Friday, February 27, 2009

Paid in Full!

I stared at that screen for 10 minutes. I can't believe it. I want someone to pinch me.
My BOA Line of credit is paid in full!!!
Wow, when I started, I didn't think this time would come so soon. I'm very thankful to have found the PF blog community. I want to attack my BOA CC next b/c the promotional rate of 0% is ending soon and the interest rate (14.99) is higher than all my other cards. I also hate BOA so I don't want them earning any interest from me. I am so thankful to be rid of that 21.99% line of credit. I'll keep it open just because the credit available is huge and it helps my credit score. I should mention that I forget how finance charges work so I'm mentally prepared to expect a bill next month for finance charges. I can live with that.

I got my last check of the month and was able to look at my budget. I had an ending balance for February that was $269 higher than budgeted (yay for being frugal). I decided that 50% was going towards my credit card, 25% is going to savings and the other 25% is going to stay in my checking to give me some breathing space in march. I like this plan. I think it will help me a lot in a very painless way.

I got a shock when i logged into my mobile phone account this morning. I was told I owed $169.39! I almost fainted. My bill is about $55 a month. Sometimes I might go over by $10. The customer service person said I went over by 210 mins. I find that very hard to believe as I have mobile to mobile and most people I talk to use the same carrier. I guess I'll just have to wait till the actual statement comes out so I can go over it with a fine tooth comb.

All I know is that they won't be getting that money up front if it is indeed true! I have a corporate phone too, that I use to make calls so I have no idea how i could have gone over by that much. We'll just have to wait and see.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

These are my Confessions

Hi all,
You know, when I first started this blog, I was determined to post daily because I like reading blogs that do. As you can see, I haven't been so successful. I'm not too bummed about it because work has been busier than I thought it would be so I don't really have time. Plus, interesting stuff just does not happen everyday.

I've noticed that even though I have a lot of blogs on my reader, people have not been updating as frequently. I think it might be partly because most people seem to have gotten into the swing of things. Random question. For all you experienced bloggers out there, how do you tell when a person that contacts you about advertising is for real or not? I had a comment early on and I got really excited but then I saw the same thing on a bunch of other blogs so I figured it was just spam.

On to all things financial. I have a very big confession to make. I used my credit card. More than once. I don't know why. It's not like i really needed or really wanted what i bought. It was just like that switch that keeps me from doing dumb things like that was stuck. It didn't activate.

I was just like, oh, I want this. can't spend the money in my bank account without going over budget (warped logic) so i'll put it on my credit card. I'm pretty sure it was a one off thing. It shouldn't have happened but it did. I guess it's good for me to know that as much as I think I have everything under control, it is indeed possible for me to slip.

I know some of you are chomping at the bit to find out

what i bought:
I spent $48.77 on a book. Hella expensive for a book i know. it's called the writers market and is apparently a bible for those who want to break into free lance writing. I was at an event that gave %10 off of all books in the library and I thought "hey, good deal" and I bought it. This is exactly what I meant by it wasn't spent on things i needed. I had looked this book up before, decided it was too expensive and that I wasn't at the stage where i'd really utilize it and therefore i would buy it later. So why did i buy it this time? Honestly, I can't tell you.
I spent $49.31 on alli. It's a diet pill for those of you that don't know (fda approved). I have gained A LOT of weight and I am not really happy with what I look like. I know what it takes to lose weight and I don't believe I NEED Alli to do it. Nevertheless, i passed by a Duane reade and bought it. IDK. Can a person be addicted to spending? Seriously. It's almost like you gain some satisfaction fro purchasing an item.
I also spent about $50 bucks on random food purchases. That's $150 i put towards my debt reduction down the drain. How bad do I want this?
Regretfully, those are not all my confessions. I have also gone above budget in the food category (i need to make a note to post my budget). I think this was b/c I was so low on groceries towards the end of the month and I just had some random cravings. That's fodder for my other blog though so I won't go into too much detail. Thankfully, I seem to have been frugal enough in other departments that I will be under budget for the month of February. I am planning to put the excess to my debt.
So that's it folks. Do you guys have anything you want to confess? What's the most nonsensical item you have bought recently?

Thursday, February 19, 2009


For some reason, my lack of money is getting to me today. There are so many things I would like to do...but they all cost money. Not a lot mind you. Nonetheless, it's too much for my budget.

Bikram yoga @ $200 for 3 months? Can't afford it.
Dance classes @ $10 a class? Not in my budget.
writing class for $300? Not happening.
update my wardrobe? Not if I want to eat.
A digital SLR camera for $1400? Haha, that's a joke right?

You get the picture. I want to be debt free but I want to live too. The thing is, I don't really like my job. It pays well but I don't enjoy what I do. I like writing and would love to improve my writing so I can get paid for it. I like taking pictures and I would love to invest in a camera and some lessons so I can make money on the side. That way, even though I don't like my current job I have something to fall back on that brings me happiness. Why does everything that can bring in money involve making an investment first?

Bottom line.
I need more money.

I decided that since I've already brought my budget down to the minimum level I can live with I need to focus my energy on how to increase my income. I just started working so I don't expect a raise. Especially in the current economy. All the side activities I would consider doing require me to spend money first. I can't get a 2nd job b/c my 1st job is erratic when it comes to my schedule (i get out anytime between 6pm and 11pm).

What's left?
I am so frustrated that I am going to go home and inventory every single thing in my house. I will sell the $450 prada bag i bought when I must have lost my mind and never used. There has to be other things. I need to do some research on ebay though b/c I am not sure how it works. I know they take a percentage, but what about returns and stuff. I don't want to sell something and have the money only to find out that the person wants to send it back. Is ebay the best way to sell stuff? How straightforward is it?

My company also pays for referrals. I am going to actively recruit people to come work here (even though i hate it, lol) and try and get as many referrals as possible. After that, I'm stuck... what else have you guys done to make extra money? I am definitely moving out of my apartment when the lease is up. $1675 every month is ridiculous.

Sorry about the complaining guys.

Oh and by the way, I updated my debt bars. You'll notice that BOA is almost paid off :) (waiting on state refund) and my EF has dipped significantly :(

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I love free stuff!

Hi all,
This is going to be a happy post. I am delighted to have my debt journey take such a positive spin. My federal return came in so I put 2k on my BOA. I have to wait on my state to come in so I can put the other 1k on it. I also initiated the transfer of money from my online savings (it takes 3 days) so I have that ready to go and that account can be PAID OFF! In other good news, freeing up that money allows me to tackle some of my other debts more aggressively. Unfortunately, the card I am attacking next has a pretty high balance so it might be a while before I have posts talking about paying off another card.
My title is the result of 2 things. I had a victoria secret $10 card from being a card holder. I usually use it to get bras since it's a decent reduction but this time, the debt-savvy vixen decided that $10 off $40 is $30 too much.
What else does this store sell? I wonder.
Hmm, let's look around. Panties? No. I have too many of those. Ahh! the beauty section. I never look in that dept. at all. So I found some body butter that cost $10 AND i had a coupon for free underwear (or 2 bras for $25 off or something) and i used it for the free panty. So, I got some rich body lotion and underwear for $0.89 which i had in my wallet. whoop-dee-do!
Then to put some icing on the cake, i got other free stuff. I was walking outside on my lunch break and saw a sign that sephora was giving out goodie bags to promote real housewives of nyc (or desperate housewives of nyc as my friend calls it) at noon. I knew there would be a line so i got there early at 11.30. waited 1.5hrs in the cold (can we say extended lunch break) and finally, ta-da, got my goodie bag which was soooo worth it. i think i got about $150 worth of product.
Very. Happy.Camper.
What not so good things have i done recently? Well I am already over my budget for eating out this month. I think it's because i was under budget overall for jan. and subconsciously I feel like i have some wiggle room (like jello :)). This is why I should have used my excess from january to pay down some other credit card. I will do that this month.
How have you all been faring?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


This is not totally debt related (unless I muse about how on earth she will afford all those kids) but I watched the Dateline show yesterday and I don't think that woman is all there. She just talked in too many platitudes and did not seem completely in touch with reality. I am not against so many kids as long as you have a plan that does not include just loving them. I don't think she realizes that if her condition becomes dire her kids could be taken away from her, all the love in the world withstanding (notwithstanding?). I also believe she (or her publicist) styled herself after Angelina Jolie. At first, I was struck by how similar they looked and I laughed because a friend had mentioned a couple days back that on one in the world looked like Angelina and that was part of her appeal. After they showed earlier pictures of Nadya, it is certain that she has had some work done on her lips. She also dyed her hair black ans started styling it Angelina-style. She didn't seem completely crazy (but who knows) so I think her publicist had a hand in this.

To keep this a bit financy, to those of you that have kids or are planning to have them soon. How has your debt affected you? Has anyone held off having kids till they reached a particular milestone? Has having a child put the brakes on your debt reduction journey? Please share and give tips. I am nowhere near thinking about kids so I don't really have much to contribute in that department but it would be interesting to hear from you. I believe Goliath debt or some other blogger is expecting their child soon. Let's hear from you

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

What to do?

Alright, taxes are filed. One of my state returns got rejected but it's for $38 so I don't really care when I get it. Grand total is about $4k. I'm happy that I can make a huge dent in my debt but at the same time I am frustrated that I have so much debt. If I didn't have all this debt, I could go to my friends birthday extravaganza in Dubai guilt free and still have money to save. Oh well, I guess I have to think about all the things I charged and enjoy that right now :(. This is definitely incentive to wait till I have money before I have fun. It's so much better when the money and the thing you spend the money on happen around the same time.

Oh well. Enough whining.

This is my situation. My BOA LOC is currently in the high $4000. I can put $3K of my refund towards it (the rest is going into my budget). I have not made my February payment on that account ($450) so I will do that when I get paid on Friday. That will leave me with about $1600 or so on that card. I have $2000+ in my savings account and I am contemplating using that to payoff the card. I know a lot of people advise against using your emergency fund but I really want to pay off the account. 22% interest is not fun. If I did that, I would have about $700 left in the e-fund and I could pay of BOA this month. It would free up $450 a month and I can increase my contributions to my savings and payments on other accounts.

You know what, writing this down has convinced me that this is what I am going to do. Yay! Blogging is amazing. I used to think about my finances but I don't think that I would be close to paying of one account if I hadn't started blogging. Reading all your stories and thinking about what I am going to write about makes me plan so much better.

In other news, I'm reading the millionaire next door. I am about a quarter of the way into it and right now I think it's so-so. I don't like the tone of the authors because it feels very preachy. They could have gotten their message across without sounding so sanctimonious. On the other hand, the message is definitely making me think. I am going to start looking into how I can get away from a 9-5 and doing something that I run. I'll let you know my final verdict when I finish the book.

If there is anything else you guys would love to know, let me know.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

January Interest Charges.

  • BOA Line of credit - 250.24 (I look forward to seeing this go DOWN. Feb. should be better because I did a huge balance transfer in Jan)
  • BOA Credit Card - 0 (This will soon change b/c the promotional APR will end soon. Need to figure out what to do with this)
  • Merrill Lynch - 9.15
  • Capital 1 - 88.63
  • US Bank - 60.71

  • Grand Total: 408.73