sporky_rat: The Roman Orator from Rome, hand upraised. Text: Ahem (ahem)
[personal profile] sporky_rat
Hello, all!

I'm trying to whittle down my student loans as much as I can as well as the credit card statement that I use during the work-lean summers to help pay for groceries (those withdrawal pains are killer, I hear).

My question is, however, should I keep throwing as much money (On Time) at my loans and statement that I can afford or should I just keep at the minimum payment due? Now, I can't always pay more than the minimum but when I can, should I?

On the plus side, I've been able to save up a good bit in my savings account in the credit union!
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
[personal profile] alexseanchai
I am getting a more substantial federal tax refund than I expected. MUCH more substantial. To the tune of, once I subtract what I'll need to put in savings to get that account over a grand, I can pay off my car. Or I can pay off my highest-interest-lowest-balance credit card and a substantial fraction of the next-highest-interest card.

I very badly want my dad's name off my car title, which I can't ask him for until I can prove his name's off my car loan. My last payment, if I don't lump-sum it when the refund shows, is in May. That payment is twice my next biggest loan payment, so the sooner I can use that part of the budget for other things, the better. On the other hand, the credit cards I'll pay if I don't pay off the car are the same ones I'd be paying with the ex-car-payment money if I do pay off the car, and the interest rates on those cards are about twice the rate on the car loan.


(It would be bad of me to buy the learn-to-piano software I want and the learn-to-sing software I want and the cute fannish denim jacket I want with some of the refund money, yes? It would be okay of me to buy one of these things, or a couple books adding up to the same dollar figure, with some of the refund money, yes?)

ETA: I asked my mother, she asked my father, and he says if he's not on the title, I can't be on the family insurance. Solo auto insurance is probably more expensive. I'll have the money for it, given the reduction in monthly total loan payments, but.

ETA2: Looks like a solo policy through my family's insurance company, assuming the same level of coverage as now and no loan on the car, will cost two-thirds my share of the family policy. The difference in a month's premium comes very nearly as high as what I'd save on interest by paying the credit cards; two months, I'm making money. Sold.
jamethiel: A blue sky with a pompom raised in the lower right corner (CheerSky)
[personal profile] jamethiel
I just paid off my credit card balance. In its entirety.

I may have a couple of dollars of interest to pay next month, but that sucker is GONE.




... Dammit. I need some form of sparkly tiara gif. I DESERVE A SPARKLY TIARA GIF.
jamethiel: Money! (Money)
[personal profile] jamethiel
I haven't been updating the community, but a lot has been happening in my life.

We've had a few new people join. First of all, hi! Come and introduce yourself--tell us anything about your financial situation or goals you'd be comfortable with hearing and feel free to ask questions and make use of the community brain. I'm jame, your friendly community mod.

For those who haven't been aware of my situation, a recap )
jamethiel: Money! (Money)
[personal profile] jamethiel
It's great to see people using the comm! If anybody has any suggestions or alterations please feel free to make them! I'd love to hear from you.

An update on my progression to my goals )
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Supernatural 3x16 Ruby my own reasons)
[personal profile] alexseanchai
Oh hey, comm activity.

Three major short-term financial goals. (1) New computer, one that cooperates with the software I need for my summer class. (2) Summer tuition paid in full. (3) Lowest-balance credit card paid in full.

By 'short-term' I mean my math says I can accomplish all three by Jul 2 with room to spare. More room if overtime is offered, but I can't count on there being overtime any more than I can count on Etsy sales. And my monthly spend-on-fun-things budget is hovering right about zero, so this is not gonna be fun.
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
[personal profile] alexseanchai
Is this an appropriate place to rant about college textbook prices? Particularly when the textbooks are (1) rented (2) ebooks (3) that I already have in dead-tree format?

That's $180 I have no choice but to put on the credit card I just paid $300 to. So much for paying off that card on payday next. (Which happens to be my birthday. Happy fucking birthday, Ellie.)
jamethiel: Money! (Money)
[personal profile] jamethiel
Hi guys. It's been a while since you heard from me, huh? I thought I'd give you a quick update.

Read more )
red_trillium: cartoon cat that says "I love cats but can't eat a whole one" (Default)
[personal profile] red_trillium
It's been awhile since I've checked into this comm and my life has taken a roller coaster ride since then.

Besides a couple deaths in 2011, I had a very very stressful year at work from about March to July/August. It isn't completely over (not that I ever expect to be stress-free at work) but it isn't at the level of impacting my mental and physical health like it was. This had led to a lot of impulse buying, often in the name of "pamper myself" in trying to find ways to de-stress. While I was supposed to be saving for a trip back to the US next year, I'd also slip and spend $ where I should have been saving it.

I got through that and started making in-roads to pay my cards down a bit in preparation of the trip, but knew I was no where near where I should have been. I figured we'd have to get a personal loan to pay for the majority of the trip and planned to use my bonus from work towards the trip.

In mid-November my wife got the shocking news that her area at work was being restructured & after 31 years, she was made redundant. They were only given a 2 week redeployment period so didn't have enough time to find another role in the company.

As hard as that has been on us both emotionally, it's allowed us to seriously look at our financial situation. We started looking at what bills we had, our household situation & finances & what she'd get paid out (the pay-out capped at 25 years).

We've paid our debts off. We traded our old car in for a slightly newer used one that won't need major repairs the old one was due for. We've set money aside for the trip next year. I am in the process of transferring the rest of the funds to our savings and may look at options for putting funds on a small deposit to earn a bit of interest.

It is odd. I am debt-free for the first time since I graduated from high school (and that was in the late 1980s). The circumstances are sad but it does feel liberating. And odd. That is an interesting (and slightly sad) comment on me and the mentality in the US (where I lived most of my life).

We are both serious about staying debt-free. We just can't afford it. Her health issues mean we won't be able to have the same income again. It won't be easy to survive on a much-reduced income but I think we can do it if we try. We will keep our cards; we need them to book flights, hotels and car rentals (even if we pay cash for the hotels & car they still insist on a card they can 'hold' money on for damages) but will reduce the limits after our holiday.

We've also used some of the funds to set up a booth at a local craft business. December brought a little bit of money in from that and we can build on it. Every little bit extra will help.

It's a new world, one I have no clue how to navigate in. We still have bills, the daily things we can't just get rid of like rent, electricity, the internet/phone bill and stuff like that. I'll keep a small payment to the savings and a token amount to our respective discretionary accounts so we aren't tempted to just blow the budget. I'm scared, worried my income won't be enough or I'll loose my job through a mistake or a restructure (constant at my company the past few years it seems). But it's made for an interesting start to 2012.
jamethiel: Money! (Money)
[personal profile] jamethiel
So. This comm has been a little quiet lately. A large part of this is because I lost the plot for a little while. I got out of nearly three grand's worth of credit card debt. Then I promptly got back into debt again. So this is going to be a post about what I have learned about getting out of debt and things I would do again, wouldn't do again and what didn't work for me.

The first step. )

Next: Try to stop. )
Balance transfers )
Pay yourself first )

Minimum repayments are not your friend )

Finally: don't short yourself )

Some philosophical stuff about the use of credit. )

A grab-bag of organisational stuff that I find helps. )

Future plans )

So, how are you all doing?