Exactly what did I figure out!? Well, my first savings goal. I really haven't given it much thought until just now, which is strange since the goal that I need to meet is something that I need to do to my car. Last October, my dad was driving my car and as he was backing up he accidently backed into another car. At the time my dad didn't think there was much damage (he can't see very well) so he and there wasn't any damage to the other car so they just let it go. Well, later on, my dad was looking at the car more carefully and as it turns out there was significant damage to the car. Well, we took it in to a shop to get an estimate and the estimate was a little over $1000. Well, my deductible is $250 and I really haven't had any spare money to deal with fixing the car and to be honest I could live with the damage on the car. It really isn't that noticible. Well, as I was sitting here reading other peoples blogs it suddenly hit me what I needed to be saving my money for and that is for the $250. I really don't even know why I haven't thought about it. I guess it is because there really isn't that much damage to the car. Now, if the whole front end of the car was mashed in, then it would be different. But the damage hasn't effected how the car runs and seeing as how the car runs is most important to me, I just put this issue on the back burner. Well, with my issurance I have a year to file a claim on last October's damage. So this gives me a few months to get the $250.
I have Quicken 2005 and last night I was trying to connect my bank accounts with Bank of America with Quicken but was not successful. I finally had to go to bed last night so I decided I would work on it again tonight. I have thought about upgrading my Quicken to the 2007 version but as I was looking on Amazon, I noticed the ratings were not very high. I have always heard such great things about Quicken so it was a surprise to me that Quicken had so many negative reviews. Hopefully I can get Quicken to work for me because it seems like it would be a great program to use.
Here is an article that I just recieved in my email from Bankrate...http://www.bankrate.com/nltrack/news/advice/20000215c.asp. I think for the most part, we have heard most of what is in the article but it doesn't hurt to be reminded from time to time.
Well, I finally had to cave in and set up a litter box for my kitty. He had been going outside but we now have a dog that is walking the neighborhood and killing small animals. Since this has happened, he is afraid to go outside. Up till now he has never given us any trouble about going outside. That has been a part of how he has been raised. He loved being outside near the birds. He has always been a little too fond of the birds and not fond enough of the mice. His mother on the other hand would go out and bring us a mouse to the door. Most of the time the mouse was dead but on one occassion she brought the mouse in and it was still alive. Ughh!! Well, unfortunately, she disappeared a few months ago. We figured the neighborhood bully had struck again. I loved that cat!!
Well, today I finally got the nerve to do it! Did what, you say? I shredded three of my credit cards. Some say that is a mistake and others say more power to you but I felt like the only way that I am going to conquer this debt is by totally eliminating any temptations. I still have other cards. Some I plan to keep and others I play to discard as well. As soon as I get the nerve up again, I will be doing some more shredding.
Can anyone recommend any good personal finance books? I have a few already:
Dave Ramseys' Total Money Makeover
Your Money or Your Life
Start Late Finish Rich (?)
Suze Ormans' The Nine Steps to Financial Freedom
Basically I know about the main ones by Dave Ramsey and Suze Orman. Any others worth mentioning?
Just received email notification that $5 was deposited into my Paypal account for a survey that I did for Pinecone. Yeah!! My first $5 towards my emergency fund!!
I have been thinking about cutting up all of my credit cards but I am afraid to do so. I don't know why I am afraid of doing it because as it stands now I can't use the cards anyway. I have read on other blogs where the authors have just quit using their credit cards and not cut them up. I really don't think that would work for me. If I had credit available on any of my cards I know that I would find some excuse or reason to use the card. I guess, in essence, I have answered my own question, which was "should I cut my credit cards up?". But, I would like to know, what would you do?
I have been reading numerous blogs regarding financial matters within the last few weeks. I came across several blogs that mentioned that one's financial status played a role in what they ate. The primise was that the wealthier a person was the better they ate and therefore they were healthier because they had the financial means to buy food that was healthier. If you were not as financially established as some of the wealthier individuals, the primise was that they made less healthier food decisions because they bought more processed food which is not as healthy as fresh foods.
I don't necessarily buy theses primeses. I do feel that those who are less fortunate do have to rely on cheaper foods but I don't necessarily buy the primise that all wealthy individuals were more healthy because they made better food choices. Even if people have a lot of money, that doesn't necessarily meant that they make better food choices. It just means they have choices in what they eat. They can choose to eat food that is not good for them or they can choose food that is good for them.
Using myself as an example, I feel that if I was a wealthy individual I would still make the same food choices that I am making now, which are not very good choices.
I want to thank those who responded to my last post. I know what I need to do now and I will begin working on it. I also want to express my thanks to those who wished me a happy birthday. Yes, today was my birthday. The big 3-4. I think this year was the first time since I turned 30 that I felt depressed about being 34. It feels like years are slipping away from me. It feels to me that it hasn't been too long ago that I graduated from high school and college. It is hard to believe I am in my mid-thirties now. I dread next year because I will be half-way toward 40. I know people say that age is a state of mind and I will probably look back and think how silly it was for me to worry about turning 40. I did the same thing when I turned 30 but it turned out to not be so bad.
My mom asked me today if there was things I wanted to change this next year and thereafter. I have been thinking about that for the last month or two and yes there is things I want to change. I keep on saying each year that I am going to change my ways but never carry through with any of the promises that I make to myself. One thing that I want to change is my finances and I feel like I made a good decision about joining these blogs and forums. I believe that I will get enough support to help me carry out what needs to be done. Another thing that I want to change is my weight. I keep on making resolutions that I am going to lose weight but I never get very far with it. It is always ends up with me getting discouraged and quiting. I want this year to be different. In order for that to happen I need to set some goals. I have already begun saving my lose change. That is one positive step towards becoming financially free. I listen to Dave Ramsey every morning. I read financial blogs every day. So all in all I think I am off to a good start.
I really like the idea of using the snowball method to knock down credit card debt but have been advised not to use it until I get my balances below the credit limit on cards. But, how do you do this when you have several cards (7-9)? With the exception of about three of the cards, the rest of them have relativly low balances (around $300-500). The others have balances slightly above $1000.
Do I just take one card at a time and pay enough on it to get it below the credit line and then move on to the next one? Or is there another way I can do this?
Denial is not a good place to be when you have creditors pounding on your doorstep and collection agencies calling repeatedly throughout the day. But, that is exactly where I have been for the last few months. For months I have been dodging phone calls from creditors. This is not a very easy and pleasant task to do. I have caller id so I know by looking on the screen that it is from a creditor because it is usually a 1-800 # or 1-866 #. Sometimes I answer the phone but hang it back up. I know! I know! This is not making things easier but at least for that moment I escape from having to deal with them. Over the last few weeks I have decided that I need to get my act together. I have dealt with the phones, for the most part, and have made arrangements with creditors.
I have also been letting the mail pile up because I was too chicken to deal with it. I am now opening my mail each day and trying to deal with it as best as I can.
Eventually I am going to get a list of all the creditors that I owe money to and post it on here so that I can track my progress. It is going to be a very long and tiresome journey to undertake but it is also very essential for my future financial well-being. Too often I get discouraged and just say, "what the heck" and give up. I am hoping that by posting in this blog each day and reading posts by other bloggers that I will gain encouragement to continue on this journey.
A day or so ago I received an unexpected check for a Class Action suit that I didn't realize that I was involved in. Granted, it was only for $3.43 but $3.43 is $3.43. This will go into my new and limited savings. I love unexpected money!
and see where all your money is going.
I just received this http://www.bankrate.com/nltrack/news/pf/20070501_spending_mo... article through a Bankrate email. This is something that I have tried at different times in my life but never for a lengthy period of time. I am using ExpensePro on my Palm Treo to log my everyday expenses. I plan on doing this for a month or so or maybe even longer. It will be interesting to see where it is all going.
Seeing that I will be turning 34 on Friday plus the fact that I have been listening to Dave Ramsey on the radio as I drive to work, I have decided that I need to get my "financial act" together. I have wasted a good portion of my life in debt and unless I change my ways, the remainder of my life will be spent in debt as well. If you have read my bio, then you will know that I struggle with depression and obsessive compulsive disorder. Over the last few years, my ocd has gotten me into a lot of financial trouble. The ocd cycle will start out with me going on a wild spending spree as soon as I got paid. After I spent my money I would have no money to pay legitimate bills. That lead me to using payday loans. That, in itself, is a big mistake. After a number of times doing this, I find myself in a situation in which I can't easily get a bank account because I am in the chex system. Last year, even though I could have gotten a checking account through Compass Bank, I chose not to. I decided to deposit my paychecks into a a deposit only account (Account Now) so it would discourage me from taking out payday loans. The one good thing about Account Now is that I can't overspend and overdraft my account. When I had a banking account, I found it very difficult to stay in the black. I was always ending up in the red because of the overspending. With my constantly having to pay overdraft charges I never had the money to pay all my bills which lead to payday loans.
As I listen to Dave on the way to work, I find myself wanting to change my life. My life could be better. I could be happier and for the most part worry free. During the last two or three weeks I have decided that I have had enough and that things need to change. So the first thing I decided to do was to save my change I got from every transaction. I have a jar at home in which I save all coins. Maybe if I start out small, then maybe I can gradually build myself up to bigger things such as saving dollar bills along with the coins. Right now, I have quite a few bills that I must tackle and don't exactly feel comfortable in saving the dollar bills yet.