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Everything posted by MB82x

  1. After 10+ years of working in less than satisfactory jobs, I finally cracked and decided to go back to school. I am taking College Algebra and College Writing at the local community college this summer (and quite pleased with my grades so far... they all range from 98 to 102!), and despite feeling like I have very little free time, I decided to up my course load to FIVE courses this fall, although they seem a little less time intensive each...) So far, due to the last minute nature of my decision - I have not applied for financial aid in any form (loans, grants, whatever...), and paid out of pocket (a bit to $3000 so far) for tuition. Obviously, this isn't something I plan to make a habit... especially since taking more classes not only costs more, but it lowers my availability and flexibility at work, and thus could lower my paycheck if I find myself working less. Some factoids: I am single, 30 years old, and make roughly 30,000 a year... my rent expense is $650/mo, travel expense is $70/mo... I live in Massachusetts I'm a bit concerned my availability change will result in my hours being cut at work... which would be immensely helpful with school, but it would make things very difficult financially. I'd like to keep up a five course/semester pace, so I can achieve my goals (which are a work in progress, lol) in a reasonable time. I don't, for instance, want to spend 7 years on a bachelor's degree, especially when I'm already 30 years old. My availability at work this coming fall consists of two shifts I normally work, one I sometimes work, and two where I am probably not needed at all. On the flip side, I am sacrificing two shifts where my presence is currently irreplaceable as we lack staffing. So that's a bit in flux... Anyway - I'd like any advice, tips, know-how... whatever options are available to me... to work my way through college over the next few years... I'm guessing my first step should be to do the FAFSA and hit up the school's financial aid office, but beyond that I don't know what else to do. Thanks for reading and (hopefully) replying!
  2. Basically, I'm wondering if there's a way to stop the seemingly unyielding plethora of unwanted phone calls that haunt my evenings. I'm well aware of the "do not call" list - which prevents a lot of the annoyance - but there are others that are just as annoying... 1) Surveys. Some jerk calls up and asks me if I have five minutes to take a survey. Because I sit around waiting to take random surveys. 2) "Charity". I regularly give to charity, but I don't need to get phone calls at 7am on a Saturday for the "Order of Fraternal Police" or at 9:30pm on a Monday for, exact words, "cancer research". 3) Credit card consolidation offers. Something about transferring my debts to them, so I can pay them interest. Usually automated. I figured I'd try changing my number (free) and going unlisted, only to find out - to my chagrin, unlisted numbers are $5 a month. It's not a lot of money, but that's pretty infuriating, to have to pay extra to not be constantly harassed in my own home... Is there a better way to avoid these smarmy bastiches, or is it basically "pay $60 a year, or deal with it"?
  3. Hello fellow CBers! This thread is intended to be one of the preliminary steps to bettering myself, by improving my employment situation. Why am I posting it? Well, mostly because I'm not quite sure how or where else to start. I have general ideas, but they're not specific enough to take decisive action. First I'll answer some questions that no one has asked: Why are you looking for a new job? Several reasons really. I'm a mid-level supervisor for CVS (yes, the drug store). I'm 30 years old, and I make a little over $14.50 an hour (close to $22/hr on Sundays and holidays, but those aren't guaranteed). Annually, I usually make around $29-32k per year. In Massachusetts, it's good enough to share an apartment with a friend - but not even close to enough to toy with the idea of home ownership - something I'd like to look into. I don't mind having a roommate, but it won't last forever, obviously. So money is the primary reason. Secondarily is, well... it's retail. As I said, I'm 30. I've been working in retail since I was 20. I really don't want to be in the same job when I'm 40. I'll refrain from whining excessively about the inanities of working in retail, and just flat out say it's time for a change. So what do you want to do? That's part of the problem. I'm not really sure. I've looked into courses in radiology for one, figuring it would be an interesting field, and a "semi-quick-fix" - but no dice. An informative seminar on the program taught me it'd be two years before I completed the prerequisites, and another two to finish the program. Four years. At 30, I regret not doing this sooner. I'm a fairly talented writer, at least according to my high school teachers and the 10 people who have ever commented on my no longer updated Myspace blog. People have suggested I freelance. It's an idea, but not one I would want to stake my livelihood to. Extra money? Sure. Rent? No thanks. Various quizzes administered by a friend have deemed me an INFP or something like that - points towards me being suited for social work, teaching or something along those lines. Well, maybe. I think, even at 30, my best bet is to go to school for something. If so, I'm willing. But I'm not sure I can do it while staying at my current job. I'll cop out and refer back to the first question I answered for reasoning. And heck, if I can get a better job in the interim, why not do it? I'll call it multi-tasking on my goals. But right now, I'm looking for a transitional fix. I want to get job that is a step up - in both pay and in quality. I know, I know... "don't we all?" ...that's what you're thinking right? Absolutely - at least for most of us - so I'll understand if some here view this post as lazy of me. Either way, I can assure you my intentions here are not born from sloth, but of a general lack of direction. In short, I'd like to make the following transition: Retail > School + Tolerable, Resume Building Job > Career. With out wasting anymore of your time, I'll ask my questions. 1: Other than more retail - what sort of jobs would I be qualified for, based on 10 years of retail experience? 2: Are credits ever meaningful to prospective employers? For example, if I took a course in accounting, would that have any value at all without a degree? 3: If I were to take courses this summer with the goal of universally bolstering my resume to make myself more attractive for a wide range of positions, what would be the best skills to pick up? On that last question, I was thinking along the lines of Microsoft Office, Excel... taking a program on those, for example. But I'm looking for some great ideas for skills that are either highly desirable, or that will make me stand out a bit more. In addition, I'll also gladly accept any other advice, words of wisdom or pearls of knowledge you might want to throw at me. Thanks for your time! I hope I didn't take up too much of it!
  4. How about "Fixing a Hole" by the Beatles. I'm fixing a hole where the rain gets in and stops my mind from wandering where it will go I'm filling the cracks that ran though the door and kept my mind from wandering where it will go And it really doesn't matter if I'm wrong I'm right where I belong I'm right where I belong See the people standing there who disagree and never win and wonder why they don't get in my door I'm painting my room in a colorful way, and when my mind is wandering there I will go And it really doesn't matter if I'm wrong I'm right where I belong I'm right where I belong Silly people run around they worry me and never ask me why they don't get past my door I'm taking my time for a number of things that weren't important yesterday and I still go I'm fixing a hole where the rain gets in and stops my mind from wandering where it will go where it will go I'm fixing a hole where the rain gets in and stops my mind from wandering where it will go
  5. Current situation is an affordable 5 bedroom apartment with four other roommates - but we only have one bathroom. Inside, the house is in good shape, but the outside is a disgrace (lot of rotting good, missing shingles, broken gutters). We haven't had any major issues yet, but really, who knows what's directly behind the drywall here. Everyone is telling me the time to buy is now - and the market to buy isn't going to get any better than it is right now. Who knows how long it'll stagnate where it currently is. I feel that I could pay a bit more, have something nicer, more room and own it rather than rent it. Also, I'm almost 30. How long do I really want to do the roommate think for anyway? Especially with 5 of us total.
  6. Basically, I'm looking into buying a home - but having trouble finding the right place. I'm probably putting the cart before the horse in "browsing" before I've gotten pre-approved, but I'm mostly trying to gauge what's out there and where I should be looking. I'm living just outside of Boston at the moment, and determined everything around here is either a) outside of my price range or not worth looking at... Currently, I pay $400/mo in rent and send ~$600/mo ($300/bi-weekly pay period) to savings. I wouldn't want to say, based on that, I could throw $1000/mo into a mortgage - because I need to factor in a probable increase in bills, property taxes and other things that can pop up with home ownership. That leads to question #1: Are property taxes included in mortgage payments? I'm thinking I could afford close to $800/mo towards mortgage on my own, in my current job. I tried to figure out how much house that can get me, but it seems really hard to find a straight answer on that. There are no major baddies on my credit aside from a couple of 30s due to me totally forgetting a couple of sock-drawered cards had annual fees. Not sure how much of a factor these will play when seeking a reasonable rate. Aside from the two 30s, I have perfect payment history and no collections, charge-offs or bankruptcies or anything... Question 2: When I go to get pre-approved, will they just give me a dollar figure - or will they give me a rate too? Question 3: When they look at my credit, are they more interested in the score or the content of the report? Bankrate is telling me a $150,000 loan at 5% interest (question 4: is it reasonable to expect no worse than this rate?) would cost right around $800/mo, which seems affordable to me. Combined with the $15,000 I have saved, it seems like I can afford something in the $150-165k range - maybe wanting to stay a bit lower than that depending on taxes and such. I figure I can have one or two roommates, as I currently do, to split bills - plus I could charge them rent. I'd be stupid to count the rent I charge them as what I can afford towards a mortgage - but I could at least put it into savings or apply it to the principal of the mortgage to lower the cost overall. That's definitely not a sure thing though. Boston/Boston area maybe out for under $165k, but I would like to get into a major city with a good public transportation system (I don't drive) - if possible. Question 5: Any major cities with good transportation systems that are affordable? Bonus points if I'll never see snow again. One final question for now, which is pretty vague - and requires a generalization for an answer... Is it typically more expensive to buy house, or to buy land and build on it and by how much? Thanks!
  7. Oh, people showed up and there was what appeared to be bidding. One guy was facing the crowd, holding a clipboard and pointing out at people as they did what looked like bidding. It ended when the landlord raised his hand, went up and showed the contents of the envelope to the guy with the clipboard. I now assume the contents was some sort of check or financial statement showing he had the funds available to support his bid. I confirmed the auction by googling my address along with the word "auction" - I found the company hired to handle the auction, along with a list of recent and impending auctions. The status for this house was "sold". I contacted the auction company and they informed me the house sold at auction. Initially, they seemed reluctant to give more info on that. From then on, the conversation went something like this: Me: I'm a tenant in this house. I've been paying this guy rent for the past two years - and he told me nothing has changed and the auction was just a fake setup by... Auction Company: What?!? Me: He said the auction never actually happened. Auction Company: No. It happened and the house sold at auction on May 2nd. What is his name? Me: *Landlord's last name* Auction Company: Then who is *woman's name*? Me: That's his mother. ...at this point, they transferred me to another person and made me explain all over again... I was informed that the house went into foreclosure as of December 2010 under his mother's name and on May 2nd, he bought the house back at auction. As for the speed at which it went to auction - it appears there have been multiple "notices" on this house over the years, as well as several tax liens on the property and against the landlord (found via further digging)... maybe that sort of thing helped to speed it up?
  8. I think it's just a case of him using her credit as a dumping ground. His mom may either not know about it, or just lets him do whatever he wants with her name/credit. She's elderly, so perhaps he has power of attorney or something that makes this all the easier. Maybe he's buying things with his clean credit, signing them over to mom and then nobody pays... mom's credit report gets another bad mark, and his stays clean? One would think there would be a system in place to prevent this - and that the banks wouldn't just let a borrower say "hey, I'm washing my hands of this house, but this person is going to accept the loan" - at least without a full background/credit check. Either way - it's definitely happened at least once now. He is the original buyer - signed it over to his mom... got foreclosed under mom's name, and he buys it back at auction.
  9. So I found out the following: Landlord purchased this house several years ago. At some point he put it in his mother's name. His mother recently got foreclosed on (process started in December). The house did indeed get auctioned off on Monday - with the landlord (guy I've been paying rent to) buying it back. Judging from the info I posted earlier - it looks like this possibly happened before. It's hard to tell because some of the data is so vague. I'm beginning to wonder if he's been playing a cycle of buying the house, transferring ownership to his mother, not paying mortgage, getting foreclosed and buying it back under his "clean" name. Not sure if that would work repeatedly - but he definitely got away with it once... He was collecting rent from us - got the house foreclosed on (under his mom's name), and bought it back for what sounded like pennies on the dollar. It might explain why he keeps the exterior of the house an utter mess (broken shingles, bad paint, old rotted out wooden gutters, etc... The inside is like a palace, but as a buyer who doesn't know what the inside is like... I'd see the outside needing $40-60k worth of repair... and who knows what's inside... house might not be worth the land it's on. Keeping the house looking like it does will scare of any potential bidders I think. Either way -seems sketchy to me...
  10. Okay, some background: I rent an apartment on the 2nd floor of a two family house. My landlord lives on the first floor. I was leaving the house on Sunday and found a stranger prowling around the property looking at the house. I confronted him and he informed me the house was going up for auction the following day. I had not heard anything else about this at all... not even from the landlord. I went back inside and informed one of my roommates of the situation. My phone rang, and it was my landlord - asking me who the stranger outside is. I told him about the auction, and the landlord seemed positively steamed, replying with a very curt "kay". Upon leaving the house again, the stranger gave me his name and phone number to give to the landlord so he could possibly "make an offer" and stop the auction. I gave the information to my landlord by phone, and he informed me there was some shady stuff going on with his elderly mother's divorce. Now on Monday, my roommate was leaving for work and informed me of people gathering outside our house. I monitored the situation and it looked like the auction had begun. I could not hear clearly, but it sounded like bidding. I watched from a window, and saw the landlord approach the auctioneer, reveal the contents of a small, letter sized envelope and soon the crowd dispersed. Shortly after, I received a phone call from the landlord who thanked me for letting him know what was going on. The landlord claimed a fake auction notice was put into the local newspaper last week, and it was done by his vindictive stepfather. I informed my roommates as such - and all seemed well until one of my roommates claimed her boss "looked into it" and found that our landlord does not actually own the house he is renting to us - and that it was taken by the city. I did some digging on the property and found the following... The top three are filed under my current address: #72. File Date: 11/28/1997 Type Desc: DEED Consideration: 227,000 Grantor: Two people. Grantee: Current Landlord. File Date: 01/24/2000 Type Desc: DECLARATION OF HOMESTEAD Consideration: 0 Grantor: Current Landord. Grantee: -- File Date: 04/23/2001 Type Desc: EXECUTION Consideration: 8,399.00 Grantor: Current Landlord Grantee: Some random guy. Description: APR 23 2001 LOWELL DIST CT Nothing is filed under the Landlord's Address: #74. The following is filed under the house as a whole: #72-74. File Date: 11/28/1997 Type Desc: CERTIFICATE OF MUNICIPAL LIEN Consideration: 0.00 Grantor: The two people from Item #1 Grantee: -- File Date: 11/28/1997 Type Desc: MORTGAGE Consideration: 204,300 Grantor: Current Landlord. Grantee: Great Western Bank File Date: 07/03/1998 Type Desc: MORTGAGE Consideration: 90,000 Grantor: Current Landlord Grantee: Landlord's mother File Date: 08/13/1999 Type Desc: NOTICE Consideration: 0.00 Grantor: Great Western Bank, Washington Mutual, Current Landlord Grantee: -- File Date: 06/02/2000 Type Desc: NOTICE Consideration: 0.00 Grantor: Great Western Bank, Washington Mutual, Current Landlord Grantee: -- File Date: 03/16/2001 Type Desc: CERTIFICATE OF MUNICIPAL LIEN Consideration: 0.00 Grantor: Current Landlord Grantee: -- File Date: 03/16/2001 Type Desc: MORTGAGE Consideration: 241,125 Grantor: Landlord's mother Grantee: Washington Mutual File Date: 03/04/2002 Type Desc: MORTGAGE Consideration: 250,000 Grantor: Landlord's mother Grantee: Washington Mutual File Date: 04/10/2002 Type Desc: DEED Consideration: 1.00 Grantor: Landlord's mother Grantee: Landlord's mother + AL TRS, Landlord + AL TRS, Sch. Realty Trust /S TRS File Date: 03/05/2003 Type Desc: NOTICE Consideration: 0.00 Grantor: Landlord's mother + AL TRS, Sch. Realty Trust /S TRS, Washington Mutual Grantee: -- File Date: 03/22/2004 Type Desc: EXECUTION Consideration: 11,766.43 Grantor: Current Landlord, Sch. Realty Trust Grantee: Some random guy.(same guy from item #2) File Date: 01/20/2005 Type Desc: DEED Consideration: 1.00 Grantor: Landlord's mother TR, Sch. Realty Trust, Current Landlord TR Grantee: Landlord's mother, Current Landlord File Date: 01/20/2005 Type Desc: MORTGAGE Consideration: 410,000 Grantor: Landlord's mother, Current Landlord Grantee: Union Capital Mortgage Business Trust File Date: 10/02/2007 Type Desc: DEED Consideration: 100.00 Grantor: Current Landlord Grantee: Landlord's mother File Date: 10/23/2007 Type Desc: EXECUTION Consideration: 13,206.02 Grantor: Current Landlord Grantee: Some other random guy. File Date: 06/08/2009 Type Desc: ORDER Consideration: 0.00 Grantor: Current Landlord + Random Guy from item above this one. Grantee: -- File Date: 12/28/2010 Type Desc: ORDER OF NOTICE Consideration: 0.00 Grantor: Current Landlord, US Bank National Association, Landlord's mother Grantee: Some other random guy. File Date: 03/14/2011 Type Desc: TAKING Consideration: 2,680.74 Grantor: Landlord's mother, City of property. Grantee: City of property. I don't know a lot about these things, but it looks like he was late on the mortgage a few times (the things that say NOTICE)... and the Deed changed hands a few times. Most recently, it looks like he owed $2680.74 in property taxes, and the city put a lien on the house (3/14/11, TAKING)... thinking the city might auction off the house for the taxes owed, I contacted the city treasurer office. I was informed the city had not filed to auction off the house although taxes were owed on it. Judging by the data I posted - it looks to me like my landlord is not the best at keeping on top of his taxes and mortgage - but he still owns the house. The immediate dilemma is - I have three roommates (not including myself). Two of them have written out their rent checks (due yesterday) to the landlord, but the third is refusing to pay rent until she talks to a lawyer. The whole situation seems kinda sketchy. As far as leases go - we had one initially from September 2009 til August 2010... but have been on a verbal month-to-month since. Anyone have an inkling to what's going on - and what I need to expect in the coming days/weeks? Is my roommate right or wrong to refuse to pay rent at this point? What could my landlord have shown the auctioneer in the envelope that would end the auction?
  11. I thought of that - but figured this forum was more likely to give a swift response... kinda needed one with people gathering outside my front door. Anyway - it seems like my current landlord bought the house back for a cheap price? I guess it was in his parents' name or something...
  12. Quick question. Yesterday as I was leaving for work, I saw a stranger hanging around the front of the two story house I rent an apartment in. He approached me and informed me the house was going up for auction tomorrow (today). I was totally blindsided - and so was my landlord when I called him (or so he claims...) - the landlord claims it must have something to do with his mother's divorce. Anyway - people are gathering in front of my house right now, there's at least 10 cars outside. Are these people all going to be going in and out of my apartment? If the house sells today, what are my rights as a tenant? Do I need to let these people see the inside of my home if I don't want to? Can I go outside and just randomly place a bid on the house assuming I can afford it? (I can pay $15,000 cash, but that's about it for the moment... I can probably afford to buy a $150,000-170,000 home... but I wouldn't pay that much for this place... it'd be a good value but it needs a lot of work and it's not my ideal setup/location)...
  13. The gal I worked with charges $50 per hour meeting, phone or face-to-face, plus a $15/month "administrative fee" to cover stuff like worksheets, email conversations between appointments, etc. I know this is a case of YMMV, but how many meetings are typically needed - and how often (ballpark at least, because I know it's different for everyone).
  14. That's another thing I'm not sure about. I know as recently as a few years ago, these were considered a "scam" and a "bad idea". Is that really the case? University of Phoenix, etc? I don't want to waste time/money on a "useless" degree if that's what it'd be viewed as.
  15. I'll look into the career counselor thing. How do the meetings usually run, and what do they charge?
  16. ...and the weird thing is, I don't know what I want that job to be! And I might even not necessarily care. I have a 40hr/wk job, pays a bit over $14/hr... Sundays are time and a half, as are Holidays. Benefits exist, but aren't phenomenal. It's enough to save $800-1000 a month, and eat, and pay all my bills, and have some money for fun stuff. However, the job has just gotten BAD over the past few months. Or maybe I'm just sick of it. But I think it's a culmination of both. I'm sick of it, and it's getting worse. I won't go into all the details, but here's an example: Today I received four phone calls from work on my day off. Two were to ask stupid questions. Two were so my boss could yell at me about something that happened on some other guy's shift. If I were five years younger, and thus less wiser, I'd probably quit now, deplete my savings account then find a new job - but I have bills to pay and plans for that savings down the road. I see my options as: 1: Go back to school and get a degree - Education is never a bad thing, but what irks me about this one is how some people make it out to be so easy, when really it isn't... especially when you're almost 29. Going to school full time while I keep my current job might allow me to break even financially (eliminate saving money every month), or at least fight off racking up debt, but that creates two problems... school fulltime + a 40 hour work week sounds like the fast road to burnout... and I'd still be stuck with this job for four years. 2: Just look for another job - Definitely an easier choice, but a more complicated one. I don't want to quit my job for one that's equally bad, or one that pays less. That, and my experience is limited to 8 years of retail (ugh, just thinking about it)... I know some fields you can get certified in six week programs... but I honestly can't remember which ones. Are these programs legit? Worth exploring?
  17. Ermm at age 12? My personal opinion, I feel is a bit young for a book like this, and I feel that it should be parents choice what kind of books their child can read, surely there are alternative books that don't brush on something that is illegal and sexual in nature? Siblings having sex with each other? I wouldn't be okay with MYSELF reading that - let alone my kids.
  18. Yes. He is also the Mayor on Family Guy.
  19. I'm talking about physical stuff, on a smaller, more intricate scale. Little physical characteristics (like a facial expression) that you fall in love with. Sounds corny as hell, but go ahead and tell me you don't have something like this that your SO does that you fall in love with every time. When he actually hits in the toilet bowl and not around it. Buy them. We men are a competitive sort.
  20. I'm talking about physical stuff, on a smaller, more intricate scale. Little physical characteristics (like a facial expression) that you fall in love with. Sounds corny as hell, but go ahead and tell me you don't have something like this that your SO does that you fall in love with every time.
  21. I will not support that type of madness. If they want all peoples to learn Ebonics, then the book cover should be more diverse. They only have black people on the cover (I wonder if they are there, because they are Brown People Smart ). At the very least they should have someone on the cover who is half black and half amazing... I understand. Here is what I use instead. (Yes, it's a real book) Yo, I'm up with the homies and down with the Gs, I get mad b-tches, so n----- please. I'm poppin' like it's fresh, I'm stomping up this mess, I get mad b-tches like my n----- Adam West.
  22. Okay. You hate rap, but you use Ebonics. Did you learn Ebonics, so that you could understand rap when you listened to it???? Or did you learn Ebonics from listening to it? You know assimilation and all. That's how Berlitz teaches Ebonics.... That's not ebonics... oh do tell what is..... I need to know All these crappy artists seem to have crappy names like Puff, Biggy and Gaga... it's not slang - it's just my "I-don't-give-a-damn" way of listing of so-called-artists I don't like, but don't care enough to really put the effort into getting their names necessarily correct.
  23. Those of you jumping on my "love makes that person beautiful in your eyes" are taking it WAY too literally. There is more to beauty, however, than whether or not your wife looks like Joey Heatherton.
  24. I'm 5'5" (my real height, I stopped lying and saying 5'7") and not bothered by my height until I see or hear someone say this... if she's like 5'2"... Also, just as an aside... heels are very bad for your feet. They put pressure on your toes, causing your nails to get tiny cracks... which makes you prone to toe fungus. at 5'5", are you attracted to taller women?? I prefer shorter women, but I do find taller women equally attractive. Admittedly, after a certain point a girl would be "too tall" for me - but that's not so much an attraction thing as it is an awkwardness thing. I've had a crush on Cameron Diaz since I was 12 (!), and she's 5'9".
  25. I'm 5'5" (my real height, I stopped lying and saying 5'7") and not bothered by my height until I see or hear someone say this... if she's like 5'2"... Also, just as an aside... heels are very bad for your feet. They put pressure on your toes, causing your nails to get tiny cracks... which makes you prone to toe fungus.

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