Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Year is moving fast.

March is tomorrow? One more month until I get my raise from FedEx.
I mentioned finances last time or so, but I never stated that it's my primary interest outside of my family. I don't really watch TV or sports, but I love to follow my finances.
I probably dinged my credit rating by opening a new Bank of America credit card and nearly maxing it with a transfer, but the 0% rate for 18 months coupled with ZERO transfer fee makes the ding worth it, if I plan to be CREDIT CARD DEBT-FREE in 18 months.
For having a credit score of 800+, the non-promotional interest rate is insanely high.
I only carry a balance on cards that have low fixed interest rates.
I haven't carried a balance on my Discover Card in over a year. They offered me an insane cashback deal that made me use the card, so I had to zap the balance that was at a modest promotional rate. It was a zero transfer fee for a 5.99% rate that was too high for my liking anyways, but I was intending it to be a temporary transfer from Chase since I couldn't transfer a Chase debt to another Chase card.
Chase used to have decent transfer offers with 2% transfer fees for a 0% rate for 15 months, now they offer for 0% for maybe 12 months with a 3% fee. BOO!
I currently dislike Chase. Not sure if I mentioned their FRAUDULENT ways, but they absolutely suck and I had to spend several hours fixing their mistakes, hence the newest B of A card.
Yes, Chase is on MY ENEMIES LIST.
The Discover Card promotions I have had since 2011 have been rather AWESOME. The card has gotten better, while Chase has gotten worse.
Hard to explain all the details, but Discover has saved me hundreds of dollars and has given me insane amounts of cash back. Chase used to be decent, but they are sad in comparison to Discover.
One day, I'll post about my credit card exploits beyond the fact I average roughly $20K in credit card debt, yet now get way more in cash back than I owe in transfer fees and interest charges. It involves kicking cans and such, but I see the light at the end of the tunnel, thanks to my great employer: FedEx.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Free time makes for discontent

Boredom is the root of all evil.
Sorry, I haven't reflected upon realities beyond my own trivialities, but the blog is a reflection of my own being and I'm a dull person.
Ever notice that people with too much free time make their lives unnecessarily complicated?
Anyways, I had Friday off from work so we could go to Great Wolf Lodge to celebrate my spouse's 40th year of existence. The kids were off, so we worked the day off from our ends, accordingly.
Having the Passat available to take to Tire Discounters for the regular rotation, I scheduled an appointment for Friday morning at 9am. The car's tire rotation taking 90+ minutes is unacceptable in my opinion. I tweeted about it and the store manager called me after I got home. I told him his store sucked. I had too much free time while waiting, thus Tire Discounters is on my Enemy List, according to my family.
Tire Discontenters
The day wasn't ruined, but it started bad. I was hungry by the time I got home, and we had stuff to pack. Around 11am, I called Little Caesar's for the standard Pep, Cheese & Crazy Bread order. They said it would be ready in 10-15 minutes. I got there in 9 minutes and they APOLOGIZED that I would have to wait and offered me a FREE ORDER OF ADDITIONAL CRAZY BREAD.
Seriously, I got there early and they made it seem like it was their fault I had to wait.
I love my local Little Caesar's!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Desktop revival

Having a desktop PC is a trivial thing, but I have re-found my interest in following my family's cash flow. Probably had a lot to do with the lack of income compared to expenditures, but everything looks different on a desktop.
Being married has a number of challenges. Budgeting is something which seems to make most arguments occur. Working more hours at more pay has created an opportunity to finally pay off debts that have been kicked down the road ever since we've been married.
I hadn't followed our checking account since 2014. I'd make sure there was money there, but I stopped projecting towards the following month and estimate how much could be put aside and such.
I have been the secondary income in the family. I had a baseline when I was on unemployment that all of our budgets had been based. When I started making more, my priorities had been my retirement. The debts weren't going anywhere and my debt management skills are wonderful enough to have a great credit score.
Realistically, is there a point where saving towards a 401(k) becomes overkill? I think 31% is that magic number given my circumstances, though I still have an income surplus well beyond my base income set from my unemployment days.
We paid off a car last June, which freed up money to pay off debt, but at the same time we had stuff break and need to be replaced, so the month to month debt seems the the same. We need a month or 2 where we don't spend beyond our normal expenditures, but having extra money means I'm less annoyed when we buy stuff like the new desktop.
Current debt priorities:
  1. Credit Cards
  2. Student Loans
  3. Mortgage
By the time our credit cards are projected to be paid off, I expect my student loans to be close to gone. With the extra money in the budget from not servicing those debts, our mortgage can be taken on aggressively.
It would be great to be debt-free when our children start college, but I'm not sure it's possible given house ownership means replacing stuff regularly and an annual vacation seems to be thing now, but I haven't looked at the actual numbers affecting us with regards to the Trump Tax Cut.