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Archive for April, 2007

Sorry for the delay!

April 30th, 2007 at 03:24 pm

Sorry folks I was out of town for awhile on business and didn't get to post while I was gone. We'll get right back to it today when I can update the cash situation and where the numbers are at. We are still on the $300 weekly budget and doing well with it!

My daughter had a basketball tournament this weekend (AAU) and they did really well winning two of three games including a game where she scored 20 points (which is great for her!) She got scolded a bit about the game they lost because she was a little lazy on the court but she bounced back really strong to finish really well.

I had the HVAC people out today to raise our A/C unit outside (it was too low where it was installed and since we're on a hill the thing was sucking up all kinds of dirt and debris). They raised it for no charge and did the spring maintenance (we have a yearly maint contract with them that runs $100 for heating and air conditioning maintenance and inspections. It's due yearly in October.)

I just got my updated FICO scores as I finally got my one negative updated to show a zero balance and paid (I had been fighting them because I had paid it and they couldn't find any record of the payment. It was a Ford Motor Credit issue and they finally acknowledged it and updated it.) 749/705/709 are the current scores as of 4/27/07. I can't wait for Card 1 to update to zero (it still shows a $13k balance) and see how my scores do then!

We still haven't gotten the first payment date for the conso loan (which is only in my wife's name) but I believe June 1st will be the first due date. I'm planning for it now as payday is Wednesday.

Yippie!

***ETA: I just got a Score Watch update from Equifax noting my score going up to 709 from 696 so I updated it above. Yay!

Budget update

April 17th, 2007 at 06:05 pm

Well we're doing really well and sitting at $253 in cash going into tonight. Tomorrow is budget refill day so tonight the wife is going grocery shopping and taking our daughter for a haircut. The good thing about the cut is usually she goes to the same stylist as my wife does and it runs us $100. She is going to her friend's mom's hair salon this time and my wife says it'll probably run about $30-40 which is a huge relief for $10 haircut dad! Smile

This time I think we'll refill the dollars right to $300 but after a full run at the grocery store and the haircut we'll probably be pulling out a couple hundred. We'll see though!

Debt Reduction Update

April 17th, 2007 at 05:56 pm

I finally paid Card 1 off today! I made a $5891 payment on Card 1 so it is zeroed out. Card 10 also hit me with a post-payoff interest charge of $34 (which I promptly paid!) Here's what the matrix now looks like:

Card 2/$15153/$31000/12.24
Card 7/$5821/$11000/4.99*
Card 13/$4001/$4500/5.82*

*Balance Transfer rate (for life of bal)

We also have THREE loans to pay off so it's not like we're free and clear BUT we will be free and clear of all balances on credit cards once the above gets zeroed out.

We have outstanding $46k at 8.99, $79k at 9.5 and $314k at 6.75. The latter two will be refinanced in March of 2008. The plan once the above cards are extinguished will be to make the standard payment (I round up my mortgage payment every month and put the difference to additional principal) on the 6.75 and the 8.99 loans and to really throw extra dough at the 9.5 (until it's refi'd). We are expecting a $75k cash disbursement at the end of the year (probably end of fiscal 2007...so early 2008) and the hope is that we'll be able to throw that at the amount to be refi'd OR pay off the 8.99 loan and use the remainder to finish the basement (about 1400 sq ft). That's a long way down the road though!

That's the debt plate for now. I will be making another lump sum payment on Card 2 in the next couple of days. I still am figuring out what I'll have to throw at it (I don't have a cc payment due until May 12th so I should have a couple of paychecks to attack Card 2 in the next few weeks). It felt great to zero out Card 1 though...yippie!

Taxes

April 13th, 2007 at 06:01 pm

Oh that was fun. Well the company did give us a check for $14,683.00 to pay taxes and we sure did pay! The feds got $5069 PLUS quarterly estimated for next year ($1812). Pennsylvania got $655 and quarterly estimtated for next year ($164). New Jersey got $164 and Delaware got $2 (I love you Delaware!) It leaves us with $6817 to pay down debt (yee haw!)

Card 1...it'll be nice knowing you! I don't have time right now to figure out exactly how we'll be attacking everything but I know Card 1's life on the matrix is coming to an end. Yay!

Finance Charge and Ebay sale

April 13th, 2007 at 03:12 pm

A few things to update. First off I updated my ING account info yesterday and have mailed a check for $1 (made out to myself) to establish a link between the new checking account and the ING savings accounts. When I do finally scratch out of the debt mess I will be filling this account up as part of the proactive money approach vs the current reactive money approach (paying off cc debt). Until I have an apr on a balance that is lower than the interest rate on the savings account I can't justify putting money in there. It would be nice to have an emergency fund but not at the cost of allowing the banks to earn more on my money than I can on theirs.

Now for debt tracker stuff. Today IS tax check day so I'm waiting to hear from the wife that we've gotten the money before I start blasting debt away. Card 2 must know I'm getting money as well since they hit me with a $153 finance charge (statement closed). The min payment on this one is $303 and it's due May 12th (I'll pay it this weekend). Here's the update to the debt tracker...for now:

Card 1/$5891/$20000/14.23
Card 2/$15153/$31000/12.24
Card 7/$5821/$11000/4.99*
Card 13/$4001/$4500/5.82*

*Balance Transfer rate (for life of bal)

I also had $188.65 in my Paypal account which I sent to the checking account today (takes 3-4 business days). I sold another item on Ebay for $39.99 so I wanted to add that to the total (I now currently have no items listed...and just about everything sold so it was a big success!)

$2438.55
+ $39.99
$2478.54

I'll update everything later today. Smile

One week til payday

April 11th, 2007 at 03:58 pm

We're at $358 for the weekly budget since we had a no-spend day yesterday. The wife made a chicken caesar salad for dinner and everyone was shocked to see me engulf it. I'm a meat and potatoes guy but for some reason that salad was really good. I think my kids were going to pass out from shock! Smile

We received a 90 dollar credit to our checking account because me the dopey guy transposed the two middle numbers on last week's atm deposit so they corrected it for us and the money showed up today. So now we have $223 in the account and I'm planning on waiting until Friday when the tax check gets deposited to make some debt tracker payments.

The wife may go grocery shopping tonight but we're not sure if she'll have time or not. If she does I'll update the budget.

Quick update

April 10th, 2007 at 03:22 pm

I wanted to update where we were in the budget and another small ebay sale to add to the total. First we have $58 left of our $300 budget for this week and we also have next week's $300 in our pockets so we have to go 8 days on the $358.

Another ebay item sold bringing in $52.01 so I'll add that to the total. I only have one more item listed for sale right now but I hope to add more in the next few days (possibly this weekend as well).

$2386.54
+ $52.01
$2438.55

Oh and I almost forgot that another one of the cards from the matrix (Card 3) that was paid off had its statement close and they hit us with a $78 interest charge...which I promptly paid. We have $133 left in our checking account for now...in case any other interest charges want to rear their ugly heads!

More ebay money

April 9th, 2007 at 03:56 pm

Well since my last update we've sold a few more items for $206.44 so I can add that to the ebay money! Two items are left listed and one has three bids (currently at $27.01) so I know it'll sell. One other item has a couple of watchers but no bids but I'm not expecting much from it. I'm just glad to get rid of this stuff (and so is my wife!)

$2180.10
+$206.44
$2386.54

Savings accounts

April 9th, 2007 at 03:52 pm

Well I had mentioned in the past about how we had some savings accounts scattered here and there with anywhere from $75 to $450 in them. I was able to close two over the weekend and both banks are mailing us checks for the balances which we will be putting into the checking account to pay off more debt. We ended up wiht an additional $250 from those two accounts and today we are going to a third bank that we have another savings account (with $450 in it) so we'll be able to use that to pay down more debt as well. It just doesn't make sense to me to carry balances on credit cards and give these lenders interest when we have the means and ability to continue to chop away at that debt.

We are waiting on Fedex to deliver some money for the company today and we should be seeing that tax return $ in the next day or two. $6820 will go a long way to paying down even more debt. The sooner the better!

Oh and another closed card decided to hit us with a final interest charge of $120 which I promptly paid. I will probably have one or two more of these before it's all said and done since we paid them off before the statements closed. Ah it's good to know those interest charges are history (especially on that card...one of the 18 percent cards).

FYI we did close the other savings and they gave us the cash at the bank ($420) and I gave the wife our $300 refill for this week and will be depositing the $120 into our checking account. This way she's got the cash to last until payday (9 days from today) and I can just use the tax money to attack more debt. That saves us a $300 withdrawal on Weds. Hopefully planning ahead works out!

Some debt paid

April 6th, 2007 at 08:02 pm

Well after paying off a slew of cards with the conso loan I had a slight blowback from one card with a finance charge of $31 (the card is at zero balance). They also gave me a credit limit increase on that card from $3900 to $4800 (nice of them wasn't it?) I also made a $2800 payment on Card 1 (take that Card 1!) Here's the update:

Card 1/$5891/$20000/14.23
Card 2/$15000/$31000/12.24
Card 7/$5821/$11000/4.99*
Card 13/$4001/$4500/5.82*

*Balance Transfer rate (for life of bal)

Bills paid and then some!

April 6th, 2007 at 07:54 pm

OK well here is how we started spending that $4500 we deposited into our new joint checking account yesterday:

$700 for Mortgage (2nd mort payment)
$120 to Sewer (Utility)
$81 to Garbage (Utility)
$127 to County Theater (Donation)
$280 to weekly budget

All transactions have posted to the old checking account so I withdrew the last $20 from Wachovia and have closed the checking and savings accounts with them. I also spent part of the day updating as many online accounts as I could with the new checking info (as well as deleting the old info!) The $20 left goes with the $280 over to the wife for the weekly budget. She had $59 left (I thought she had $40...but it turns out she had more) so we get to go from today til next Weds with a $359 cash flow for the budget! She's going grocery shopping tonight (gulp!)

You can see I also made a donation to an old theater in our area that runs a lot of current and old movies (they are very small but they're fun). The donation got us 6 free movies for 2 people so we can make the most of it by going to that theater if there is a movie we like. It helps keep the theater going (since 1937) and they're probably the most friendly people that run that place so it's a treat to go down to the old theater to see a movie. Smile

I also made a little dent in the matrix but I'll keep that in a different blog post.

Deposit into new checking/Budget time!

April 5th, 2007 at 06:41 pm

Well we deposited $4500 into our new checking account today and we've run the old ones down to a combined $40.95! There is a check from the wife's checking for $20.00 that needs to post and there is $20 left in my checking account (which I'll probably withdraw via ATM and add it to the weekly budget cash) that will be withdrawn after all the transactions have posted to the account (I have a few I'm waiting to post). We're also waiting to put our $300 refill into our weekly budget for our first deposit to post (we just want to make sure everything clears...it's a new bank and all) and we have $59 left over from last week so that should tide us over until the deposits post.

We also got the official tax refund number today of $6820 so that will be a check to us on Monday (as I mentioned before we have to pay the IRS the tax owed because we had to claim $42k in corporate income so the company is giving us a check for tax owed plus what we would've gotten as a refund if we didn't have to claim the added income). So we should have over $11k by next week to attack the matrix (namely cards 1 and 2).

Today should be a no spend day unless the kids have something they need tonight (to the best of my knowledge they don't...but you know how that always changes).



More debt tracker payments

April 4th, 2007 at 02:18 pm

Well I had about $371 and change left in the old checking account so I made an additional payment on Card 1 for $351 leaving $20 just in case I forgot something. I don't ever have anything auto withdraw from my account so I believe I'll be fine (and I can withdraw my last $20 via ATM and close the accounts over the phone). I also forgot to add back the finance charge on Card 7 so the amount is actually a little bit higher (the finance charge was $37). So I'll update it below:

Card 1/$8691/$20000/14.23
Card 2/$15000/$31000/12.24
Card 7/$5821/$11000/4.99*
Card 13/$4001/$4500/5.82*

*Balance Transfer Rate

A heck of a lot easier to look at when it's only four cards!

Zapped the matrix!

April 3rd, 2007 at 05:24 pm

Well I just couldn't wait any longer. I had to do it. I figured it didn't matter whether the payments came from the old checking account or the new one so I took the $46k and went to town! Here's what the debt mountain looked like about 2 hours ago:

Card 1/$12258/$20000/14.23
Card 2/$15326/$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/$11000/4.99**
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-$77503=$3505 off since day 1.

Say goodbye to Card 3, Card 4, Card 5, Card 6, Card 8, Card 9, Card 10, Card 11 and Card 12! You and your interest payments are H-I-S-T-O-R-Y! Let's look at the matrix after these cards get paid off:

Card 1/$12258/$20000/14.23
Card 2/$15326/$31000/12.24
Card 7/$5903/$11000/4.99*
Card 13/$4082/$4500/5.82*

*Balance Transfer rate

Looks a lot better doesn't it! I also paid the minimums on Card 7 ($119) and Card 8 ($81) so we'll update that as well:

Card 1/$12258/$20000/14.23
Card 2/$15326/$31000/12.24
Card 7/$5784/$11000/4.99*
Card 13/$4001/$4500/5.82*

I made a little over the minimum payment on Card 2 so it's now an even 15k:

Card 1/$12258/$20000/14.23
Card 2/$15000/$31000/12.24
Card 7/$5784/$11000/4.99*
Card 13/$4001/$4500/5.82*

The final payment was made to Card 1 to knock the balance down to $9042. I did have to charge $1100 to the card for business but it's reimbursable (on Thursday they are cutting me the check) so here's where we ended up:

Card 1/$9042/$20000/14.23
Card 2/$15000/$31000/12.24
Card 7/$5784/$11000/4.99*
Card 13/$4001/$4500/5.82*

*Balance Transfer Rate

Hooray! I would have to say it's a lot easier on the eyes looking at those four accounts. I now don't have a credit card payment due for at least another month + (the unsecured loan will be due $701 though...I'm not sure of the first due date but I will find out shortly). We get paid Weds and we should be getting our $5k tax check as well (I thought we'd have it by now but I'm ok with the fact that we don't yet) and we are well on our way to making an even bigger dent in the matrix that remains. I'm really happy that we've gotten this debt massacre under control (and the interest under control!) and I can't wait for tomorrow (payday!)

Smile

Two days away

April 2nd, 2007 at 05:23 am

Well I've been out of town for two days and I've spent a grand total of six dollars so I have $44 left from the $50 I took with me when I left. The wife hasn't had to spend anything while I've been gone so we're still at the same number we were at when I left. I am exhausted and I'm working on work right now remotely and figured I'd check in.

The $46,000 from the consolidation loan was deposited into our checking account and cleared on Saturday. Of course they deposited it into the Wachovia account that's going away instead of the new Commerce account and Wachovia doesn't want to move the money until we close the account (that will save us fees and we'll get a check for the amount at close). It's driving me nuts because I really want to start attacking the matrix but I wanted to do it from the new account since I would love to start changing over the checking account information with all of the creditors out there that have our business. I could change the checking info and pay off the cards as I go all at one time if the money was in the new Commerce account. I have to wait for one more check to clear before the Wachovia account will be ready to close so I figure I will take care of things when I get back to PA on Weds. We did already switch over our direct deposit (Weds is payday!) so that's a nice step in the right direction.

Smile