Thursday, April 30, 2009

600 pounds of debt

I feel like I am always writing "update" posts. That was not my original vision for this blog. It's part craziness at work and part lack of discipline on my part. I think I need to set specific writing goals for myself. Idk. I'll figure it out.

Well to let you know what happened with my ridiculous gas bill, I called the company and apparently, the just picked a number out of the air because they have not been able to read the meter. Actually, as I write this, I think I might have told you guys this already. Oh well.

I am facing a lot more setbacks than I thought I would. After the minor crisis I had a few weeks back, I thought I was in good shape to continue my journey. I had loosened my budget and stepped up my contribution to my e-fund so I would be more prepared for emergencies. I guess fate really wanted to cement the fact that I should have been saving more all this time.

I went to the UK for a family engagement. I bought the ticket with a combination of cash and miles a couple months back and I was really proud that I had been able to pay cash for a plane ticket (2nd time ever!). I had some pounds I had been sitting on that I received from my dad last year and was planning on changing them to dollars and putting that amount to my debt when I returned. My dad also sent me 200 pounds extra because he wanted to make sure I had money when i travelled (he didn't know I still had the money he gave me last year). All in all, I was looking at close to 700-800 dollars if I didn't spend too much in one of the most expensive cities in the world.

Everything went well till the last day. I didn't spend much money and I had fun. On the day I was too leave, I packed very early in the morning and somehow managed to miss my late evening flight. I don't even want to go into how dumb that was of me. I think I just didn't budget enough time to get to the airport on time and all the Jack Bauer moves in the world couldn't change that. I had to be back in NY that day as I had another plane to catch to go to a job obligation. If I missed the work conference, I would get charged $5000.

The short version is that my airline that would have re booked me for free didn't have another flight till late the next morning and I ended up having to pay for a ticket on another airline. 580 POUNDS!
I was so upset I couldn't even make myself think about it. I mean, it was good that I had enough credit to cover that because if not I would have been even more screwed. However, I had just got that card to under 10K. I was looking forward to bringing that balance closer and closer to zero and there I was adding another $1k to the balance. I had no idea what exchange rate the CC was going to use and I knew I would be charged a forex fee. I had the pounds I wanted to convert to dollars and now instead of significantly reducing my balance, it would just go towards paying this off bringing me closer to where I started. 3 steps forward, 5 steps back. So frustrating.

Anyway, I made it back stateside. It's not as bad as it could be. Don't get me wrong, it's still a crappy situation but some things happened at the right time. The total cost to me was $897.89. Crazy. I used to pay $1k in rent in my last state. Anyway, I had just received a $50 check from my online surveys and redeemed $50 from my capital one rewards so I put the $100 to that bringing the balance to 797.89. Luckily today was payday and I paid $413.25 on that card so the balance sits at 384.64. I think converting my pounds to dollars gave me like $600 so when I get back to NY and deposit that cash the ticket will be paid off. I just won't have reduced my debt by as much as I could have without that ticket. Oh well, thankful for small mercies.

I'm gonna stop now because I find my posts get long since I don't post as often as I should. Tricia over at has paid of ALL her credit cards after 3 years and I can't wait to be in her shoes. I think the lesson I take away from her is that I need to be patient. It took her 3 years, I've been at this 6 months and I have way more debt than she started with. That being said, debt free day came for her and it will for me as well!


  1. I missed a flight in a blizzard once, but they just bumped me onto the next one. Now I am terrified of missing a flight. I had no idea it could cost that much!

  2. well, i could have gotten on the next flight for free. The problem was that the next flight wasn't till 10 am the next day. I would miss another flight to my work engagement if i took that and then I would owe my company $5k :(

  3. Here's what I don't understand about the plane ticket/company threat stuff. You got in a situation that would cost you 1k or 5k. Instead of missing that meeting or whatever and losing 5k, you spend the 1k in order to get back for it and 'save' 4k. Was there no way you could put up a fight with them over demanding 5k out of you if you missed work? I'm confused about the whole trip over there in general. While it's not much fun I avoid situations that could be potential setbacks.

  4. @ Jim. Nope. Work is absolutely not flexible on charging me 5k. It's there in writing. They pay a lot for trainings and if you take a spot and then miss the event, you get charged. I'm not sure what situation could NOT be a "potential setback". Everything has the potential to be a setback. In this case, there was no way I could forsee missing my flight. It's never happened to me before. The event I went for was pretty important which is why I planned so far in advance to get my ticket


Hit me with some tough love