Saturday, October 23, 2004

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Endsleigh offer a wide range of Insurance Policies, including Car Insurance

I was only able to pay $100 towards my Credit Card this week. (The minimum payment was $59) I ended up making plans to visit a friend out in California the first week in December, and the price of the round trip airfare ended up being $250. Not bad, I think. I shopped around, both travel websites and Airline websites, and that was the best fare I came up with. It's through SouthWest, which seems to have many great deals if you can take advantage of them.

The next couple weeks will be saving for another monster $1000 car payment, I hope.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Weekly update

So what have done this week? The paycheck came in, and I moved $150 to the savings. I have a little bit of shopping to do today, but hopefully I can limit the damage somewhat. My car insurance payment came out this week. Next week I'll be making my credit card payment, and I'm hoping to make it as big as possible. $400 seems to be the biggest I'll be able to swing, but we'll see how it goes.

I got some figures for the extra income that I'll be getting at the end of this month. One source will net me $164.77 and the other $134.73. A total of $302.50. Not huge money, but it will eventually end up in the Virtual Bank eMoney Market account. That means the rest of my regular income can be used towards the Credit Card and Jeep payments.

The extra income comes mostly from another Web project I have going on.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

The right strategy...

My Jeep payment of $1008 cleared earlier this week, and I did get my $100 check in the mail, so I'm laying low for the weekend, trying not to spend too much. I did shell out $30 for a bottle of Scotch for a friend of mine. I think I'll be able to make it to Wednesday without dipping into the savings at all. Check that, I had already transferred $50 over in the middle of the week. I'll return that next Wednesday when I put at least $150 back in the savings.

I've started getting comments on my postings here, all of which are interesting and much appreciated. I'm new to the financial world, having spent many years mis-managing money, so I'm just starting to get into good habits here. In the comments, I've gotten two very different bits of financial advice. One person said:

Better, I think to pay the minimum and save as much as possible. Cash is king not available credit. Factor the minimum on your bills as a fixed recurring expense in your budget then forget it. Do not fixate on the interest charges. Instead focus on the positive: the growing balance in your savings account!

That's an interesting theory. I hadn't really heard it before, most of the advice you hear from everyone is to pay off those credit cards and other debts as soon as possible. Two other people checked in with comments and basically rebutted the above argument, one person saying:

If your interest rates are what I expect, you should immediately use up as much of your assets as would leave you with the least amount you can get by with, putting them towards your debts, highest interest rate first

That person also stated that I should be taking the money I have in savings and Money Market to pay off the credit card and also put as much of it towards my Jeep.

I guess what I'm doing is trying to strike a balance. I need to have cash in savings in case of emergency...don't a lot of "experts" tell us that we need to have an emergency fund? I may also be invited to take part in some schooling, which would take 2 months, and during that time I would still need to pay my bills. In addition, after the first of the year, it's not going to be as easy to save money as it is now. I will be paying rent, utilities and all those things which my current situation allows me to avoid. I want to have some savings already, knowing that my ability to pay ahead and create savings is likely going to do down in 2005.

I'm interested in hearing what people have to say.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

The Hunt for (in the) Black October

Time for the monthly preview of what I hope to accomplish this month financially.

Here's where I stand at the beginning of the month.

On Monday, I'm mailing out a payment of $1008.85 to Arcadia Financial (What does that tell you about my credit history?) for my Jeep Cherokee payment. That should amount to over $800 being put towards the loan principal. That should bring my balance to down around $11, 650. I'm told I'm getting mailed a $100 check on Monday, I'm not counting on it, but if I have it by the end of the week, that will help me out some.

That's going to leave me with very little money available until 10/13. That week, I will be putting $100 into my Credit Union savings. My car insurance payment and cell phone (which is my only phone) total about another $100.00. If I have to dip into savings the week before, I will replace it here, rather than putting more on the credit card. I hope to leave about $200 in the checking account by the time the next week comes along.

The week of 10/20 I'll be making a credit card payment. I would like to make another $400 payment, or even $500. We'll see what happens. Another $100 into the savings will be used as well, so I will use as much as I can towards those priorities and still having enough for food and gasoline.

The week of 10/27, I'm going to try to follow the pattern of September, and save as much as I can towards making another $1000 payment to my car due on 11/6. I get paid on 11/3, so it seems like this might be possible once again. Looking ahead, I'm expecting a large payment in November with which I hope to make a huge dent in the car payment for December. (like possible cut the remaining balance in half.)

I ask the readers...if there are any...if I were to get say $5000 in November, is putting it towards that high interest car loan the wisest place for it? Or would there be a more worthwhile place for it? Keep in mind, my goals here are to be living a very simple lifestyle on a part time income by the middle of next year. Having no car payment and no credit card debt makes that much easier to achieve.

I appreciate the mention from the PFBlog website last week, which was really the inspiration for this somewhat shameless knockoff of the same concept...thanks.