Monday, November 17, 2008

Decisions, Decisions

I've been fretting over the choice to give BofA $300 at the month's end or whether I should put that $ in my E-fund. I really want to pay them off. The real deal are my thoughts of what's happening w/the economy. That means I'm worried. Why? I know who my Source is. I guess my thinking is my debt payments total $260 roughly. I can afford to skip a month so I can save. I really don't think I'll go for this option, but it's great to flesh it out. Actually I'll wait to see what my paycheck looks like and see if I can put at least $200 in the E-fund.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What Am I Doing???

Haven't really checked in w/Ramit in a few days. I'm disappointed with my actions.

On another note I'm paying BofA $200 with this paycheck and I will send them $300 at the end of the month.

There's nothing to do but just begin again. No need to be too hard on myself.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Lot Less Anxiousness

I'm noticing that w/each paycheck I'm not as anxious as my paydate approaches. Neither have I felt the urge to race to our website to see what my amounts will be the moment the company posts the info. In the past I would often be early and have to wait a few days. Perhaps this is because I usually have enough make my debt payments (sometimes a large amount and sometimes an amount above the mimimums). I'm noticing still some habits I don't particularly like. One is spending whatever is in the account once everything is saved and paid. I could always save more since my savings are at a mimimum right now. Most importantly I miss the excitement I had when I was able to send hundreds of dollars more than I'd expected. I'm afraid that means I'm slowing down in my game. It could just mean I'm settling down to what I have to do. Over and out!

Saving 1K

Over at, Ramit Sethi has proposed the save $1,000 in 30 days challenge. In reading about it I sometimes tend to shy away from doing the work until I can erase whatever tape is running in my head. My first post was received today which was start taking lunch. I do this regularly so I'm okay there. I know I'll run into a problem w/my Altoid usage, but more on that later.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Steps to Deal With Citibank

Whew! I didn't realize it had been so long. I must have gotten so fired up after my debt payments celebratory post...

Well tonight I'm tellin' on myself. I have an outstanding $236 balance w/Citibank. Now I've been getting mail from a collection agency. Because I was traveling and didn't open the mail, I answered after 30 days. I was new to the idea of validation, so that wasn't my first thought.
I called them and let them know what payment arrangements I would make. I received a letter from another rep the following week offering me a better deal. Since then, and I'm talking eight months ago, I've received letters offering me various deals by mail. "Make three payments totaling $107. Because it's tax season we're going to offer you to pay only half", you get my drift. Hmm...I'm just a little suspicious. When are collectors so nice? Also after one or two unreturned phone calls they stopped calling.

Tell you what! Since I haven't pulled my credit report in a while that'll be my first step. If the debt is not listed I'll send them a validation letter. If they are I'll make steps to pay them so it can be removed from my report. God! I've felt like such an idiot on this. Also I'll go to for more info.

Whew!! Now that wasn't as bad as I thought.

We Did It!!!

Yes We Did...

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Home Ownership v. Car Ownership

I did some maintenance to my car, resulting in over $500 worth of work. When I came home last night I noticed the gates to hinge was loose. Because I live in a house that is suffering from lack of continual upkeep, I'm equating the situation w/my car to what homeowners deal with. What happens when you just let things go? Well the situation only gets worse no matter what the vehicle is.

Years ago I never wanted to own a house by myself. I didn't think I was ready for the upkeep thing. I now realize owning a house is like owning anything else that will need upkeep. A home is just a larger purchase.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Financial Update

16,288.19 - original debt
- 6,657.20 - debt payments
9,630.99 - new balance
I am lovin' me right now. You go girl!!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

How Will I Make This Day Special?

This ? came to me early this morning. As I looked around my room I realized I could get rid of things I don't need. I hold on to things far longer than necessary. As a creative person there are lots of little bags of stuff just hanging around, not to mention artistic ads, etc. In the past hour I attacked a bag that's been moved from spot to spot for at least 3 months. Inspecting further I made three piles: trash, paper trash and things I really want to keep. So far I've thrown away most of the contents. There is an Ikea shoe storage hanging bag that I might want to keep, but I can see it now. I'll fold it up and it will sit in a spot for another year and then I'll get rid of it. I think I'll put it on Freecycle with some other stuff I want to get rid of.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Bill Payment Issues

Looking at my AMEX and wondering what happened. Why is my balance so high? When I updated my Debt Payment chart I saw it. In the past two months I had been so busy paying for the cruise and the membership fee I made the minimum payment on the Flex Payment. I remember my goal to pay at $100 or more per month.
Here's what it looks like:
July $35
August 28
September 41
Well that's not going to get AMEX paid by the end of the year.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Being Financially Responsible

Listening to Errol Louis, one of my fav radio hosts, the conversation with a guest was about the bailout plan and the prediction that 2.2 mortgages will foreclose in the coming years. He said to the guest, "If you've been financialy responsible you'll be on the upside when the time comes."

That phrase rung with me. I'm working on being just that. Paying my bills on time. Changing my mindset to get "I matter" and what happens around me is important. It keeps me paying attention to what goes on and financially not being asleep at the wheel.

I have more work to do in terms of continually looking at my life and setting and resetting priorities. This lead me to:
Traits of Dynamism
-Know God is in charge - Act like it
-Be awake to life
-Make a plan - Follow it - Know when to change course
-Recognize what actions need to take place - Do them
-Go thru the hard places with eyes open

As I said I know I got work to do!!!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Having More Time Off!!!

A thought of taking January off has been circulating around in my brain for the past 2 weeks. Two weeks vacay is coming to me. However, the thought of having enough is on my mind. I have one of those no workee - no payee jobs.

However, another thought poped up while showering. What if I saved just $100 a month for a year and prepaid that month of smaller bills/debt? I could actually take a month off. I could even do it by working the first 3 weeks of a month and then the last 3 weeks of the following month. There are various combinations, even 2 and 2 would work.
Wouldn't that be grand?

Now I know my debt will be way lowered and stepping up my 401K, E and mortgage savings are extremely important, but the Divas gotta have a little fun too.

Lots to meditate on for 2009!

Paying Them Off Bit by Bit

Care Credit - Paying it off. Now that my balance will be $150 after tomorrow's payment I 'm just going to pay if off. Yes I'm snatching it out of my Serious acct. at ING. Probably not the smartist move, interest and emergency wise, but I just want them to be done with. I've set up to pay myself back at $50 a month. I may be able to make it in two payment of $75. Hmmm!

Landowner fees - $125 by the end of September will have 2008 paid in full. I'll keep the EOM check deductions going til years' end so by I can pay them $200 for 2009 dues, throw it on debt or pay car insurance. Either way I have choices.

Car insurance - Will begin deducting $50 per MOM check in an ING account. By the time the bill is due for mid 2009 I'll be able to give them the one shot deal. If I don't throw that on debt as well. I have this habit of wanting to send BofA a check with I see hundreds of dollars, especially since it only costs me an additional $4 to pay in quartly installments.

When I started deducting what seemed like little bits of $$ from the MOM check I saw just how much it made a difference in being able to pay some of my yearly bills at one time. I didn't have to figure how I was going to pay, etc. Makes it less stressful.
peace and happy Sunday!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

What to Do?

Switched to Bach's Start Late, Finish Rich. The one thing I agree with so far is the idea of not following conventional wisdom of paying off the debt before saving for a home; retirement, etc. Lately I've been feeling I need to up my deductions again. Especially since the market is down right now. Also I'm not gaining any tax advantages. Once again, I need to work the numbers.
However, I will probably up it to at least %. I've really been feeling that.

He says some other things I like also.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

More Month than Money II

This is actually a surprise to me. Yes, I paid more to BofA, but then again I had extra to pay them and was glad to do so. However, in the past two weeks I've been having fun. And that costs $$. Dinners w/sista friends; exercise classes; birthdays, whatever. Now that I'm paying attention to how I spend my money, I see the difference between right now and when I'm operating more frugally. Also it reminds me of the times I wasn't paying attention and just spending and wondering where the money went.

I just received another $100 for some work I did. My goal is for that money to go to BofA. Not me. Check back later to see how intentional I am.

On a greater tip, I probably didn't mention I'm going on retreat in October. That retreat is fully paid for ahead of schedule. Yeah!!! A change from scuffling at the last minute. Until I find out more, I'll budget $100 since I won't need much money.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Yesterday I took my shoes to the shoemaker to get lifts and taps. I distinctly remember I was too lazy to take them to him for taps when I first bought them. So now I'm paying the price. However, instead of being cheap like I have in the past(depending on how much was in my wallet, I might only get lifts and no taps). I added taps to the front and back and never even thought about how much it would cost.
1- I knew the price would be reasonable.
2-These things will preserve the life of my shoes.
It's a win-win. Especially since this is the second pair of this style that I bought at an unexpected $25.

I have a new pair I bought for work a few weeks ago ($29 down from $59). I'm gonna take those in for taps before I begin wearing them for the fall.

Choices. Either I pay a little now or pay a lot more later.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

"I'm Struggling with my New Teeth"

When I asked my aunt how she was doing, her reply was, "I'm fine, but I'm struggling with my new teeth." While I laughed, it made me think of the fact I have to visit the dentist concerning my implant. Now the money has already been budgeted through my FSA, which I upped to $4,000** this year. I'm a little bit scared since it's not my regular dentist doing the work. I know I need to bite the bullet and just go ahead. In this upcoming week I'll make some progress on it.

**When I'm complete with my dental work which should be 2009, this money will go into my 401K and other savings. Can you imagine my debt being paid and having mo' money, mo' money, mo' money?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Festival Time

Harlem Week, and with it the beginning of the close of summer. Had a great time yesterday. Spent $13 on tea and ice cream. Now had I gotten there earlier I would have spent more, cause I was looking for fried fish. But it was not to be. I think I'm going to have to just buy it and cook it myself.

Friday, August 15, 2008

An Unexpected Surprise

It's a good morning when I get up and out early to take care of biz. This was one of those am's.

The decision to ride downtown to pay off a ticket was nixed when I saw a parking space on the right side of my block(alternate side parking begins @ 11:30). I got out by 8:10 and in order to use my transfer to return home I had to be back on the bus within 2 hrs. There was no line at the window to get the ticket reduced by 20%. Not only did I get the reduction, it seems that the ticket wasn't filled out correctly. Soooo you got it. NO CHARGE!

The back story: Last month while visiting the good friend I walked away from my vechicle not paying attention to the fact I parked at a hydrant. I turned around to see my boy in his little vehicle writing. Wait! Wait! I was just.... He explained why he couldn't tear up the ticket(an easy $115), but since I agreed my car was parked at an angle, he was able to give me a $45 ticket for such an obscure fine that he had to write in the code. So happy was I to get the reduction, I never noticed the ticket was jacked.

With that in stride I went to the post office to take care of biz. Again, no line. From there I hit the library; hopped on the bus within my transfer time and rode off in bliss.

Doing the Right Thing

My girls are going SkyDiving. An activity that costs $225 plus $110 for pics. Now I've done the dive solo many years ago and always wanted to do tandem. But...I'd just rather put that amount toward debt. So I've decided if I have the day available I'll just go and hang out with them. I'll also list this as one of the things I didn't do because I am paying off my debt. But that's in a future post.


BofA is getting $500 this pay period. I planned to pay them $300, but some extra money came in and soooo they will get more. In my mind I want to give them $600 at EOM. Now I pulled that figure out of my heart, but who knows.

AMEX may or may not continue to get an extra $100 a month. My biggest concern is BofA, especially since AMEX is a biz account and does not show on my credit report. I'll see.

The next CRUISE payment is due 9/2. I'll put in on AMEX for the points. I do have the money from my Play account at ING, but I don't want to touch it. I like seeing it grow. Get over it chick I tell myself. I can probably pull it out of a paycheck, but that's money that can be going to BofA.
Okay I'm back on track. See it doesn't take that long for right thinking to kick in.

I just have to make sure I don't short myself to make life & debt payments. I don't like that feeling.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Turnaround

Just took a look at Bach's Start Late, Finish Rich. From what I can see initially this book is structured the same as The Automatic Millionaire, however upon reading the first few pages something kicked in. I'm psyched again. The clouds in my brain are gone. I can do this. I don't have a lot of debt left and I have an option to make extra payments. Piece of cake are the words that come to mind. I know I was feeling that I was never going to save any money for a down payment, for retirement, blah blah. However, that's not true. The ? is what do I really want. This means I have to go back to my goals. Continuously. Just to know what I said I want. In the past I would set it and forget it. Now that might work for a 401K, but not for goals. Keep them in the forefront. So before week's end I'm gonna do just that. Review!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

An Admisson

Remember those debit cards I got just so I'd have them in case I needed cash? Well I couldn't find them for about two months. Embarrased, I refused to tell anyone. In my mind they were on the computer desk. In thinking about them this week I said, "I'm going to clean up that area and find them." While in the process, I went into the kitchen to empty a small bag that had been sitting for a while. Lo and behold what did I find. My debit cards. They must have fallen into the bag from the shelf on which I placed them. I put them in the envelope where they belong. Sometimes it pays not to worry.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

What I'm Reading

I left my good book home today so I could go thru David Bach's, The Automatic Millonaire before I returned it to the library. In my mind his book Start Late, Finish Rich seemed to be a better option for me. However, taking in a few more chapters while I was at work and then at the library convinced me to keep reading it. The one thing that blew me away was the example of how much of my workday is going for savings. I know most of what isn't going to pay living expenses is going to pay off debt. Who am I really working for?

Well--It's time to get out paper and pencil again. I've been wrestling with my choice to not fund my 401K, especially since rates are down and this is a better time to buy.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Extra $$, Extra $$

Saturday was the bomb. I did it. I went back. Okay, okay I know you have no idea what I'm talkin' about. Let me clue you in. I was scheduled to take a workshop. The bug in my ear was to sell some of these fabrics I've had hanging around forever. That's exactly what I did. I never took the workshop. Once I set up the fabric table, I went for it. Had a great time and got some fabrics and remnants out of my space. Yes Lord! I made about $200. I even sold a garment and made another $350. I'm excited but it's a dull excitement. I don't want to have this money just slip thru my hands. Yes I'm trying to pay for a cruise at year's end, but I want to be realistic and have most of this money go to debt repayment.


The Last Time

Let's get this straight--This is the last time I talk and or think about the amount of fees I paid to AX for the privilege of using their card. When I journaled today I could just see that money going to BofA, whom by the way received no additional payment this month(I'm still workin' on it). It hurt, but the pain is going away. I'm ready to get back on track.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Just Got Paid

Got paid today. By this time I have my check all sorted out as to who gets what. I did a rough paper sketch last week and haven't followed up. The only thing that's set to go is my rent and transfer to savings. I've just seen I have to pay the telephone company an additional $50 so I'll do that after this post. I also need to check on Sprint to see what additional funds, if any I owe them.

Part of me just wants to hold on to my money as long as I can without it going out the door, even if it's for a great cause like me getting down my debt. The one thing I will do is pick up my dry cleaning. Mr. Diva usually does this, but this isn't the month. Hmm.
Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My Latte Factor

I've just began The Automatic Millionaire. It didn't take me too long to identify my Latte Factor. The thing I spend little amounts of money on that can have a huge financial effect over a long period of time. I calculated $4 daily on a double pack of Altoids. Often it's less depending if I shop in bulk or go to Target. Here's what I come away with. I can conceivable end up spending $1,080 over the course of a year. I shudder the thought. For right now I'm not going to beat myself up about this.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Weekend Adventures

Great weekend. Saturday - Art by the water which led me to the Fairway where I spent $12.05 and a stop at the Coop where I spent $14.12. $15 for gas. Absolutely using the end of my envelope money and then some.

Sunday - Argentinian, reggae and blues at the Park w/sistah friends. Took pics w/one of the bands. On my way to the park I saw $10 just waiting for me to pick it up. My dinner contribution was just $7. Which was cool. While I know I'm short (dippin in my dollar jar), an extra $20 came my way so that helps. Now I had planned to save that $10 but it went for gas along w/another $10.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

My Habit

When I realized DR's 2-for-1 Altoids sale would expire last night. I grabbed some ones out of the dollar jar and drove over. I left my keys w/the DR card in the car so someone else got the points. I haven't been paying attention to their point system so I will in the future. Turns out I had also left my wallet in the car and was limited. From the $ in my pocket I was able to get 10 boxes. I went back home(I didn't calculate how much the gas cost for that 8 minute drive).

While in a phone convo w/a friend while she was shopping in Costco the light bulb went on. You guessed it. Another 12 boxes coming my way. It gets better. Seems like she messed up and she is repaying me w/those altoids. By the way the messup wasn't that bad. Just a minor glitch.

Meanwhile, I have been feeling the $ pinch in that there are things I want to do but don't want to put the amount on a credit card. So it's simple livin'. I'm on my way to the library, an art show at the waterfront and maybe a stop to the new Ikea. We'll see. However, money or not I will enjoy my day.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Watching the Dates

I finally understood what other bloggers experienced when snowflaking w/regards to billing cycle close dates, etc.

I've been paying $50 monthlyfor dental services rendered to GE account. Mind you I have prepaid a month ahead of time to be able to pay them on the date that works for me. No prob til I got paid two days earlier than usual and paid on the same day. What I failed to notice w/the last statement was a total of two $50 payments. Had I caught it I could have adjusted for it. I did not and when I opened the today's statement I saw a balance that looked strange. A late fee. What!! I gathered my statments, preparing to call them and do battle. Uh-Uh, the fault was mine. I did get the late fee removed and was also told the payment I made on the 15th will actually go toward the August bill. Don't know if I believe that. I think I may just pay this from E-savings( even though it's not really an emergency) and pay myself back w/four payments of $50. It'll be one less thing to keep track of.

Perhaps what got me was the do battle thought.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

More Month than Money

At this point I have $.92 in my checking accout. Because of my envelope system I still have $23 for groceries and $10 for gas-I filled up in Jersey this week. However, I only have $29 in my wallet(I bought a fish dinner last night). I've also reduced my wallet reserve bill to $50.
I have to last till the 30th, which will be tight. I have an alternative or two, one being not spend anymore money. Riiiight! But I can work on it. I already taking lunch, but I did buy lunch this past week since I left my food on the counter as I was running out the door. I refused to buy Popeye's large popcorn shrimp platter at $8(cheapskate), so I went for the sandwhich. I ended up getting an additional one when the manager went running after me, thinking I left w/o my purchase. Although it was a little over $4, I realize my own food is much better. I won't be furghettin' any time soon.

Going thru SundaySaver, I see things I need for my home. Suddenly I realized I don't have a budget for household purchases other than cleaning products which I lump in with groceries. Like everything else, I've been buying them when I need them. Well today I'll make a category and save a few dollars bi-weekly. Because I don't need a lot I can start with $20 each pay period. Light bulb moment: I still have my Visa gift card. I decided to use it to buy an iron and never got around to it. Problem solved. Hmm...what else can I buy. Mind ticking away.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

How Much Did I Say I'd Save?

So I did say two posts ago that was going to put $100 into my E-fund every two weeks didn't I? When I reveiewed my budget I agreed to deposit $50 instead. But I didn't update the transfer balance. Right now I'm good. I have an extra $55 after all bills, gas and grocery budget is taken care of. I defenitely could use more. If it gets tighter I may have to transfer the additional $50 back. Wow! Payday was on the 15th. Two more weeks to go. I'm going to have to budget more for me considering this is the summer and I seem to spend just a little more.

I forgot my lunch today. I managed to get away with an additional $5. You see I don't plan for lunch because I take it with me. I also forgot to take cash, so I had to use my bill I stash just so I'll always have cash. Hmm... They gave me a $50 bill back. Perhaps I'll carry that around for a while until I can build back up to $100.

A Little Mental Breather

I looked at an I-Village survey regarding where I stood with debt. I noticed I've already surpassed most of the situations presented and quit shortly thereafter.
The realization that followed was that I am no longer anxious about my debt. I'm paying it off. Would I like to pay it off at warp speed? Absolutely. But at this moment I'm doing okay and that's alright with me. When extra money shows up it'll go towards the debt.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Thoughts that Creep In

Sistah Ant today posted staying positive which is where I am. I've allowed the thoughts that I'm not paying enough on my debt to take residence in my brain. However, since mid-May I've paid BofA $1,500. That's an additional $1,200 over the balance due. Yeah! Citibank is closed. Yeah again! Nothing to sneeze at. I'm making progress.
Actually I'm glad to have a moment to think about this. I've written the numbers down in my chart and although I am able to see what Im paying and to whom, I wasn't focused on the totals or how fast I was paying down the debt. Bottom line I got scared I wasn't doing it right. Puhleese! There a few things I really need to deal with, which I know I can do.
I'm on it.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Pending Layoffs

The Job announced last week it was looking to layoff a little less than 1,000 folks. I wasn't worried, but I'm not that far from the bottom. I came out 3 numbers above the cutoff line. That number will change when they take into account people who are retiring and taking leaves.
I remain positive and focused on my goals. One of which is to have a sweet ride while I'm still here.

For a brief minute when I believed I hadn't made it, I thought of the money I used to pay down my debt rather than build up savings. That resulted in a should I have.. conversation. Hmm.. I also remembered the time I paid $100 every two weeks into a su-su. I found the money to do that. What came to me is I can do that again. That's the way I'm going to build my E-fund. My current amount will only cover me 2 months. Not good. It's also time to review my yearly goals and see where I be.

I missed being here.


As of the 27th. I'm done w/Citibank. It was a rather smooth feeling, simply because I had paid them the larger amounts in the beginning of my program and then shifted my larger payments to my other cards when I got Citi's balance to below $100.

One down and not many more to go.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A Thought About Where I Am Now

Do what I have to do, so I can do what I want to do.” - The Great Debaters

A post from Single Ma this morning applying that quote to her finances got me thinkin'.
Right now I'm doing what I have to do:
....erradicating my debt
....spending less(working on my altoid consumption)
....budgeting and using the envelope system
....paying attention for retirement(greatly reduced per debt payment)

so I can do what I want to do;
.....not have to worry about $$$$
.....retire well
.....purchase property
....Circle world travel w/o the question of where is the $ going to come from?

The Library Again

I've got to really get a system regarding returning library materials. Because I forgot again, fines are now at $5.25(those .25s add up). Included in that price is the $2.00 from the late DVD return. I've decided to write the due dates down on a sticky and post it on the computer cabinet wall. Not much else is posted there.

But this points to a larger issue. I'm being a hog. Why have books I'm not reading just hanging around? What's to say I'm gonna get to them. So I'm returning what I truly don't need so someone else can check them out..

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A New Look

Car back in working order and looking good. It cost me an xtra $100 because I needed a light and new grill. Total cost $810. $10 tip imposed by Good Neighbor since Mechanic's son delivered it. I noticed the battery is slow in turning over when the car has been sitting a day or two. I'll deal w/that later.

Sun, Sea, Sand

Back from a few days of relief. I'll be back in swing momentarily.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

$700 and A Bottle of Beer

After certifing this great rate for the car. The mechanic doesn't take checks. What?? I don't have the cash readily available.
Now it's really my fault cause when I misplaced my cards I used it as an opportunity to make cash not so readily available. And it worked. It worked a little too well. I transferred funds when I needed to, etc. In this instance I needed cash. Fast thinking...who can I ask to cash a check for me(after feeling like an idiot of course). Okay that's all squared away. But I had to rectify my situation. So I made some changes that will have my cash available to me when I need it. And I'll just have to be as disciplined as I am w/my BofA card.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Auto Drama

In addition to the bumper episode the starter needed to be replaced. Being tired of the nonsense, I decided to shop around. My mechanic (A) was charging $140 ($70 for the part) if he could get the starter which would take him a few days since his car was down. Plus I had to take the car into another station because he doesn't have a lift. Here's the catch. If the shop had to get the starter it would cost more. Enter Mech-B who also wants the bumper repair job (more on him later). He was able to get the work done the same day. In addition he replaced the side lamp. The cost for the starter $140 tax incl. plus his labor of $80. The total job came to $230, which was a good deal since Good Neighbors 1 and 2 told me the lamps are close to $100. The only thing I didn't like was the fact Mech-B never called me to tell me the additional work he was doing.

Now let me take you back to the day after the accident. Mech-A took me to a collision shop who didn't give me a quote then and there but told me to check w/the other party's insurance co. to see if they were going to pay for the damage. New to the game I really didn't get it and I was crazed cause my baby was naked w/no bumper. He verbally walked me through the process, told me who to contact, etc. Seemed like he was looking out for my interest. He also told me if the insurance peeps. didn't find in my favor he would give me a good price. Riight.
Lesson #1: Get a quote. If not then, bring the car back later for one. All you want to do is get your car fixed. The only bottom line is what's the price(not how much is the insurance company is offering).

Now since he was the person Mech-A suggested, when it came time for the adjuster's visit I left the car at his shop. When I went to pick it up he handed me the report and asked me if I was going to leave the car. Since I still had no clue as to whether they were going to pay and the car was driveable I took it with me. A girl still had to get to the JO. By this time I was starting to get some vibes about this guy.
Lesson #2: Never let a mechanic know what the insurance company is willing to pay. Have the adjuster see the car away from the body shop, especially if the car is driveable.

Earlier on Mech-B who works on my block, left a note on my window saying he could do the repairs. When I called him he gave me a rough quote of $1,700-$1,800 and told me if I got more $ from the insurance peeps the rest was mine to keep. Sounded good. And that was the first time anyone had said anything like that. Now while this seems like something I would know. 1- it isn't everyday I have a car accident and 2-Common sense isn't always common(thanking my pops for that one).

A few more days go by and I'm still driving. That is until the starter died--as a matter of fact I was on my way w/Good Neighbor 1 to get a quote from his guy.

I decide to go w/Mech-B for the starter job. Although it's going to cost more, I'm able to have my baby the same day. When he returned the car I asked him for an estimate. He came back with $1,000, $500 of which would be for parts. However, that didn't include the paint job. His words were, "you could drive it as is or I can get you an estimate for the paint job once the bodywork was done." Mulled it over a day or so. I don't think so! Yeah the price sounded okay but then I'd be on the hook for more cash when I decided to get it painted. Ah hell naw(common sense kicking in)!

Finally Good Neighbor 1 and I were able to catch up w/his body man, who after inspecting and going into his shop came back with a $700 rate. What? I digress....First of all I never called Mech-A's body guy back once I found out I was paying for the job myself. The deal: I assumed his good rate would have been somewhere between $1,500 and $1,700 since he knew the adjuster put a $1,900 valuation on the job. Besides, what would I a novice and mere woman have known. Riiiiiiiight!

Back to Good Neighbor 1's guy - I missed the word complete as part of his quote. So I like an idiot asked how much for the paint job. He said to me that's the total price. Well hell. I told him I'd bring him the car tomorrow. Good Neighbor 1 ragged me to no end. A note about Good Neighbor 1. I had no idea he'd had a collision shop in a past life so when he originally told me the job should be no more that $800 I was like how could that be.
Lesson #3: When in doubt ask questions and then ask again till they break it down in real talk.

Savings - $1,000.
The absense of guilt because I won't feel like I got taken - Priceless.

Ed McMahon

Ed. The Million Dollar Man who used to come to your house w/a check. I saw him on Larry King the other night talking about his house foreclosure. Wow! On the show he made a comment that he broke his neck and hadn't been able to work for the past 18 months. He's been in the business since like 1955! A few years ago I would have wondered how this could have happened to "someone like him". Now what does really mean? I would have assumed he had money simply because he was making oodles of money and should still have some of it. Total judgement on my part. Fast forward to todays' reality. Just because people seemingly make good $ doesn't mean they have good $ habits. The habits you have when you're broke are the habits you'll have when you're not. Any change is a choice and it begins in the brain. That's me now.

Now, having said all that, I'm not cracking on the man cause foreclosure isn't fun, even from the sidelines. It's just more of an example of what people do or don't do w/their finances.

Maybe someone will ring his doorbell with a check. Stranger things have happened.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Inertia, or so I'm Mistakenly Calling It

A feeling of non-movement. Stuck. Like I'm not doing anything. Inertia. I checked out my main account, calculated what percentage was formerly going into my 401K from my mid month paycheck. $97 I think it was. Guess what? I'm making it an even $100, even though I'm still having 1% deducted. So the total upcoming payment will be $250. $157 was May's minimum payment. June's will be less due to the extra $650 I sent their way. However, I'm not taking into consideration a lower amount. The goal is to let this ball and chain go.

Are there things I need to do. Yes!!!!Resoundingly so. Tomorrow I'll look at my goals and see what I'm going to do. One of them is clean up my computer area and file papers. Not feeling so hot so we'll see how tomorrow goes.

You know what? Inertia is certainly not what this is. I'm just tired.

$$ Lessons at The Mall of America

What attracted me to the Mall was the fact they had a Barnes and Noble. I love bookstores. Did I say that already? Anyhoo, I spent an hour or so in the pf and self-help sections. Got engaged w/Richard Templar's, "The Rules of Money". Although I focused on the rules important to me, in general the book is an easy read. I'll begin w/the rule that made me think about a prior conversation.
Rule 1:You have to work hard to get rich enough not to work hard.
Worked w/a guy who had a number of side businesses and was in the process of house building. He said his father's mantra was in your 20s have fun and get acting stupid out of the way. In your 30s work your ass off so when you reach your 40s and beyond you can coast down. I'm paraphrasing cause this convo was at least 3 years ago and I may have left something out, but at the time I thought it sounded great coming from a place where I didn't have that kind of info in my own financial start.
Rule 2: Spend less than you earn. - where have I heard that before. Went along w/the next 2
Rule 3: Have a plan .- Did an initial one and now I need to go deeper.
Rule 4: You've got to know where you are before you start. - I do. Thank God!
Rule 5: Get finances under control-stop the leaks. - Needs more work.
Rule 6: Decide what you want money for. - This goes w/completing my plan.
Rule 7: Don't envy others. - I like when others are doing their thing, but I've learned unless I know how someone got that item the price I pay in debt payments may be too steep for me.
Rule 8: Wealth is a consequence not a reward. A great thought on which to chew.
Rule 9: Keep it under your hat. Many of his reasons negate what pfbloggers do daily, however, I liked the thoughts about not sounding preachy and having a secret gives you a warm glow.
It was great taking a look at my actions and thoughts thru the eyes of this writer.

I also did a quick perual of "1 Small Step Can Change Your Life" by Robert Maurer, PhD. Doing it the Kaizen way has you break down tasks into smaller pieces. As in eating the elephant one bite at a time(Ghana). I bought cards at the dollar store, tried on shoes, bought food and caught the bus back. Total cost $10.00. Not bad!

Monday, June 02, 2008

WaMu and the Rest of My Day

Sounds like a donkey. Anyway they've been sending me c/c offers. I almost took the last one and called. Looked at it one more time and decided not to have a hard inquiry on my report. No I'm not happy w/my current interest, but my goal is to work it down. Actually....There was a little break in my typing while I called BofA to try to get a match on the WaMu. No Deal. Valued me as a customer since 1997, blah, blah. He did offer me a balance transfer of 2.9 for other balances. I turned that down. However, I forgot to ask for my limit to be raised. How could I be so... Enough of that. I, as you know will try a-gain.

Successful Finances Require More than Just Learning at pfadvice reminded me to get off my butt regarding calling mine and the other parties insurance co. Not good for me as they are not paying for my damages. The only thing to do is to go on to the next step to have my car repaired.

Friday, May 30, 2008

I Almost Went Crazy

A short walk to the cleaners(more on that later) had me make a stop at the supermarket for my Altoid fix. What do you mean you have none in stock? I quickly dismissed an extra 3 block walk to another store. I also thought about getting the car and going to Tar-gee. Of course I need soy milk and was told they would have it in stock today, but one there is the issue of parking and two unless they have restocked their stash overnight, I will have to search register to register like I did yesterday to find my fix. Nope.

Alas, a solution: I decided to chance a drugstore on my corner. Yes!!!! Peppermint altoids. Why is this major? When they opened a few years ago in the height of my Altoid passion I was able to buy them at $1.67 no tax. Months later they could only get the Spearmint. No way! At the time I had an out because the supermarket across the street began to sell them at a lower price. Soon after they began flying off the shelf due to moi, they raised the price to $2.19. Mus' be mad. Not I. That's like paying for them at the airport which can run close to $4. Absolute robbery.
Anyway I was able to buy 2 boxes which burned a hole in my pocket. I had to fight to keep myself from opening up and picking up two at a time w/my tongue(hands were dirty), but I didn't want to look like a fool. I made it home and decided I needed to share this bit of ridiculousity. Guess what? I'm having a damn good day. Oh! did I mention I was sorting paper and filing bills that have been stacked for a while.

Chocolate/ Vanilla...Choose

The devil is certainly in the details. In paying AX a mere $287, right before I clicked submit, I thought if had only paid AX the $650 I sent to BofA I would be just $350 away from ending that debt altogether. What I have to remember is I do have a plan and and keep moving it forward.

Interest: $87.35 vs. $24.52. That's a $62 difference that can be going in my pocket. Hmmm...I'll let the numbers be my guide.

Monday, May 26, 2008

I Did It!!!

Took my 401K down to 1%. I couldn't go down to 0%. My security blanket is gone. No bashing please. Once I see the effects these extra funds have on my c/c's I may take it down to zip. I don't think I will see it till the end of June, but I may be wrong.

Happy Memorial Day!! Personally like with many of our holidays, it's way to commercial. However, for the people that have fought and died in wars(most of which have been senseless) this day and every day is for you.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Game

I'm having a blast just figuring out all this stuff. Now don't get me wrong debt and Diva-ness don't go hand in hand, but since I'm here I might as well deal with it as the game it is. The point is I'm having a great time just figuring what I'm paying, where it goes, and what's happening with my investments. Really y'all what I'm tryin' say is it's better since I woke up.

The goal as of last month was to eliminate AX in by July. Buuttttt.... as I did the math and realized how much interest actually evaporated from my incoming cash under the category of monthly payments, I decided to pay more money to BofA since their daily compounded interest is a helluva lot worse than AX who by getting $200 monthly will still be paid by year's end. Speaking of daily compounding I recently pulled out my Bof A agreement and will be reading it like a novel I'm lovin' this week. I have all intentions of paying attention this time.

The Dave Ramsey way it's not, but then again I'm finding out what's good for me. The key is discipline.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

What this Post Did for Me

Falling off the Dave Ramsey Diet really got me thinkin'. Not that I have anything against DR, but I enjoyed the post. However, it was the comments that gave me lots of insight and had me take action. Clearly folks feel a way about him. There were 67 comments. I've been stuck on whether to discontinue funding my 401K for a minute to eradicate my debt. The whole thing is psychological. It's about security. Then I remembered I reduced my contributions to fund my Flexible Spending Account in 2005. At that time my debt was a marginal thought. But I had sense enough to know I didn't want to put it on a card. Also there were tax benefits to the FSA. LOL.
Here's what the info prompted me to do:
1. Look at 2007 401K statements to track earnings
2.Look at allocations and make changes
3.Chart contribution changes
--2/05 15%
--3/05 lowered to 10%
--12/05 lowered to 3%
--4/06 raised to 4%
--1/08 raised to 7%
--4/08 raised to 8%

Earnings for the 2007 were $1,917.76 and interest on just the BofA acct. was $2,522.26(my Period of Practicing Stupidity). So far BofA's in 2008 interest is $578.24 and going down. Thank God! Checking the 401K, earnings for this quarter were $928. That makes me want to leave it as it is. Sigh! I really know what I have to do. I've worked it out loosely where I can count on paying at least $600 for the next six months. More to follow. Peace.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

books, books and more books

In Callie for the day. Happy to see a Target near us. I went over and lo and behold altoids were priced 4 for $5(2 double packs). A dream! Not Costco but way better than the usual $4.11 for the double pack. Actually it's near the Costco price. I paid $15 no tax for 12 boxes which is approx $.30 more since we charge tax here.
BTW the purpose for this post was to mention the pf books I perused while at Borders after I tore myself away from the big T.
They were:
1.Nice Girls don't Get Rich-Frankel-tips to get me thinking
2.Green w/Envy-Boss - the perceptions we have about others' financial lives
3.America's Cheapest Family-Economides-title says it all, amusing
4.You're Broke because you Want to Be-Winget
5.Credit Card Debt-Daskaloff-looks like something written in the 60's okay I'll give him the 70's
6.Deal w/Your Debt-Weston Pulliam- a how to
7.More than Enough-Ramsey
8.Debt Cures-Trudeau

While I didn't pull the next two off the shelves, I made a note of The Wealthy Barber and Mundis' book How to Get out of Debt and Stay Out of Debt.
In the hour and a half I had I spent the most time with 2 and 3. Flipped thru the rest. I'm not really a fan of Kevin Trudeau and wanted to see if his book was basically a rehash of same/similar info. By the time I got to his book my eyes were closing. I will take a look the next time I'm at a bookstore.

Now onto my library site to see what they might have.

ps.The Tao of Buffet is being held for me. I can't wait.

Monday, May 19, 2008

i dun dun it

What did I do? Spent some $. That's what.

I bought a piece of art. In a way I knew I had that cash in my wallet and I liked this piece that was priced just right. Soooo as they say. The deal was done. I was itchin to spend the $50 in my wallet. Ego got right along with the program. When I saw someone else looking like they wanted to purchase it, I sort of whispered. Deb..... I now have to figure out the terms. Thank God she's flexible. I just don't want to drag it out.

What is that saying? Look before you Leap. Yeah. Hell yeah!

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Had a fender bender the other day resulting in me being bumperless. This might mean $$ for me, which means less to my debt. The thing I know I don't want to do is incur additional debt. Holla at ya later.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Reading, Reading and more Listening

Right now I'm listening to Jean Chatzky's Make Money, Not Excuses. Good but I realize books w/lot's of numbers are a better on the visual tip for me. The book is good. I've gotten lot's of ideas. The thing I was driving when I listened and I have to re-listen to see if they are things I want to implement. The Don't Bitch portion of each chapter came across better in print.

I'm glad I eat oatmeal

Bought cereal and soy milk for my sweetie this morning. Total $9.28. No way. Forgive me but I haven't eaten cereal in a while and I shop at a food coop so I usually don't get sticker shock. I couldn't believe it. Dig this--it wasn't even my cash and I was getting crazy.

I'm so glad I eat oatmeal (even in the summer). I let my bananas ripen; add currants and other dried fruits and spices and I'm good to go. I probably get away with $.75 a serving.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


I gave 50 bucks to my girl's breast cancer walk/run. More out of guilt cause I didn't walk. Yes, I had to hear about her mom and her girlfriends mom, blah blah....Anywho I had the cash and I did what I felt I could do. The deal it started me thinking about how I want to support others.

The library is one of my loves. A newly renovated branch was recently running a buy a book campaign. The thing that pissed me off was in order to support it you had to give $25 bucks to the central library in order to donate an additional $25 to the branch. While it didn't work for me I liked the concept. I've just learned the drive is over, but I'll call the Corporate Donations office to see if they'll still accept funds. If not I'll put it in the budget to give to the library in the very near future.

PS. The BofA card is safely in the drawer.

A $2.00 library fine

A fine? I've been managing (code for not getting them at all) them, but I slipped. Now the fact that I thought that my DVD was due yesterday meant I was supposed to check. But nooooooooooo I said to myself, "I already renewed it." Went to my account this morning and guess what? Not! To add insult to injury the fine was not the .25 I'd expected,but 2 whole dollars had been tacked to my account. Shyte. Well I'll deal w/it later. I vow from now on to put my due dates on a post it.

AX - managed to pay them an additional $175. Down to $1200. Since my billing cycle closes today, I was glad to get the additional payment in. Currently I'll owe $62.26+30ish(suspected interest charge). God. Remember when it was 2x that. Either way it will be less than 100 bucks which will be paid EOM. I intend to add $5-600 to it. I do need to not get so crazy and budget some bucks for Memorial Day Weekend. Okay!

Monday, May 12, 2008

I didn't do anything wrong!!!

Came home today to an envelope from BofA. Now I know I've been paying them so I ripped the envelope open. Lo and behold it was my new credit card. They reopened my account. The account # was changed so I did an online check to make sure it's still the same acct. and it is. Since I didn't call them last week it was indeed a pleasant surprise for me. Why is this important? It is one of my older accounts and it makes no sense to close it. And where is it going? Not in my wallet. It'll keep everything else company right in the drawer. I have no need to use it since my goal is to pay it off. And yes, I will keep calling for a lower rate.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Strong Women, Powerful Financial Strategies

I attended a Financial Literacy Series held at a local church. When they handed me the info by Ameritrade I said "I've been here before". I was right on some level, however, the woman conducting said some things that were in line w/where I am currently and did not push her company down our throats. Rather I took the opportunity to journal and tighten up my financial goals. I jotted down a few things and went back to my "Financial Feelings"journaling from February. I'm still interested in the same things and added a few others:

2008 Financial Goals
1-Increase E-fund to $3,500.
2-Debt elimination:
---AX $1,375
---Citibank $246 and $50
---GE $350
---B of A reduce by $4,000 & reduce interest/reopen acct.
3-Research Roth's and convert my SEP.
4-Monitor my cos. stock & cash in when it's at a level that works for me.
5-Pay SRLOA fees in full.
6-Research Ariel.
7-Have a full pic of my net worth.
Sorry to say I won't be at the Millionaires-6 Stages to Wealth session. Sistah moderator is defenitely not in that category. Not being nasty, but I know can get more out my time by doing my reading and research.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

what do i do?

It's a beautiful day here. And there will be xtra cash in my account. I have a few options.

-Pay AX more

-Put 150 toward my year end cruise

-Put more in the Serious acct

This brings me to a crucial point. I have not created a budget. Since I know what I bring in(it fluctuates w/i reason, w/the exception of 3 months a year when the difference can be approx 1k) and I know what I owe; I tend to write figures down and adjust about a week or so before payday. But I'm sure a key part of the plan is missing. I'll take a closer look at a budget by next week.

Monday, May 05, 2008

You Should Get It

At a crafts show over the weekend, I spotted a handpainted glass vessel I liked. Could be used as a butter dish(per the artist), jewelry holder or whatever my heart desired. At first I thought about using it as a gift and realized I hadn't thought about who was getting what. I talked to a friend about it and she said you should get it. I shook my head as if she said something ridiculous(but then again I haven't told her what I'm up to). I said I really don't need it and I haven't decided whether it's going to be a gift or not.
Proud of myself? Absolutely! I really did think about getting it. Loved-loved-loved the colors. I even went back 2x. The thing is I had the funds. But really---I knew I didn't need it. Even to use as a butter dish. It would have been an impulse purchase.

It's Aright..But then Again it Has to Be!

AX got another $200. I'm down to $1,500 from $2,793.86. A pat on the back. Let's see what else I can throw their way this month.
On another note I'm paying BofA $92 for interest as opposed to $35 for AX. Now that my head is on straight this does not sit well w/me. Arggh!!! The bright side of that is it's better than the 32% rate I incurred when I had my head in the sand. I called them again. NO DEAL! D. actually took the time to look at the history and found out I called 4/9. I got through that nicely. However, I found out my rate did go down to 16.24. Rather than tackle it herself she got help from S. in the Rate Dept. As he so eloquently stated the rate I have is the best they can do and they don't pull rates out the air(and why not?). Also they no longer do interest matching due to other offers, not that I've received any lately. Now that I find hard to believe. I also inquired about reopening my account. More details manana.

I'll keep trying. Having Ledisi as background is making it smoother process. Was it Julie Andrews who sang a spoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down? You get my point.
Like everything else, I'll get through this too. LOL.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Altoids Anyone?

Those little white round things are my greatest nemesis right now. And they take up a lot of $. When I'm able to get them from Costco it only sets me back $14 for a 12-pack as opposed to $1.75-$2.14 for one box or $3.17 for a 2-pk at Target. Speaking of which I want some right now, but I forgot them at home.
I recently purchased the chocolate covered altoids on sale. Some things are better left alone. When it comes to my junk food I tend to be a purist. Plain chips please. No sour cream/pepper salt/cheese onion. Yuk!
A few years ago my spending chart reflected a whopping $99 spent in altoids and chips. In one month I surrendered altoids immediatly and cut back on the chips. I lost some inches in the process too. Now I'm back in the saddle and haven't put my food down about going cold turkey.
Until then....

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Racking up Points on Your Credit Score

A WSJ article this morning spoke about strategies folks go through to boost their credit score.

While I learned a thing or two about what to or not to do. The most telling part for me is the quote from Darrell Booker, who in the past year has tried a number of ways to boost his score. Included in his efforts have gone from removal of late payments to paying big bucks to a company to help him clean up his credit.

However (much to Darrell's credit) he realized the only real boost to his score came when he focused on paying off his credit cards. "Let me focus on things I know I can totally control," he says, "and that's reducing my debt."

That's about where I'm at.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


I've been trying to get this update out for the last few days. Life's been happening.

Yeah on the AX home front!!! The lowered rate has slashed my interest owed by $30.
I was in the process of sending AX an additional $100(extra payments for this billing cycle have totaled $425 so far), but the billing cycle is over. The May bill is $223.76. I decided not to wait. Even though this money wasn't going toward the flex payment balance, I sould be able to send them an extra $400 or more by month's end. Sooo............I reasoned::

$100 +
35.25 +(Motor Vehicles refund)
40 + (the $ I'd been paying Cititbank)
18 +(the difference between March & April's Bof A min.)
.51 (to round out the bill)
Total $193.76
I only have $30 before delve into the flexible payment balance. I've worked a little extra last month. Yes!!! Mo' money. Mo' money.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Daily Chores

I feel great!!! Now the real reason is cause God woke me up this morning and ya know He could have chosen differently. Barring that I finally secured an interest decrease from AX. 12% thank you very much. I'm now at 15.99, which M. told me she was doing as a courtesy for me because of my tenure w/them. LOL. This being my 3rd call. Not bad. I'll continue to make on time payments and then go for another rate reduction in four months. In addition a small bit of research made me aware prime is now 5.25%-down from 6%.

Tried the same w/BofA and asked them to reopen my acct. NOT!!! S. advised me to get an updated copy of my CR to have any mistakes removed; see if I could get my collection item removed by going back to the original source to negotiate direct payments to them. While I noted the reason for them closing the acct had nothing to do w/my coll item. That wasn't acknowledged. If nothing else it was an insightful convo and I will make another attempt soon. My monthly payment w/them decreased $18, which AX will have the courtesy of getting.

Lightning bolt!! The AX rate is now lower that BofA by 3 points. Hmm. Do i do it the psychological Dave Ramsey way or the DA wayby getting rid of the largest debt. More to think of. In the meantime I'll make another phone call.
peace y'all

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Week Close

This week has come to a close. Feel tired. Found out some more news today regarding my credit report.
peace out!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

The GOOD and the NOT SO GOOD

Earlier this week the M-Network's members blogged about their best and worst financial decisions. These are some of mine.
The Good
1-Still in an investment club I joined in 1997.
2-My land purchase.
3-Loving my self enough to handle my $; tracking debt reduction/spending; reading books and pf blogs; journaling; .
4-Saving little by little for bills that are due yearly. As a matter of fact I used the $ from my landowners fees toward the elimination of the Citi bill. I can pay them monthly and there is no interest.
The Not so Good
1-Not communicating around my ability to repay; burying my head in the sand and guaranteeing interest rate increases.
2-Not building on the land. Means I don't have a place to go or make passive income (the payoffs are low taxes and no mortgage).
3-Not paying attention to the fees of my SEP. I just found out they were deducted 2x yearly. Not funding it consistently or often.
4-Procrastinating on the personal tax tip.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Bear With Me

Until I catch up w/the February and March events, I will co-mingle past and present events, so bear with me.

I called AX today to find out about lowering my interest rate. The answer was no because i had a late payment in July. Hmmm...thought I had been on time since early last year. I'll call back soon and see what someone else has to say. What I will do is pull my statements to see what has happened w/the interest rates in the past 6 months.

According to Ms. N.. any amount I paid over the balance due would go directly to principle (or the new principle). Even though another amount is due for more charges next month. We'll see.

How I Arrived at this Stage Again

A post by Valorie Burton titled "What is it Finally Time for You to Do" hit my inbox. Now I have been known to skate on her posts because they require more work than I'm willing to do. However, I read this one. It hit me. It's finally time to deal with my money and get my financial house in order.
Now this is not the first time I had engaged in this process. I grabbed my Money Book. A simple composition book where I had been recording my $ stats since early 2000. I began to record in my 2 categories. What I Have & What I Owe. Just this step was empowering. I didn't have access to all the info at that time but little by little I filled in the numbers.( I have just one figure to obtain). I looked at it all and realized I had been whittling down my debt. I forgave myself for any past indescretions, acts of stupidity or just plain falling asleep at the wheel.
I also thought about and wrote down my feelings about money and how I was handling/thinking about it and shaped those thoughts into a few goals.
The next momentous thing that happened was flipping thru my Citibank statements, I noticed that I paid $200 interest the previous year. WHAT!!!! Now the loan was roughly $1,200 at the time of that statement. I've yet to confirm. I'm still mortified. In February however the balance hovered around $812 or so. I had just made my usual $40 payment. Something clicked. Stupidity of the situation perhaps. I got in gear. Since I had received a bonus from my job, I put 400 of that toward the loan. My other terrific action. Was to put about take $300 from my savings toward a non-interest bill that is due yearly. I surmissed I could pay them 50 bucks a month and still be okay. In the following two weeks I made another 40 payment to Citibank. Silly me for not cancelling that payment since I decided I'd shift that 40 to my Amex which has a much higher interest rate.
All told I'm awaiting my next statment from Citi which will give me a much better idea of where I am.