Monday, July 6, 2009

I Want My $400 Back!!!!!

So, SUPPOSEDLY, I have $400 coming back to me. But it's taken almost 2 months for me to get it back. The refund check was to be written on July 3rd. So if I don't see it in the mail by Wednesday, I'm going to raise hell!

Obviously, there's a story behind this. Quite a stressful one, at least in my opinion! My ten-year high school reunion was in May. $400 is what we paid for the DJ. I left my camera on the DJs table. Granted, that was all my drunk ass' doing, however, she took my camera at the end of the night ("for safe keeping"). I was pretty sure I knew where I had left it, so when I returned to the country club to clean the next morning, I went straight to the two tables closest to the dance floor. My camera was on neither. So for the next hour or so, I searched for that damn camera: on the picnic tables outside, in every golf cart in the shed, in the freezer, in the grill. I ALMOST went through the trash. I was so upset about losing my camera. I text messaged all of my friends who I had been with the night before, hoping someone had it. But no luck. It was hard for me to come to terms with losing my camera. It had over 800 pictures on it....everything from the past 3 years or so. Granted, no baby pictures or wedding pictures or anything, but things that were still very important to me. I had one last hope, I decided that on Monday I would call the DJ company.

Monday came, and I did call. The owner wasn't aware of any cameras being found, but he let me talk to the actual DJ of our event. She said she did pick up a camera on the table and since she couldn't find anyone to leave it with at the country club, she took it and was planning on calling the club that day to see if anyone was looking for it. She asked me what kind of camera I had, and I honestly wasn't sure so I asked her to turn it on and see what the last picture on there was (even though I had no clue what was the last picture I had taken). She turned it on, then told me it looked like there were no pictures on it. I knew this couldn't be right! But she said, "the screen says, "pictures taken: 0, pictures remaining: 1380." I knew that didn't sound good. I told her I would make the 45-minute drive to their office and pick up my camera, I didn't want to wait until they came back in town. She then proceeded to tell me that she, "just wanted me to know that that had been the first time she had turned on my camera." I believed her of course, and didn't think anything of the comment. I wouldn't want anyone to think I had been using their camera and ended up deleting the pictures.

The whole way up there I was trying to piece together the night of the reunion - for the second time. The first time was when I was trying to locate my camera, this time was trying to remember if I had tried to delete any pictures. It's very easy to delete the whole memory card. That being said, however, I had never done so. So I was surprised, no matter how drunk I may have been, that I would have erased my memory card. Several different people had used my camera that night, so I thought maybe one of them had accidentally pushed a wrong button, etc. Then I got worried, would someone I went to high school with dislike me so much that they would delete my pictures on purpose? Because that would be one of the meanest things anyone could do to me!

I got my camera - the owner and the DJ neither were at the office when I got there. No biggie though. Sure enough, no pics on the camera. When I returned to work, I researched photo recovery programs on the Internet. I downloaded several, but had no luck. I ended up going to Staples to buy a card reader, hoping it would make my camera cooperate better. While there, I spoke with the manager about photo recovery. She told me that Staples Easy Tech offers such. I got the info on it, basically it would cost me $400 to recover the memory card. But they had a money back guarantee. After having no luck with the card reader or any of the recovery programs, I decided to go with Staples.

Who knew you could recover deleted photos?! Kinda scary if you think about it!

I was able to stomach spending the $400 to recover the photos. I had been reimbursed for the expenses of the reunion, so I had that much money to shell out on something like this. I was also able to stomach it because I thought it was my fault. It took a few days, then I received a disc of my recovered photos. Well........only about 60% of them had been recovered. I was extremely bummed about this. I was missing about 20 pictures from the reunion. Apparently the money-back guarantee didn't mean you were guaranteed to get ALL your photos recovered. Glad the manager explained that to me! But that's a whole other story.....

What tore me up most was that the last 5 photos recovered from my camera were of the DJ! In her home! Not at the country club, or anywhere I recognized! Therefore, she had taken my camera and used it! Maybe she did take it with the intentions of finding the owner, but that gave her no right to use it! I WAS FURIOUS!!! I mean, yeah, it was my bad for leaving it on the table, but as I said, that in no way gave her the okay to take pictures with my camera. So apparently, while trying to delete the photos she took, she either purposefully erased the whole memory card, or it was done on accident. Either way, I blamed her. And in all honesty, had those photos all been recovered, I probably wouldn't have done anything besides maybe call the owner and make him aware of the situation.

I did do that. Just wanted to let him know the situation. But then it irritated me that all I got was an apology and a "I'll talk to her." Even after I told him that it cost me $400 to get those photos recovered. I ended up discussing the situation with a few "legal" friends, trying to find out what my options were. I found out that the DJ company is responsible for its employees and their actions. It was recommended that I send a letter to the company threatening legal action. I did just that. I asked for a refund of the $400 that we paid for the DJ. I also enclosed the photos of the DJ as proof. I also threatened a complaint to the Better Business Bureau and a Letter to the Editor. I gave an approximate two-week deadline.

It was deadline day and I didn't hear anything from the owner, so I submitted a complaint to the BBB. I emailed a copy of the complaint to the owner. He emailed me back immediately, upset with me, as he had a death in his family and hoped I would understand. All he had to do was call me and tell me this and I would have given him more time. But he made no effort to contact me with that info. I left the complaint filed with the BBB, but held off on the Letter to the Editor or any further legal action.

After a few more emails back and forth, he told me he would give me a refund, as well as a formal apology. Well, the accountant was to cut the check this past Friday. I've yet to receive a "formal" apology - whatever the hell that is?! Not sure if it was supposed to be coming from him or the DJ. He did talk to her, and apparently she lied to him, said that there were no pictures on the camera. Not exactly sure what she meant by that, if she admitted to using it, saying there were no photos on there at the time. Anyway, it doesn't matter. Like I said, I've never mistakenly deleted my memory card - and that camera has been with me on many drunken nights - wedding receptions, tailgates, bachelorette parties, etc. I honestly don't think I accidentally deleted them. And even though I want that money back, and plan to apply it to my credit card, no amount of money can get those pictures back that I lost.

But now I wait.....and hope I see that money this week!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

UPDATE on bills

As depressing as it is, I'm going to post my current CC balances. I'm down to paying off six cards, but coming back on here made me realize that after October 2007 I really haven't made much of a dent in the credit cards. I was paying down 3 while charging on 3. But here is goes, and I will be blogging on here - I think it helped me be accountable so much! A lot of things have changed for me in the past two years and this time I am ready to make this happen, not for myself, but for my future family. I want to be (credit card) debt free and ready to provide financially to my husband (engaged!) and children (one day).

Here does nothing:

CC #1: $1588.78
CC #2: $947.25
CC #3: $1266.68
CC #4: 1275.99
CC #5: $242.97
CC #6: $2858.19

TOTAL: $8179.86

This is completely accurate (may be a few dollars off here or there) as some of the balances don't account for my most recent payment or if they do, they don't reflect finance charges.

Per my payment plan, if I work REALLY hard, I can have these bad boys paid off by Christmas. And that would be the best Christmas present a girl could ask for!

Wish me luck on my second time around!!!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Yes.....It's Been Almost Two Years.....Sorry :(

Lots and lots and lots going on in my life. Nope, debt not paid off yet :( It should be, but it's not. Within the past two weeks, I've refocused myself on that. And I plan to try to update this blog on my journey again. I've also begun submitting pieces to Associated Content again. One piece was just published in honor of July 4th. Check it out (just part of what has been going on with me during my time "off."

Friday, October 5, 2007

OFFICIALLY under $10K!!!

That's right . . . . I am currently ONLY $9994.00 in debt :) Too bad September and October are such turtle months for me - but after the wedding next weekend, I will be ready to roll again!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


I should have done some figuring in my head before I posted! It looks like I won't be under $10K this month. Even at the end of the month, I will still be maybe $25 away (depending on interest). Which is still good, but I am getting ready to head into a "turtle" month, so my debt pay down - at least for October - will slow a bit.

I get paid today, so this afternoon I will be paying bills :) Amazingly enough, it excites me to do so now! I'll post later with an amount!

I might be under $10K by tomorrow!

Okay, technically, I might already be under $10,000 in debt, but I won't "record" it until my statements reflect my new balances. I just updated two of my accounts, and I have two more to update tomorrow.

It's kind of sad how excited I am to get under 10 grand! That's still a huge number!!!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

A Final Shoe Decision (I think!)

Alrighty....enough fooling around this morning. I figured I would at least try to get a financial post on here today!

For those of you who have been following my shoe dilemma, I've made a decision. BUT, there's a possibility that I will buy one more pair of shoes "just in case." I know, I know, for someone who is still $10,000 in debt, it does not sound like frugal to purchase TWO pairs of shoes to take to a wedding. But here's the deal - both pairs are from Zappos so I pay no shipping, EITHER WAY. How awesome is that?! So, if I don't wear the heels to the reception, I can send them back. I should be getting the flip-flops on Monday, so if I think those are cute enough, I probably will just stick with those, and kept that other $65 to myself!

Oh, you might be wondering how I went from looking at stilettos to flip-flops . . . . well, it's a beach wedding. So we will be barefoot. But I need some sort of shoes to wear to the sand, because it's just nasty AND painful to walk on pavement barefoot (trust me, I know). But all of the other bridesmaids are wearing flip flops to the reception - comfort over fashion in this case. And honestly, it's probably a lot safer that way!!!

Friday, September 7, 2007

I'm getting good at this!

Checking another statement online today (the fourth card I paid off), I found out I had been charged $10.06 interest - which I was expecting a charge because I didn't get my final payment applied before my due date. But ten bucks seemed like a large finance charge for like a $200 balance. So I just called to see what amount the interest was charged on. And I was told my previous statement's balance of $678. Which seemed weird to me. The rep told me that in order to keep from being charged a finance charge, you need to pay the amount in full - not over the course of the billing cycle. What a bunch of baloney! I wanted to scream that I'm just a poor girl trying to pay off her credit card bills and I can't just save $678 over the course of one month because I will spend it! But I didn't complain or anything, and the guy said in good faith they are going to credit the charge off of my account! I've saved over $13 this week! Sweet!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Keeping $3.49 in my pocket

With my few minutes of down time today, I checked some of my account balances. It's amazing to me that I actually go online or call to check my account balances as soon as my billing cycle starts! Any who, only two have been updated for September so far. For some reason, I decided to check on one of my zero balances, JUST to make sure I had not been charged a finance charge. Low and behold, I had a balance of $3.49. Well, I knew I had paid my balance in full before my due date, so of course I called. They gave me some reason about cash advance, yada, yada, yada. It might have even been a valid reason, but I was still pissed. So they ended up waiving the fee, and now I really do have a zero balance!

It pays to bitch!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Leaving On A Jet Plane . . . .

'Cause I'm leaving on a jet plane
I don't know when I'll be back again
Oh, babe, I hate to go

(okay, so maybe it's a Piper Seneca, but hey, I still feel pretty special) Yeah, I'm bummed about leaving Destin, but not as much as normal - which is a good thing. It was a really relaxing weekend and I'm actually ready to get back to work (note: I did not say "looking forward" though). I was worried that I would be "taking work with me" and not enjoy myself at the beach, but some way I was able to let go (might have been the LITs). I was able to let go of my work worries and my debt worries. The funny thing is, I am not longer worried about my debt (I'm not sure that I ever really was - considering this is the first time I've taken a real crack at it)! But now I know I have a plan, and it I have it all under control. My biggest stress this weekend was searching for wedding shoes (see post below) - didn't find any either! I will be posting an update about that tomorrow . . . .

Friday, August 31, 2007

Somebody Stop Me . . . .

One would think my money troubles wouldn't find me at the beach . . . oh, but they have! Okay, so it's not really money trouble, but my NEED for a purchase! So it is actually a need - I need a pair of shoes to wear to my best friend's reception. The bridesmaids are getting off pretty easily, as we get to go barefoot during the ceremony. And although we can just wear "flip-flops" to the reception, the dress will look a lot better on me if I wear heels. So I've been doing a bit of searching this afternoon while basking in the sun (must have tan for wedding too)! Please recall a past post of the $185 J. Crew shoes that I wanted. I'm actually over those, and have found a pair less than half that price. But does that make it okay to buy a $70 pair of shoes for an one-hour occassion??? Side note: I'm secretly hoping that someone will tell me it's okay. The Captain's told me he would spring for them because he likes them and technically he does have the right to his opinion on this as he will be accompanying me. But I really need to pay for these shoes on my own - maybe if I decide to blow that $$$ on these, next time I will have learned my lesson????

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Fourth Credit Card PAID OFF!!!

Okay, so I am NOT ABSOLUTELY SURE it is COMPLETELY paid off, but it is damn near close! I got paid today, so I paid off the balance of $198.13 on this card. The shitty thing is, the earliest I could apply the payment is September 4th - the due date was August 31st. But since I have made 5 payments on the card this month, I couldn't schedule another - hello, just a struggling girl trying to pay off her account! Oh well, I guess it might be a few dollars in interest I have to pay as soon as my new billing cycle starts - and I will pay that ASAP and be done with this 29.99% stupid card!

I have one more 29.99% card that I will be working on next. I THINK I MIGHT be able to get it paid off by the end of September! We shall see.

I just wanted to thank everyone for your support - I love reading new comments each day! It's made my debt journey a bit more "fun."

I'm off to the beach for Labor Day weekend and I will be living it up - thanks to the Captain for footing the bill! It's a much needed mini-vacation! I wasn't quite sure I was going to make it to this afternoon (a word of warning, non-profit is a bitch, steer clear)!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

$5 richer!

So have I mentioned how much I LOVE Associated Content???

I got my fourth piece published:

Why I Chose the "Snowball" Method to Pay Off My Credit Card Debt

I'll admit, it's pretty generic, but hey, like I said, I'm $5 richer!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

I've Been Published: Part II

I just confirmation that my third article has been published on Associated Content! I am a firm believer in this now! I have like four more pieces of work I am waiting on to see if they get published.

I know some of you had questions about Associated Content. If you have any specific questions that I haven't answered, please leave me a comment and I will help you out all that I can.

I'm in the process of transferring the money from Associated Content (from my PayPal account) to my savings account. Hopefully all goes well with that - it will take a few business days (but hey, I won't be tempted to spend it).

Wiener Dog Races

Okay, so this might have been the craziest thing I've been to in a while! It was SO MUCH FUN though! And let me just tell ya, I suck at betting on wieners as much as I suck at betting on horses! The Captain wasn't even able to help me out on this one (and he raises thoroughbreds)! So, yeah, I lost some $$$$. But it all went to charity, and it was less than 20 bucks, so I'm not really upset with myself about it - still cheaper than going to a bar for the night! On a side note (that comment just reminded me of something) - I used to compare how much "other activities" cost to how much it cost for a night out at the bar. That's bad. In college, I rarely went to the movies - unless on a date or to the $1 movies - because I could go to the bars and spend that much. Luckily I've changed my ways - I just let guys buy my drinks :) haha.

Back to the races. They were way too cute. I've decided I want a wiener dog now. I've been thinking about what kind of dog I want when I get my own place. And I think that's it - if I get an apartment. Of course, if I get a house, I will get a big dog. I don't want a stereotypical "single girl" dog, like a chihuahua or yorkie (no offense to anyone who owns either, they're just not for me). I know, I know, I need to wait until I get my debt in control before I take on the responsibility of a dog. Trust me, I know, there's a lot of research I need to do, and I want awhile to figure out how in the heck to housetrain a dog (I've onlyhad outside dogs before)!

So anyone out there with a dachshund, let me know what you think and gimm the inside scoop!

August Update!

$2314.62 PAID OFF! Woo Hoo! That number seems soooo HUGE - too bad it's only like 17% of my balance! I'm really not complaining, just still a bit in shock that I let my credit card balance get so astronomical! Craziness, I tell ya! Technically, it's more like $3000 paid off, but I only update once ALL of my billing cycles end, so that I don't have to figure out interest.

So, I've paid off two credit cards, and when I get paid this week, I will be paying off a third (and hopefully a few hundred dollars off of another one). I think after I pay off a fourth credit card, I will try getting my APRs lowered again. Does anyone know if it is recorded on your credit report when you call and ask for lower APRs??? I mean, I don't know why that would look bad - it's just trying to be smart! Although I can't really call myself "smart" at this point in the game. When I consider myself a financial guru, I'll let you all know ;-P

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Just Got Paid

So it actually works! I just checked my Paypal account, and my $$$ from Associated Content is there! Sweet! Definitely will be publishing more now! I'll keep everyone updated!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

My Stupid Mistake

Thinking I was being soooo responsible .... I ended up making a mistake being too gung ho to pay my bills - of all things! I've NEVER been gung ho (I don't know why I am using that word so much!) to pay my bills, and the first time I am, I make a mistake!

I suppose it's not a bad mistake, just some extra cash to my creditors, but I have about$90 less to pay toward my whopping APR card this month. Or figure out how to live on $90 less on my next paycheck. I guess I need to be happy that the money still went to paying down my debt.

Here's the deal .... being so GUNG HO ...... I sent all my credit card payments in last week, right after I got paid. Well, two of my billing cycles had not closed at that time. So basically they were just applied as payments, but now I still have minimum payments due. So I guess next time I will have to wait, or see if I can chose the pay day (I probably can do that, I just didn't pay enough attention the first time)!

Live and learn, I suppose!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Just Because Something Fits Into Your Mouth Doesn't Mean It Belongs There

Okay, I couldn't pass this one up ..... it's just way too funny!

Check out Pretty in the City's hilarious blog from last week. I just found it today, but it had me rolling. I just wanted to share the wealth - hope you all got a huge laugh out of it as I did!

Wise Fatherly Advice

I have to agree with Karyn, if only we had been warned when we were younger . . . .

I've Been Published!

Okay, like I mentioned yesterday, I've been giving this Associated Content thing a whirl. So I got an e-mail today that my two pieces have been published!

I've decided that I am going to put the money into my EF instead of applying it to debts right now. I'm in the process of working on some more pieces, and I'll let everyone know if those get published.

So if you get a chance, please check out my published work :)

The Best Tasting DIET Soft Drinks

An Early Bird's Guide to Destin Dinners