Tuesday, November 29, 2011

'Tis the Season to Spend Money

'Tis the Season to Spend Money! The wife wanted to get most of the Christmas shopping done before Thanksgiving so most of the purchases went on the Citi Card. She managed to charge close to $800, I had this card down to $6,000 just a few weeks ago:














I had originally planned to do most of the shopping this coming weekend after pay day. I had also budgeted $1,000 for holiday expenses but at this point it looks like we will go over that amount. We hate to buy stuff for other people but they always buy us stuff so we just play along.

All this spending also messed up my goal of bringing Discover under $2000. Looks like that goal will have to wait until the next year but at least now I'm saving $20 per month in interest.

What's your holiday budget? Did you save?

HS

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Miracle

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! This coming Wednesday we will be going out of town to celebrate the holidays with family and friends. This means no going out or spending money. Just turkey, drinks and time to reflect on this past year.

2011 has been a great year so far. Every day I wake up I'm thankful for our health, our family and our jobs.  But this year is more special for us. This year I'm thankful for our miracle. As most of you know we went through IVF and fertility treatments and today I can finally say it was a success. My wife and I are expecting our first child to be born next April 2012. 



Words cannot describe the feeling but I'm also freaking out a bit. I cannot believe we are here. At the same time I have a feeling that everything will be alright. I can't wait to see what the future holds for us.

T H A N K S !

HS

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Lost That Gazelle Feeling

Well it seems my gazelle intensity ran out of steam. There's a few expenses coming up and I may not be able to continue paying down the debt this month. I think November was a great month, I was able to pay almost $2,500 back to our credit cards but for now we must take a break...














The Gazelle taking a nap on Discover...

HS

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Discover Bank Free $25

Discover Bank is offering free $25 dollars if you open an online savings account. I have an account with them and I can't complain, the rates are decent and you can transfer money from your regular bank account. Discover Bank also has the same look and feel as Discover Card and when you call customer support you get to talk to associates here in the US. I hate it when you call a credit card company and they transfer you to India. Now before you get too excited, the fine print says you must deposit at least $500.

If anyone is interested, email me at ourdebtblog@gmail.com and I will send you the codes. The nice part about this offer is I also get $25 :) Here is previous post about Discover Bank, it looks like I got the account back in 2010: http://www.ourdebtblog.com/2010/03/discover-bank.html

























HS

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Credit Card Updates

Quick update on our credit card debt. We continue making progress this month, so far in November we've only had one doctor bill for $35 dollars. The water bill was also normal this month, last month it was almost $100 so I called and complained and it went down to $66. We've been eating at home most nights and we're also watching our spending left and right. So far November seems to be a great month, below is the progress on our credit cards:

Discover Card:










Citi Forward:



















Gran Total $ 8,440.66

This is great! we are now well below $10,000 and the month is not over yet. I still have to make our HOA payment soon but hopefully I can send Discover another $400 and meet my goal to be under $2,000 on that card.

Check out this post from 2008, it shows what our credit card balance was on Citi: Looking Back 2006 The balance in 2006 was almost $15,000 dollars. The minimum payment was $331 and the finance charge alone was 182 dollars! Now you know the reason why I started this blog in 2007.

HS

Monday, November 7, 2011

More Discover Card Stuff

I apologize for more Discover card postings but November is the month I declared war on the Discover card. As you can see the balance went up, they added another 43 dollars and it was painful to see that this morning. That is a lot of money. That's 43 dollars more that I will have to pay back:

Postings like this will hopefully remind me one day to be more careful with credit cards. There it is in red- be careful when using credit cards.

The goal still the same, bring this balance down to $2000 by November 30th. I think I can do this. I'm hoping no expenses come up during the holidays and also no more doctor bills. Bring on the good karma, I can do this!

HS

Friday, November 4, 2011

Our Golden Retriever

I don't have a whole going on right now, life is a bit boring at the moment. You already know that I'm in a lot of credit card debt and I'm working to pay that down. You also know that I make very stupid choices when it comes to money and spending BUT this picture below makes it all worth it. This is our Golden Retriever!























She's was my first dog and has become like a child to me. I love taking care of her and making sure she's healthy. She's also my running buddy and my beach companion. No matter how bad a day can be, she's always happy to see me and just wants to be around me.

Have a Good Weekend!

HS

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Discover Card Balance

Back on August 25th 2011 I posted about our Discover card balance being exactly $4,000 dollars:

http://www.ourdebtblog.com/2011/08/discover-card-balance.html

I was proud of that moment and even said I would attack this card with 'gazelle' intensity but two months later I feel like I've made no progress. Below is the balance on the account as of this morning:


I've posted about interest before and that seems to be the culprit, over the last couple of months they've added close to $80 in finance charges. I'm not happy but we agreed to those terms every time we used the card. So this morning I'm setting a goal to have this card be at $2000 by the end of this month. I'm not sure I can make this happen but I'm going to send them every extra dollar I can find. My next post on Discover will have a much lower balance and will provide screen shots.

Does it really 'Pay To Discover'? I don't think it does anymore LOL

HS

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

November 2011 Updates

I can't believe today is November 1st 2011. I swear it was just July and I was complaining about how hot it was here in Texas. I can't believe I wrote the post below I guess I was just having a bad day but now I feel like I'm back to normal and ready to get back to life.

As some of you know, we did IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) back in July and the bills keep coming in. This morning I sent in two checks for $65 and $170. When I look at our EOB statements it shows this procedure is somewhere over $30,000 dollars and provider still sending claims. Out of pocket, we are over $3,000 which is the reason why I haven't been able to pay down our credit card debt. The focus right now is to get through all the doctor bills and then move on the the credit cards.

Debt- I believe Citi is somewhere around $6,800 and Discover close to $3,800. My goal this month is to bring Citi down to $6,000 and Discover around $3,000. I think I can meet my goals as long as I don't get any more doctor bills in the mail.

November is also the month we have to pay our Homeowners Association fees (HOA). We got the statement in the mail last week and this will set us back $880 dollar this year. Don't ask me what this covers but we live in a gated community with a guard entrance so I'm guessing most of that money goes to pay their salaries. I'm not a big fan of the guard gate, hopefully our next neighborhood won't have this amenity.

Last weekend I ran my first 5K race. I was really nervous and didn't really know what to expect. The race started at 8 AM and I crossed the finish line at 8:41. For some reason we ended up running more than a 5k race. Accoring to GPS, the actual race was 3.82 miles and my actual pace was 10:38 minutes per mile. I placed 64 out of 86 in my age group and I ran the entire thing without any walking. I did not have any actual training for this race and believe me, I am paying for it this week.

Here is a picture of the Start line:


November- Please be a cheap month!

HS