Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Month End Update

Here's something I haven't provided the last couple months, a financial snapshot.

I'm a little disappointed in my progress at this point. The credit card balance is back up there, and so I'm sort of starting from scratch. It went to a good cause, but it's still an blight on the record here.

The car payment has come down a bit since the beginning of the year, and the other positive balances have gone up.

In the coming months, I expect to be investing in a bit of jewelry. That's sort of what the VirtualBank funds are earmarked for at this point.

I may need another big November to put me back into where I'd like to be by the end of the year. I was hoping to actually forego the fund raiser on my other site, but it's looking like I'm going to need to go to that well once more.

I'd like to have the car and credit card debt paid off by the end of the year. Four months to make it happen and go into 2006 with a pretty clean slate!

Monday, August 22, 2005

Overdue Update

For some reason, I haven't had much to report in this space as of late. That's unfortunate, because I know people are stopping by everyday and I've had nothing for them.

What's been happening in my financial life? Not a whole lot, I did that recent balance transfer, and then last week I made a financial gaffe and realized I hadn't sent out my Jeep payment until the day before it was actually due.

This week I will be spending money, but hopefully not using any credit. Darcy and I are going with another couple out to San Francisco, where Darcy is originally from. We got $99 fares each way from Independence Air from Manchester NH to S.F. so that was quite reasonable. On Friday night we're going to a Giants game and on Saturday we'll be doing some wine tasting in the Napa Valley.

I'm going to be "photoblogging" the trip on one of my other blogs, that blog has a food theme, so the pictures and things I'll be blogging about will involve food and wine for the most part. You should start seeing photoblog entries on that site starting Thursday evening. The site address is at So be sure to check that out if you're interested.

I'm hoping to keep costs relatively low for the trip, but we'll see how that all goes.

I've tried to keep things relatively on-topic for this blog, so much so that I guess recently that I've had bloggers-block for this address. You would think that wouldn't be the case, since we all use money every day.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Balance Transfer Done

I have successfully engineered my first ever 0% APR balance transfer.

When I received my card from HouseHold Bank, I called to activate the card, and while on the phone with them, the very helpful representative assisted me in making the balance transfer....right over the phone.

This was on Wednesday, and this morning I went and checked my Capital One balance, and it is all paid off once again. So now I have 12 months of 0% APR to pay off that balance, though I plan on paying it off much sooner than that.

I have to say, I was very impressed with the rep from HouseHold Bank. She was extremely friendly and helpful. It was nice to be treated as a real person, rather than the second rate credit risk talkdown that I have been subjected to in the past from other credit companies. Here's hoping it continues.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Trying the balance transfer trick...

Over the course of the last couple weeks, I've suddenly rung up almost $1800.00 in credit card charges. This is disappointing to me, after having worked hard to pay them off, but none of the purchases were frivolous, and as mentioned in the previous post, most of them were to help my parents out.

I was dreading paying the interest charges again, as there would be no way I'd be able to pay the whole balance off this month.

Then it occurred to me, I have a brand new credit card on its way to me which is offering 0% financing for a full year and free balance transfers. So I'm going to try something that I've only been able to read about others doing; I'm going to transfer that $1800 to the new card and save the interest until I can pay off that balance in the next few months.

I'll keep you posted as to the progress of this transaction, as mentioned, I haven't received the card yet, but I do know it is on the way and I know the credit limit I've been given.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Unexpected (but worth it) Expenses

This weekend saw my credit card balance go up to $1000 after being paid off a couple months ago.

This weekend there was a family reunion up at my parents farm. About 100 people were in attendance, some of whom I hadn't seen for several years. After everyone left, Darcy and I stuck around to give my parents a gift for their anniversary.

About 8:00 my dad went out to milk the cows, and then came running back in with chilling words: "We've got a fire here!" I looked out the window and could see flames coming out of the barn. I ran to the phone to call 911, but it was dead. My sister grabbed her call phone and dialed for help as I ran down to the barn, my father was there inside spraying down one of the walls with a hose, it hadn't spread too far yet, so he was able to get the flames under control while the fire department was on it's way.

In the meantime I was getting the cows in the area out of the barn. One cow directly in front of the fire was was burned slightly on the ears and hurt herself as she pulled back from the stall and yanked on her chain, her neck rubbed a bit raw. We got her out ok though, along with the other ones.

Once the fire department got there, they tore out some of the walls to make sure there wasn't still fire or embers in there that might ignite again. They figure it was an electrical fire, perhaps from a radio. They were there for a couple hours. Once they left, there were a whole number of problems that were left to figure out.

There was no electricity in the barn - no lights, no power for the vacuum milking system.

The Cows need to be milked - if you don't milk cows on schedule, they might actually start leaking milk, and if they're not milked on time, the milk can actually start to sour inside of them, causing an infection.

Thankfully there was still power to the milkroom, where the milk is kept in a chilled, stainless steel tank.

A neighbor (who is also a farmer) came up and helped get some things sorted out. They figured out that they could get the vacuum pump working for the milking, but still had no lights. It was just about closing time for the local Wal*Mart, so Darcy and I ran down there and bought a small generator, a couple sets of floodlights, some long extension cords, a a fan and a couple other items. Ran close to a $1000 - put it on the credit card, but didn't think twice about it.

Get everything set up about midnight and was able to milk the cows and close up around 2:00 am. A long day.

I'm going back over there today, and if there are more needs, I won't hesitate to put more on the card to help them out.