Thursday, December 27, 2007

Post Christmas review and looking ahead to the New Year

Well, I survived my trip home and am already back at work, if not quite out of vacation mode.

I did fairly well financially. I aimed to spend around $20-25 per person on my shopping list, aside from Mr. Boyfriend, and came in right around target. I have to go back and add up miscellaneous charges, but I think I did fairly well considering I had a boyfriend, four parents, two grandparents, two brothers, two sisters, a roommate, and several friends to buy for. If I do say so myself, I also managed to do quite well in the actual purchasing of gifts, and was really happy that everything I got for everyone seemed right on target.

Travel expenses came in around budget as well. I did spend some unexpected money changing my return flight, and had a little bit of sticker shock when filling up my mother's car with gas when I borrowed it to visit a friend. I also did some shopping and spent more money on myself than I had really planned to, but most of that came out of Christmas money I actually received on the trip, so it wasn't too bad. All told, I didn't clean out my travel fund, so really I'm not at all dismayed by spending more than I'd expected to.

In terms of what I got, I am thrilled with pretty much everything I got. A few things that aren't quite me have already been returned, and I need to make one more run this weekend to exchange the rest. I got more cash than I expected, as well as a gift card from my boss, and am sitting on what I didn't spend already to decide what to do with it. I think most of the money will go into my moving fund after I verify what I need to spend on books for the semester, since I've already blown about $100 on clothes and shoes (all of which were on sale and immediately became my favorite items of clothing ever).

Looking toward New Year's Eve, I'm glad that I don't have to stress about what to do or whether to spend money like so many other New Yorkers. It's a big night for the dance company and I'm already booked for at least one job, so rather than spending money to get into a fancy party, I will get paid to be there! I certainly can't complain about that.

In miniscule money news, I found out that the Direct Federal Subsidized Loan takes a portion of the money I accepted and holds it in reserve as a rebate "to encourage timely repayment". I don't entirely understand why or how this works; all I know is I will end up paying $34 out of pocket before I start classes. No biggie.

The other is that my dentist has clearly mistakenly billed me, and I'm dreading handling this. My explanation of benefits from the insurance company shows the dentist could bill me $22.60--and instead he billed me $75.55. Someone's got some explaining to do, and I'm not really in the mood to deal with this right now. But I definitely need to be shown where and how I owe more than $50 more than I expected.

And lastly, I have until Monday to gather up all my final medical reimbursements. I really want to clean out my HCRA before the end of the year, so I don't have to wait until next September to get the reimbursement.

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