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Archive for March, 2007

Grocery bill

March 29th, 2007 at 05:35 pm

Well we bought groceries last night and they came out to $117. We're good on food for the next week and the wife has a decent amount to work with while I'm gone. I'll be staying at my mother's house so I will not have to spend much of anything on food but I will be taking $50 in cash to cover any expenses I have. I'll subtract it from the amount we have left to be safe.

Balance: $334
Spent: $167
Remains: $167

$101 finance charge

March 28th, 2007 at 06:37 pm

OK it's one of the cards that's getting immediately swallowed up by the 46k at 8.99 loan (Card 4) but I thought it was funny that they would hit me with a $101 finance charge right before the card will be absorbed. Well here's the update:

Updated matrix:
Card 1/$12258/$20000/14.23
Card 2/$15318/$31000/12.24
Card 3/$8054/$12500/12.24
Card 4/$6312/$9000/18.24
Card 5/$6151/$9000/18.24
Card 6/$6143/$8000/0.00*
Card 7/$5903/$10000/4.99**
Card 8/$3821/$10000/0.00***
Card 9/$1110/$7250/17.24
Card 10/$3428/$4400/16.99
Card 11/$2815/$3900/13.99
Card 12/$2100/$2500/0.00****
Card 13/$4082/$4500/5.82

*Teaser rate ends 4/1/07 (up to 13.99)
**Balance Transfer rate
***Teaser rate ends 8/22/07 (up to 24)
****Teaser rate ends 5/1/07 (up to 13.99)

$81008-$77495=$3513 off since day 1.

Weds Budget Refill

March 28th, 2007 at 03:33 pm

Well today is the day to pull out our weekly $300 for our weekly budget and we did pretty well this week. Today our son got a haircut and we did spend money on lunch (and we did pay for the t-shirts for our daughter's bball team finally!) so today so far we've spent $60 (ouch!) The wife is going grocery shopping tonight so we'll see how we fare there. Here's the "so far" daily totals:

Balance: $94
Refill: $300
Total: $394

Spent: $60

Remains: $334

No money day and tax return

March 27th, 2007 at 06:25 pm

Well another no money day for Tuesday and tomorrow is the refill day so we will be able to carry over $394 for the next week. It's a good thing to see us building the weekly budget up by not spending the money. Our son has to get his haircut tomorrow so we will be spending some on that and the wife will do her weekly grocery shopping so we'll chop a chunk of the funds down but at least it's not frivilous!

Also, we found out our tax return will be $5000 so we're happy to get that. We had to claim $42k of corporate income on our taxes (thanks to being in an s-corp wifey!) but the company is paying what we owe plus what we should've gotten back if we didn't have to claim the additional income so we'll end up paying the IRS the money that we owe based on the total income and get to put what we would've gotten as a refund right in the checking account. The one good thing is we'll get the money immediately instead of waiting for the IRS so we should have it tomorrow or Thursday.

On a sad note my best friend's father is dying from cancer and is now on oxygen in the hospital. He has a lymph node in his lung that is blocking his airflow so it's not looking good. I have to fly to Chicago on Friday or Saturday and help him and his sister out with everything. I have a free flight on United so I'm going to use that (hooray for frequent flyer miles). It's a sad thing but we'll get through it.

Quick add to debt tracker

March 27th, 2007 at 04:09 pm

Just a quick add for today. Card 9 is not going down without a fight and they hit us with a $34 interest charge so I'll add that back into the fray. Darn Card 9! I can't wait to see Card 9 with a big fat ZERO on it.

Updated matrix:
Card 1/$12258/$20000/14.23
Card 2/$15318/$31000/12.24
Card 3/$8054/$12500/12.24
Card 4/$6211/$9000/18.24
Card 5/$6151/$9000/18.24
Card 6/$6143/$8000/0.00*
Card 7/$5903/$10000/4.99**
Card 8/$3821/$10000/0.00***
Card 9/$1110/$7250/17.24
Card 10/$3428/$4400/16.99
Card 11/$2815/$3900/13.99
Card 12/$2100/$2500/0.00****
Card 13/$4082/$4500/5.82

*Teaser rate ends 4/1/07 (up to 13.99)
**Balance Transfer rate
***Teaser rate ends 8/22/07 (up to 24)
****Teaser rate ends 5/1/07 (up to 13.99)

$81008-$77394=$3614 off since day 1.

Debt Reduction tracker payments

March 26th, 2007 at 09:22 pm

OK well I decided to use the $1810 in the checking account to make some payments. Well we're going to have to pay the cleaning people $132 and withdraw $300 for the weekly budget so I subtracted that out. I then paid Card 10's min payment ($86) and Card 3's min payment ($161) because Card 3 was due 3/31 and I don't think our consol loan will be applied by then (7-10 days...but I don't want to take any chances). So I had about $900 to put towards another card and I threw it all on evil Card 9. So another $900 gets eaten up thanks to ebay! Our son had a $5 charge for a game he plays all the time (and we pay monthly for) which I'm not thrilled about but it's $5 so we said alright for now. So the card is at $1076 instead of $1071 (I can live with paying off $5/mo once we zero this card out!)


Updated matrix:
Card 1/$12258/$20000/14.23
Card 2/$15318/$31000/12.24
Card 3/$8054/$12500/12.24
Card 4/$6211/$9000/18.24
Card 5/$6151/$9000/18.24
Card 6/$6143/$8000/0.00*
Card 7/$5903/$10000/4.99**
Card 8/$3821/$10000/0.00***
Card 9/$1076/$7250/17.24
Card 10/$3428/$4400/16.99
Card 11/$2815/$3900/13.99
Card 12/$2100/$2500/0.00****
Card 13/$4082/$4500/5.82

*Teaser rate ends 4/1/07 (up to 13.99)
**Balance Transfer rate
***Teaser rate ends 8/22/07 (up to 24)
****Teaser rate ends 5/1/07 (up to 13.99)

$81008-$77360=$3648 off since day 1.

DVD's and banks

March 26th, 2007 at 06:25 pm

Well a couple of things for today! For one thing we're considering selling our DVD's to a company called Media Exchange. They seem to pay the most online and they pay for shipping if you ship them enough DVD's so it makes sense for us to do it. I added up just a group in my upstairs furniture and came up with $65 in sellable DVD's (and we have close to 100 more downstairs). It's not a lot for them but it's something (if we really needed to watch them again we could always rent!) Just a thought on how to make some more money.

Also, we officially opened our Commerce Bank checking account today and we're meeting with the Commerce Bank rep here at work tomorrow to go over everything about the account. I get to say goodbye to $6.95/mo x2 which starts April 1st from Wachovia and I still get to use MS Money to track my account (for free!) Goodbye Wachovia hello Commerce! Smile

No money spent this weekend so we still have the $94 for now. If we can make it to Weds when we refill the weekly cash we'll have $394 to use up until payday!

Oh I almost forgot that we paid the electric bill today with ebay money. Smile $150 is the lowest it's been in months (always a good thing).

Ebay update

March 24th, 2007 at 05:42 pm

Well a good day yesterday as seven items sold for a grand total of $209.10 so I get to add that to my ebay sales! The $1200 I withdrew from my Paypal account has cleared and is in my checking account so we have some float cash to do some damage if we choose (I'm thinking another chunk out of Card 9, then I'll have another $1000 or so to move from a different card into the unsecured loan at 8.99). Five more items end today and hopefully some of them sell (only one has a bid right now). Then I have two recently items left. It's been a good couple of weeks though for ebay income!

$1971.04
+$209.10
$2180.10

Friday spending

March 24th, 2007 at 02:09 am

Well the wife and daughter did well in their trip to the mall today. They returned a dress and got a $70 credit and ended up spending $120 so they actually only spent $50 in cash from the budget. Then after the kids went out we decided to treat ourselves to a Friday dinner from a local Italian place that's right around the corner. We spent $30 there altogether. So here's where we stand going into the weekend:

Balance: $174
Spent: $80
Remains: $94

We really don't have to spend any money this weekend unless we decide to go to the movies but we may just stay home and hang out. We'll see!

Daily tab

March 22nd, 2007 at 07:52 pm

Well as most of you know we refilled our weekly cash budget with $300 yesterday and had $36 left over from last week's budget so we're starting the week with a little surplus. The wife went grocery shopping last night and came up with $162 in groceries. We didn't spend any money today (hooray!) and as you know from my debt reduction post we hit a home run with what we're going to save in interest payments. So here's where we stand going into Friday:

Balance: $336
Spent: $162
Remains: $174

This weekend our daughter needs a new outfit for some party (my wife ok'd this...why I don't know) but at least she's going to return a never-worn dress at JC Penney that still has the tags on it and get a $70 store credit to go towards the new outfit. We'll see how they do!

Consolidation!

March 22nd, 2007 at 07:04 pm

Hooray! We got a call from the bank saying they approved the wife for $46k at 8.99 percent for 96 months (which we will never need 8 years but we can attack the higher interest stuff first). The rate is a little higher than what we wanted but we get more than we thought we would AND I'd be hard pressed to find 8.99 on a card for 8 years right now. The bank is closing her current cards except one that they're leaving a 10k limit on (which is all she needs...I have 21k with them as it is and we don't need all that credit!) The bank has to pay off their cards first and the remaining balance gets deposited to our checking account (which means I have to keep Wachovia until the transfer is made...doh!) where we can use the funds for whatever we need (which will be to pay off the higher rate cards!)

Here is the matrix as we know it today:
Updated matrix:
Card 1/$12258/$20000/14.23
Card 2/$15318/$31000/12.24
Card 3/$8215/$12500/12.24
Card 4/$6211/$9000/18.24
Card 5/$6151/$9000/18.24
Card 6/$6143/$8000/0.00*
Card 7/$5903/$10000/4.99**
Card 8/$3821/$10000/0.00***
Card 9/$1971/$7250/17.24
Card 10/$3514/$4400/16.99
Card 11/$2815/$3900/13.99
Card 12/$2100/$2500/0.00****
Card 13/$4082/$4500/5.82

*Teaser rate ends 4/1/07 (up to 13.99)
**Balance Transfer rate
***Teaser rate ends 8/22/07 (up to 24)
****Teaser rate ends 5/1/07 (up to 13.99)

$81008-$78502=$2506 off since day 1.


***Here is what the matrix will look like after the loan takes effect:

Updated matrix:
Card 1/$12258/$20000/14.23
Card 2/$15318/$31000/12.24
Card 3/$0/$10000/12.24
Card 7/$5903/$10000/4.99**
Card 8/$3821/$10000/0.00***
Card 9/$1971/$7250/17.24
Card 10/$3514/$4400/16.99
Card 11/$2815/$3900/13.99
Card 13/$4082/$4500/5.82

**Balance Transfer rate
***Teaser rate ends 8/22/07 (up to 24)

$81008-$49682=$31326 off since day 1.

You can see a whole lot of cards are gone! We will still have $17.2k and I can already tell you that Card 9, Card 10, Card 11 and most of Card 1 will also be paid off. This is how I envision the matrix looking after applying the lump sum to the debt.

Updated matrix:
Card 1/$3378/$20000/14.23
Card 2/$15318/$31000/12.24
Card 7/$5903/$10000/4.99**
Card 8/$3821/$10000/0.00***
Card 13/$4082/$4500/5.82

**Balance Transfer rate
***Teaser rate ends 8/22/07 (up to 24)

$81008-$32502=$48506 off since day 1

Not too bad! I think the best thing now is to use that ebay money to either attack Card 8 since it's going to jump to 24 percent OR transfer Card 8 to a 0 percent for 12 months offer we have on another card and use the money to pay off even more on Card 1. That way I'll be able to pay even less interest over the rest of the life of the balances.

Of course we could do a lot of different things with that 17.2k but I think this is the best scenario for us right now. Our payments on the loan will be $701/mo and I can't wait to calculate our monthly savings (the rate is locked in for the life of the loan, there are no annual fees AND no prepayment penalties) over what we were paying per month to the cc companies.

I can taste debt freedom! Smile

More ebay sales

March 22nd, 2007 at 03:34 pm

Three more items have sold since my last update. A motherboard, a joystick and a video card for a grand total of $131.43 so I can add that to the total.

$1839.61
+$131.43
$1971.04

A few more items still listed have bids...only one item ends today and there are a couple of watchers but no bids. Here's to hoping it sells!

Paying the bills

March 21st, 2007 at 07:48 pm

Well we're off and running paying bills! Paycheck was the usual $3500 and I started working from that number. So here's how we paid "da" bills!

First things first...the mortgage. $2500 right off the top. That left us with $1000.

Next, we withdrew the cash for the week. We pulled out $300 (which is our normal weekly cash withdrawal number) and the wife is going grocery shopping tonight. Since we finished last week with $36 remaining she actually has $336 to work with this week. Hopefully we will continue to be under the bar and build up a surplus week-2-week. So we're at $700.

Next I paid the snow service who charged us $50 for the last snow removal (which is hopefully the last one of the year!) So we went to $650.

Next...the cable bill! Which is $155. So that knocked us down to $495.

So now we're sitting at $495. The next thing I did was transfer my overdraft savings account (with a near zero interest rate) to my checking account. Why? I'm going to be closing shop with Wachovia and moving to Commerce Bank. I am a Microsoft Money disciple and Wachovia wants a minimum balance to use Money or be charged $6.95/mo and I think that's crazy. Commerce is our bank at work (we also switched from Wachovia) and they're really helpful and friendly when it comes to account options. Plus MS Money is free to use with their bank regardless of your balance. So the switch is on! So let's add $168 to the total and we have $663. Next I removed the last $37 from my wife's checking account (also Wachovia) and moved it into mine so all the Wachovia money is in one account. She doesn't have any more checks to write or any outstanding checks so we're safe. So now we have $700.

Next, I decided to withdraw $1200 from my Paypal account (ebay money) and put it into my checking account because I want to attack the debt matrix. The payment will not transfer for a few days but this gives us enough time to wait for one of the wife's cc grantors to give us the decision on the loan we talked about earlier (unsecured consolidation loan at 6 percent for 30k). Once the $1200 shows up we'll have $1900 and leave a little bit in the Paypal account. Paypal now allows you to turn the balance in your account into shares of their money market fund which is currently earning 5.05 percent. I left a couple hundred in the account for now (it beats the almost zero savings interest from Wachovia!) and I may just consolidate the other savings accounts that way. I left a couple hundred in case I have to refund an ebay customer (you never know) and to cover seller fees when they come due.

Another good thing is there are only two cc payments due before our next pay period for a total of $247 so I should be able to pay those, throw another bunch of money at my least favorite card (Card 9) and make another nice dent in our debt. So this extra $1200 from Ebay couldn't have happened at a better time! We can't wait to find out how our tax situation will pan out as well. Now that the business returns date has passed (3/15) our accountant's staff will crank out our return (he has a staff member do the return and then he checks it before submitting) and we'll have another chunk of money to pay down some of this debt.

My wife is going to be asking for a salary based raise on Friday too of roughly 25 percent. Since she is part owner the way her salary works is not standard so this raise is actually in line with the other executives. If she gets the raise she's still making half of what her two brothers (the other executives) make so hopefully they vote to let her have the increase. We're having a great year financially so we'll see how it goes.

On the non-financial front, my daughter got the clean bill of health from the doctor today! No more mono. She's ready to go back into basketball training and is excited to get back to playing. I'm glad she's better (and in better spirit!)

Debt Tracker Update

March 21st, 2007 at 03:37 pm

I have an update before I get started using our paycheck to attack some bills. Card 1 decided to say hello with a finance charge of $161.54 and (now) a min payment of $278 due April 9th. Doh! So let's update the matrix before we start paying bills:

Updated matrix:
Card 1/$12258/$20000/14.23
Card 2/$15318/$31000/12.24
Card 3/$8215/$12500/12.24
Card 4/$6211/$9000/18.24
Card 5/$6151/$9000/18.24
Card 6/$6143/$8000/0.00*
Card 7/$5903/$10000/4.99**
Card 8/$3821/$10000/0.00***
Card 9/$1971/$7250/17.24
Card 10/$3514/$4400/16.99
Card 11/$2815/$3900/13.99
Card 12/$2100/$2500/0.00****
Card 13/$4082/$4500/5.82

*Teaser rate ends 4/1/07 (up to 13.99)
**Balance Transfer rate
***Teaser rate ends 8/22/07 (up to 24)
****Teaser rate ends 5/1/07 (up to 13.99)

$81008-$78502=$2506 off since day 1.

One day til payday

March 20th, 2007 at 09:59 pm

...and we made it on $250 for the last week +! We had to spend $19 on pictures for volleyball for our son today but we made it. It was easier than we thought it would be (but the wife REALLY needs to go grocery shopping tomorrow). So here's the update for the budget tracker:

Balance: $55
Spent: $19
Remains: $36

We are planning on withdrawing the $300 for our weekly budget tomorrow and she's going to hold onto the extra $36 so we'll have a little cushion. If we can stay under our weekly budget next week as well we'll probably withdraw less and load up to $300. So I'm proud of the family for staying under the $250 after we had to go over $300 the week before.

***Stock Update***
I forgot this update on last Friday's posts but CRWN which I bought at $3.90 the day after President's Day closed today at $5.28! So that account is growing little by little (remember there wasn't a whole lot in there to begin with but instead of withdrawing it I left it in and bought 25 shares of this stock...just to keep my feet in the kiddie pool). So far so good (and I'm not endorsing the stock...just happy that it's up!)

I'm going to link this entry to all THREE categories since the debt tracker got a new twinge regarding Card 13. Finance Charge of $7 hit the card so the min payment of $81 is now due 4/12/07. Another notch to the cards due belt (ugh!)

Updated matrix:
Card 1/$12097/$20000/14.23
Card 2/$15318/$31000/12.24
Card 3/$8215/$12500/12.24
Card 4/$6211/$9000/18.24
Card 5/$6151/$9000/18.24
Card 6/$6143/$8000/0.00*
Card 7/$5903/$10000/4.99**
Card 8/$3821/$10000/0.00***
Card 9/$1971/$7250/17.24
Card 10/$3514/$4400/16.99
Card 11/$2815/$3900/13.99
Card 12/$2100/$2500/0.00****
Card 13/$4082/$4500/5.82

*Teaser rate ends 4/1/07 (up to 13.99)
**Balance Transfer rate
***Teaser rate ends 8/22/07 (up to 24)
****Teaser rate ends 5/1/07 (up to 13.99)

$81008-$78341=$2667 off since day 1.


And the ebay update: I sold another item and cleared $18.94 to add to the ebay total. So I'll put that below.

$1820.67
+ $18.94
$1839.61


Tomorrow's payday and I couldn't be more excited to pay bills...seriously! Smile

Ebay Update

March 18th, 2007 at 06:33 pm

Three more items sold yesterday...three old laptops (one that didn't work) for $262, $207.50 and $127.50. I also now have 21 items listed (all little stuff) but we are making some decent money and getting rid of stuff that just sits around and doesn't get any use anymore. I'm waiting for one Paypal eCheck to clear and then I'm going to withdraw the whole sum (probably on Weds...which is payday) with the free transfer to my checking account. So here's the update as to the total money made on ebay since I started!

$1223.67
+ 597.00
$1820.67

Whoo hoo! I can't wait to withdraw and get a major boost towards paying down the mountain of debt we have. Seller fees are at $126.69 so I will need to pay those (so it's more like $1694) but it's a great boost to the bottom line! Yay for ebay! Smile

Debt Reduction Tracker update

March 17th, 2007 at 06:49 pm

Card 10 said hello in Saturday's mail with an interest charge of $50.70 and a minimum payment (due 4/1/07) of $86. I'm just keeping up with what's due so that interest charge is another attack at the amount we've reduced our debt down to. Freakin' card 10! Do they even know I'm half Irish and to bill me on today is not right (then again they billed me before today and the time in the mail just happened to land on today...oh well!)

Smile

Updated:
Updated matrix:
Card 1/$12097/$20000/14.23
Card 2/$15318/$31000/12.24
Card 3/$8215/$12500/12.24
Card 4/$6211/$9000/18.24
Card 5/$6151/$9000/18.24
Card 6/$6143/$8000/0.00*
Card 7/$5903/$10000/4.99**
Card 8/$3821/$10000/0.00***
Card 9/$1971/$7250/17.24
Card 10/$3514/$4400/16.99
Card 11/$2815/$3900/13.99
Card 12/$2100/$2500/0.00****
Card 13/$4075/$4500/5.82

*Teaser rate ends 4/1/07 (up to 13.99)
**Balance Transfer rate
***Teaser rate ends 8/22/07 (up to 24)
****Teaser rate ends 5/1/07 (up to 13.99)

$81008-$78334=$2674 off since day 1.

2nd Ebay Update

March 17th, 2007 at 03:03 am

Two items sold (one item didn't...and I'm not looking to relist it...it was an old keyboard that I'm going to include as a freebie with another listing. So I lose the listing fee but it's no biggie)! A router that's got to get to California and a PC fan. Add $46.90 to the bottom line! I know it's not a huge boost but I'm glad to see a couple more things leaving. The way I look at it is this stuff is worth whatever I sell it for. I can't look at the original price tag or I'd never get a bid! I'm always looking up what my item is selling for from other auctions before I figure what my listing prices are going to be. I always include a Buy It Now a little bit higher than what I would estimate the worth of the item and some of sold rather quickly via BIN and some haven't sold at all. It's just more tweaking my numbers so the stuff actually sells. Well three more oldies are selling tomorrow so hopefully there is still some money left in old technology! Here's the updated number:

$1176.77
+ $46.90
$1223.67

Let it SNOW!

March 17th, 2007 at 02:54 am

Well we only worked til noon today since we have gotten absolutely pounded here with snow and ice (since this morning.) The wife and I decided to stop at Burger King (she had a major hunkering for fast food) and I said since we're probably not going anywhere this weekend a trip to BK wouldn't put us in too much hot water with the weekly $ flow. So the two of us spent $13 on a BK lunch. We've gotten about a foot here so far and it doesn't seem to be letting up yet so I'm hanging out and going bonkers listing items to sell on ebay. So far I've gotten 16 more items up and I'm not anywhere close to being done. I'm going to keep on going until I run out of steam. Smile

Balance: $68
Spent: $13
Remains: $55

That number should stick around for awhile...let it snow!

Ebay Update

March 16th, 2007 at 02:48 pm

Well the wife's done it again. She's gotten clearance to allow us to ship all the items we sell on Ebay via the company's shipping department so we now get the use of UPS for no charge to our personal bottom line. That will help our finances while we climb out of the debt blizzard we're in! Of course now it's an ethical dilemma as to whether I should continue to charge s/h for extra money knowing that money is going straight to our pocket. I was thinking of either making the s/h charge the seller fees and then I have those covered OR I could reduce the price of the items I list and then compensate for the difference by putting it into the s/h. I'm really not sure what to do at this point.

Well we sold 3 items yesterday for a total of $290.27 so we can add that to the total (a PDA was the bulk of it!)

$886.50
+$290.27
$1176.77

I still have nine items left for bid and five have bids (two didn't sell and were re-listed for $1.70 each. If they don't sell this time I'll probably just donate them.) I have three items ending today (two have bids) and three items ending tomorrow (all three have bids) so I'm going to wait until they all sell before I withdraw my Paypal balance to my checking account using the free service (takes 3-4 business days but that'll be a nice boost arriving around payday on Weds!)

This is fun...with more items listing this weekend I am really enjoying seeing my stuff take off!

Budget refill

March 15th, 2007 at 03:13 pm

Well we went to the ATM yesterday and took out our weekly cash. It was going to be $250 but since the machine only let us take out multiples of $20 we took out $240. She got her $100 haircut and then got our groceries to last until next Weds (payday!) and she spent a grand total of $87 at the grocery store (and got quite a bit for that $87!) It was close to 80 degrees here yesterday while today it's 57 and rainy and tomorrow it's going to be a high of 33 and snowing! What a crazy weather week.

Daughter's team lost in the 2nd round of the state playoffs on Tuesday night so we're bumming about it since she couldn't play. They really wanted to win because of how badly we beat them last year and they played like it. The announcers on the TV wished her well and said her being out really hurt the defense which was kind of cool (I know it's only high school bball but it's still cool to hear your daughter get praise from someone other than her parents!)

With the weather the way it is I expect we'll be inside watching TV all weekend (plus to stay under that budget we really need to be home bodies!) I'll be updating the ebay tracker as things go too so hopefully we'll be generating even more additional income while at home! I've got more to list so this weekend will be listing weekend (I wish I could've taken advantage of the .20 listing day yesterday but no luck.)

Budget numbers:

Balance: $15
Adding: $240
Total: $255

Balance: $255
Spent: $187
Remains: $68

Oh we do need light bulbs for some of the lights on the outside of our house so we will probably spend a few bucks there too (doh!) but that would probably be this weekend (I'm just brainstorming upcoming expenses!) Smile

Debt Reduction Update!

March 14th, 2007 at 06:07 pm

Card 2 reared its ugly head today and hit me with a finance charge of $103.54 and a due date of April 11th (I have two paychecks coming before that due date..yay!) with a minimum payment of $306. That card is always 2 percent of the balance for a min payment so just think of it this way. 2 percent x 50 payments = 100 percent (but we're not even counting interest!) I can't wait to get some of these other balances out of the way so I can attack Cards 1 and 2 (the big dogs.)

Card 6 also closed its March statement and this is the last month of the teaser rate before the jump to 13.99 so that has a min payment of $61 due on 4/7. Hopefully the Mrs. gets a happy answer from the bank about the unsecured consolidation loan and Card 6 never sees a balance with an interest rate attached to it!

I think I'm going to pay the minimums on these cards and put the remaining balance that I can at my favorite card...Card 9. There will be a lot of satisfaction in killing that card's balance! They actually sent me checks today to write against the card's available balance (not b/t checks with an offer just plain checks...as if that's not insane! Of course if someone can tell me where I can put that money and earn MORE on it than the 24 percent interest I would be paying on a cash advance I'd love to hear it!)

Ugh! The sooner we get rid of this debt monster matrix the better. Smile

Updated matrix:
Card 1/$12097/$20000/14.23
Card 2/$15318/$31000/12.24
Card 3/$8215/$12500/12.24
Card 4/$6211/$9000/18.24
Card 5/$6151/$9000/18.24
Card 6/$6143/$8000/0.00*
Card 7/$5903/$10000/4.99**
Card 8/$3821/$10000/0.00***
Card 9/$1971/$7250/17.24
Card 10/$3464/$4400/16.99
Card 11/$2815/$3900/13.99
Card 12/$2100/$2500/0.00****
Card 13/$4075/$4500/5.82

*Teaser rate ends 4/1/07 (up to 13.99)
**Balance Transfer rate
***Teaser rate ends 8/22/07 (up to 24)
****Teaser rate ends 5/1/07 (up to 13.99)

$81008-$78284=$2724 off since day 1.

Ebay update

March 13th, 2007 at 07:17 pm

Updating the Ebay tracker I still have 11 items left for bid. 7 of those items have bids and will sell and there are a total of 36 "watchers" of the items so hopefully as time dwindles down they become bidders! The earliest item has 2 days and 2 hours left so it'll be a little while yet but so far so good. If everything sold as is right now we'd get an additional $240 which I wouldn't be sad about since this was all stuff just lying around the house (all in my home office...ah it's nice to walk in there knowing that stuff is leaving!)

Debt Reduction Updates

March 13th, 2007 at 07:12 pm

My wife called one of the creditors she has four (yes FOUR) credit cards with (for those familiar with the matrix these are Cards 4, 5, 6 and 12) and they offered her an opportunity to take all four balances into one loan (unsecured) with a $30,000 limit at 5.99 APR for the life of the loan. She also has the ability to transfer other balances and get the same deal up to her limit which is GREAT because that would cut 4 cards into 1 and 2 of the highest APR's would be history! She hasn't been approved but she has a perfect credit history and all of her scores are in the 690's (how ironic that she's never missed a payment in 20+ years yet her score is below 700...but it's all utilization) so we're confident in her getting approved. We'll see though. Card 10 and Card 8 may also find a way to this loan so we'd be getting rid of 6 card payments and be able to concentrate on attacking one big loan. It would really shrink the matrix down!

Updated matrix:
Card 1/$12097/$20000/14.23
Card 2/$15215/$31000/12.24
Card 3/$8215/$12500/12.24
Card 4/$6211/$9000/18.24
Card 5/$6151/$9000/18.24
Card 6/$6143/$8000/0.00*
Card 7/$5903/$10000/4.99**
Card 8/$3821/$10000/0.00***
Card 9/$1971/$7250/17.24
Card 10/$3464/$4400/16.99
Card 11/$2815/$3900/13.99
Card 12/$2100/$2500/0.00****
Card 13/$4075/$4500/5.82

*Teaser rate ends 4/1/07 (up to 13.99)
**Balance Transfer rate
***Teaser rate ends 8/22/07 (up to 24)
****Teaser rate ends 5/1/07 (up to 13.99)

$81008-$78181=$2827 off since day 1.


Looking ahead to next week (Weds = Payday!) we only have one card actually due to be paid before the following pay period (Card 3 with a min payment of $161) so on the debt front it's a light pay period. We'll see what we have cookin' after the ebay cash comes in. Smile

No spend Tuesday

March 13th, 2007 at 06:54 pm

Today is another "no spend" day for us as our daughter's team has a game tonight against the team they beat to win the state title in bball a year ago. Hopefully they can win without her a 2nd time and keep moving on in the state playoffs.

So we're holding onto that last $15 until tomorrow when she's going to pull $250 out for next week's budget (we think we'll be fine but you never know!) There isn't anything on the horizon and we took care of the kids expenses at school so we should be safe there. Smile

Balance: $15
Spent: $0
Remains: $15


New Ebay tracker category

March 12th, 2007 at 06:13 pm

I figured I'd start this to track my additional income from ebay (yeah IRS I hear you knockin'!) As of today I was at 7 items sold for a grand total of $661.50 in the last week. I just came back from lunch and found another item sold (an old laptop that still runs...but is useless to me) for $249.99. Now after fees and shipping I clear $225 so add that to the $661.50! I'll keep a running tally here.

$661.50
+$225.00
$886.50

I still have 11 more items listed (3 with bids) so by the end of this week I may have another chunk of change to put towards paying off a card (which would be sweet!) I really am starting to get in the groove. I swear once you start selling stuff you really get the blood going to want to clean out all kinds of "areas" in your house! Smile

Sunday recap and Monday info

March 12th, 2007 at 12:54 pm

Well we have some good news and some bad news! First the bad news...the kids pretty much sucked down the rest of our weekly budget...to the point where we're going to try to make it on $250 from Monday until next Wednesday. It's not going to be easy but I think if we have an actual cap we might be able to pull it off. The kids needed money for school (daughter needed money for photography class...yes she's well enough to get back to school! Our son needed cafeteria money which we fund by writing a check to his Cafetrac account.) She also went to the grocery store for some extra stuff and spent $33. So our cash reserves look like this:

Balance: $68
Spent: $53
Remains: $15

The check to our son was for $50 (yes..ouch!) so that drops us to $35 in the red. It's ok the money is in the account to withdraw it but we are cutting the amount to take for next week to compensate for the check. I think we can do it but it'll be tough.

Now for the good news and there are a couple of "good news" areas. First I mentioned how I listed a bunch of items on Ebay (17 altogether!) Well FIVE of them sold already using the buy it now option which I required the pay immediately function and everyone did! Everything sold on Sunday and I made a grand total of $435 (that includes already paying seller fees!) So over the last week I've made a grand total of $661.50 on Ebay (which isn't a bad supplement on the income!) I still have 12 items listed and three already have bids so here's to hoping everything else sells and we make even more money! I've already put in the transfer for the money to go into my bank account so in a couple of days we'll have some extra elbow room and technically we could refill the cash to $300 if we pull from the ebay money.

One thing I am going to let my wife do is get her salon haircut and at first I was going to tell her to hold off another week but I can now let her do it and pay with some of the ebay cash (about $100!) Yeah it's a little different than my 10 dollar cut but I don't mind that she gets it done. I'll let her have some fun now and then! Smile

My other good news is I got an alert from Equifax's Score Watch program (one of the only programs that monitors your true FICO score and doesn't give out a fake score) saying my score had changed. Well my Equifax FICO went from 665 to 707 after the updates from a couple of my cc accounts hit! I've been a credit monster for a few years now and to see that score climb over 700 is a thing of beauty. I'm getting closer and closer to that refi on the house and saving a ton in interest!

Sunday update

March 11th, 2007 at 08:13 pm

Got a bill for Card 3...they hit me with a finance charge of $80.45 so that brings its balance to $8215.39 with a min payment of $161! I'm still busy working on a possible (and probable) consolidation plan to cut down on the monthly payments and increase the amount left over to put to the principal. Here's the updated matrix:

Updated matrix:
Card 1/$12097/$20000/14.23
Card 2/$15215/$31000/12.24
Card 3/$8215/$12500/12.24
Card 4/$6211/$9000/18.24
Card 5/$6151/$9000/18.24
Card 6/$6143/$8000/0.00*
Card 7/$5903/$10000/4.99**
Card 8/$3821/$10000/0.00***
Card 9/$1971/$7250/17.24
Card 10/$3464/$4400/16.99
Card 11/$2815/$3900/13.99
Card 12/$2100/$2500/0.00****
Card 13/$4075/$4500/5.82

*Teaser rate ends 4/1/07 (up to 13.99)
**Balance Transfer rate
***Teaser rate ends 8/22/07 (up to 24)
****Teaser rate ends 5/1/07 (up to 13.99)

$81008-$78181=$2827 off since day 1.

No spend/more on Ebay Saturday!

March 11th, 2007 at 01:00 am

Just a quick update on a lazy Saturday! No money spent (we needed that!) It's been an ebay day as I listed 11 items (computer stuff...some old laptops etc.) to generate some extra cash and get some extra room in my home office. I'm thinking of putting the extra funds from selling the stuff there right to the debt. Either that or start an EF in an ING account (I have an orange savings that has about 150 bucks in it that I don't use.) I need to (for the 10th time saying it) consolidate those darn savings accounts into one sooner rather than later!

Balance: $68
Spent: $0
Remains: $68

Smile

Wachovia going to the dark side!

March 9th, 2007 at 09:25 pm

Well our daughter's team has a game tonight but she will not be playing of course. Here's to hoping they win! Smile

I got a letter from Wachovia today that really ticked me off. Starting April 1st there will be a $5.95 monthly charge for accessing your accounts directly from Microsoft Money, Quicken or Quickbooks UNLESS you have a certain type of account (which means you have to hold an average daily balance of at least $1500 to keep the access free.) Well I've never had a problem with Wachovia before but in my current debt situation I'm in no position to keep an average daily anything! So I'm considering switching to Commerce Bank here in PA. They have a free checking account that fits our needs (and our company now banks with them...we also switched away from Wachovia business-wise about a year ago) and no fees for using MS Money. Since my wife and I have seperate checking accounts they want $5.95 from each of us which is ridiculous. We both agreed a single checking account serves our needs better anyways. The only thing is everything I pay is online with our current accounts and we'd have a lot of data to change but it's not worth the ridiculous service charges! Maybe after I'm debt free I can revisit accounts with mandatory minimum balances but for now it's not money smart to do that.

Either that or just go to Wachovia's site and download it to Money from there. Bank of America already makes me do this for credit cards so it would just be more time downloading transactions. I'll have to decide!

So far no $ spent today...but I'm sure tonight there will be some $ spent. I mentioned the shirts and I'll put them down later tonight. Here's the tale of the tape: $17 on dinner for four after the game (they won!) and $20 on the shirts. So $37 spent.

***Friday Spending Plan***
Balance: $105
Spent: $37
Remains: $68

***Weekly Stock update***
Revisiting the CRWN I bought the day after President's Day at $3.90. It closed today at $4.92 (up around 70 cents since start of day Thursday!)


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