Archive for July, 2008

Carnival of Debt Reduction 150: College Tuition Bills

Monday, July 28th, 2008

No fancy theme for this week’s Carnival of Debt Reduction, as I just spent almost an hour on campus doing the academic advising thing so I can finally register for classes.  Yeah, a little late in the summer, but I had to figure out how to switch my major and my academic advisor and the college’s website does NOT make that an easy task.  It was so much easier to do when you had to go talk to a real person and fill out a paper form! 

Next step: registering for classes on “drop day” then paying the bill right afterwards.  “Drop day” is when the registrar drops everyone who hasn’t already paid their tuition bill from all their classes.  I’ve used “drop day” to get the classes I want at the times I want for five semesters running now, and it’s how I will get into two “full” classes for this fall.  The key is having ALL of the tuition money on hand before drop day, because at midnight each night the registrar drops anyone who isn’t paid in full or has a payment plan in place already.

Speaking of payment plans, let’s get this carnival started!  Here are my picks of the 18 posts that made the cut this week:

  • Brainy from Pants in a Can writes about “Red Zone Finances” which is a football analogy for his level of motivation in eliminating his debts.  I like football, I LOVE killing off debt, so this one is a home run (to mix sports metaphors)
  • Frederic Premji from I Need Motivation writes “How I Paid $25,000 in Debt Within 18 Months“  Nothing like a kick (donkey) success story to really help folks get fired up!
  • Phil For Humanity has an idea that is not only near-and-dear to my heart, but one I wholeheartedly endorse: STOP USING YOUR CREDIT CARDS!  Seriously, give this one a good read.

Those three are my favorites, but the rest are definitely worth reading here:

And there we have yet another quality week for the Carnival of Debt Reduction!  Thanks to all the submitters for all the good reads.  Now it’s time for the reading and commenting to begin! :)  Meanwhile, I’ll be prowling the online class schedule and plotting out which class I want to take at what time for the fall semester.

The Economics of Delivering Pizzas

Saturday, July 26th, 2008

Earlier this summer, I did a cost analysis of delivering pizzas as my part-time job.  This week, it’s time to re-evaluate the situation, as the pay has changed and I am not sure it’s for the better.

The big thing that changed was federal minimum wage went up this week to $6.55 per hour.  That’s a jump of 70 cents from $5.85 per hour, and I knew my boss was dreading it.

He warned us a few weeks ago that when minimum wage went up, he would have to lower the per-delivery gas offset pay … but I didn’t realize he would lower it this much.  We have gone down from $1.28 per delivery order to only 75 cents per delivery order!

We have an employee meeting this morning, and at least one other driver intends to mention to the boss man that this is not enough to keep our vehicles on the road.  In fact, this other driver told me last night he will be putting in applications to other jobs.  My comment was I am surprised it took him this long (this is the one who drives a truck for delivery).

As for myself, I will let the boss man know I will continue to work (for now) but I only want to pull three long shifts, with a minimum of 7 hours per shift.  The store is eight miles from my house, and I drive an average of 100 miles per shift.  Working only three days will bring back down to only one tankful of gas per week while still pulling the same amount of hours.

I have to wonder if this kind of thing is happening at other stores.  I’m also wondering if the gas prices may be the end of pizza delivery as we know it, especially with tips continuing to dwindle.

This should be an interesting employee meeting.

Double Digit Inflation

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

Randall from Credit Withdrawal just got done poking fun at me for not having something up on this morning’s inflation numbers, and I might as well admit to being sort of lazy lately where the blog is concerned.

For those who missed the news, the official CPI numbers for the month of June came in at a scorching 1.1% … WITH seasonal adjustment still in effect.  I didn’t comment about last month’s 0.6% because that shocked me coming in that high.  Some “fun” and simple math:

  • 0.6% x 12 months = 7.2% annualized inflation based on the May numbers
  • 1.1% x 12 months = 13.2% annualized on the numbers for June!!!

Break out the disco now, the BLS can no longer hide the doo-doo we are standing in, inflation-wise!  Not even with seasonal adjustments, not with hedonics, not with substitution bias.  I could have lots of fun raking Ben Bernake and 8 others from the FOMC over the coals here, but that’s pretty much like shooting fish in a barrel.  Oh yeah, the “good” news: those rate cuts that went on from fall until April still haven’t worked into the economy completely … which means inflation will keep going up for a while.

Thankfully for me, the state board limited my college to “only” (?) a 6% tuition increase, but I am pretty sure they will hike the unregulated fees to cover that and the budget cuts the state is handing them.  Eh, I’ll tackle tuition next post.  It’s going to be on my mind constantly for the next month until I get both mine and the Teenager’s tuitions paid up.