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Archive for January, 2009

Work bonus that I forgot to blog about!

January 25th, 2009 at 04:28 am

When I posted the other night about my work bonus, I completely forgot to mention this!! My company's basic match on 401k contributions is 50% for up to 6% of the employee's base pay. When the bonus amounts were announced the other day, a separate announcement also came out that an additional 30% match was approved for 2008 contributions, for a total of 80% match!!! At first I thought I must not have read it right, LOL ... I had no idea they did that, and I don't know if it's something they have done in the past, since I've only been employed there 16 months. I am so glad I opened my 401k early last year and contributed 6% of my salary!! Smile

An Ex-Con's Perspective on Personal Finance

January 24th, 2009 at 04:37 am

Check out this guest blog entry over on MoneyGrubbingLawyer -- it's great!! Smile

I'm SO excited!!!!

January 22nd, 2009 at 03:21 am

I had my performance review at work today, and it went really well. Then, this afternoon we all found out what our bonuses are going to be, and at the end of next week I will be getting a little under $3,000!! Of course there will be taxes taken out, but I am taking $2,000 of whatever the final amount is and putting it towards my CC debt. First order of business is to pay off that stinkin' WaMu card ... buh-bye to that card with its $1,600 balance AND its 29.99% APR!!! GOOD RIDDANCE. Next on the list is one of my 27.99% cards ... I have two, both through Juniper, and I will pay $400 on the one with the $700 balance (the lower of the two). I am determined to pay off the remaining $300 in two months, so that card will be GONE by April. Woo-hoo!!! The debt snowball will be growing well by then, and I am STOKED!!! I also plan to call my other CC companies at that time and see if they will lower my APRs. I would've done it before now, but all I've been able to pay on them are minimums, and with a bankruptcy on my record and all my current cards maxed out, I had no leverage ... I mean, it's not like I could threaten to transfer a balance to a 0% APR card because they'd know darn good and well I couldn't get one of those anywhere!! So, that is my plan.

On the savings front, I hope to get around $1,000 back from the IRS, so that will go to refunding my baby emergency fund. I've also set up three automatic transfers each month to my various savings accounts, so I'll be saving $150/month that way, which will build my savings balances back up nicely.

I feel better now. Smile


APR on some of my CCs was lowered!

January 10th, 2009 at 09:42 pm

I don't get paper statements on my credit card accounts; I went paperless for everything I could a long time ago. I track my CC accounts diligently so I can keep up with the percentage I've paid off monthly, and recently I've noticed some interesting changes in some of my APRs. One of my extremely high APR cards, Juniper, lowered the APR from 28.99% to 28.49% in November, than even further to 27.99% in December. (And if they want to continue that trend, it's fine by me!) The biggie, which I noticed just the other day, is Capital One, with whom I have two cards. The APR on both of my Capital One cards was 24.4%, but in December the APR on one card went down to 14.4% and the APR on the other card went down to 14.65%. Woo-hoo!!!

A year ago, when I started paying down my CC debt in earnest and vowed to (1) make ALL payments on time and (2) incur NO NEW DEBT, my plan was to stay on track for awhile and establish a better record, and then call all my CC companies to see about getting my APRs lowered. But then the economy got all squirrelly and I figured there wasn't a hope in the world of getting any of them to lower an APR. In recent months, WaMu/Chase jacked up my APR from 21.99% to 29.99% (in October), but Capital One lowered my APR by 10 points two months later ... is it any wonder I'm confused??