Credit Reports and the likes

Sunday, March 22, 2009

While I'm a bit of a space cadet tonight (I don't really know why, I'm just all over the place), I'd really like to write a post. I don't think my brain can sit still long enough for a well thought-out post, so I'd like to share with you some thoughts that I've had recently:

I just looked up my credit report through Equifax (I opted for the paid one, rather than have one sent to my house in Canada where I am not)... and I'm pleased to announce that my FICO score has risen from 744 to 756! I have now officially jumped to the 'average' section from last year's appearance in the 'slightly below average'. It would be higher if I hadn't forgotten about a measly $10 I had charged on an HSBC card and paid 1 day late (back in 2006). Oopsie!

Other than that I like to know that everything is in order, which it is, although they still list my employment as Subway, when it hasn't been Subway in a while. Not sure if it's worth it to change it when I'm not working at all in Canada.

I have many credit cards on file (6 in total!), and I only use one of them regulary. Not sure if I should close the rest when I get home, especially since some of them (like the HSBC one), I've long since destroyed the card. Hmmm. 

My flatmate has just left back home to South Africa to scramble to apply for a Highly Skilled Migrant Visa before the end of March, since the UK Goverment has changed the rules and he would no longer be eligible under the new rules. He is still waiting on one last peice of documentation which was supposed to come in the mail Friday (and didn't...), so we're hoping it comes tomorrow and if it does I will have to scramble down to the Post Office and send it as fast as I can to South Africa. I am stressed for him, because I think at this point I would be a wreck of stress if I were him. 

I made sushi today! And I didn't do as miserable of a job as I thought! Yay! I made the rice a-ok, although it was a bit too soft I think (less water next time), and made one roll with crab and avocado and cucumber, and another with salmon (I used trimmings.... not as good as salmon steaks, but I didn't want to spend the $$ on high-grade salmon) and cucumber, and I made a couple hand rolls with shrimp. I'm very much pleased. I bought a big thing of Kikoman soy sauce (sooo good), although it was a bit too dark, it was very satisfying. I didn't buy any wasabi or ginger, since I don't really like either. My only problem was the knife - way too dull. I'm going to need a sharper knife next time around, as I pretty much butchered the sushi trying to cut it. I'm sure Waitrose or M&S has a cheap, sharp knife around. 

Other than that, It cost me around £20 for the following:
  • 2 packs of seaweed sheets (10 per pack)
  • 1 box of sushi rice (will need to buy more, cheaper at the asian grocery store)
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 bunch of spring onions
  • 1 pack of crab-sticks
  • 1 pack of salmon trimmings
  • 1 pack of pre-cooked shrimp
  • 1 huge bottle of soy sauce
  • 1 pack of chopsticks (can't eat sushi with a fork!)
  • 2 mini plates
  • 1 tiny bowl for soy sauce
  • 1 wooden paddle
  • 1 bottle of rice vinegar
  • 1 wooden bamboo rolling mat
  • 1 bag of sesame seeds
  • 1 packaged of unagi (seasoned eel)

I already had:
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Pots
  • Knife (although this one was no good)

Other than the rice, which will only do me another 3 or 4 rolls (1 c of rice or so), the rest will either do me permanently (chopsticks and plates), or a long time. I still have almost all of the veggies and sauces left. As well, I only used 2.5 sheets of sushi nori (seaweed). I would've only used 1.5 sheets, but I got water on one and ruined it by making it soggy.

I could probably spent the next week eating sushi without using all this up. It took quite a while, especially since I haven't made it in such a long time. Once I get better prepared I'm sure it'll go by faster. But, when I could spent £20 on one night of sushi, £20 for a week isn't too bad. Espeically when £6 of that went directly on some frozen seasoned unagi (eel). Mmmmm unagi. Can't wait to break that shit out. It's gonna be AWESOME!

I'm also glad to report that right now I've got a grand total of £7,507.61 in the bank. AND I haven't get gotten paid by the job, which (hopefully), will bump it up to over £8,000. Anyways. This all means that even if I spend double my budget for April and May (which is what I've planned), I can freaking make it to NOVEMBER on my current money and budget. HOLY CRAP! This just keeps getting better and better. 

During a low time a couple of weeks ago, when the old housemate was really killing my drive to live here (he was a partier/alcoholic - listening to shit dance music and getting out of control and abnoxious - THANK GOD he's gone!), I was really considering coming home sooner rather than later, and I did, at one point, tell my mom that I was thinking of coming home next January, rather than waiting until the summer when my VISA expired. She was pretty bummed, as I think she was planning to come out and visit me again in the spring. She loves it here, and as she doesn't have a whole lot of money, basically said that 'while I'm out here she's got a reason to visit when she shouldn't spend the money'. Now I don't want to be the reason for my mother getting in debt, but she's pretty much going to do it anyways. Now that the horrible roommate has left I'm loving it here again, and am planning to stick it out as long as I can. 

On a completely OTHER note, several of the people that have lived in this house waaaay before I got here (think at least 2 years ago), have gotten increasingly threatening letters from collection agencies about overdue debts. We used to just toss old housemate mail up on top of one of the cabinets, but I cleaned out and decided to send them all back. I opened a couple that were damaged, and that's how I learned about the debts. One guy owes a couple hundred quid, while another owes almost £3,500 to some phone company. No one has called the house as far as I'm concerned, but since we have no answering machine they might for all I know. However I just got a letter today, and peeked through the clear stuff to read "DOORSTEP COLLECTION NOTICE" in BIG red letters. Well shit. I don't want these people coming to MY HOUSE to collect debt for someone who doesn't even live here anymore. I'm not sure what to do. I'm going to send the letter back (I always write "DOESN'T LIVE HERE. NO FORWARDING ADDRESS" on all of them, but it doesn't seem to work). I'm just worried that someone will show up at the house and be mean and agressive. That scares me. I'm not sure what to do! Has anyone has this problem?

I mean, for all I know no one will be here when these people come. Everyone except me works 9-5 jobs, and I'm usually our touristing during the day, so none of us are home until the evenings, but if they came in the evenings, what would happen? I hope they would be nice and leave when I tell them that this person doesn't live here, but if they think I'm lying or harboring this guy? Gaaah! Why can't people just pay their freaking debts! Any suggestions? I guess I could pass on the land lady's contact information and hope that they leave ME alone, but I'm not sure she would appreciate that. They were HER tenants, though - she might have more information. 

Hmmm... what other news to share?! OH!

I bought some UGG boots last week. I know, I think they are ugly too, but have you ever worn them? It's like walking on clouds made of fog. lol. What an image. Anyways, I was looking at their fuzzy-lined rubber boots, since I need a good pair of rubber boots, but I couldn't even get my feet in them (big feet!), so I ended up buying a pair of fitted, slip on leather boots with the fuzzy lining. The damage? £146. Ouch. Yep.

I ended up taking them back 2 days later. I wore them around the house a bit and just decided that they weren't worth the price. I can buy cheap rubber boots for like, £20, and then just buy fuzzy socks. It's funny, I spent a lot of time in the store chatting with the sales lady, who actually ended up going into the back and pulling some of last years old stock for me to try on. She was exceptionally helpful and sweet, and I feel bad since she probably lost out on some comission, but I just couldn't swallow the price. Especially when the UGG boots that are £146 here, are only $146 back home. Same price, different currency. That basically means I'm essentially paying double. Yikes. 

I think by the time I had riden the hour-long bus home I had decided to take them back. And I absolutely HATE taking things back, since I avoid conflict, but everyone was quite sweet. And I had a huge sense of relief when I left the mall, which I take as a good sign. 

I'm still on the hunt for good boots, and will resume hunting next week. 

I have also received my tax refund, which was a fat $1,500. I find this impressive, especially since I don't contribute to an RRSP (I know, BAD pf-blogger!). This means that my office-job was WAY over-taxing me - since I usually only get about $600 back. Yeeeesh! This did help, since it bought me another month in the UK (or the inevitable flight home... lol). I haven't done my UK taxes yet, as the tax year doesn't end until April. I will get my P60 in the mail soonish, and will have to figure out how the hell to do my taxes after that. I don't think I will be entitled to a huge refund through the UK, since I've paid barely any taxes. 

I got a lovely £20 gift voucher from my job this week, as a reward for all us being awesome and winning some competition. I also traded in a bunch of my unused Nintendo DS games that I brought with me (most I haven't touched in over 6 months!), and got £51 on another voucher! I used part of this month to buy a new DS game: Grand Theft Auto Chinatown Wars! I'm very much enjoying it, and will definitely get my money's worth out of it. I still have £41 on the gift card, so I'll be able to buy some stuff in the future. I'm resisting the temptation to blow it all on crap I don't need and save it for things I need - like when my headphones eventually break. Heh. 

Well, I think that's enough rambling for one afternoon. I'm struggling to put concrete, coherent sentances together anymore, and I'm sure my spelling is getting to be atrocious. Maybe I'm hyped up on too much sushi! Either way, I'm very much looking forward to more sushi tomorrow.... after I find a better knife. 

Thanks for reading this far, you're a star!