Friday, 29 February 2008

Gives With One Hand And Takes With The Other

Remember how happy I was when my bank increased the interest rate on my online savings account?

It was of course a glimmer of hope in sea of bad news about rising interest rates here in Australia. However, that bad news has caught up with me and the same bank has now increased the interest rate on my personal loan too. It was so great while it lasted those few heady days in February...

This of course increases my minimum monthly payment, which reduces my ability to save anything in that high interest savings account with all it's delightful extra interest rate!

My personal loan now has the second highest rate of all my debts, which at 14.2% is more than all my credit cards except one. (That one is both my highest interest rate and lowest balance, so it's my focus debt at the moment)

With that in mind, and a strong desire to achieve as many of my 2008 financial goals as possible I've decided to permanently increase the amount I’m paying off my loan each month. One my goals was to get my loan balance under $20,000. The minimum payment has jumped to just $4.00 less than I’m paying now (I was paying an extra $10-15 per month since the beginning) and won't come close to achieving that goal.

After crunching the numbers I’ll be increasing the loan payment to $700 ( was $570) per month from March. This means I can set it to be paid monthly, comfortable in the knowledge that I’ll easily meet one of my goals for the year. This change alone will save me over $1000 in interest over the term of the loan, even without taking my debt snowball and snowflaking into account. It will make a bit of a dent in my snowball amount, I still have one, it's just smaller for the credit cards.

How are your goals for 2008 tracking so far?

Subscribe in a reader or Subscribe via email

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

The Mail Is In And The News Is Good!

I received my dividend cheques for my company shares in the mail today. I was expecting $678.14, so imagine my delight when I added them up:

  • $137.10
  • $89.19
  • $109.93
  • $194.68
  • $60.99
  • $54.81
  • $64.53
  • $56.80
  • $157.35
  • $39.02

and they came to $964.40. Nothing like a $286.26 snowflake to make a girl’s day! As soon as I get a chance this week, it’s off to the bank to bank them so I can put it all towards paying off debt.

I don’t think there’s anything more important when trying to eliminate debts (for me anyway) than taking full advantage of any windfalls that come your way to get yourself into a better position.

I also received a letter from one of my banks offering to switch me over to a gold card with a pre-approved limit that’s $3000 more than I have now. It was such a great feeling to not be tempted for even a moment.

Things are looking better than they have for a while now financially.

Subscribe in a reader or Subscribe via email

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Link Building Meme...

Iowahippiechick tagged me with a link building meme...

I have randomly selected 5 other bloggers to be tagged and I hope that you will similarly publish this post in your blog. You will have to tag 5 other bloggers and just keep adding on to the list. (Do not replace, just keep on adding!)

It’s really easy way to build your community and make new friends!

The Strategist Notebook ~ Link Addiction ~ Ardour of the Heart ~ When Life Becomes a Book ~ The Malaysian Life ~ ~ What goes under the sun ~ Roshidan’s Cyber Station ~ Sasha says ~ Arts of Physics ~ And the legend lives ~ My View, My Life ~ A Simple Life ~ Juliana RW ~ Mom Knows Everything ~ Beth & Cory's Mom ~ A Mind Forever Voyaging~ enjoying the ride ~ Jennifer's thoughts ~ Mom of 3 Girls ~ Amanda ~ Don't Make Me Get The Flying Monkeys ~ ExPat Mom ~ Just Jessie ~ Wilson Six ~Krisitn ~ Nuttier Than You ~ Shonnte ~ Summer's Nook ~ Laura Williams Musings ~ Melissa's Idea Garden ~ Confessions of an Everyday Housewife ~ Blah Blah Blog ~ Stop the Ride! ~Soap, Blings & Girly Things ~ It's All for the Best ~ Keeping Feet ~ Junky Love in Freehand ~ Getting Out of Debt ~ Free From Broke ~ Money Matters ~ Arohan's Investing Life ~ My Investing Blog ~ Finance and Fat ~ Iowahippiechick ~ MakingMoneyJournal ~ ~ Life Liberty & The Pursuit Of Money ~ Making Cents Of Debt ~ DebtDiet

Thanks for including me Iowahippiechick, I'd like to tag:

Subscribe in a reader or Subscribe via email

Thursday, 14 February 2008

I’m A Uni Student!

I’ve just completed enrolment for the next semester. I'm enrolled for two subjects, Marketing Theory and Practice, and Introduction to Management.

The subjects cost $710 each for the semester, so $1420.00, plus an additional $231.02 for the textbooks (including delivery). I’ll get 50% of this back from work as part of my paid education perk, and the rest once I complete the subjects with at least a pass grade.

I’m really looking forward to studying again. It’s been a while, and as the course is so targeted at what I’m doing at work, it’s going to be helpful as I learn, not at the end of it all. Not to mention it’s a great reason to be at home on the weekends studying, instead of going out and blowing all my money!

A question now. Is it ethical to sell on those textbooks at the end of the semester if work has actually paid for them, or not? What do you think? I believe I could get 75% of their value back from what I’ve seen around the University online forums.

I wonder if I should eat 2 minute noodles (ramen) every night as well, to experience the full student experience. ;-)

Subscribe in a reader or Subscribe via email

Monday, 11 February 2008

Ongoing Moving Issues

My old real estate agent is claiming $297 in cleaning costs, $132 for general cleaning and $165 for carpet cleaning. Quite reasonable, until you realised I’d paid an end of lease cleaners $345 to do those things the day I moved out!

I moved out on the 4th January remember, and this has only come up as I’d initiated getting my bond (secuiry deposit for the non Aussies) back 10 days ago as they’d done nothing about it.

So I’ve got the cleaner sending me a receipt (I didn’t get one at the time), and the old real estate sending me the end of lease inspection report outlining all their issues with the place so I can go from there.

One of his comments was interesting, he claims he couldn’t see the lines in the carpet from the carpet cleaner, but I saw the guy actually doing the carpets. So it’s the marks they look for, not that they’re actually cleaned?

It’s most likely going to mean I need to pay the old real estate the $297 so I can get my bond back, and then chase the cleaners for compensation or a refund. Seems I might have been better off not getting it cleaned at all and then just paying the agent to have it cleaned by his people. What a waste of money.

Something to note for future reference though, get the real estates preferred cleaner to do the work next time so they’ll be happy with the results.

So that’s money that won’t be going to pay down debt or fund my emergency account this month…

Subscribe in a reader or Subscribe via email

Friday, 8 February 2008

Interest Rates Going Up - Not All Bad News

I received an email from St George today, advising that due to the Reserve Bank of Australia increasing their cash rate, my directsaver (their version of an online ING style account) will be passing on the increase.

Effective the 18th February 2008, I’ll get a variable interest rate of 6.75%p.a.

I use these types of accounts for my holiday and emergency funds so I’ll be looking to restock them as quickly as possible to take advantage of it.

No doubt I’ll have any benefit taken away with yet another rise in my credit card interest rates across the board, but I’ll wait for that to happen before I worry.

Subscribe in a reader or Subscribe via email

Monday, 4 February 2008

When It Rains It Pours

After a full 24 hours of rain on Sunday I tuned on the TV last night to watch the new season show launches and after several loud cracks my TV died. Completely dead, the tube has gone. I didn’t get to watch a thing.

Assuming it’s the tube as (that’s where the sounds were coming from and it's gone black), is it worth fixing? Probably not. The TV is over 9 years old and had done me proud, so I wouldn’t think they even make parts for it any more?

So I need a new TV, and fast. It’s such a big part of my home entertainment, and has been free (other than electricity costs) up til now.


I have a hot lead on a new 40" LCD though; one of the guys at work used to work for Samsung and is still able to get them at cost. I’ll do some comparison shopping online today to see what the retail price is and how much I'd save that way. A shiny white one is so appealing after a lifetime of black or gray ones.

The other alternative would be to buy one second hand through the Trading Post or on EBay.

Any thoughts on how I should purchase my new TV?

Other than ‘with cash’ of course, that goes without saying! :-)

Subscribe in a reader or Subscribe via email

Friday, 1 February 2008

The Ugly Truth – Day 95

The Ugly Truth

  • Personal Loan - $24187
  • Credit Card 1 - $7125
  • Credit Card 2 - $7293
  • Credit Card 3 - $6318
  • Credit Card 4 - $12033
  • Credit Card 5 - (paid in full)
  • Credit Card 6 - $3998
  • Credit Card 7 - $882
  • Emergency Fund - $0
  • Savings - $0

Total = $61,836
Debt reduced from last month = -$5969
Debt reduced from Sep 2007 = -$5064

I’m really feeling two steps forward, three steps back at the moment.

December and January were incredibly costly with the moving costs topping out at over $5000 once I factored in bond/rent (I essentially paid 12 weeks rent in January and the rent on my old place); plus the car repairs at $730 destroying my fledgling emergency fund and debt snowball for January. Credit card #4 was also a bit of a shock to be honest, I didn't think I'd used it as much as I obviously have. Ouch

I haven’t got my bond back as yet from my old place, which doesn’t help my numbers of course, I’m expecting it in the next two weeks which will make a decent impact for next month.

February has been decreed ‘Frugal February’ for me, I’m determined to get my numbers down as much as possible. I really want to get Card #7 cleared, the interest rate is 18.75%. I wasn’t able to get its entire balance transferred over to Card #1 as they can only transfer up to 95%.

Roll on payday.

Subscribe in a reader or Subscribe via email