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This and that

February 26th, 2010 at 12:13 pm

I initially started this for fun, but it looks like it may be profitable too.

Drug store game records

CPA exam is delayed again. Argh! I'm so frustrated. Why did it take so long to have that degree conferred? Review should have been done when I submitted that graduation application. Unofficial transcript was recently updated but official one is still not ready, which means it's impossible for me to take the exam I had planned for the end of this month. Next available window is all the way in April. I'm going to need to take Reg in that window, otherwise the data will be updated to 2010 info.

Been looking at real estate lately too. Townhouses in my neighborhood, with 1-2 bedrooms and 1-2 car ports are hovering around $100k to $150k. After $30k down and using 6% for 25 years for calculation, the monthly payment range from $700 to $1000. Add in property tax, insurance and home association fee, the total is very much within my reach. I want to buy one so badly right now.

Joining the drug store game

February 5th, 2010 at 10:24 pm

I've been mad busy this past month. Between working like crazy, studying for the CPA exam, and fending for myself now that my parents are off on their months long vacation, there are hardly anytime left for me to do anything else. I was seriously spoiled while I was in school. I didn't have to worry about housework at all before, now I have to remember to get the mail, take out the trash, do the laundry, clean the house, water the plants, turn down the thermostats when I leave, etc.... The list just goes on and on. I also broke the washing machine when I washed my pillow so now it takes even more time to do the laundry. The rice cooker also died at the same time, although not because I did anything. After 10 years of continuous 24/24 usage it finally ran out of steam.

Anyway, I went and bought this rice cooker from Costco.



It cooks regular white rice, quick rice for when you're short on time, brown rice and can also steams stuff. Looks good right? Well, looks can be deceiving. It can cook rice quite well, but if you leave the rice on warm for a couple of hours, your nice pot of rice will be ruined. The temperature for warm function is set too high causing the rice in contact with the pot to dry out, as if it has been out in the air for several days. The evaporated moisture is then condensed and dropped down to the rice in the middle, turning it into mushy congee.

I search for some info on it and found out that the tempt is high to prevent the rice from going bad. I couldn't believe the number of comments on how rice develops bacteria in just a few hours. Obviously these people are non-rice eater. Rice left outside, in hot and humid tropical weather, can last the whole day without going bad. I ate rice my entire life and I've never gotten sick from it. My rice is not cooked daily. I cook a full pot and leave it on warm for 3-4 days while I slowly finish it.

I ended up returning that one and ordered the same model as my old one.



Had to wait a week for it since the one made in Japan is only available online. Stores nearby have the same cooker, but made in China, for half the price but I couldn't buy those. Reviews from everyone I've know, who bought the China version, have been terrible. Anyway, an entire week without rice made me extremely irritable.

I also got started on the drug stores game and boy is it fun Big Grin

CVS

So far, I've spent $6 out of pocket for:

. .

And got back $6 ECB for my next purchase.

Rite Aid

Received $.50 for buying

.

Woohoo!

Got to find a way to get rid of the Ousts though since I don't use them.

Mad money

January 3rd, 2010 at 03:02 am

So it turned out that I don't really have to shoulder that large monthly bill by myself after all. I got a year worth of prepaid rent on half the bill, with the future contingent on my own financial health. Whew! First thing I did was to put them all into my IRA and max it out for the year Stick Out Tongue Pay myself first a motto I follow quite diligently.

I also feel sufficiently stable enough at this point to be able to set aside some money for fun. No, not spending fun, but investing fun. Alright, more like gambling fun. I've thought about this mad money portion for several years now and followed several businesses I like as a simulation. I haven't seriously looked into a discount brokerage firm before because as a predetermined percentage of my assets, the Mad Money fund was pitiful. At this point though, a success would generate enough, after fees, to make it worth my time. Loss is expected, so it's not a factor.

Been contemplate venturing into the operating side of business lately. It has been looking quite appealing, especially now that I have the flexibility to accommodate its demand. Although, the brief glimpse I had of the enormous amount of effort going into it and the ridiculous low chance of it succeeding has dampened my motivation somewhat. I'll just let it stew for a few more years while I work out all the technicalities.

For now I should just focus on the CPA review book that just came in. Ah, Auditing and Attestation, how I detest thee. Seriously, out of all my classes, financial audit has been the most dull. I wonder if everyone else think the same way as attested by the fact that this book became available while my positions on the wait list for REG and FAR haven't changed for the past 3 months.

What I have been up to

December 30th, 2009 at 02:11 am

I would love to say that I spent several days after graduation sleeping like the dead but sadly that didn't happened. Got a temporary promotion to a higher classification, with salary increase of 19.8%. This means that my regular hour now pay the same as old pay + shift differential. This would have been really sweet except night shift is not available for this new position. It looks a little better on the resume though, so that's a plus.

It was touch and go for a while there with the approval from the top given the current state of the budget and all but it went through right before my last final. I had to go to HR to submit my application the day before final. Since this change was somewhat last minute it threw a wrench into my already planned out schedule. I spent most of my time trying to convince my coworkers to switch shifts with me whenever possible and to cover for me otherwise. Lost the opportunity to sign up for work on Sunday for the next six months as well as a lot of hours, but my schedule for next month is finally settled.

My parents are also planning to visit my grandparents this coming lunar new year and wanted to brings the videos they took last time to show everybody. We're speaking of videos on tape from 5 years ago and they want DVD version of them with crisp images and clear audio. I haven't even so much as touched a video recorder in all my years, but since I studied various fields of engineering for several years, I'm expected to make it happened.

Spent a lot of time researching and ran into so many issues from software compatibility to memory constraint to poor quality videos, etc... you name it. After spending several days and numerous attempts at importing the videos, I finally had to go and ordered a firewire card.



It made the process so much easier, but still took an additional 20 hours just to make copies. Parents are finally happy with the quality of the videos and now they want edited versions with all the jazz. I'm going to get to know video editing softwares really well after this.

Other than that, I've been spending my time cleaning and gaming Big Grin

I got so many games to play through, most of which I stopped right before the final bosses so I still don't know how they end. I did finish Chrono Cross and I'm now working on FF VII.



Didn't even bother trying for perfect game this time around since spending hundreds of hours stats building/leveling was what caused me to stop playing in the first place. Got to say, most of the playable characters were really redundant. Out of the 40 or so characters I recruited, I only ever used 6 or 7 at the most. I'm so not looking forward to getting the 108 stars of destiny in Suikoden III now. Oh, and the so call good ending really sucks.

Freedom

December 22nd, 2009 at 07:55 am

Whoowoo! I'm done with school and hopefully I won't feel the urge to go back for the torture anytime soon. These past few months have been horrid.

Ceremony was held last Thursday and there were a lot of people. I went to two graduation ceremonies before, my cousin's and my sister's. Both of them happened to be in fields that had few students and they both graduated off season too. So I had the impression that it'll be a nice, quiet affair. We also had to pay for tickets instead of going for free like the other ceremonies, which should have lessen the number of attendees. But no. There were so many people I couldn't even find my family and also my calls were dropped continuously when they normally worked find.

Anyway, grades just came out and it's official that I have won't have to go back for any reasons. ^_^ On a side note, don't you hate it when teacher uses only A, B, C grading scale without the +/-. I was only 1% off from the next grade level, but got the same grade as someone who got 9% lower. Since the school calculates GPA on a +/- scale, that just reduced the GPA for that class by 0.3 point.

Decimated my saving

November 27th, 2009 at 04:59 pm

One of the reasons why I don't bother with date specific goals anymore is because I can't keep them. Something always came up to either speed up or delay the goals. Perfect example is this:



I initially planned to get a Yaris back during July. That plan was then pushed back to July of next year. Then some price and model adjustment and well, I'm now the happy owner of a Toyota Camry instead. Got it for $6k.

Title of our place was also transferred over to my name and with it came all the responsibility of an owner. I had to set aside $5k for the rent account and a monthly outflow of $1k.

Since the car cost less than I anticipated, I decided to fully funded my IRA. Which meant another $3k out of the saving account.

Earning for November is also the lowest YTD.

On the bright side, I managed to save $500 per month for both October and November.

Kyaaaa!!

October 29th, 2009 at 05:57 pm

Warning: This post has nothing to do with finance, I'm just writing this because I can't contain myself. (^_^)

That's the sound of me fangirling Smile

It's been a really long time since I've seen a drama that can keep me glued to the screen, even Queen Seon Duk only managed to capture my attention for 10 episodes. But the romance comedy You're Beautiful is doing an exceptional job of making it happened.




OMG, the hilarity. The series is being air right now and the weekly wait is driving me nut. Drop by dramabeans.com for recaps if you want to know what it's about.

Also, I'm in love with the male lead, Jang Geun Seok, eyeliner and all.



Well, more like his character and his acting ability. Lol, I haven't felt giddy over a celebrity since I saw Pierce Brosnan in Goldeneye and The Thomas Crown affair.

Ok, I guess it's relate to finance in that I'm very, very willing to shell out big bucks to buy this series, once it's wrapped up.

Never spent at the right time

October 27th, 2009 at 09:34 am

CC company recently sent me a letter offering to double my cash back through Nov 30. I called in and registered my card, which is all nice and good. Unfortunate, I'm not planning on purchasing anything this month or the next. Same problem with store sales too. Either I didn't have time to shop or I just didn't feel the need to buy during their sales. When I did spend, often there weren't any offering. Bah!

It's that time of the year

October 17th, 2009 at 11:38 pm

Yup, it's the annual clean up.