Categories
My Life

Lighters, but not Water! And NO BAIL OUT!

Ugh. This is going to be a ranting entry!

First, Hillary Clinton! It’s so annoying how now her campaign is saying “We have MOMENTUM!” You won TWO major states in one day. That is NOT momentum! You’ve lost 11 in a ROW! Wining two is not that big of a deal! Sure, good job. You won two major states in one day, but to go out and start proclaiming that you now have such great momentum. UGH! I hate this woman.

Second, I was going through security on Sunday at Hobby Airport in Houston. This guy walks up to the security guy next to me and asks. “So we can bring lighters on the plane now, right”… EXCUSE ME?! You can CARRY ON KNOWN EXPLOSIVES, but you STILL cannot bring on a sealed bottle of water! This is f’ing messed up! Great IDEA TSA! Lets allow people to carry on a flame creating device, but not WATER! I swear they hire the most retarded people they can find there. Then when you get up to the guy checking IDs there’s this HUGE blue box that looks like a high school shop student put together. The guy takes your ID and ticket and puts it into this blue box to check it… Umm? What I’m not allowed to see you verifying my name?

Third, I was watching CNN the other day and they were talking about all the different housing bail out proposals. These just really annoy me. Really. I am sorry that you and your 5 kids with no husband are being thrown out on your asses. Or that the white Newport Beach family who mortgaged their house 5 times so they could afford the Bentley and the new Mercedes for your sweet 16. But really. DO NOT USE MY TAX MONEY TO BAIL THESE PEOPLE OUT! They got themselves into this situation. Any IDIOT should have foreseen this coming. You cannot expect to live in a house by just paying interest on your mortgage. You cannot expect to get an ARM loan and NEVER have the interest rate increase. That’s the whole DEFINITION OF AN ARM LOAN! If these people weren’t smart enough to figure out that an ARM meant that there was the possibility of RAISING PAYMENTS then it’s their own fault that they can’t afford the house.

The same goes for idiots who used the equity in a house to buy material goods. You should NEVER EVER do this! Anyone with a half ounce of financial intelligence should know this. You home equity loan is a loan where if you default on payments the bank can seize your house (secured debt). If they had purchased the material goods with a credit card or other means (unsecured debt). They could default on the loans, perhaps get whatever they purchased repossessed and suffer a small setback on future credit. BUT THEY WOULD STILL HAVE THE HOUSE! Idiots.

Categories
My Life

Mint.Com Manage Your Money – Update

Hey everyone, a couple days ago I wrote about Mint.com and how excellent they were for managing your money and budget, etc. Well today I went in to try and add a CC for our HSA account. Sadly, they didn’t have the option to do that. BUT!

While looking around I noticed a new option that said “Investments”. So I clicked on it and BAM! There were options for all the major investment firms! I added up my Charles Schwab and T. Rowe Price accounts and both worked amazingly!

Over the weekend I also noticed that pending transactions are now greyed ou and that totals on your budget page are now adding up correctly… AMAZING!

Great JOB Mint! I love you Mint.com!

Now if only we could get past account imports working! 🙂

Categories
My Life

Mint.com – Manage your money!

A while ago, I stumbled upon a site called mint.com. I signed up for an account, but after that I was leary about submiting my personal info for all my banks to it. So I kept an eye on it and watched the forums. One of the guys here at the office told me he had been using it and really liked the way it worked, then a couple weeks later, mint.com hit the front page of digg.com and there was a very large discussion about the security of such a site.

Come to find out they actually use an outside firm to handle the verification with banks, which is also used by the likes of Charles Schwab, T.Rowe Price, etc. So I decided to sign up. I’ve now been using it for a solid two months and really like it.

They are still technically in a “beta” phase, but who knows how long that’ll last. IE, some of Google’s stuff is in a perpetual beta. Anyways, they have nearly everything I could want in a system like this. The site basically looks at your most recent transactions and imports them from all your accounts. You can then categorize them, exclude them, add notes, create a budget, analyze your spending in categories and over all, search for past transactions, etc. It’s all very very cool.

Here’s what the transactions page looks like:

When you click on one of the transactions in the list, it will then pop out a box on the right which will let you enter notes, see details about the expense and some really neat statistics such as your total purchases there, average purchase cost and average spent per month there. It also compares you to the national average for that retailer!

When mint imports a transaction, it tried to automatically categorize it. But you know computers, they are not always right. So you can create rules that certain transactions should always be categorized a specific way. For example, it kept trying to categorize my Gas utility bill as an Auto Gas/Fuel expense, so I created a rule and now it gets it right all the time!

They will even email or txt you alerts when certian things happen. Ie if a large withdrawl is made, or you get close to $0 in your account, when you are close to your bill due date, etc. Here’s what the budget screen looks like:

You can see at the top the alerts that are currently active. You can adjust at what dollar amount each alert goes off at, and even have different alerts and thresholds for your email or cell phone txt alerts! Below the alerts, you can see the budget. The line is where you are in the current month and then you can see how much you’ve spent, what you are over and how much you have left! It’s all very cool. Since we aren’t that far into the month, you can see I haven’t spent very much money. But sadly, I’m WAY over budget already for Entertainment! I guess I’ll be sitting around the house the rest of the month!

Everyone knows how much I love my statistics. Just look at my Gas Tracker that I have. So Mint.com’s statistics page is one of my favorites! The last couple months have been pretty unusual in spending for me, but with the following image you can really get a feel for how it works.

You can see that each part of the pie is a “Major” category item. Below each of these there can be sub-categories. IE for “Auto” there’s “Gas/Fuel”, “Maint”, “Service and Parts” and “Lease/Payment”. You can click on any of these major categories and it will break it down into the sub-categories, on the right it will then list all the purchase in that category based on the number of visits. You can also select one of the pre-set time periods or you can adjust the slider for your own custom time period.

Lastly, there’s a thing called “Spending Space”. Which is neat app, but not very useful for me. It will show you how your spending compares to America, a select City, or a select State. Here you can see how my spending for Food & Dining compares to California.

It’s a little strange that the spending for California dropped suddenly in Jan, not sure about that. But it’s still kind of neat. Again on this app you can also break it down by sub-category, or even compare yourself to just the LA area!

There have been a few hicups in starting this up. First was setting up my ING bank account. They ask you for SO MANY things that most of them I didn’t even know. Basically they have to ask you for ANY possible question that the bank will throw at them for security replies.

Second is that sometimes a bank will not respond. If this happens. It deletes all the log in information for that account and next time you do an update you will have to re-enter all this information. The good thing is that when this happens, it doesn’t delete the transactions for an account. I haven’t had it happen to much with my major accounts. But one of my credit cards has problems almost every week.

Third is that it only imports what is displayed on the first page of your account history. There’s no way to export from your accounts and then import into Mint. This would be an excellent feature. The forums are all abuzz with requests for this and the typical answer is “We didn’t expect people would want to do this.”… Really? How can you not expect people to want this feature! I have over 5 years of data on my banks website. It’d be awesome to import that into mint and extrapolate my spending trends over all this time!

Fourth, pending transactions can cause some issues. For a while all my pending transactions on ING were entered as credits, not debits. Now they appear to be correctly entering as Debits, but if you categorize them, once they become posted, they loose that categorization so I have to re-enter it, which can be a bit annoying.

Fifth, separation of accounts, I have both a business account and a personal account with one of my banks. However all the transactions are mixed together in Mint. It’d be nice if I could tell Mint that this one account was a different organization and to keep them separate.

Sixth, searching… This really needs some improvement. If you try searching for any category with an “&” in the name, you get NO RESULTS. All of the categories are setup by Mint.com, and you cannot edit or rename them. So trying to find all your transactions with an “&” in them can be difficult.

Lastly, support for IRA, stock accounts, etc. I know these are not considered bank accounts, but if we’re going to have one centralized place to manage money, it’d be nice if these were included…

I’d highly suggest going and checking it out. In case you can’t remember, the URL is http://www.mint.com/.

Categories
My Life

I Just Saw Myself on SUZE ORMAN!

Ok. I finally JUST got to see myself on the Suze Orman SHOW! Yay!

First off, oh god. I sound horrible!! Is that what I really sound like?!!? Secondly. They did a lot of changes since from what I heard. When I was on the phone with her, she just said the whole “That’s really fishy” thing and to contact the PBGC.

So this weekend has been just GREAT. Friday night after work Constantine came over and I made him dinner again. We then went out to see West Side Story at the Torrance theater. It was pretty good considering it wasn’t professional. The lead was HOT. But everyone in the play was SOOO GAY! It was hard to believe that the lead was in love with Maria because he was just toooo gay! One boy had a HUGE ass too. It was hard not to stare at it.

Came home after that and we sat around and talked for a while then went to bed. Saturday morning I was SOOO tired for some reason and we didn’t get up till 10. Made him breakfast and then we went out shopping. Hollister was having an amazing sale so I bought three shirts. YAY! $9 each! 🙂 We also decided that we’re going to be going to Prague and Vienna. I really hope that this trip works out and he doesn’t start hating me like everyone else does! 🙂 I’m soo excited to go there! I think we’re going to be going from 11/15 to 11/25. That is if it all works out.

After that we came back to my place. Washed our cars and then I took pics of mine cause I posted it on Craigslist. From there we headed down to the beach with Erick. It was an AMAZING day! The beach was perfect.

Got home from that and showered and then Sirin stopped by and asked if we wanted to do dinner. So we headed up to Green Temple. Excellent food. If I could ever get Dustin to drive up here, I think he’d really like it! haha.

After that Erick came over again and the four of us went off to see Stardust. Which was JUST amazing!!! I highly suggest everyone go and see this movie!!!

Got home and went to bed. Constantine left this morning and now I’m doing laundry and working and some other random stuff.

I need to get to work on these two clients that I am working on. One has been on vacation for the last week. He told me that his graphics person was going to be contacting me over the last week, but I haven’t heard anything from her, so Idunno what to do. He gets back tomorrow so we’ll see what’s going on.

Best Mac Software

If business meetings were like internet comments. VERY funny!

Harry Potter in BUTTER!. How I love the state fair!

405 in 1972. Wow, what a difference!

Also, I’m gonna be in Iowa from Sept 7-10th! It’s going to be mostly a business trip, but I’ll have some free time!!!

Categories
My Life

Suze called me Boyfriend!!

So I had my talk with Suze this morning. It was a little confusing as to what was going on. They really should explain it more. Three people came on the line before I even got to suze, and all they said is. “Is this so and so”. I didn’t get a chance to ask when it was going to go on the air. But Suze was really cool and she even called me boyfriend! YAY! 🙂 I love you Suze Orman! She suggested I contact Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) and a lawyer. So I’ll be having to do that soon.

Sunday was a cold (59) and cloudy day. Great day to sit around the house and do nothing. But alas, I went out and did another 30 miles. Star Map Tour. I’ve done this ride a few times and it’s pretty easy except for one good climb (be sure to click the link and check ot the elevation maps!). I’m pretty damn sore today and I have a HORRIBLE farmers tan! We averaged just over 12mph. After the ride, JC, Tom, Will, Ran and I all went over to The Abbey and had brunch. It was really weird being in there in just biking shorts and what not. I felt like everyone was staring at us! lol.

So is it Dinner or Supper.. Here’s a really interesting article about the great debate. Personally it’s: Breakfast, Lunch and Supper. Except for weekends or holidays when it’s Breakfast, Dinner, Supper. 🙂

Sunday night my friend Manny came over and we hung out and chatted and watched a movie. Great night for movies with the rain and what not.

Ok, time for some work!