<< Back to all Blogs
Login or Create your own free blog
Layout:
Home > Category: Credit Cards
 

Viewing the 'Credit Cards' Category

The 10 Month Slide

July 12th, 2010 at 04:39 pm

As you can see, I haven't posted in about 10 months. We've been busy.

I wish I had posted, because I can see a corrolation between posting here and my fiscal management. Writing about what we're doing financially was (is) a great way to track our progress, feel accountable, and be able to see what is and isn't working.

On the financial front, we decided to stop the costly repairs on my car and bought a new sedan. I did a signficant amount of research, considered new and used cars, and I'm satisfied that we made the best fiancial decision for us. That said, I'm not overly enthusiastic about the monthly payment or the slight increase in car insurance.

We had some moderately expensive home improvements as well. The first was the replacement of a failed hot water heating system with a GE water heater, the second was taking advantage of the appliance rebates in June to replace our ailing refridgerator, and the third was the replacement of two toilets (circa 1960) with low flow water saving models. We're already seeing savings on the utility bill with the water heater, and I expect that this month's utility bill will showcase the lower water and electricity from our other two improvements.

Finally, for my confession, I'll admit that I had basically completely stopped monitoring our finances. Having Mint on-line is great - except when you never check it. I don't regret my decision to abandon doing all the fiances myself and by hand, but I am going to resolve to actually monitor things. Sadly, my wake up call came this morning when a credit card company called wondering where their payment was (ooops - forgot!) and while I did convince them to remove the fee, I've triggered the default rate. It's not a huge issue, because I don't use the card for purchases, but I'm dissapointed in myself.

We've got a couple changes coming up in the next few months: our oldest starts kindergarden (which means a slight reduction in daycare costs), our youngest gets bumped to a new room (another daycare cost reduction). First on my list is to shore up the emergency fund, and then take aim at debt elimination.

Anyone else expecting changes in September?

Debt Reduction Without Painful Math!

August 6th, 2009 at 01:10 pm

I admit it: I hate math. Too many numbers make me downright edgy.

My fear of extraneous math had prevented me from appling payments to our credit card debt in a way that works for us. Sure, I paid more than the minimum, but I never seemed to be making much progress. I figured it was an evil credit card company scheme to keep us in debt and that there was nothing we could do.

Wrong. Enter dueminder.com. You put in your credit card (or loan) information, it tells you the most effective way to apply your payments. Or snowball or avalanche. Whatever you want! If your circumstances change, update your info for a new plan. It tells me how much to pay on which card when, and I like plans. Easy to follow plans. With charts. And no math!

Dueminder will also remind you to pay your bills, which for me isn't a problem, but I can see the utility. I have taken to scheduling all my bill payments on the first weekend of the month - so they get paid all month, and I put it out of my mind.

With my newfound website, we now have a good plan going forward.