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Archive for October, 2011

Rear-ended AGAIN!

October 28th, 2011 at 01:34 pm

I got rear-ended AGAIN today by a woman as I was pulling onto the highway. At least she stopped and exchanged information, etc. I need to go get an estimate on the damage and call her back with the amount. If she doesn't want to pay to have it fixed, we'll go through insurance. UGH. More paper work and people to pay for.

Starting PT

October 25th, 2011 at 08:47 am

I don't really have many financial updates to post. Well sort of...I got into a car accident last Sunday (rear-ended and the other guy drove off- can you believe that?). Since it was a hit and run and the police were called, his insurance accepted 100% liability right off the bat. They came last Friday for an estimate and wrote me a check on the spot for $472 for the damage to my bumper. The appraiser handed me my check and said it was my choice if I wanted to get it fixed. My car is a 1999 and I don't really care about cosmetic damage (you can barely tell anyway) so I decided not to get the bumper fixed. I needed to get two tie rods fixed, an alignment and an oil change so I took that check and it paid for everything and I still have $120 left over!

I went to the doctor on Monday because my back felt really tight and I had some lower back pain. They gave me some muscle relaxants and told me if I don't feel better in about a week, I should start PT. I called today since I felt pretty much fine over the weekend but when I'm sitting down at work, the pain comes back. I hope they do some massage therapy or something because it's really, really tight!

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Not many other updates. I started freezer cooking two weekends ago. I made a meatloaf, lasagna casserole and beef burritos. They came out awesome! This weekend I made chicken and bow tie pasta, chicken alfredo w pesto, and chicken tikka masala. Again, everything is delicious. My problem is that I didn't really read the servings so now I have a TON of these meals. I froze about 1/2 and we'll eat the other half this week. I love that I can reheat leftovers, make a small salad and be done with dinner! I spent $60 each week for all of the weekly groceries plus the ingredients for all the freezer meals. I'm happy with that but I would love for our budget to go down to $40 a week (or less)! We buy a ton of fresh veggies and my BF loves deli meat (a very specific kind and no other will do). $7 for 3/4 pound is a lot of money in my opinion.

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I think November will be easier financially. My balance transfers are DONE! I have a good plan set up for my payments and I have a bunch of found money to add to debt repayment this month. I'm hoping I can pay off Citicard and US Bank this month. That will bring me under $16k in CC debt.

October Bills= A BIG Mess!!!

October 20th, 2011 at 07:26 am

Oh boy did I screw up this month. I think it will work out in the end but it was difficult to make it through.

I had set up monthly payments a while back for the amount at the bottom of my bill that would get me out of debt faster - the 3 year plan. It was less than $100 more a month for each card but it would go directly to principal. I decided against that about 2 months into paying off my debt and I figured out pretty quickly that monthly automatic payments don't work for me. I like going into my accounts and knowing exactly what is going on with all of my accounts.

So because I forgot about the automatic payments, I ended accidentally paying my Citicard twice this month. I paid the minimum of $250 and another $355 (3 year plan). I decided to use my credit card to pay for my glasses (they cost $271 which is just less than the overpayment). Well when I went to pay, the credit card was declined. The problem was that I hadn't used the card in over 2 years then I went into Walmart and I made two small purchases then tried the big purchase. My account was flagged for fraud so it was declined. I was embarrassed so I just put it on my debit card. Then I realized I was short $626. Ugh.

I had also made the choice to pay off my Discover card this month. I deposited a bunch of money from extra sources and I knew that I could pay it off. I regretted it for a little bit but I knew I could get by if I tried. My goal is to never touch my savings.

So, I decided to be extra thrifty. I was able to get Walmart to switch the charge back over to my credit card instead of my debit card. I deposited my piddly money ($117) back into my checking account and made myself do without it for the month. I convinced my brother to pay me a bit early for the cable and internet bill.

I'm pretty sure made it through the month unscathed!

I paid $1830 to debt and charged $328.24 to my Citicard. That's $1501.76 in credit card payments this month!

To combat my over ambition, I decided that I'm going to pay all of my non credit card bills first. Student loans, utilities, etc. Then I'll figure out how much I can put to credit card bills. I was reluctant to do that since I have tried that method since college and always found something to spend the money on. I feel like I have my goals in place and I'm on my way to meeting them. It feels good to trust myself with the extra money.

November looks like a much easier month.

Balance Transfer Update

October 18th, 2011 at 08:26 am

I started this post last week with the title "I'm pretty frustrated about finances this month!" and I'm happy that it didn't stick. Ultimately, I feel good about the way things turned out!

When I called about a month ago, Citicard told me that my interest rate would be lowered from 18.99% to 14.24% on my next statement. My statement came in yesterday and it was only lowered to 16.99%. I called and the rep told me it was a mistake (something about they didn't factor in the prime rate). I filed a complaint with them but the best she could do was to offer 9.99% interest on purchases for 6 months. I accepted it only because I overpaid on my card by $355 and might need to use it this month. I am disappointed that it wasn't lowered even more.

I decided that I needed to bite the bullet and did the balance transfer that I had been thinking about with Discover (0.00% for 12 months, 3% transfer fee) for $3800. I was hesitating because it would mean closing my Chase Rewards card (the Rewards are better than my other cards) and transferring the available credit to the Disney account (which was offering a promotional rate for BTs). Combining the credit lines provided me with $6400 in available credit to transfer the rest of my Citicard balance(1.99% until March 2013, 1% balance transfer fee). The regular rate is 16.24% which is lower than the Citicard anyway. Both transfers are pending!

You can see that once I pay the Citi and US Bank balances, my highest interest rate will be 6.50% which is on a small balance; all other debt is at or lower than 1.99%!! I feel victorious in getting so much of my debt on cards with low interest promotions. I will be certain to pay them off before the rates change.

As for my budget this month: it was so complicated that I'm going to write a different post!

Whoops!

October 7th, 2011 at 12:56 pm

After spending much time last night trying to figure out which credit card I want to pay off first and my budget for this month, I logged into my bank account and saw that I forgot about my autopay for my Citicard. I figured, I'd do autopay for my credit cards but realized last month that it's not for me. I need to physically log onto my accounts, look at the balances, check out interest rates, etc. then make my payments to know what's what. Turns out I forgot to undo the Citi autopay so I made an extra payment in the amount of $355. Yikes. My budget might be shot.

I started to panic until I realized that it's overpayment on a credit card so if I have to, I can pay my phone bill and/or cable bill with the credit card. As opposed to if I overpaid my student loan, I would be screwed. I think it might be a fun exercise to see if I can make it through the month without using the credit card. If I need to, I'll have the credit card to use.

Update and some good news!

October 6th, 2011 at 07:47 pm

I've been on vacation for the last week. My family and I went to Bermuda to celebrate my brother's 25th birthday. We've been planning this trip for a while and I was worried about what I would spend on the trip. Since we went on a cruise, all of the food and lodging were paid in advance. The only thing we had to worry about was gratuities, excursions, and any souvenirs.

I ended up spending a little bit more than I wanted to. I bought some art work which has been a habit of mine when traveling that cost $100. In all, I spent just about $200 including some other souvenirs. My brother charged the incidentals on the cruise to his credit card to get rewards. We used the card to buy some family photos, go on a onshore excursion and other things so I want to give him some money for that, maybe out of my October piddly money.

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I just made the final payment to my Discover card!!!!!! My goal was to pay it by Dec 31st but I came in almost 3 months early! My dad gave me $200 and my friend who I've mentioned before sent me a check for a total of $300 this month. I'm thrilled that I had an extra $500. I never count on this money since I'm not positive when or how much it will be but it's been pretty consistent (knock on wood). I also had some money laying around: $100 from my Rite Aid rebate checks and $45 in change that I rolled. Combine that with my monthly payment and I made a payment in the full amount of $685.35! I'm so happy!

In addition, my Discover card is offering a balance transfer: 12 month 0% APR and a 3% fee. I'm much happier about this transfer option than some of the other ones I've thought about. Since I just paid the card off, I have $4000 in available credit to play with. I think I'll transfer $3750 from the Citicard to the Discover card in hopes that I can move some available credit to my Simplicity card.

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I might reorder which cards I pay off first. I think I'll pay of US Bank next since it's so small. Then work on the BTs in the next couple of weeks, making sure that I factor in the transfer fees, etc. Once I have as much as possible on low interest account, I'll pay down the Citicard next.