Sunday, April 27, 2008

Looking Back November 2006

Jim from mydebtblog.com left a comment on my previous post about looking back at past statements, seeing the charges and amounts and not thinking about the bills. So I was curious to see what the CITI balance was back in 2006. I logged in to the site and ordered a PDF copy of the November 2006 statement:



The balance that month was $14,200.36. We charged $2,354.62 and made a payment for $1,200. No wonder we are still in debt. I can’t believe we charged that much money in a single month. The minimum payment due that month was $297.05. Look like I was so good at creating debt, they had a special promotion just for me that month; they lowered my minimum payment to $10:

"Because of the careful way that you manage your account the minimum payment due on this statement has been reduced to$10.00. If you prefer to pay your minimum regular amount due, it is $297.05. Please remember finance charges will accrue as usual. Thank you."

As I look at some of the charges I realize I have nothing to show for $2354 dollars. Most of it was gas and groceries, bar tabs, one night hotel stay at the beach, pet expenses, Target and Wal Mart. Again, I can’t seem to find anything around the house that would cost $2354.

The goal is to continue to pay this off and CLOSE this account. I don’t ever want to be associated with this card again. Hopefully this blog will always remind how stupid and immature I once was. This is sad.

I confess, I’ve done stupid…

HS

Thursday, April 24, 2008

April 2008 CITI Balance

The balance on our CITI Premier Pass card is now at $7,377.78. We made a payment for $1800 this month, we managed to find some extra money around the house and decided to apply it to this balance. I should be adding money to the emergency fund but I much rather see this balance go down. I truly hate paying interest.



The goal for May is to put the balance in the 6K range, hopefully we can be under $5,000 before July. I wish all this money was going to a mutual fund instead of CITI. I think we learned our lesson, never be in this much credit card debt again...

What were we thinking in the past??

HS

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

New Emergency Fund

Our Bank of America savings keeps dropping due to some unexpected expenses so I decided to start a new emergency fund. It will be on my E*TRADE account. I am starting with $26.27. The goal is to raise $1000 dollars in the next few months. I know $26 is not much but I’m only $974 away from my goal. I plan to cash in my pig at home and that should add another 20 dollars. I hope to be at $100 by next month.


Please don’t let me spend this money!! I need to have a cushion in case any emergencies come up!

HS

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Start Late, Finish Rich

Went to the parent’s house for lunch (saves me $8 on average) and on the way out I found two copies of David Bach’s Start Late, Finish Rich. Not sure why dad owns two copies. I quietly took one copy with me and left the other, hopefully dad won’t notice it went missing.


This is the book I will be reading this week. I hope this is a good book and not a waste of time. It seems like every financial book has the same message these days: cut the lattes, open up an IRA, increase 401k, and stay out of debt. OK I get it, if I put away 100 dollars a month now in 30 years I will be a millionaire. I’m lucky if I’m still alive 30 years from now :)

Has anyone read this book? Any other books you recommend?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I'm Still Sick

Sorry for the absence but over the weekend I came down with Strep throat which is a disease caused by tiny egg-shaped bacteria called Group A streptococci (strep-toe-kah-kye). YUCK! Well I went to the small clinic inside our grocery store (no appointment, no wait!) and got some meds, I am feeling a lot better.

Here is a quick update on all the balances. We are making 1000 dollar payment to CITI around April 23. This should put us close to $7,999 range. Hopefully we can be below that in May.

CITI Premier: $9,177
CITI Professional: $2,028
Best Buy: $1,659

The spouse spent close to $500 on her Discover account, and the balance is paid off already. We received 20 dollar cash back bonus and ordered a $25 gift card from them; she ordered it for Bed Bath and Beyond, not sure what she plans to spend the gift card on.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Your New Card

Did someone tell CITI that I destroyed my Professional cards? They just sent me new ones in the mail! I wonder if they been reading this blog.



Does anyone have any creative ideas to destroy these? I apologize for the quality of the pic, but it was taken with my cell phone.

Stop sending me credit cards!

HS

Friday, April 4, 2008

April 2008 CITI Balance

I received my April 2008 CITI statement, the finance charge for this month was $88.94. The good news is that the interest rate continues to drop, this month the rate is down to 11.240%. A year ago the interest rate on this card was 14.240%. Here are the details:



As you can see, we made payments for $2,00o dollars but only $1,911.06 was applied towards the balance. Our goal for April is to reduce the balance down to $8,177.78. I will continue making the minimum payments on all the other cards.

If you're thinking about using credit cards, look at my numbers above. Here is proof that credit is not worth using unless you can pay off the entire balance each month. Learn from me and don't pay interest.

HS

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Recession?

Interesting article I found today from Money Expert:

More than 26.3 million adults are planning to cut spending this year as worries about the credit crunch hit home in the real economy, new research from MoneyExpert.com shows:

Area of spending Percentage who plan to cut back:
Will not have an overseas summer holiday 21%
Will not have a summer holiday 16%
Will not buy a car as planned 12%
Will not move house as planned 6%
Will not carry out home improvements 17%
Will cut weekly food shopping bill 23%
Will cut spending on going out/entertainment 32%
Will cut spending on clothes 31%
Other 4%

This got me thinking… are we cutting anything back? While there’s talk of a recession going on, the spouse and I still have not made any cuts in our daily spending. We each get $400 a month for blow money, anything from haircuts to clothing goes in this category. We still have cable with internet, we use ATT’s U-Verse service and we have close to 300 channels including 30 movie channels, we pay $103 a month. We are already talking about our summer vacations and I’m researching the next camera I’m going to buy this summer. Of course we plan to do most of this by using cash and still meet our goal of $1000 a month to credit, with little extra here and there. We both drive nice, fairly new cars. We pay for landscaping and we also have a maid that comes every 15 days. Most people I know are also making plans for future spending and talking about their next $400 cell phone (iphone) or future home upgrades.

Our property value has gone up 10,000 in the last two years; I get job offers and alerts on my email about open positions in my industry. My neighbor just bought a brand new car. My parents just bought a new house. The new outlet shopping mall that opened close to the house was packed the first few days, no where to park, with shoppers hauling more bags than their arms could handle.

I’m I living in a dream? I really don’t see or feel a recession around me… do you?