Friday, February 27, 2009

Financial Morons and Mormons

I work for a finance company owned by AIG (remember the bailout?). At the end of the month our delinquency has to be under a certain percentage. It is the end of the month so I've been dealing with some major hosers this week and I'm going to take a moment to give my harsh but honest opinion.

Some people are financially stupid and irresponsible. I'm sorry if that sounds mean but it is true.

Example 1: Brent has been late on every payment since he took out his loan. He gets a late fee around $20 every month. That is $240 per year. It's not a ton of money but it could be some one's entire Christmas.

I called him today to see if we could work things out where he pays within his grace period. Do you think he would be at all reasonable? He says that he won't and will just pay the late fee. What?! And he does! Every month he'll pay the bill but always with a late fee. Financially stupid!

My favorite was when I asked him why he couldn't pay on time. He told me that its because he didn't get a bailout like I did. I very sternly told him that I didn't get jack and I still pay my bills on time. Then I called him a bad word when I hung up.

Example 2: Jennifer has $15,000 in debt. All but $3,000 is either a student loan or secured by collateral (car, boat, trailer, etc.). One day I called her for her payment and she said that she couldn't make it and was declaring bankruptcy so she'd just drop the car off at our office.

Okay, lets go over this... you cannot include the government, i.e. student loan, in a bankruptcy (unless it is a private loan which most are not). If you want to keep your collateral you have to reaffirm your account and pay the loan. Does this make sense to her? Nope. The reason she made the choice is because she and her husband went to a lawyer for tax advice. He told them that they should declare bankruptcy. What?! Even if the husband had a lot of debt, Jennifer is not bankrupt. What a crap lawyer!

Example 3: Norma is like a million years old. She had good credit a year ago... then she cosigned on a loan for her son. Originally his credit was crap so she offered to help him get an $800 loan. Do you think he paid? Not a payment. Now I have to call Norma every day to try to get $40 a month from her. She hasn't answered in 2 weeks. I'm not even sure if she's still alive.

This is a perfect example of why you should never, I repeat, never cosign on a loan for someone unless you are prepared to pay it back yourself because the person you are cosigning with will default. There is a reason that people need cosigners. It shows on their credit that they can't be trusted to pay.

That is enough of my examples for now. I realize that sometimes people are bankrupt for good reasons (medical, etc.) and that is why there are laws allowing bankruptcy. However, I am sick of people that have boats, cars, trailers, four wheelers and other toys, all of which are new, and get so far in-over-their-heads that if some $1,000 emergency happens one month it destroys their house of cards and they "have to" declare bankruptcy. Then you see them the next day eating at Red Robin after they got their nails done. That's so immoral to me.

If you think I am exaggerating, I'm not. Every story I told is true, including Red Robin. We once had an LDS couple write to our manager requesting that we alter their loan to a 0% interest loan because they couldn't afford everything they have. They included a copy of their budget and gave themselves a hefty allowance for clothes every month. A clothes budget when you can't pay your bills?! Now, most people in my office are not LDS and I can tell you that things like that really damage the views that people of other faiths have about us. My boss told me after we talked about it that she really wishes that our church would say that bankruptcy (but she meant financial irresponsibility) is a sin. What do you say to that? "Um, I think it is and I pay my bills. The church tells us we should get out of debt..." But actions speak louder than words.

Thanks for reading. Now go out and spend money ONLY if you have it.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Winter Clearance Sales

I have to admit, I have been very good at not spending frivolously on things for the baby. Until today I had only purchased a couple of jammies and a canopy for her crib.

While walking during my lunch hour, I decided to step into Rite Aid and purchase something yummy and fattening to eat. I found a wonderful pile of children's books that were 50% off and bought 7 for a couple bucks each. It was quite the deal. When I got off work my boss told me about a sale she saw on baby clothes at Fred Meyer so I stopped there on my way home. It was fantastic! They are having their winter clearance sale so I bought a whole bunch of 6-12 month things for 75% off -- including a thick, warm coat for Morgan next winter. This is so great! I love sales.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Nipples, Nipples, Nipples

Tom and I went to our first pregnancy/parenting class tonight... Breastfeeding: Plan for Success! It was fantastic, especially because I know nothing about breast feeding except that you drape a blanket over you and everyone knows what's going on.

We arrived a little late because we got lost so we were obliged to sit in the front row. I felt like I was the only one asking questions out of the whole group, which frustrated me because I couldn't think of every question and I would have loved to hear more. Then my pen broke and inked all over me and my pillow (it was supposed to be a baby doll or Teddy bear but we don't have one so I brought a little pillow to pretend with).

The teacher showed a video of a bunch of women demonstrating how to get the baby to latch on well... big nipples, small nipples, ones as big as your head (no joke). It was very informative and helpful but when I looked over at Tom his face was bright red with a big smile and he had his hand over his mouth, obviously holding in his laughter. Of course I thought that was funny so we both started laughing. I'm sure everyone thought we were immature.

I'm stoked because there is always a breastfeeding nurse working at St. Lukes so I'll get all the help I need. They're so great too because if I ever need help I'm welcome to come in anytime!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sunday Dinner

Yesterday we were invited to some friends' house for Sunday dinner and volunteered to bring fruit. I was thinking, "buy some grapes, throw them in a bowl and we're done."

My sciatic nerve was hurting so I let Tom go grocery shopping alone yesterday. He bought all kinds of fruit... forgot the grapes, but had everything else.

This morning when he asked my opinion on what we should do about the presentation I said that we should just cut it up, put it in separate bowls and be done.

Do you think that my food presentation perfectionist husband would allow such an informal occurrence? Nope. I left him to it.

When I went downstairs an hour and a half later. This was the result.

I just love him and thought this was so cute.


Alyssa tagged me on Facebook so I actually did the tag and decided I better post it here too.

Rules:Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you (but I also get it if you don't like to do this, because I don't usually either!)

1. I won't borrow money for anything except a house but I work as a loan officer for a finance company and give numerous loans every week.

2. I love the smell of bar-b-ques because it reminds me of Summer but I don't like the taste of meat cooked on the bar-b-que.

3. I love working out... especially running.

4. I love when my house is clean but hate cleaning.

5. I have a little sister that is 20 years younger than me. Same parents.

6. When I was little I wanted to be an actress. Candace Cameron was my idol.

7. I love seeing the world and getting stamps on my passport.

8. My husband proposed to me while cruising the Mediterranean.

9. The longest I ever had a boyfriend was for five months and it wasn't my husband.

10. I have a goal to read one non fiction book a month and did really well last year.

11. I like reading/watching shows about serial killers and the minds of psychotic people.

12. I freak out when I see spiders or mice.

13. After I broke my neck and was released from the hospital, my story was on the front of one of the sections of the Daily Herold... in color.

14. I have been sky diving and bungee jumping.

15. I took piano lessons for 8 years but didn't practice like I should have so I'm not very good at playing.

16. Right now (because I'm pregnant) I can't run or walk very fast because my sciatic nerve is being pinched and it is the worst pain I've ever been in (besides the broken neck). However, I'd rather be in pain than nauseated.

17. I don't like spending money because I love watching my bank account grow.

18. My husband and I live on about 40% of our income because we are both so frugal. For me it must come from being a country girl and money being tight. I don't know why Tom is.

19. One of my biggest regrets is being so mean to my little brother when we were young. Sorry bro.

20. I never snuck out of the house while I was a teenager -- probably because there was nowhere to go if I did.

21. My husband and I call chin hairs on girls "Ida's" because of this sweet old lady in my parents' ward that has a beard. Her name is Ida.

22. I have a goal to only let my kids watch one hour of TV per day. Now that it's in writing I have to follow through.

23. I ran the St. George marathon in 3 hours 49 minutes and 49 seconds. I qualified for the Boston marathon by 11 seconds.

24. I did not vote for Obama and vehemently oppose socialism. Health care is not a right but I do have a right to bear arms.

25. I wrote a fiction novel last year about a girl in South Carolina. It has about 200 pages. I'd like to try to publish it, not for money (unless it made money), but to have a book with my name on it.

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Best Two Years

Tom and I celebrated our 2nd anniversary this week. We were married on February 2, 2007. I haven't really posted much about our story so I thought this would be a good time to do so.

We met in February of 2006. I had decided to move back to Provo from Salt Lake so I could be around my friends. Jenni got me an interview with the company she would be leaving that summer. It was Tom's second day working at EWI and he was the one who interviewed me.

We got along so well that he tells me he talked to his dad later and asked his opinion on asking me out instead of giving me the job. I think his dad told him not to. I did get the job though and we became best friends.

We dated for a couple of months and I decided I wanted to not be exclusive so we remained friends. In the early fall we booked a trip to cruise the Mediterranean and see Europe. That October (a few weeks before the cruise), Tom was gone for a week and I realized I missed him more than just as a friend. He got home and we went out for sushi at Tsunami in Sandy. We were going to go to the movie after but I asked him if he wanted to go make out (in a totally good Mormon way) instead. He accepted.

Tom proposed to me in a park overlooking the ruins of Malta. Well, that was the actual time I said yes. Really when we got off the ship in Malta we were walking through a dirty alley, probably talking about getting married, and Tom got down on his knee. I looked at him and said something like, "you are not doing it here." Poor thing. The next place he chose was phenomenal.

Our wedding day was my favorite day ever. If you want to see our video, here is the url .

These have been the best two years of my life. Thomas, I love you so much. You are everything to me and I am so happy to spend eternity with you.