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Archive for May, 2007

In other news, my bank was hacked

May 31st, 2007 at 02:26 pm

flyinghamster.com/post/39440

This is the same goofy bank where someone else's credit card payment was taken out of my checking account. The same goofy bank that charges 20 cents if you use your debit card with a PIN instead of putting it through as a credit card. The same goofy bank that makes you jump through hoops by forcing you to change your password constantly, as if they're super security-conscious.

I deliberately changed my log-in ID from the default ss# to another word, but I've been told that didn't protect me at all. No matter what log-in ID you choose, they still used the ss# internally. So basically, there is absolutely nothing I could have done to protect my data better, other than avoiding this bank to begin with.

I've never had these kinds of problems with any other bank--tell me, do you think it's time to go? Wink

Getting sloppy, sliding back

May 31st, 2007 at 02:10 pm

Yikes, it didn't take long.

I stopped doing my 4-week reports here after February. Thought I didn't need them anymore, and was tired of the tedious work involved.

I stopped recording what I was spending out of Cash, figured I'd just chalk it all up to Everyday Expenses.

Life's been getting busier, and I started using the Discover card when I wasn't sure exactly how much was in checking. Rather than stopping to check, I charged things rather than risk having a debit purchase turned down. (Also I was lured by the cash-back rewards.)

Gas prices have gone up, and I haven't revised the rest of my budget to make up for it.

I've been buying special foods for myself to help with The Diet--but honestly, many of them have been luxury items I could do without and still eat healthily.

So, now I've got $135 on Discover from overspending on groceries that I can't just pay off. It's either pay it off over the next 3 weeks, or just don't eat this week! I know it's a tiny balance, but it's a Red Flag, for sure.

When will I ever learn?


Goodbye, Netbank; No thanks, Everbank

May 22nd, 2007 at 12:56 pm

In case you hadn't come across this, Netbank is being taken over by Everbank, and the changeover may be finished by the end of June.

biz.yahoo.com/pz/070521/119898.html

I've read good things about Everbank, but their money market account is too rich for my blood right now. I'm using our Netbank MM to try and build up a Fully Funded Emergency Fund. Netbank wants to you keep a minimum of $500 in the account, so although we have $955 in there, only $455 is really available for emergencies. I found that frustrating enough. But Everbank wants even more--a minimum of $1500 to avoid a monthly fee of $4.50.

www.everbank.com/001MoneyMarketYP.aspx

So I'm looking for alternatives. Right now it looks like Capital One Bank is our best bet. $1 to open their MM, no minimum balances to maintain, no fees. Plus they apparently send out paper statements! Smile

If anyone has experience with Capital One as a bank, I'd like to hear it. I only had a credit card with them years and years ago.

Finally getting organized about this

May 7th, 2007 at 02:24 pm

Here's my plan for today, totalling 30.5 WW points (which is within my limit), and costing $3.50 (which is below the daily allowance of $4.38 for the USDA's Thrifty Plan for Dec '06). It includes the minimum 5 fruit/veg servings and 3 dairy servings that Weight Watchers recommends. I've also got 2 servings of whole grains.

Breakfast, fruit and grain bar .21, and 1/2 cup pineapple chunks .17

Lunch, 3/4 c baked beans .25, 1 corn muffin .07, 8 oz glass skim milk .18, 1 raw carrot .06

Dinner, salad made with 1/3 bunch romaine .19, large radish .03, equivalent of 1/4 of one pepper from tricolor package .23, 1/2 cup cauliflower .27. 10 sprays of Wishbone Balsamic Vinaigrette .07 (Aldi had it this week.) Ten cheese ravioli .54 with 1/2 cup Grandessa sauce .30

Snacks, hardboiled egg .10, tropical fruit snack bowl .35, 7 triscuits .10, yogurt .43 and 1 cup popcorn .08.

The snack bowls are twice the cost of the fruit that comes in larger cans. I'll try to only use them when I'm not home.

The Grandessa pasta sauce is twice the cost of Mama Cozzi, but it has half the fat and calories so it's worth the extra money to me.

I'm actually still using up some Act II popcorn rather than Aldi's brand, so the price is based on the Act II right now.

I'm not just eating the beans and corn muffin to be cheap--I actually like them and they are pretty filling.

Two interesting free diet-related links

May 3rd, 2007 at 07:36 pm

Someone is posting Weight Watchers points for Aldi food items:

aldireview.niesens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=111

Here you can track and analyze your food intake according to the latest version of the government's Food Pyramid:

www.mypyramidtracker.gov


It's been a hectic week, and I'm really scampering to figure out what I can eat in a day on Weight Watchers. I just haven't had time to sit down and figure out cost per meal like I'd hoped, plus I'm missing some cost and label info for stuff I bought awhile back. I think I'll have more time after I have some good menus worked up that I can repeat.

I'd started to work with the Pyramid Tracker above, but that system allowed me a lot more food than WW is, even though I set it to maintain my weight at 50 pounds less than I am! So this a second change to my eating habits in about a week. My head is kind of spinning right now.

Aldi diet starts today

May 1st, 2007 at 04:04 pm

I just got back from the doc, and have some additional motivation. My blood pressure has gone up a bit, and he's talking about increasing the dosage of my medication--the pill I want to get off of altogether because I'm tired of running to the bathroom!

I have a 6-week reprieve to see if I can lower it by losing weight, watching salt, and exercising. I asked the doc, of his patients who have lost weight successfully, what did they do? What's the common denominator? His answer--Weight Watchers. I asked him for a note of "medical necessity" so I can use HSA money for Weight Watchers fees. I guess I'll give it another try.

On the good side, my blood work was fine. Total cholesterol under 200, and HDL 50. At least he was happy about something!

Stopped at a different Aldi on my way home, to see if they had anything different from mine. I scored some sugar free Mystic mints--my usual store only has the sugar free gum.