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Archive for November, 2008

Happy Blogoversary to Me!!

November 23rd, 2008 at 10:20 am

I started my blog here one year ago today! I have really made some good progress, and look forward to making even more during the coming year. A few changes that I have noticed about myself in the past year:

1. I have not used credit cards AT ALL in 2008. This is the first year I have EVER been able to say that, since I got my first credit card in 1982!

2. I have managed to pay off 13% of my debt (a little more, actually, since I update my pie chart at the end of the month).

3. I started a 401K at work, and I have 6% of my salary withheld each pay period and my employer matches it 50%. I plan to bump up this percentage when I pay off all my CC debt.

4. My whole attitude about spending has changed. Gone are the days when I spent money like water (i.e., charged stuff!) and got fast food for my kids every time I heard "Mom, can we ..." I NEVER thought I would change as drastically as I have in this area!

I seriously need to get busy rebuilding my baby EF, it's gotten far too low! I withdrew most of my money from TD Ameritrade to do Christmas shopping, which has been my plan all year (I started this account as a "Save Yourself" account, which Suze Orman was touting, and I finally got my $100 bonus recently). What WASN'T in my plan was depleting my ING acct. (my baby EF) due to the reduction in child support which took effect at the first of June. Now that I've gotten a promotion at work and my salary has increased, things have stabilized and I can concentrate on building my savings back up.

I opened an account through Venture Direct (online) -- anyone have an account with them? They've been advertising an APY of 3.8% so I opened an account with them this past week with an initial deposit of $25. The APY on my ING acct. is 2.75% and the APY on my TD Ameritrade acct. is 1.0%, so my plan is to close the TD Ameritrade acct. and move that money into one of the other accounts. The $50/month automatic transfer I have set up to go into that account will be changed to go into my ING account, and I set up another $50/month automatic transfer into the Venture acct. beginning next month, for a total of $100/month automatically being saved, yay me!! (Before I started this blog, I saved $0/month!) Depending on what kind of merit increase (if any) I get after the first of the year, I may bump those amounts up. I also plan to look seriously (again) at moving out of the rent house I am in ... hopefully in March. I need to get my butt in gear and start decluttering and have a couple of garage sales (which will also net me some cash)!!

Suze Orman Marathon on CNBC Tonight!!

November 22nd, 2008 at 05:03 pm

If you missed Dawn last week, tune in! I bet it will run once or twice tonight!!

Update: First show, right off the bat! A couple of things I missed the first time I saw it: (1) they have TWO flat-screen TVs OUTSIDE in the patio/pool area, and (2) their MINIMUM credit card payments every month total $6,000!!! Unbelievable. I really hope Suze airs an update with Dawn sometime in the future; and hopefully she will be on the right track.

Saturday Night's Suze Orman Show

November 15th, 2008 at 09:40 pm

Did any of you see Suze Orman tonight? I'm still watching it here in Texas, but the segment they just had on BLEW MY MIND. This woman named Dawn in California was on, talking to Suze, asking for help and suggestions as to what she and her husband can do about their $230,000 in credit card debt. BESIDES that debt, their big beautiful dream home is mortgaged to the hilt. Bottom line is that between the two of them they bring home $9,000 a month ... but their monthly expenses are $19,000!!! (Suze actually said this is probably the worst case she's ever had on her show.) Dawn kept smiling and making jokes while Suze was trying to drive home to her the gravity of her situation; AND, when Suze told Dawn that she and her husband need to (a) put their home AND everything in it on the market immediately and pray that they can sell it for enough to pay what they owe on it, (b) get second jobs TOMORROW, and (c) move into an apartment and stay there until their credit cards are paid and they have money SAVED ... Dawn said "That's not going to happen." She said she cannot and will not give up her home and her lifestyle!! She said her husband wants to file bankruptcy but she doesn't want to, and Suze told her they probably make too much money to file bankruptcy so it's really not an option. It was really something else to see ... talk about a woman in denial!! It was really quite sad, but SO frustrating at the same time. It just makes me wonder what sort of miracle solution Dawn thought Suze could come up with. I mean, she didn't even consider one piece of advice Suze gave her! She freely admitted that she's addicted to diamonds, and that just last night she was upset because a ring she's been wanting had been sold to someone else! I'm flabbergasted, absolutely stunned. She was something else.

Big day -- I voted AND got a flu shot!

November 4th, 2008 at 07:11 pm

I fully intended to vote early, but never seemed to get around to it (think I procrastinate much?) ... so I left work an hour early and went to do it. It went really smoothly -- there was only one person in front of me, and she opted for a paper ballot so I got to use the one-n-only electronic voting machine without waiting, woo-hoo! Quite a few people came in behind me, and most of them chose paper ballots. So, a quick and easy voting experience for me, what a pleasant surprise! I also got my flu shot at work this morning. My company gives them to employees for FREE, so you know I was all over that!

I updated my CC totals on my sidebar, and I've paid off 13% of my CC debt so far this year. I'm encouraged by that, even though it's not much, because I knew that it would be slow going in the beginning. I did begin my debt snowball, and guess which CC I am directing my next payoff at? Why, good ol' WaMu/Chase, of course! I owe $1,684 on it so it will take a little while, but with the extra from the paid-off card I'll be paying a minimum of $73/month towards it, and hope to pay $100 most months. I also plan to rework my budget in about 5 or 6 months (after I get my bonus and merit increase at work, and hopefully a tax refund), and I should be able to start paying more towards my CC debt then.

I got my $100 bonus in my "Save Yourself" account, since I have been having $50/month deposited in that account for over a year now. Woo-hoo!! Good thing, too, since I've been whittling away at my ING account since my child support decreased 5 months ago. The new position I got at work a couple months ago brought with it an increase in salary, so that pretty much brought me back to where I was before the child support went down. Now I am anticipating that merit increase at the beginning of 2009 so I can make some more forward strides again! It's been almost a year since I started this blog and, though I don't post frequently, I think it's really helped me to stay on track with everything ... not to mention that I read all of your blogs almost daily, and get such great inspiration from them!