Thursday, January 22, 2009

January Debt

Happy New Year! I wish for everyone a debt free 2009! I was just paid my bonus of 10k. Although it was reduced because of a horrible economy, I'm just happy I got something! Maybe if things get better this year, it'll increase dramatically next year! After paying down some debt and putting the rest in savings, here is my new debt total:

Citibank 1- $0 (Paid off!)
Chase - $5,000
Citibank 2 - $4,500
Discover - $3,500
Stafford - $6,761.87

Total debt: $19,761.87

Not too shabby! Last month I was at a little over 21k! It's dropping slowly, but surely! I'm thrilled to have paid off the Citibank card.

I have decided to close the Citibank card. The @%%@@%^@!! decided it was time to raise my rate to about %21.99!!!! Can you believe it? I've owned this card since 1994, always made my payments on time, charged at least $1,000 a month, and this is how they thank me?! The part that really kills me is that I have another Citibank card, in which they did not touch! I was fuming! I called them and told them I am opting out. This basically means that I do not accept the new rate, and that once the card expires, it will be closed for good. I'm not giving them any more money! And when I paydown or transfer the other Citibank card balance, I'm cancelling that as well. I decided they do not need my business any longer and thus, I will be flipping them the bird. Good bye you jerks! So much for a bailout, huh?

Because my balance transfer rates are going to expire in march, I'm moving some money around. First, I will transfer out the Chase balance to the Citibank card. The transfer fee is 3% of the balance, at 0% until the end of the year. But wait! We're not finished. Since the Citibank transfer rate is also expiring, I will be moving all that money back into the Chase card at .99% apr until around march 2010. There's a 3% fee as well, but capped at $199. Then, I will move the discover card balance to the Chase card. That way, I have it all on the Chase card. I will paydown the balances a bit more, and pay off the balance transfer fees next.

Since i'm closing my other Citibank card, I will no longer have the balance transfer option, except to the discover card and my amex card. I'm hoping this will motivate me to aggressively pay it down. It's a bit of a risk, but it'll give me that sense of urgency, correct? Besides, I think having 3 credit cards is more than sufficient.

On to Goal #2 :Pay off charges from the month of April 2008. These are the charges I have from April:

4/8/08 - $600 Expenses from Amsterdam
4/9/08 - $700 Expenses from London
4/22/08 - $700 Clutch replacement on my Honda (gotta love these cars!)

Total: $2,000

I will pay these off with money left over on my paychecks. In addition to doing this every paycheck, I will also make weekly payments to charges made under $100. I have about 15 of these, in all, these should be completed by end of April. That's my goal. I also will pay all new finance charges to make the numbers round.

Wish me luck!

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