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Archive for February, 2006

Freecycle

February 28th, 2006 at 12:21 am

Anyone here Freecycle? I'm finding that to be a rather interesting experience. In a lot of ways, it depresses me. I hate it when several people respond and I have to choose who gets something! Most of the things I have offered so far have been things of need, mostly clothes. A few days ago I responded to an ad from a girl asking if anyone had some full size sheets - they didn't have ANY. We were fortunate enough to get a new bed last summer, and didn't need most of our full size sheets anymore. She just stopped by to get them a few minutes ago. Wow, I don't think I've ever met anyone so quiet and softspoken!! She seemed really grateful to have the sheets. That made me sad!! Guess I have always taken my sheets for granted. I have the ones I need! I feel good I was able to help someone out, but boy is it depressing to know someone needed something so basic.

Yesterday I offered up my husband's "old" jacket. It's a fake leather jacket and he bought it after Christmas 2004 for $11. It was a steal! He's so sensitive and any little thing out of place irritates him. The collar started bothering him, so he bought an almost identical (this time real leather) jacket for $25 on clearance. Two people responded, so how do I choose? I finally just went with my gut and picked the one that seemed right to me. If the guy doesn't show up to get it, I'll just offer it to the other person who wanted it. That reminds me I have an extra winter jacket I don't need anymore. I'm sure someone out there needs it!

On a happier Freecycle note: I posted a wanted ad for a 2 drawer filing cabinet for my mother. Wow, someone offered me one today! I go pick it up tomorrow night. Can't wait to see what a light blue filing cabinet looks like. I think my mom will be thrilled! I can't wait to tell her. Now I just need to plan a trip to drop it off. She's 150 miles north - in NH. This is great since we don't have to buy one. One person's trash certainly is another person's treasure.

Debt Concerns

February 26th, 2006 at 08:45 pm

Here are my current debt concerns:

$7500 on a CC - this contains debt that would have been paid off until we were forced to move and decided to buy our condo. Part of it is the remainder of my car loan that I transferred to 0%. I do have the money to pay off this portion, but I don't want to move it from high interest savings if I can float longer. Currently floating at 0% until July.

$1200 on a CC - this contains car repairs and dental work. I have to prepay my dental work, then get reimbursed by insurance and my flexible spending account. I DO go to a dental school and pay 1/3 the cost (for better service in my opinion) of a conventional dentist. Currently floating at 0% until August.

$33000 in consolidated student loans - I am not sure when these will be paid off since I can't login to my account at the moment. These are not my only student loans! I currently pay over $600 per month in student loans ($300 for this one alone). This is my biggest budget killer! We make "decent" money, but I don't know anyone who pays this much each month on student loans.

$4800 student loan @ 10.5% - I currently pay $75.00 per month. This amount will increase each year and has an expected payoff of 9/1/12. I haven't quite figured out how to better deal with this loan yet.

Debts I feel I have under control:

$1335 for a loan my mom took out for my education. $100 per month w/interest currently at 5.1%. This will be paid off by Feb. 2007 - maybe sooner! My mother can't afford to pay this loan, so I'll pay it off.

$5900 for my husband's student loans I transferred to a 4.99% rate. I continue to pay $155 per month and will have this paid off 4 years and at least SEVEN THOUSAND dollars sooner than the original loan. Original loan was 14.25% variable!!


We do have a mortgage that I don't feel is a problem at the moment. We use a cash back credit card for all purchases and pay this in full each month.

My current priorities are the first two credit cards I mentioned, followed by getting rid of my mother's loan. I don't have a plan set in stone for either of these yet!

Military Deployment

February 26th, 2006 at 08:13 pm

Last July my brother (24 years old) finally decided to do something with his life, so he enlisted in the Army. He seems to really enjoy it, so I'm happy for him. He deploys for Afghanistan next week, either the 6th or 7th of March. He was really looking forward to going at first, but I think now he's getting a little nervous about it. He told me the other night he can't wait to come back home. This will be quite a change for him since before the army he was only familiar with his life at home in NH where we grew up.

I have access to all of his bank accounts and he's supposed to be setting up power of attorney - just in case it's ever needed. The only bill he currently has is his cell phone. He still needs to talk to them about suspending that for a while. I can't imagine a company would be stupid enough to not allow something like that for a military member. He hasn't called to ask though since he was afraid they'd shut off his phone earlier than he wanted them to.

I need to talk to him about moving his money to a high interest savings account while he's gone. If it's going to just sit there for a while, it might as well be working for him!

Introduction

February 26th, 2006 at 08:00 pm

I've been a member of Saving Advice for quite a while. I've finally decided that starting a blog might be a good idea for me. It might do some good for me to "write" down some of my thoughts-even if no one reads the stuff!

My husband and I have been married for a little over four years. We've been together for over seven years, and I've been managing the finances for almost as long. I inform him of the things he needs to know about and I take care of the rest myself. I know according to some "experts", this isn't the way to do things, but it's the only way it works for us. He wants nothing to do with the household budget and I always obsess about ways to improve things! We both work full time and certainly have everything we NEED.

I consider myself to have a VERY good handle on financial matters. Several people I know think I should make a career change and become a financial planner. Not something I feel I have enough knowlege for - maybe someday though! Right now I have my hands full with my finances as well as advising my mother and brother.

I will write more about my fiancial concerns for myself and my family in separate entries.

Thanks for reading!