Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I posted this on FreeMoneyFinance in response to this post:,

My son is starting as a freshman, we just moved him into the dorms this past weekend.
1. He got his own books, some used and some new. (Some you cannot find the proper version in used form).
2. He got a decent laptop for a graduation present, (from his parents).
3. We got him a printer, very nice combo printer/scanner/copier for around $50.00, these have really come down in price. The copier and scanner functions will probably be used the most.
4. He's been there for 3 days and explored the campus and surrounding areas, read a book and surfed the net and still said it gets boring at times so I searched and found good deals on HDTV/DVD combo sets in the 19"-22" range and got him one. Cable service is supplied by the university. Hopefully he won't spend too much time in front of it, but hey, he is an adult now and needs to learn to mange his own time.
5. No cars allowed for freshman, a rule his younger brother loves.
6. No credit card, he does have his own debit card which I can monitor online.
7. Local branch of bank is very close to campus so there should be no ATM fees.
8. Still covered under our insurance.
9. Basic meal plan.
10. Government issued loans.
The only thing I may regret in the future is the TV. But probably not, it depends on the individual. My son has taken his academic life very seriously since early in high school so it should not be an issue.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Economic Stimulus $$

I dumped the whole thing, $1500.00, into my ING savings account. It was my money to begin with so I will do what I want with it. As far as stimulating the economy, if paying $4.00 for a gallon of gas and similar outrageous prices on groceries doesn't do it, then me buying a plasma screen television isn't going to do it either.

I Have Returned

It has been a long time since my last post, almost 2 months. Nothing much has happened financially. I am still paying down the credit card balance with the 0% transfer from Citibank. Good news on the HELOC, I got the rate reduced almost 2 full percentage points. I guess something did happen. This lowered my minimum payment $40.00 per month. I am only making the minumum payments while still paying down the credit card debt. I will then start to increase payments on this. This is the snowball theory from Dave Ramsey.

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Name of This Site

I thought about this for a while. I wanted to come up with something smart and catchy like The Simple Dollar or Get Rich Slowly. Obviously, those were taken so I started to think about why I was doing this in the first place. It seemed that before I was tracking where my money went and started an actual budget that my money was for someone else. I would work and work only to pay someone else. Finally, I got fed up with that and took control of my money. I took a look at some credit card bills and loans that I had and decided to pay them off immediately instead of continuing to pay the finance charges on them. I transferred another credit card bill with a larger balance and a high interest rate to a 0% for 12 months card and I plan on paying it off in 11 months. I opened an online savings account and ING; this was the beginning of my emergency fund. This was a very important step as you can read about in my last post. I am just now starting to look at sources of alternate incomes. This blog could eventually become just that, although I am not counting on it. I have changed about 80% of the light bulbs in my house over to CFL’s, (compact fluorescents). My last electric bill was the lowest of the last 12 months, even though it was during the coldest time of the year here in Michigan and the furnace was running a lot. I have taken these steps because I know that “Now My Money Is Mine”. Soon, when the rest of the bills are paid and there is only the mortgage to consider, I will have full control of my money. Anyone can do this, but you have to make an effort to get started. Read this entry at Get Rich Slowly, it got me pumped up again nearly 3 months after I started taking control and I am now going to try finding more sources of alternative income. I have sold on Ebay and Amazon in the past and I think I can find some things lying around the house to sell. Whatever I decide to do, it will help my in my quest for financial freedom because Now My Money Is Mine.

Emergency Fund…..A Must

The other day I had to put 4 new rims and 2 new tires on my car. I went to Discount Tire where I know the manager in hopes of getting some kind of deal. I got a better deal than if I did not know the manager but $600.00 is still pretty steep. That, along with the cook top going out on me a few weeks ago, see My First Blogger Entry, just about depleted my emergency fund. But the fact remains, that is was there and it was used for the purpose that it was intended. If it had not been there, I would have had to finance both purchases and would be paying on them for who knows how long as well as incurring the finance charges. If you don’t have at least a starter emergency fund in place with at least $1000.00 in it, you need to start building this up now. If you have to use it, as I did, you have to replenish as soon as you possibly can. Luckily, I never stopped my automatic deposits into this account so the money will continue to go into it. I may use the Economic Stimulus Payment from the government to get it back to the level that it was before when I receive it. See The Official Economic Stimulus Tax Rebate Payment Schedule, to see when you should receive yours.
Without the emergency fund in place, these items, that I had to have, would still have been purchased, probably on credit, and the finance charges added to the overall cost. This would have potentially cost me around $100.00 more if purchased on credit. I will say it again, build your emergency fund now so that when the unexpected happens, and it will, you will be ready and it will not take away from you goal of saving you hard earned dollars.

Friday, March 21, 2008

I Received My CitiBank Card

I got my new CitiBank card the other day and immediately transferred the entire balance of my high rate, high balance account to this new card. It is a 0% rate on balance transfers for 12 months. Like I stated in an earlier post, I will divide the total balance by 11 and have it paid off 1 month early so that I do not incur any of the finance charges. I am still planning on setting this up for automatic payments through my bank that I pay all of my bills online with now. This is just another assurance that I won't get hit with the finance charges because of late payments. I also made one more payment on the small home improvement loan that I have last week. I waited until this week to call, after I figured the payment had beenreceived, to find out the payoff balance and it was only around $250.00. I was told that for every day that I waited, the balance would go up 11 cents. When I asked how I would know what day the payment would actually clear my bank to know exactly how much to pay, the girl on the other end said that we could take care of it over the phone right now. I did this and I have been checking to see if the payment has been taken from my bank account. It has not been yet, but I will keep checking throughout the day. This leaves me with just the credit card balance that I just transferred, which will be done in 11 months, and the HELOC. The balance on the HELOC is rather large, over $40,000.00. It is going to take quite a bit of determination on this one, a lot of time also. We will see how things are looking in 11 months and decide the course of action from there.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

CitiBank 0% for 12 mos. Balance Transfer Card Received

I received the CitiBank Professional 0% on balance transfers for 12 months card today. I chose this card because it also had no charge associated with balance transfer when using it for the introductory period. Once this card is activated, I will call and set up the balance transfer from my higher rate card. I will then have 12 months to pay this off or risk having to pay all of the finance charges dating back to the inception of the transfer. I definitely do not want this to happen so I have taken the entire balance of the current high rate card and divided it by 11, to pay it off in 11 months to make sure I don’t go over the preset time and get hit with the extra finance charges. I have also decided to try automatic payments through my current bank. This will minimize the risk of having any late payments that will also negate the 0% offer. If you are planning to do this, make sure you read all of the info from the issuing credit card company. Also, read An Introduction and Warnings About 0% Balance Transfer Offers. It is not meant to scare one off but rather make you aware of all the details, some of which I listed above.