Thursday, January 22, 2009

38. Open a savings account

You may have noticed that the Best Friend and I have something of a love affair going with Google (granted at times it is a one sided affair). Well watch out google because ING may be knocking you off the pedestal.

I was introduced to this online banking phenomena by the Best Friend. I tossed around the idea for awhile, and was a little iffy on the fact that I couldn't actually walk into a bank. But then again, when was the last time I walked into my bank? I did a little more research and finally decided to take the plunge and try it out.

So plunge I did, and I may never go back. ING makes it so easy to set up and manage your accounts. I can decide how much will be automatically taken from my checking account and how often. I even set up separate accounts and then was able to name them the fun (well sometimes fun) things that they are going towards, like my three month cushion, vacation, and housing. It's great! So now I'm saving and working toward yet another 101 task, having a three month cushion of money set aside.

7. Pay off credit cards

Rock on! I can not tell you how amazing it feels to have this task completed!

Unfortunately, through my last year of college and a brief stint in law school I accumulated a freakish amount of credit card debt (though by statistics I have found I was better off than many people my age which is just downright scary). Over the past two years I have been slowly but surely chipping away bit by bit. And now I can officially say I am credit card debt free!

Now that I'm not forking out an exorbitant amount of money each month, I can start working toward other goals, such as building up that "rainy day fund". Woohoo!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

29. Learn to drive stick shift

Did you know that some people actually choose to complicate their lives by adding a whole plethora of steps to the driving process? They call this a "manual transmission" vehicle and yes, people make a conscious choice to purchase such a vehicle. I don't know why. I mean personally my life is complicated enough, and I have plenty to think about while driving without constantly remembering to let up on gas, push on clutch, shift gear, now ease off clutch, press on gas... whew... makes me exhausted just thinking about it.

So why, you may ask, after that tirade would I have added to my 101 list of things to do "learn to drive stick shift." Well, while I was not a boy scout (for obvious reason) I do try to live by the old adage, "always be prepared." You never know when you may have to drive someone's vehicle, and it has happened to me on more than one occasion where it would have been very beneficial for me to have this skill.

And so I embarked on a set of missions. The first mission was to find someone who not only owned a manual transmission vehicle but who also possessed an extreme amount of patience. Once that was completed it was time to hit the parking lots. Unfortunately, my wonderful instructor had other ideas and we headed straight to the streets. I'm not going to lie, it was just short of pee-in-your-pants-terrifying, but it's just like throwing someone into a pool, they'll either sink, or swim. Well, ladies and gentlemen, I am happy to report that I swam... well sort of... It wasn't pretty the first couple times, and there were a couple slip ups which included me becoming overly frustrated and someone passing me on the shoulder, but hey, a girl's gotta start somewhere. And so after many jumpy rides, I set out on my own and successfully completed a round trip with the stick shift!