Thursday, September 29, 2011

Helping a Fellow Blogger

This morning I saw a post on my new updated blogroll by Becky over at striving to live each day HIS way and she posted about having some money stress. Becky is an amazing person, she's a single mom raising two wonderful boys and working different jobs to make ends meet. I know sometimes things don't work out as planned so I figured I could step in and help out a fellow blogger.

After reading her post I decided contribute $50 towards her bills. I know it's not a lot but I'm hoping it helps her a bit. Luckily with PayPal the money is there right away:



BECKY- I know life can be stressful at times but hang in there girl! Please try not to stress about money! You have a wonderful family and kids!

You can check out her blog and amazing story HERE.

Has anyone else out there ever helped out a fellow blogger?

HS

Monday, September 26, 2011

Macy's Star Rewards

I'm not a big fan of department store credit cards. The only store cards that we have are Best Buy and Macy's. Not sure why I still have Best Buy, I think it's more for the convenience factor, a lot of times I just show my ID and I can charge my purchases.

The wife on the other hand is a big fan of Macy's. Unlike Best Buy, this card actually has some benefits, most of the times when we pay with this card, we get an additional 20% at check out. We also get all kinds of coupons in the mail but most of the times they don't work on the brands we like. Is this card worth the hassles? not sure but at least I can track the wife's spending since that's the only store she shops at.

Below are the Macy's Star Rewards so far this year:



Not sure if the Star Rewards are part of the credit card or how they calculate the rewards but according to our last statement, we've saved almost $895 dollars this year using the card. As you can see the wife did some shopping this month and saved $94.85

Would I recommend this card to a friend or family member? Yes but only if you can pay off the balance every month. The interest rate for this card is a whopping 24.99%! For example if you charge $500 one month and carry that balance, they will add on another $10 to the balance so be careful with these type of cards.

HS

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Friday, September 23, 2011

Looking For New Blogs

Time to update the blogroll on the sidebar. If you have a blog about debt or want to be included in the blogroll, please leave a comment. I'm looking for new, original content. I don't like sites with sponsored posts or with too many ads.

Thanks,
HS

Monday, September 19, 2011

Tour de Pink

This weekend I did the Tour de Pink. This is the first bike ride in Texas solely benefiting breast cancer. They have different rides and I chose to do 47 miles. I did the whole ride in a TREK mountain bike. Here is my picture during the ride, you can see me taking it with my phone and you can see my watch:



The start line, everyone wears pink:



I really enjoyed this ride and I will probably do it again next year. I do need a better bike, some people couldn't believe someone would take on 47 miles on a mountain bike but I did it. I figured 47 miles on a mountain bike is better than having cancer treatments. I did it in honor of all breast cancer survivors and those going through it right now.

Next year I plan on doing 63 miles. If anyone wants to join me or to learn more check out their site:

http://www.tourdepink.org/

HS

Friday, September 16, 2011

Discover 24 Month Summary

From time to time I post past account summaries from our credit cards. The goal is to learn from past mistakes and hopefully gain some control over the spending. Below is the latest 24 month account summary from our Discover card:



As most of you all know this is not a "live frugal" blog... reason why you see so many crazy charges from time to time. At the same time, notice the payments and credits. Most of the money is paid back, of course sometime we're left with a little bit of a balance- in this case $4,047 dollars!

The sad part is I can't tell you where most of this money went. We probably charged closed to $25,000 dollars between Citi and Discover over the last couple of years. I think the blog description fits every time: 'This blog is about the struggles to have self control with credit cards, and the joys of paying them off'.

Have a good weekend!

HS

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Frivolous Spending

What do we have in common with the U.S. government? We love to spend money we don't have! Once again spending is out of control. I simply can't keep a handle on things and I think the wife starting to charge more here and there. Over the last month we've charged closed to $1,700 dollars on our credit card! yikes!



Now, as you can see I'm paying most of it back and will be making another payment this week but I need to get a handle on charging things. I can be really good one month and stay home only to wreck it all the next. I've tried budgeting on paper and I can't do it. I have my spreadsheet with all bills that need to be paid but it's the left over money that I can't budget.

I've also tried giving the wife a cash allowance but she saves the money (So Cute!). This morning she asked me for lunch money because she didn't want to break the 2 $50's I've given her the last couple of weeks.

HS

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Under 10,000 in Debt

I know this is probably not a huge milestone and this moment won't last long but we are under $10,000 in credit card debt:

Discover Card:



Citi Forward:



I called the vet this morning and she quoted me $250 for the dog's procedure. This is money we do not have or saved for so this will probably end up on the Citi Forward credit card. The cycle never seems to end, I pay back money to the credit card but then I don't have money to cover unexpected expenses.

Also, wife spending out of control again! Lately she needs something for school, something for the house, new clothes etc. I need to find a way to calm her spending, can I blame it on hormones?

HS

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Birthday Expenses

Well I survived the birthdays I talked about in my previous posts. I've had lots of fun and a lot of celebrating with family but now I have to come back to reality. The Citi Card took most of the abuse the past couple of weeks, I charged close to $700. Below are the top 5 most expensive items:



All of the items you see are birthday gifts except for HEB and Walgreens, those would be living expenses. $700 may seem a bit high but I will be making a $1,000 payment this week, that's where I said there wouldn't be much progress on the credit cards this month. I'm still over $10,000 in credit card debt, the goal is to be at least at $9,500 by the end of September.

Did we budget? Mentally yes but not on paper. I knew I would spend close to that amount so I decided to charge most of it and pay it back. No more major expenses coming up. I think there may be some maid and and dog expenses but hopefully nothing over $500.

Bad news- my employer once again said no raise for 2011 to 2012. Then this morning, my wife's paycheck went down $15. Not sure if her pay was cut but today is new start of the school year so I don't expect that to change. That's $30 less per month or close to $360 less per year. Someone please tell our employers the price of everthing is going up! I been looking for a new job for the last two years and no luck. They call me from a 'dream' job. I get an interview, they tease me with six figure pay and then I never hear back from them, very frustrating.

More bad news- all this birthday celebrating has left me with an extra 7 pounds! my normal weight is 180 so you'll know what I'll be doing tonight when I get home. How this relates to my expenses? no more beer, wine or fast food.

I hope everyone had a great 3 day weekend!

HS