
406 - Student Loan aka Aunt Sallie Mae
225 - Work Trip*** (although if I get the new job I may not attend)
85 - Boyfriend Birthday Gift

Leftover for me to live on = 90 bucks. It's a little tight but I think I can swing it.

I can't wait until I get rid of the Payday Loans so that I will actually have a workable budget and can start contributing to my Roth again! Work trip is up in the air since I have a really good feeling I will be getting this new job and would therefore feel bad about taking a trip during my two-week-notice. Hopefully I will know soon!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Where it Went 5/29-6/10

I am closing out this pay period with a POSITIVE balance for once. Yes, not something to get truly excited about but for me this means a lot. I currently have $137 in the bank and $5 cash on hand! Looks can be deceiving, however, as $127 of that money has been paid to Sallie Mae and I am waiting for it to clear and acting as if it does not exist. So, all told, I have managed to avoid the Evil Overdraft.

So, here's how I did on my budget set on May 29th:

Budgeted (Actual)

Starting Balance = 1169

100 - Capital One (100)
100 - Student Loan (227)
195 - Payday Loans (75)
690 - Rent (690)
25 - Dentist (0 - turns out I already paid my deductible)
15 - prescription co-pay (15)

Not budgeted for but paid:

145 - Cash Withdrawals (including $35 association fees, more on that later)
26 - Groceries

Total Spent - 1178-5 cash on hand = 1173

Which leaves me with a discrepancy of $4. Hmm.

Well, close enough for me, I'm in the black for once and getting paid at midnight! I should note some other things about these past two weeks:

The reason why I was able to divert $127 more to my student loans was that I received $120 back from my bank after I disputed a payday loan transfer.

Too much cash was spent in my opinion. I did some grocery shopping and was able to get everything I really needed for under $30 but then when Boyfriend went grocery shopping later, I decided to chip in $15 even though I didn't really need the things he was buying (except for the soda that I've been bringing to work). I also took money out of the ATM in order to take a train to see my family. When I ended up not needing train money, I went to the movies with it instead. So that's where it went and tomorrow stay tuned to see where the next paycheck is going!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Now you see you don't

This morning I got a happy piece of news, another $120 deposited back into my account from my payday loan dispute. For a minute I thought of all the things I could have used the money for, birthday presents for Boyfriend, a new haircut or manicure before my interview on Wednesday, some new summer clothes, etc.

Alas, I still owed my student loans $127 from last month's bill which I underpaid. So off it went, just a few minutes after it came.

I'm happy about this development, though, as it frees up some flexibility in my next budget so that, eventually, I can get Boyfriend the birthday present I have decided on (more on that later).

Friday, June 6, 2008

A Little Friday Humor

This is too funny:

more funny fail pictures at FAIL Blog

If you can't read this forum post, this is what it says:

"book rental service?
was just thinking. my sister does -alot- of reading, and spends like $1000 a year on just books alone. most of them she reads once then never looks at again. is there any kind of like…video rental store but for books? would make things alot cheaper, plus once one person had read one the next person can get enjoyment from it etc"

Thursday, June 5, 2008

A month of Blogging and Progress!

So it's been one month since my first post and although things are still pretty dire on the financial front, I realize I've actually made a lot of progress in a short period of time.

1. I settled an old credit card account and am happy to report that this debt will be gone forever in just 23 more months!

2. I started paying Sallie Mae after almost going into default.

3. I've started tracking every dollar I spend online and through this blog.

4. I finished paying back a friend the money I owed him.

5. I finally paid enough back to my credit card so that it is no longer maxed out.

6. I've made budgets for myself and tried very hard to stick to them.

7. I've looked for ways to save money - including no more vending machine purchases and bringing lunch to work with me.

8. I am very close to being done with payday loans.

9. I have secured two job interviews, one of which looks very promising.

10. I've made goals for the month and for the rest of the year (see my sidebar!).

So all in all, I am happy about what I've done so far. It may not seem like much but believe me, I was much worse off before - bouncing checks left and right, getting overdrafted, spending money I didn't have, etc. Hopefully the next month will bring even more progress.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

I Have an Interview!

My last interview went SO badly that I had sorta lost hope on the whole job search process. Alas, I got a call today from a fairly promising potential employer, asking me to come in for an interview!! I'm very excited but not about to get my hopes up as I have done in the past.

The interview is next Wednesday, wish me luck!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Budget Buster - Work Trip

So I'm pretty proud of myself and annoyed at the same time.

First, I gathered the courage to ask my boss if I could attend a conference that's technically related to my employment but in reality would provide me with professional opportunities outside of my 9-5 work (and he understood that as well). I also asked if, um, they'd pay for it. Not only did he say YES he said they would also pay for my transportation!

"Sweet," I thought and happily filled out the travel request form, adding the conference fee to the fee for taking the train to the conference. Only after it had been filled out and sent in did I realize I actually had to pay for the costs upfront and wait to be reimbursed. "Use a credit card," they said, "it will be paid off before you even get the bill." Haha. Not happening.

I was happy to get the day off to attend and even happier that they will eventually pick up the check but I hadn't really worked the numbers before asking. I CAN pay for this but it's going to put a real damper on Boyfriend's Birthday Weekend plan. I value my career over my relationship (is that bad?) so I know when something has to come first, it's me, but I feel extremely bad that I told Boyfriend I would pay for a hotel that he booked when it looks like I really won't be able to now.

Monday, June 2, 2008

June 2008 Goals and Payday Loan Recovery

A new month, my Rent Check has cleared (or will by the end of the day) and I am setting some goals. There are going to be fairly modest as I am still starting out getting myself out of the mess I created, but here they are:

1. Do not get overdrafted by the Bank!
2. Stop Payday Loans forever!

So the progress on the Payday Loans goes like this: I disputed some charges with my Bank and was able to get $120 back that was debited from my account last week. I also spoke with Evil Payday Loan Company and let them know that what they were doing was actually illegal in New York State (who knew?!) and that I had filed a complaint with the Attorney General's Office. They agreed to stop debiting my account!

Now I know I shouldn't be so happy about this as they actually have taken a lot more than I actually owed them (no final numbers just yet, I'm working on it) but having taken out several of these loans in the past year, I sorta did know what I was getting into. I'm just glad it's going to STOP!

There is some recourse available to me to recover some of the money they took and I'm looking into it. This company, unlike several others I have dealt with, is extremely shady and even when I tried to pay them back, made it almost impossible. I need to wait until the next pay cycle to confirm it, but I think they are out of my life forever.

So that leaves one outstanding Payday Loan, Payoff amount = $325. I am fairly confident I can pay this whole amount on June 12, so I am only 12 days away from being free of the shackles of these stupid loans forever!