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: 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.

Opinions?

(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: 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?

Hi there!

Sep. 17th, 2010 09:19 am
jamethiel: A common kingfisher sits on a branch with a background of green foliage. (Default)
[personal profile] jamethiel
Hello, actyourwagers! I'm jame, your friendly mod. Sorry I've been so absent of late, my life kind of exploded a couple of months ago and it took me a while to adjust.

Just a quick modly note before I ramble on: it's great to see so many new people here! There are a couple of people who I haven't approved yet, largely because their journals have no userinfor/public posts, and haven't got an approved email so I can't send them a message. If I haven't approved your membership yet, could you please comment to this post stating you've read the rules (check the comm userinfo) and you'll abide by them? Thanks.

Cut for rambling about the next steps on my financial journey )
jamethiel: Money! (Money)
[personal profile] jamethiel
Hello everyone! How did your weeks go? Did you succeed in not eating out?

I didn't. I got sick (again. Or still. Stupid ears) and that led to me just being too damn tired to make the right choices. I did have dinner at home every night but that was mostly cooked for me and sometimes consisted of canned soup.

Lunch was where I really fell over. I am craving take-away food like there's no tomorrow. High fat, high salt, high in chilli. I bought lunch probably six times over the past two weeks.

But, it happens. With the ferocity I was craving stuff, I decided to go with it. It's not the best decision in the world, but it's not the worst either. Stuff happens and you deal the best you can.

I really debated whether to make this a separate post or not, but I guess I'll stick it under a cut tag at the end so as not to spam your reading lists.

cut for talk of my personal finances )
jamethiel: A common kingfisher sits on a branch with a background of green foliage. (Default)
[personal profile] jamethiel
I've said it many times before, but personal financial management is as much about psychology as anything else.

One of the things I have is a LOT of goals. There's getting the credit card debt gone. There's saving up for a house deposit. I want to have a yearly public transport ticket. I want a digital SLR. I want my tattoo finished. I want three months wages as a buffer.

Cut for musing )
jamethiel: Money! (Money)
[personal profile] jamethiel
Today I had a salutory lesson. I was just viewing articles in my local paper online and it had a link: "Compare savings accounts!" kind of thing.

I tend to transfer money that I'm not intending to spend in the next week out of my bank account into a linked internet savings account. It works for me--stops me spending money I need to spend on bills, puts any excess money in a place where I can't get to it easily for impulse spending. I can access it by two business days at the outside and it provides me with a bit of a buffer. So I'm all set, right?

Banks rely to a large extent on both customer loyalty and inertia to keep your business with them. The thing is, switching isn't that hard or stressful. Let me be perfectly clear: banks make money off you. Every account you have with money in it, they're making interest over and on top of any interest they pay to you. They have a perfect right to make money--and you as a customer have a perfect right to assess their services and take your business elsewhere if you can get a better deal. Don't let them rattle you. I can provide a number of helpful links for Aussies, at least, who wish to switch bank accounts (just ask in the comments).

What the hell. I was bored. I clicked on the link to evaluate savings accounts.

Cut for length )
jamethiel: Money! (Money)
[personal profile] jamethiel
Hi everyone! How are you? How was your Christmas?

Looking around my reading circle, it seems like most everyone had a pretty horrible, awful, no good year. Mine was actually okay.

Finances and Christmas are a very stressful combination. How to get back on your mental feet after blowing it. )


Now, I'd just like to put a few words in for other blogs. Because finances aren't something we're taught, I'm having to teach myself. I read widely and try to read sceptically. (For instance, "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" has some very poor financial advice) But some blogs that I've found that really help me:

Get Rich Slowly. Get Rich Slowly is awesome. It's sensible. The blog author is all about frugal living, sensible investments and life balance.

He is in favour of totally getting rid of your credit cards, though. It's not an approach that works for me, but horses for courses.

The Simple Dollar. Again, common sense. Trent Hamm is a guy who has dug himself out of debt and established an emergency fund. He's got some fantastic ideas (if I ever buy a car, I will be buying one from Craigslist).

He is a proponent of keeping your credit cards, but tends to get a bit frothy at the mouth and all "If you can't keep a credit card and use it sensibly, you've failed at managing your finances!" While I intend to keep my credit card, money is about psychology and people can be different without being wrong.

So go! Read!

As always, comments are valued. How did you survive Christmas? Does the approach above work for you? If it doesn't, why not and what does work for you?

If you've got any other financial blogs you read on a regular basis, I'd love to read them. Link me!