I’m back, plus a few updates

April 17, 2010 at 8:57 am (budget, credit cards, mr. maven, work) ()

Well, my angry financial episode is mostly behind me and now I’m just picking up the pieces and moving on. I’ve been sticking to my budget, with a few budget busters that I’m paying off this month on my credit card (to keep up my 100% payoff every month on new debt): some majorly expensive garden supplies to get our newly built beds up and running. I’m also getting $300 from J towards rent, down from $450 – he’s able to still contribute, though in a smaller capacity since his unemployment income is much less than when he was employed.

Let’s see, what else is new?

Car Insurance
My next year’s policy is about to start. I’m going to change it to be a monthly automatic withdrawal from my checking account – no extra fees for this, but I won’t have the last 3 months with no payments due either. My overall car insurance budget will decrease from $90 to $66. This will start in May.

US Bank Credit Card
My 0% offer ends at the end of May. The new rate will be about 12-13%. I’m going to transfer about $1,500 to my SBA and max that out (since it has the smallest interest rate of any of my debts), and place the remainder into my personal line of credit, about $4,000. The line of credit has 10% interest. I’ll then be down to 2 debts, and my focus will be on the line of credit until that is paid off.

No More Balance Transfer Credit Cards
I decided that I’d like to keep things s imple. I’m not going to go after any more 0% offers right now and rather focus on getting all my debt down to just the SBA loan. I may, however, open a credit card with my credit union – I’m going to be losing my oldest credit card in the next year due to my opting out of a credit hike, and I’d like to open one I expect I’ll be using more longer-term to replace it. Not sure when I’ll do so, maybe in the next month. If anyone has an opinions on this?

Job Furlough
I’ll do a separate post about this, but my required alternate Fridays off is about to end (next Friday may be my last Friday off), and it has nothing to do with the economy!

Mini-Fund Savings
I’ve continued to put money away for those bigger expenses while my debt payoff has slowed down. I’m on track for christmas spending, car repairs, clothes (I expect I’ll be using a big chunk as we get in to summer – I will need a $130 pair of summer sandals). I just hit my $500 goal for the kittens and I’m reconsidering if I should just keep contributing. Who knows what will happen down the road, big accident/surgery/medical care. $500 is not that much, not when we have 2 cats and twice the risk. They are not even 2 yet. Maybe I should stop and focus on debt, and recontribute when the debt is gone? I’m not sure. I’m not sure what to do with my health/medical fund. I think of it as the lowest priority, and with my income being reduced right now on 2 fronts (J’s contributions and my reduced hours), I have elected to stop contributions until one or both change.

Anyway, I hope to start plugging away in a higher capacity with my debt payments this month going forward. It’s looking better than it was a month ago, now that things are settling in to a routine and I’m getting some money from J, less than before his layoff, but more than I had expected he’d give me. In response to that, my outgoing expenses are fluctuating a little, up in some categories (groceries, gas), and down in others (coffee, liquor, restaurant, entertainment).

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