Archive for the ‘Blog News’ Category

Plastic Programming

February 26, 2009

Hey folks.  I have decided to finally obtain a host for my blog, which I just did on a complete whim – because that’s generally how I do things.

I have NO idea what I am doing, so if the blog starts acting wonky – just remember that I am behind the curtain trying to figure things out.

You will likely see some layout and content changes in the coming days as well.

Wish me luck!!

xo

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The Adventures Of Penny Plastic Has Reached ANOTHER Milestone

February 25, 2009

For the longest time, my busiest day was December 13th, with 1500-some-odd views.  But today I finally passed it, with 2000+ views.  Horray!

The Adventures Of Penny Plastic Has Reached A Milestone!

February 25, 2009

This morning the number of comments pushed over 1000!

Thanks everyone, for contributing to the blog :-)

Programming Note

January 31, 2009

I will be mucking around with the blog today, I am trying to find a theme that will accommodate my images better than the one I am currently using.  You may see rotating themes or other adjustments…..

xo

First Thing’s First

December 12, 2008

Have you ever checked your credit score?

I have. Many, many times. So many times that I’ve lost count. Currently it’s at 717.

You see, I am a certain breed of Person in Debt (PID). I have a lot of debt, but I pay my bills every month, have a good debt/credit ratio and my credit score is decent.

I’m a master at the “debt switch,” transferring balances from one card to another with a lower APR (exponentially harder these days as credit has all but disappeared). I am often very responsible about paying down my cards, but these periods are inevitably followed by complete loss of control in regard to spending.

So, without further delay, I will now lay out the dirty details of my financial self.

Income

Aside from some occasional freelance work and eBay sales, my income is my salary, currently just north of $46,000 per year.

Fixed Expenses

Rent – $550
Property Taxes – $300
Car Insurance – $115
School Loan – $54.27
Personal Loan – $237.30

Total Monthly Fixed Expenses – $1256.57

Some notes about my fixed expenses:
– I was paying $700 in rent but as my boyfriend owns his house and his property taxes were a huge bill for him twice a year, I told him that I would contribute $150/month if he matched it (covering his yearly bill of nearly $4,000). I started an ING account and contribute $300/month, and I’ve taken his “share” of $150 out of my rent.
– I just paid off my car.
– My “personal” loan is actually all of my college credit card debt bundled into a low-interest bank loan. I am not certain of the exact balance (although I know it’s under $20K). As the interest rate is so low, I am continuing to pay this monthly and will tackle this debt last.

Monthly Income ($1224.08 x 2) = $2448.16
Total Monthly Fixed Expenses = $1256.57
Net Monthly Income = $1191.59

Additional Expenses
These are expenses that I really cannot avoid (not discretionary spending), although they are variable. I really have no clue what these add up to monthly, as I’ve never tracked them. This will change, though. I am going to track my expenses for 3 months. Down to the penny. Beginning December 5th.

Introduction

December 12, 2008

My name is Penny, and I have a problem. A serious problem.

However, before I dive into said problem let me tell you a bit about myself.

Penny, as you may have guessed, is a pseudonym. It is the Internet, after all, and I am about to spill the beans on my many financial fuck-ups. So, for the time-being, just call me Penny. Penny Plastic.

I’m female, 29 and Californian – born and raised. I live with my boyfriend (we’ll call him David). I work in a creative field doing something I would very much enjoy if I only made more money.

I’m pretty happy.

Parents? Check. Happily married and living near-by. Siblings? Nada. I’m an only child (I’m sure this explains a lot). Friends? They’re fantastic but have spread across the country in our post-undergrad years – pursuing jobs, post-graduate studies or boyfriends (and girlfriends).

I drink a LOT of wine and am addicted to Jezebel.com. I love Pilates but haven’t exercised in a year. I have many bulletin boards filled with photos and drawings and shit I’ve torn out of magazines. I’m messy. I can’t concentrate easily but can often hyper-focus on incredibly silly things. I can plan but am awful at following through. And when it comes to money, I’m a failure. Unless you count spending it.

I’m in debt and have been since I was 18 and placed my grubby little hands on my first credit card.

I’m in debt and tired of credit card balances and guilt and shame. It sucks being in debt. Not only do you owe a bunch of financial institutions money (and do they really need more?), but it’s your own doing, and usually for incredibly stupid/selfish/indulgent reasons. I’m not in debt because my father needed a quadruple bypass and had no medical insurance and I was forced to use 15 credit cards to pay for his medical bills. I’m in debt because I’ve bought (and continue to buy) stuff I don’t need.

Trust me, I do not expect anyone to feel sorry for me. Hell, I don’t feel sorry for myself. The purpose of this blog is not to whine about what I am missing and how I am struggling (although I will do that from time to time). My goal, aside from paying off my debt, is to be honest about the process. To that end, this blog will be treated more like a journal. I don’t have any expectations of readership. If a few poor souls happen to stumble upon my rambling I can only hope that, 1) there is some glimmer of recognition, as I know many people share my struggle, 2) there are a few laughs or at least some head shaking or 3) someone with the same problem discovers their motivation to 86 the plastic fetish.

My hope is that in a few years, I can sit my frugal, financially responsible mother and cautious, doting boyfriend down in front of the computer and share my journey with them. A journey that I am only beginning. Here’s hoping that all paths lead to financial freedom.

That’s all for now. I will dive into the dirty stuff in my next post.