Archive for the ‘EPPP’ Category

Bada bing, bada boom

May 15, 2008

One definition is “this “expression” can be used like the word “voila” —-> something is finished or completed…”

I’m not quite up to snowflaking yet….but I’m back on track ready to make things happen.

What can I commit to today? Here’s my list for Thursday:

1.) Pack my lunch
— I bought turkey and cheese and will pack a sandwich, an apple and a granola bar. I will try to enjoy it. No promises there.

2.) Drink free coffee
— No fancy lattes for me. The institutional free coffee or the good stuff at home. That’s it.

3.) Pay my bills tomorrow (payday)
— Some of the bills may not be due until the end of the month but I’ll aim to pay as many tomorrow to avoid late fees which I’ve been stung for due to the LONG period of time in which it takes epayments to clear (Don’t get me started on that one!). Another benefit of paying bills on payday is to keep up my financial awareness. Don’t want to think I have more money than I do…

4.) Return my library books!

That’s it for Thursday. If I do more, great. If not, this is enough.


Privacy? What’s That?

August 5, 2007

Reading Lady Dough’s mention of privacy reminded me of something I read recently. Privacy may well be a soon-to-be-antiquated concept, if you use a computer. The article, tellingly entitled Invading Our Own Privacy includes this stunner:

And now, according to Science News (Jan. 13, 2007), because computer users have “characteristic patterns of how they time their keystrokes [and] browse websites,” researchers are learning how to use “typeprints, clickprints, and writeprints, respectively, as digital forms of fingerprints.”

If you’d like to zoom in further, here’s the Science News article. It includes some curious facts about code-breakers during WWII.

On the bright, non-Orwellian side, I’m feeling a little liberated. I took an important practice exam that is supposed to be “highly predictive of a passing score” on the national licensing exam, the EPPP. And I got the score I wanted. Since the woman that teaches the prep class is a statistics whiz, I feel fairly confident that the score is predictive. As long as I keep studying. Now I can do so with some breathing room. Ahhhhh.

We’ll be going on vacation soon. We may vanish until late-August, but we’ll be back with a vengeance. Up soon: The Carnival of Debt Reduction. Hope you can join us, for the carnival, that is.

Nut Shell Game — or How to Transfer Funds to Cover My Ass

July 7, 2007

We don’t have enough money to pay our bills. We’re trying to pull everything together and be more responsible but we just don’t have enough breathing room to cover everything. This week we had to pay an extra money for childcare since our daughter is out of school and an unexpected $200 for a structural engineer to come by our house to look at the massive cracks in the side of the house. While our networth is very good it’s hard not to feel like chicken little. Is the sky falling down? All I know is that it feels impossible to make any progress towards paying off our debts let alone moving on to bigger, more exciting financial goals.

Today we realized that our emergency funds needed to be dipped into to cover the EPPP exam costs, the engineer, the increased childcare. So, we’ve gone from down to $4100.98 in emergency funds and our credit card debt has jumped up $700 as well. Ugh. We also know we have to tent our house for termites soon. Someone told me to expect that to cost about 3K. It’s not like we’re paying for some extravagant marble countertop we’re just making sure our biggest asset (our house) doesn’t fall apart. And even then it’s too much money to keep up with.

I’m grumpy. Definitely not feeling like an empowered debt warrior…more like an anxious sucker.

Banking On It — Tapping Emergency Fund

July 5, 2007

Letter to test.
On Monday, I sent in my application for the “letter to test” for the EPPP. Once I get the letter from them, I have 60 days to take the national exam, the Examination for Practice in Professional Psychology. I’d liked to call this a “forced motivator”, but I’m not aware of such a term. It is motivating, though.

The cost to take the exam: $500

Test-center fee: $69

Fees, fees, fees.
In this licensing process, the fees never seem to stop. But this one is a relatively big one, and of course they don’t take personal checks. I was confronted with credit card or money order/certified check. I went and got the credit card, then thought better of it.

The joy of inconvenience.
I decided to get a money order. This would mean mobilizing the mini-emergency fund, as we are in a bill-paying period and it’s quite plausible that we could come up short. Transferring $500 from the mini-fund to checking was a breeze. But the bank, that would be interesting. I reveled in the sheer inconvenience of the thing. All these gross-motor movements just to pay for something!

Down credit card, down!
So easy to write down the credit card number, so mindless. I thought about that extra $500 on the credit card bill, what it would mean in terms of paying off the card, the bump in the finance charges.

Bricks and mortals.
Going to the bank. I can’t even remember the last time I went. Confronted with the bricks and mortar manifestation with its fleet of sales cadets, and their cagey suspiciousness. Driver’s license. Address. It felt like I was cashing my paycheck. Or at a used car dealership. There was no sense of the people there having any expertise, just making sales, counting beans.

The catch.
Writing this has been warm and fuzzy, but I am reminded there’s a $1300 zinger coming next week — tuition at the post-doc. Now that’s really going to put the emergency fund to work!

Old Posts, New Standards

June 27, 2007

I was looking at some of our old posts — they were like haiku in comparison to more recent manifestos! Nice to have a record of the journey.

Armed with an almond butter sandwich, some milk chocolate, an apple, a tangerine, I’m well into a zero-dollars-zero-cents day — and that’s pretty standard the last couple of weeks.

Now I need to get to that studying for that EPPP!

Scanning the Horizon For Black Ink

June 25, 2007

Dear Diary,

I think we might be doing too much laundry. It seems it’s all I do. Of course, this is one of the first times in my life that I’ve done multiple loads of laundry in a row, so that may have something to do with it. Maybe we’re wearing too many clothes. And then there’s the dishwasher. Its hunger knows no bounds. Forever gorging and disgorging flatware and china.

Everything is mixed up. I went to a new gas station. Who knew that gasbuddy could point out a station right under my nose, even closer than the habitual haunt, with cheaper gas. In fact, looking at some old receipts I was appalled, simply appalled at the price I’ve been paying for gas.

But this Saturday, intoxicated by the sheer madness of a mid-day gas purchase, I forgot the receipt, so my number crunching will have to wait another day. My number-cruncher alter-ego is seething with anticipation. We bought the gas at high noon. It was about 83 degrees Farenheit. Twenty full degrees warmer than the usual Saturday run. So it was, perhaps, high volume gas. How will I ever sort it out the cost-benefit analysis?

What strange ways I’ve taken up. Pulling plugs out of sockets without a thought. Driving 55 m.p.h. (but trying not to piss people off, if possible). Being very aware of when I can coast down a hill. Noticing with no small amount of smugness the other drivers ludicrously weaving in and out, spilling their precious fuel — and then arriving at the light at the same time as I do. Thinking very seriously about whether we are laundering too much.

Have I studied a whit for the EPPP, the national licensing exam for psychologists? No. Not of late. I have drifted into a fringe subculture of frugality, blogging, and plug pulling. Does this mean that I am figuratively “pulling the plug”? One wonders.

I wonder if there is a parody of personal finance sites out there. There must be, no. Maybe an Onion piece? This drifting into the trees, losing sight of the forest. I have lost sight of the budget. Just for a few days, but it nags at me. The budget. There’s where the goodies are. Not this niggling penny pinching. The big plans, the straight and narrow, the total control — the end of debt. How far off is it? When shall we strike it? Like a sailor up the rigging, looking for land, I scan the horizon for black ink. Thirsty.

Nagging Doubts

May 6, 2007

At the Crowne Plaza because they had more “reasonable” prices. Budding psychologists complain that they aren’t making any money. But they’re eating at the Crowne (sp?) Plaza! I tote a Trader Joe’s bag. Contains some leftover BBQ chicken breast from Gelson’s, one banana, one apple, one granola bar. I was feeling pretty awesome at not spending money at the Crowne Plaza, or Sheraton Gateway, for that matter. But eight hours of EPPP psych prep drains you of even that jubilance…

Total beans spent today: $11.00 on parking.

Professional Expenses That Kill

May 5, 2007

I’m off today to study for the EPPP, the national licensing exam for psychologists. This is a formal workshop and I’ll be there from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m., both Saturday and Sunday.

Workshop cost (includes test prep materials, etc.): $1200
Cost to take exam, roughly: $600

Time spent studying for exam? Many, many hours. I’m not queasy about taking tests in general, but this is a test you really want to take seriously and pass the first time. Many smart people have underestimated it and failed.