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Archive for September, 2016

Balance Transfer Card Not So Appealing Now

September 23rd, 2016 at 06:36 pm

Challenge starting balance: $7,545.87
Plus:
- weekly EF savings $35.69
Challenge closing balance: $7,581.56

As written a few days earlier, I finally paid off all of my credit card debt and was looking into earning some sort of reward for using credit cards now.

I linked up my Velocity Rewards account to the credit card as you can earn points, however while I knew the credit card had a high interest rate it is supposed to have 44 interest free days.

So it was completely free of any charges on Wednesday as per the website so I used the card on Wednesday night and repaid the transactions the next day. There was a total cost of $28.72 charged on it (for groceries).

So I have just received my credit card statement and have been charged $0.65 interest??? I don't care about the amount but why have I been charged interest when there was no previous amount owing? Unless I had to wait until the next monthly period before using the card?

I doubt I will want to sit on the phone with the credit card company to discuss $0.65 but I may hold off using the card for the rest of the month and then use the card and see if interest is charged when the card is used again. If interest is charged without the interest free period then I will probably keep the card as an emergency measure only and close it off after a while once I have found a replacement.

Balance Transfer Card Repaid!; Broken Door Lock

September 19th, 2016 at 04:40 am

Challenge starting balance: $7,353.93
Plus:
- weekly EF savings $35.69
- football winnings $46.00
- my FINAL credit card repayment to balance transfer card $110.25
Challenge closing balance: $7,545.87

That day finally came where my final payment to the balance transfer left the bank account! I imagine I will see a zero balance on that card either tomorrow or the day after.

Only $54 left on my normal transactional card to pay by the end of the month, will do this easily. (In a week or so, must get used to using the balance transfer card as a transactional card to accumulate points.)

I'm so glad to be off of that debt cycle where I was getting charged around $58-$62 in interest on a debt I couldn't afford to pay. I'm so glad I just had this moment where I had had enough and wanted things changed asap, and got the balance transfer card and got off the cycle of simply paying interest on things which had long been used up. I appreciate credit cards now because you can have funds available at your disposal no questions asked, but do not ever want to get complacent with paying interest again. I want to be much more careful with it now.

Feeling like I'm in a better place than a year ago, that's for sure. Next month onto saving for a new car! (that I hope to not have to buy for a long time!)

***

I paid the third round of my football wins over to the holiday fund; now owing only $98. Also paid back $124 against the study unit. Study is going well but I'm finding myself a bit time poor and when I get tired, I'm worn out. Luckily this only happens every few days. I'm into week 4 and not doing too badly.

***

On Saturday my car door broke, this time my driver door. This is an ongoing problem; has happened between 5-10 times in the time of car ownership and each time it happens I cannot lock the car until it's fixed. The last time it happened was April last year.

The cost of a new lock was $200 plus some beer as a thank you gift to my father-in-law for fixing it $31. Better than $400 at the mechanic which is the going rate. This is the last time my father-in-law will do it though, as he is getting too old. Next time it will be either B or the mechanic.

Because funds are a little tight I used the additional money I was going to repay on the mortgage to pay for the door lock. Didn't want to draw out from the EF again, once this month was enough ($160 for the sewer blockage).

I really want to get the mortgage down to $115,000 by the end of the year and it looks like all other things going ok, we should be able to.

Credit Card Sorted

September 14th, 2016 at 04:14 am

As written in my previous entry, my credit cards will be repaid in full by the end of the month (woohoo) and I have been trying to work out what to do with them.

My balance transfer card is actually a velocity rewards card (Virgin Airlines), so today I have linked up my credit card to my velocity rewards account, then in October when the debt is completely cleared I will start using it to accumulate points. Obviously paying transactions back as soon as possible to avoid being charged interest.

The annual card fee of $129 is valid for one year to use as a credit against a flight also. I'm interested to see what my points balance in a year will be!

Snowflakes 11/09/16; Credit Card Musings

September 10th, 2016 at 05:28 pm

Challenge starting balance: $6,835.74
Plus:
- weekly EF savings $35.69
- football winnings $48.00
- my credit card repayment to balance transfer card $151.50
- B's credit card repayment to his card $180.00
- extra credit card repayment to his card $103.00
Challenge closing balance: $7,353.93

This week's additions to the challenge are the usual EF savings, plus football winnings for games 4-6 from my team (these were all fairly low wins so could add them all together), plus repayments to both my and B's credit cards.

With my credit cards, I am all set to be officially retired from credit card debt by 30th September. That has a nice ring to it, I must admit!

There are some small transactions on my credit card I use amounting to around $77 for 3/4 of a tank of fuel (which I pay back at $20 per week) plus some cosmetics I needed to buy.

There is the anticipated $110 remaining on my balance transfer card plus I have been charged a $129 annual fee for this card.

Which brings me to reassessing what I want to do with this card after it is paid off at the end of the month.

I had the idea of either earning cashback rewards on various cards after the cards were paid off to actually bring some income in after paying credit card companies interest and whatever charges for so many years; or getting a points card and using it to earn rewards.

Now that I have to pay this $129 I'm thinking I may as well keep this card open for a while to utilise the annual fee paid. I've kind of had a shift in thinking of my thoughts about credit card debt too, so I have to consider that.

The thing is our EF is generally at the moment around $7000 give or take a few thousand. So really the credit cards when they are paid off are technically an asset because they are credit available to be used at any point in time if needed, no questions asked.

So if there was a major emergency ie I suddenly lost my job we would be able to use the cash saved in the EF possibly to pay mortgage and bills and use the credit cards to pay for food and other necessities; and we would most likely have six to nine months emergency money available as opposed to two to three months with the cash only.

Perhaps I might revisit the points/cashback ideas in six months or so. Would need to change at least one credit card in any case. My everyday credit card I use has a 14% interest rate (best rate possible for the big 4 Australian banks) while the balance transfer card has a 21% interest rate - so will need another card to replace that with a much lower rate in the next few months. I could increase the credit available on the 14% card, but really I would rather get a lower rate card from a smaller institution - you can get around 8% cards.

Sorry for the super long post guys, I'm just trying to formulate ideas and plans and put them in writing to refer back to later! Feel free to add any thoughts or suggestions.

With B's card I paid the monthly $180 and then referred the balance against what I had in our debt paydown spreadsheet. According to the spreadsheet his card should be at $3192 - it needed an extra $103 repaid to reach this amount. Next month he will be owing just over $3000.

Snowflakes 01/09/16; End of August

September 1st, 2016 at 01:26 pm

Challenge starting balance: $6,642.80
Plus:
- weekly EF savings $35.69
- football winnings $58.00
- plumber visit -$160.00
- addition to mortgage principal $259.25
Challenge closing balance: $6,835.74

The above transactions took place; weekly EF savings got deposited, I transferred over my team's big win (yay!), withdrew money for the plumber visit and added $259.25 to the mortgage being for June interest $559.25 less $300.

My team is now out of the finals so September is purely making up for the first six wins (if possible).

I also checked the EF balance on the 1st and have updated the sidebar. The mini EF is looking a little small because it is $2771.16 less $1445.94, less $192.00 (however on the upside thanks to the big win we are now below owing $200). Must get the tax return lodged and the $1073 back!

The maxi EF (the shares) dropped about $100. The MXI shares which I bought at $0.585 spent a couple of months well below what I bought them for- around $0.45, which I was not thrilled about. On 31st August though they raised up to $0.61 which is a bit of a relief.

The QBE shares which are the bigger portion (think $3200 compared to MXI $600) instead have dropped down! They are currently around $9.97- the average price I have bought them for is $10.70.

The main thing is, even if there is not a profit at the moment, there is no big loss.

***

September is a huge bills month - we are looking at around $1500 in bills which will stretch us. We could pay them but cannot also save our usual 10%, which doesn't thrill me.

I'm thinking I'd rather we pay half this month, half next month as we have no bills really in October. Then in November we start paying the monthly averaged amount of $4011. Much less stressful that way.