Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Now You're In New York!

I got a new consulting project! Starting next Monday I will be traveling to the most amazing city in the world:

NYC here I come. This is not my first rodeo, I've traveled here before when I was doing a project with an oil and gas company from Europe. This new client is not oil and gas but they need some help testing a new software package so I volunteered myself. Also, this project will only last until November and I will only be away from home 3 nights a week and working from home on Fridays.

The best part about this client is that they are in Midtown Manhattan. I will probably fly in to LGA and take a cab, no need to rent a car. The other nice perk is the Per Diem, the rate for New York is around $50 to $60 per day, hopefully I can live on $20 and make some money.

I promise to take some pics and post them to the blog.


The Credit Card Debt

Last year around this time I wrote a post that I was finally under $10,000 in credit card debt. Soon after that I managed to pay off Discover but the overall debt numbers remain the same. This morning I've decided to keep the focus more on our credit card debt. Below are totals for both credit cards:

Citi Forward Card:

Citi Thank You Card:

The total right now is $8,891. That's almost $1,000 less than last year so I don't think we're doing that bad. The goal is to bring down the Citi Forward balance to zero and then just have the Citi Thank You card remaining.

I know this won't happen because S#%& happens all the time but I calculated  that we can send $2,000 each month to both credit cards and be out of debt by January 2013. I would like to make this a goal right now but I can predict the future and tell you that birthdays, HOA fees, auto repairs, medical bills, baby stuff,  appliance repairs, eating out and impulsive purchases will not let me achieve this goal BUT I WILL TRY!


Monday, September 17, 2012

Still No Job and Impulsive Behaviors

I think it's only been 2 weeks but I still don't have any work. I am going c r a z y at home. I'm still getting paid so I guess I can look at this as a vacation? No! I need work, I like work! Time to vent again- I HATE STAYING HOME. I miss my business clients, the deadlines, the Excel spreadsheets and the presentations. While spending this time at home I've noticed a few things:

Hyperactivity: I am trying to do too many things at home and I can't just focus on the job search.  My body is too active yet I feel like I'm not getting anything done. At the same time I want to do more and more. It's a never ending cycle, I just can't take it easy and relax.

Perfectionism: Everything has to be perfect, for example my pantry has to be perfectly arranged, the laundry has to be perfectly folded. Even things with the baby have to be perfect, I can't stand it if a diaper is not put on correctly- this behavior is affecting the relationship with the spouse, I am driving her crazy.

Insomnia: I'm not getting enough sleep. I'm averaging 3 hours of sleep every night. I go to bed around 1 AM and I wake up around 4 to 4:30 AM. My body shuts down late but as soon as I wake up my brain is speeding and I can't go back to sleep. I refuse to take any sleeping aids or medications.

Caffeine: Extremely addicted to coffee, as soon as I wake up I make  a pot, way over the 12 cup line on the carafe and by 8:30 it's all gone. I drink my coffee plain so I know it's not the sugar I'm craving. I am always tempted to make more but I resist, I think I'm already drinking way too much.

Alcohol: As most of you know this one has always been a problem for me. I drink way too much, I even make excuses like oh I haven't had a drink all week, then proceed to drink 9 to 10 drinks in one night. When I'm home all I think about is drinking. Not sure what to do about this one but life and family lead me to drink LOL

I have ADHD (diagnosed from childhood) and I wonder if that's impacting some of these behaviors. When I was a child I had many issues, even spent a week in the hospital...

Do I have a problem? Would you seek help? Of course, I don't think I have a problem :) I just need to go back to work.


Friday, September 14, 2012

The End Of The Medical Bills

I was ready to tackle our credit card debt this month but a couple more medical bills arrived in the mail. As soon as I get these bills paid out I will shift my focus to our credit cards. I can't complain, yes we have credit card debt but don't have ANY medical debt. Over the last couple of years we did infertility treatments and In Vitro fertilization which meant a lot of out pocket expenses and bills. When we finally conceived we had pregnancy related costs, I remember the OB GYN saying balance due is $1,450 for care and delivery. Then the wife had to stop working and went on bed rest which was followed by multiple hospital stays. When the baby arrived she spent two weeks in intensive care- more bills and out of pocket costs. We are very fortunate to not have any medical debt. 

What I hope is our final medical bill is actually this bill I posted about back in August. I filed an appeal with our insurance company to try and process the claim for more money but it was denied. I called the provider yesterday and we settled for 40% of the bill so that will cost me around $440 out of pocket. I asked them for a letter in writing, as soon as I get that I will submit payment and be done with that.

The other medical bill that arrived is from Houston Fertility Institute where we did the In Vitro fertilization procedure. We have one frozen embryo that will cost $500 to store for another year. I know it's only one and there's only a 50% chance of a baby but we want to keep it and maybe transfer it next year. If it's meant to be I'm sure it will work if not at least we didn't destroy life. I knew exactly what this bill was when I saw this envelope in the mail:

Not bad, I can deal with these bills now and hopefully this is it for a while. I hate medical bills since you never know what's going to arrive in the mail. Next is our credit card debt, the balance is somewhere around $8,500. As soon as I get my bonus from work, I will apply it to our credit card debt and hopefully that will bring it down to $5,000, be on the lookout for a post about that.

Have a good weekend!


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

DirectBuy Free Kindle Offer?

Did anyone get an offer in the mail from DirectBuy about getting a free Amazon Kindle tablet if you sit through a 90 minute presentation and tour their store? I would love to get a free Kindle but I don't want to listen to their sales pitch. It also says couples must attend together but the wife said NO. Here's what arrived in the mail:

I removed my address and the confirmation code but if you got one of these, let me know if it's worth it. I may get a friend to pretend to be my spouse so I can get this but I'm sure there's a catch, at least it says on there no purchase required.

Free Kindle? Not bad LOL


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Thanks Again Citi

I'm glad the summer is finally over, we charged way too much over the last couple of months so my focus in the fall will be to pay back most of that money. Our main credit card, Citi took most of the abuse over the summer, we probably charged close to 7,000 dollars. I've already paid most of it back but that did drain my tiny emergency fund of 4,0000 I had back in June.

The thing I love about using our credit card is the rewards. This morning I went ahead and redeemed $175 in Walmart gift cards from the Thank You network. All of this money will go towards baby purchases at Sam's Club. I will probably stock up on diapers and formula, hopefully most of that will last until next year. 

Thanks again Citi!  


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I Hate Staying Home

Since I'm on the bench I decided to take some time off and stay home with the baby to save a little bit on the day care costs. Well let me tell you, I HATE staying home. I miss my life, my work, going out for lunch and talking to adults. To all you SAHM's out there, how do you do it!? Why would you want to do it?! I love the little baby but there's nothing fun when they scream or need their diapers changed.

Someone forgot to tell me that babies no longer sleep during the day when they reach 6 months of age. Our little baby requires constant attention. My day was feed, play, change, feed, play, change. We have all the jumpers, gyms and toys but by 10 AM I was ready to scream. By noon I had gone through four baby outfits and 3 bibs and I still hadn't eaten any lunch or showered. Today I learned I have no patience and if my wife ever wants a divorce she can have full custody LOL.

Dear wife- I didn't realize how hard you have worked for the past six months. As soon as the baby came I took off one week and then went back to work. You stayed home with the baby and I remember a few times you told me you had a bad day but believe me, now I understand. I'm not sure if my day was bad but OMG!

Tomorrow the plan is to call my mom or mother in law. I'm sure someone wants to see the little one :) Top priority is also to find work as soon as possible, day care is totally worth the cost.


Monday, September 3, 2012

Back to the Bench

I'm officially done with the project I started back in February so once again I find myself back on the bench. I think I've mentioned before, when you're on the bench in consulting, it basically means find more work and be billable as soon as possible. My company will continue to pay me but I need to get staffed quickly, way back in 2009 I almost got laid off after staying on the bench for months. Luckily a few days later a manager called and said I could join his project.

Friday was my last day, I leave you with some awesome views from the Wells Fargo tower in Houston where my office was located. I was way up there in the building which is currently the 14th-tallest Building in the United States, the second tallest building in Texas and Houston, after Houston's JPMorgan Chase Tower, and the tallest all glass building in the western hemisphere.

View of the top of One Shell Plaza:

You can see JP Morgan Chase Tower in the background:

View of One Shell Plaza and I-45:

Here you can see a parking lot around the Shell buildings, this is where I parked when I ran first 5K:

View of the Toyota Center which is home to the Houston Rockets:

 In this picture you can see the Fulbright Tower in the background:

That is all for now, wish me luck in finding a new project!


Sunday, September 2, 2012


This is too funny:


If you get some time read it! Made me laugh, I guess I'm doing something right if I'm there with Trent from The Simple Dollar LOL


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Guys Night Out

Last weekend I decided it would be fun to have a guys night out. My best friend said hey let's go watch the Texans game and be home early. So like a good friend I said yes and of course I'm never thinking about my wallet or the next day.

The night started around 6 PM. My friend picked me up and first thought that came to my mind was designated driver! I can drink (bad idea) all I want tonight. We started the night out at the Houston Texans grill at City Center in Houston. As you can see the place was already crowded when we got there:

We finally got in and after 3 or 4 beers it was time to eat! I decided on 20 hot wings in 2 different flavor combinations:

I think I had 5 large beers here? I can't really remember but when I got my bill the total was $55 dollars! I'm having a good time, life is good but of course when you hang out with guys the night doesn't end there. We decided to head over to another place at City Center called Yard House, here I had another 6 glasses of beer and the total at this place was $46 dollars!

We finally decided to head out but the night is young! who goes home at midnight these days? so we decided to head over to the local pool hall, we ended up at Slick Willie's and stayed there way past 2 AM:

From this point on I don't remember much. I know we stayed late because the lights came on and the waitress was waiting for us to leave. By now I'm probably on beer 16 or 17 and I don't even remember signing anything but next day I found a receipt in my pocket for $52!! 

The night still didn't end there. We headed back to my friends house and continued drinking until 4 AM. I don't even remember getting home but I do remember my wife handing me a baby at 7 AM in the guest bedroom with my wallet, cell phone and clothes all over the room. I was miserable, I spent over $150 dollars (Citi) and felt horrible the next day. 

This post is more for me to learn from my stupidity and for you to get a glimpse in to my immaturity. I'm 33, I'm a father but I feel like I still have some growing up to do. Thank god I didn't end up in jail or dead, I can't be doing this kind of stuff anymore. 

N E V E R   A G A I N ! !