Sunday, March 01, 2009

Updates for March -

Temporary Transfer Rates Bite you in the Butt
I had transferred a balance to a low rate card for a specific time frame that I thought would have been no problem paying off before. Of course, that was prior to the latest changes in our financial situation.

I thought with the hours we were pulling I would have had it paid off in a couple of months. I thought with the extra money coming in that I would have killed off two of the small debts by mid year. What's the lesson learned? Don't think? NO! I guess, it's to plan for the worst case scenario and if you are able to do best case instead at least your backside is covered.

I wound up taking some savings and paying off the smallest credit card of $1,900. The new finance charges were a joke. Here's how the credit card companies get rich (in case you haven't noticed already) - Min payment due: $35.00, Finance charges added to the account: $26.00. Paying $9.00 towards principle will keep that card there FOREVER. Dumb. I can't wait until these cards are paid for!

March Budget - Back to the Basics
I started Dave Ramsey in July of 2007, prior to that I had built a budget - but it was for bills - not for life spending (doctors, clothes, groceries, hair cuts, etc). I found some of my old "budgets" and realized all of what I had learned since I found Dave. I have been credit card free since July of 2007 also as a result.

So my husband and I are on shortened hours. Actually, my husband has been using his vacation days to "fill" the missing hours of his paycheck. Sooner or later that will run out, so I am hoping we get back on track. I have built the March budget to be as lean as lean can be. I'm trying to exhaust all options before I do any panicking. There's discussions of mortgage adjustments and crazy things like 40 year mortgages. I don't want to do anything drastic that doesn't need to be done.

Obviously, we are still on minimum payments on our debts. The Snowball has been stuck on the hill for quite some time now and it's pretty depressing to just see it hover there. It was so much more fun to be paying these down rapidly. Looking at the new numbers monthly was exciting as well as rewarding.

Finding Happiness in a Gloomy Time:
In what would be a depressing time in my life, I have found some perks. I have been reuniting with old friends from a simpler time in my life and while some of them are doing so much better than I am, a bunch are living the same life I am. It's been a good distraction and has kept me from staring at numbers that don't change and beating my head against the wall for things that aren't changing fast enough. Thank God for those minor distractions!