End of the Month Jitters

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I am feeling a little bit nervous today. Today is the last day of February and tomorrow I will be able to close the month of February and see how I am standing compared to January.

I have a feeling that I was able to reduce some of my debt. Not too much, because I know I made a large purchase at the beginning of February (work-related and it will be reimbursed in July). I believe my checking balance is higher which is good.

Overall, probably not much of a change, but with this being my first month, ANY change where my net worth is increasing is a good change.

I guess we will find out in the next few days.

Technorati Tags: net+worth

Student Loan Payment Options

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There are a few options available for those repaying their student loans who need a lower monthly payment.

The first one is income-based. They actually will consider your income and determine how much you can pay per month. This can be nice when you are still looking for after-college employment and enter repayment on your loan.

The second option is the graduated payment. With this option, you start off just paying the interest on your loan. This leads to a lower monthly payment. Then, after a certain timeframe, your monthly payment is increased. It will keep increasing (graduating) to a higher monthly payment until the loan is paid in full.

For our student loans, I decided to have both of them under a graduated payment for the time being. As soon as the credit cards are paid off, then I will probably change the status of our school loans to a normal payment plan and even send additional payments.

There is a downfall to the graduated payment plan. I will end up paying more in interest and the total amount that I will have paid to my lender is quite substantial. But, at the time it is the best option.

The important thing is to choose the option that is best for you.

Technorati Tags: student+loan+debt, debt, payment+plan, credit+cards

Credit Card Debt = $36,900

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I have my total debt listed, but I didn’t take a peek at what my total debt was for just credit cards. Needless to say, my jaw is hitting my desk. It didn’t seem like that much when it was all separated by card.

My house cost less than my credit card debt is right now!

Technorati Tags: credit+card+debt, debt, credit+card

Want to Read More About Personal Finance?

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I have been surfing the web and finding some great resources for this website. I came across a wonderful directory of personal finance blogs. I was supposed to put in some hours at work today but I was sidetracked for a few hours by all the great blogs.

Here’s the link if you would like to check it out:

http://pfblogs.org

A warning though – go there when you have a good chunk of time available – LOL!

Technorati Tags: personal+finance

Hidden Cost of Reducing Debt

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It is now 5:53am and I haven’t went to bed yet. I should, because I have to work in a few hours. But I couldn’t. I’ve had something on my mind.

Lately, I have been offered and accepted more work than I should have. I work 40 hours a week as well as another job that is about 6 hours a week. And then I just accepted another job that is sporadic and temporary, but could take up to 20 hours a week. Add on to that the overtime I have been offered at my regular job.

That’s a lot of working. More than I ever really wanted to do.

There comes a time where you have to ask yourself if the quality of your life will diminish while you are working towards your goals. By quality of life, I don’t necessarily mean materialistic things. I mean things like spending time with your family. Right now, I am not spending much time with my son at all. It is definitely not as much time as I want to spend with him.

I am regretting taking on so much, but I know why I did it. I was temporarily blinded by the dollar signs I saw in front of me. Dollar signs that would help us get out of debt. After so long of living paycheck to paycheck and watching every penny (believe me – I was), this was an opportunity to have extra funds to pay down our debt and lower our monthly payments.

But at what cost?

Technorati Tag: debt

A Personal Loan to Play Credit Card Balance Transfer Game

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A few months ago, Credit Card #1 decided to raise the interest rate on me again. I was so flustered that I soon was on a mission to get that debt off of that card.

I actually went into two banks and discussed the possiblity of getting a personal loan to pay the credit card so then I can turn around and transfer the loan balance right back to the credit card (to take advantage of their 0% interest balance transfer offer).

I had all of my papers with me, including the offer from the credit card stating the end date to accept the balance transfer offer.

It didn’t take long for them to say “No.”

I briefly then considered finding a loan shark, but decided against that choice. I guess I will get rid of Credit Card #1 the old fashioned way.

Technorati Tags: balance+transfer, personal+loan, interest+rate

Fight Identity Theft With a Shredder

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A great tool to fight identity theft is a shredder. They are fairly inexpensive for a small shredder and they will render your old documents unreadable.

I have two shredders in my house: a strip-cut and a cross-cut. A strip-cut shredder cuts your paper into thin strips the length of the paper you put in it. A cross-cut shredder cuts your paper into confetti-size squares or rectangles. I use the strip-cut shredder for things like old receipts that do not have my complete credit card numbers on them. I also use it for papers that have personal information on them but not account numbers (like credit card applications). My cross-cut shredder shreds anything that has my social security number or bank account numbers. Those are things that I definitely do not want getting in the wrong hands.

You only really need one shredder and if you were going out to buy one today I would recommend the cross-cut shredder. I only have two because I started with the strip-cut and then decided to get a cross-cut. I want to extend the life of my shredders so I alternate shredding days.

Technorati Tags: identity+theft, shredder