I'm ashamed of myself for not getting my Christmas/Holiday cards out. I bought them, actually, I bought them last year. I've been lazy but that's not anything new.
So maybe it's karma that I only got bills and solicitations in the mail. That's not true either as I did receive my $20 gift certificate from Rite Aid [for spending $100 in a two-month period]. Normally I shop at Duane Reade for their 5% rebate but I'm a cheapskate and 20% > 5%.
I am currently testing out the personal finance software site - www.mint.com which aggregates all of your bank account, credit card and investment information. It will then consolidate and track your spending [at least what you spend via your bank debit or credit card] - for example, it will tell you how much you spend eating out at restaurants or shopping or for groceries.
There are a lot of kinks in the system [i.e. lots of uncategorized or miscategorized items] and minimal financial advice [for example, it tells me I will earn an extra $88 a year if I switch checking accounts from Chase to HSBC, which honestly is not worth the aggravation of looking for a HSBC branch in New York City. I wish they would tell me something useful like what I would save by refinancing my mortgage, which I am thinking about and currently researching.
I will probably give www.wesabe.com a chance in a month or two.
I also got three magazines in the mail today, which while not unusual because I subscribe to too many darn magazines. Monday usually means The New Yorker [which I usually enjoy and informative] and New York [which is enjoyable, informative and useful]. Occasionally, one of my monthly magazines will show up like Popular Science or Men's Journal. I was kind of shocked to see Time Out New York only because it usually arrives on Wednesday.
I went through The New Yorker issue but the only thing interesting I saw was the Cartoon Caption Contest. I really don't care about Jewish Kosher food inspectors in mainland China or the history of The Village Voice. I have unconscienably-high stacks of unread magazines and my new rule if an article doesn't interest me in the first two paragraphs or with some amazing graphic [usually a photo of pretty girl does it], then I'll skip over it.
My goal is to go through 10 issues a day until the magazines are gone. The issue of New York does better with the cover story - "Adam Platt's Where to Eat '09". Another thing that stands out in the issue is the real estate section item titled "Fame Slept Here" where the magazine editors are kind enough to provide the current NYC address for R&B music sensastion John Legend. Yes, the title makes it sound like John Legend doesn't live there anymore but that's not the impression I get when I read the actual story.
I understand the real estate market is really soft now, especially for $1.25M residence, but is the extra marketing really worth the potential security risk?
I also managed to complete the crossword in the magazine under two hours, working on it on-and-off as I cooked and ate dinner...and in pen...though somewhat messily.
I'm going to leave the Time Out NewYork for tomorrow as there's a book I want to get to.
I have some plans for the New Year, a couple that are somewhat interesting, which I hope to share soon.
Talk to you later.