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Numbers, Numbly

It's been a tough summer. [originally written for September posting]

CreditorInterest RateOwedAmazon Store26.49%-339.40Chase Visa26.49%0.00JetBlue21.99%-19.42Chase Amazon Prime18.99%0.00Barnes and Noble16.24%0.00Chase Slate13.74%-50.58Chase Freedom12.74%-67.28CU Signature Visa 210.99%-130.34Bank A Signature Visa11.15%0.00HELOC8.50%-86,431.68CU Signature Visa 18.40%-827.49Car loan2.90%-41,302.90Bank A Balance Transfer0.00%-2,003.76BankAmericard Platinum0.00%0.00BestBuy0.00%0.00Citi Diamond Preferred0.00%0.00CreditFirst (Firestone)0.00%0.00Lowe's0.00%-142.05Total CC Debt-3,580.32All Debt-131,314.90

Recent posts

The Internet Saved Me

The internet saved me.

I'm chronically disorganized, distracted, and shy. I stumbled through years of missteps and crises large and small due to these deficits, before the internet was born and grew up. Online tools helped me work around them. Let me count the ways, or at least scrape the surface:

1. Online bill pay -- dear lords, the bills I would lose in the old snail-mail days. Even after opening, reading, writing the check, putting it all in an envelope, stamping it and setting it near the house keys to mail as soon as there were funds to cover it... it could still go astray. And be forgotten. And therefore late, with the usual tail effects of fees and diminished credit rating. Now I can schedule the payment weeks before it's needed, and that bill is simply taken care of.  Thank you, internet. Thank you.

2. Online task management -- a to-do list isn't remotely useful when you've misplaced it. But a virtual to-do list is always there. Sure, I used Word and Notepad …

Numbers and a warm fuzzy

We make the progress. Slowly.

CreditorInterest RateOwedAmazon Store26.49%-556.24Chase Visa26.49%0.00JetBlue22.24%-95.92Chase Amazon Prime18.99%0.00Barnes and Noble16.24%0.86Chase Slate13.74%-75.00Chase Freedom18.99%0.00CU Signature Visa 211.24%-429.15Bank A Signature Visa11.15%0.00HELOC8.50%-86,631.68CU Signature Visa 18.40%-827.49Car loan2.90%-42,720.98Bank A Balance Transfer0.00%-3,746.58BankAmericard Platinum0.00%0.00BestBuy0.00%0.00Citi Diamond Preferred0.00%0.00CreditFirst (Firestone)0.00%0.00Lowe's0.00%-526.05Total CC Debt-6,255.17All Debt-135,738.20

The Great Job Search is off to an unsteady start... still, it's a start, right?

Had lunch this week with a friend I haven't seen in months. She's been plagued with money problems since I've known her, partly the result of unwise decisions made from ignorance and emotional need. She told me she'd been working with a financial advisor, setting a budget, planning for retirement, looking into incorporating her fre…

Infantile Perambulations Abound!

Well, we inched a little further along this month:

CreditorInterest RateOwedAmazon Store26.49%-696.24Chase Visa26.49%0.00JetBlue22.24%-95.92Chase Amazon Prime18.99%0.00Barnes and Noble16.24%0.86Chase Slate13.74%-36.81Chase Freedom18.99%-61.01CU Signature Visa 211.24%-576.15Bank A Signature Visa11.15%0.00HELOC8.50%-86,631.68CU Signature Visa 18.40%-827.49Car loan2.90%-43,403.57Bank A Balance Transfer0.00%-4,163.58BankAmericard Platinum0.00%0.00BestBuy0.00%0.00Citi Diamond Preferred0.00%0.00CreditFirst (Firestone)0.00%0.00Lowe's0.00%-622.05Total CC Debt-7,078.39All Debt-137,113.64

The contract job is over. I've already committed to A Holiday Thing for the next week, but will have to hit the job search trail hard afterward. O, big fun!

Entropy > Frugality

I did an inventory around the end of last year, and came up with a large-ish number of things nearing the end of their useful lives:
35-year-old water heaters (two)20-year-old mattress18-year-old memory foam mattress pad13-year-old car7-year-old walking shoes6-year-old air conditioner6-year-old computer5-year-old computer5-year-old sofawinter and summer comforters of unknown age  The car was the first to go, and financially, it went with a bang.

Now one of the two water heaters has departed for that great basement in the sky, with the other soon to follow. The landlord has both apartments hooked up to that relict, a situation which cannot long endure. We're replacing both.

The air conditioner is a must, and will probably be replaced in the next two weeks. I cannot sleep, think, or guarantee my sanity in temperatures above the low eighties.

The mattress has been a champion, but it needs to be retired soon. The shoes, which have been worn almost daily, are also blue-ribbon, but the s…

Eenie Teenie Weenie Baby Steps

Wow. I nauseated myself with that title.

So, until a week ago I was feeling rather proud, and prudent. I had dialed back the debt pay-down in order to maximize cash on hand for when my contract expires at the end of June, but still had managed to bring the total down by about $1,000. Not bad, I thought, while paying for a new (gulp) car and the rest of our responsibilities.

And then the water heater went.

The imaginary friend who reads all my posts and gets all my jokes no doubt remembers my post from the beginning of the month about covering rental repairs. If that's not you, then (1) Yes, we do that and (2) Why? Reasons and (3) Yes, we've done that this time, too.

It's on an interest-free-for-six-months card from Lowe's, but it's still an additional $844.80. And that leaves us at this:
CreditorInterest RateOwedAmazon Store26.49%-403.99JetBlue22.24%0.00Chase Visa22.24%0.00Chase Amazon Prime18.99%0.00Barnes and Noble16.24%0.86Chase Slate13.74%0.00Chase Freedom12.74%…

Numbers: A Month of Running in Place

Net result: barely budged --

CreditorInterest RateOwedAmazon Store26.49%-453.67JetBlue22.24%0.00Chase Visa22.24%-144.00Chase Amazon Prime18.99%0.00Barnes and Noble16.24%0.86Chase Slate13.74%0.00Chase Freedom12.74%-471.60CU Signature Visa 211.24%-486.96Bank A Signature Visa11.15%0.00HELOC8.50%-86,960.98CU Signature Visa 18.40%-1,341.21Car loan2.90%-44,762.00Bank A Balance Transfer0.00%-5,216.67BankAmericard Platinum0.00%0.00BestBuy0.00%-20.00Citi Diamond Preferred0.00%-0.00CreditFirst (Firestone)0.00%-204.75Lowe's0.00%20.32Total CC Debt-8,270.98All Debt-139,993.96

This was partly a conscious decision on our part. With my contract ending soon and without another lined up, I wanted to hold on to cash. We also had some biggish expenses, with a few more to come.

Possibly unrelated factoid: in the last almost-seven years, we've spent over $80,000 on direct medical expenses, close to $1,000 a month. That doesn't include medical insurance contributions deducted from paychecks.