Monday, October 30, 2006

Healthy and Cheap Too!

So its been about two months; I've started exercising regularly and I have to say that I am pleased with how it is going. I feel much better about myself and I am noticing that I am not quite as out of shape as I used to be. Of course, there is a long way to go still, but I think that I am on the right track.

Figuring out why I didnt like exercising was pretty much three reasons:
 - I didn't have a good time to go. Before work was too early, and going to work out after work was stressful when all I wanted to do was chill out and eat something after work.
 - The idea of paying for a gym membership also drove me nuts because I never used it. I really didn't need my gym membership.

So, recently, I rescued a weight bench from someone's basement and I've started exercising. Slowly but surely it is working. I can do it when I am in the mood or if I am bored. It cost me nothing. And best of all, it is convenient and impossible to ignore since I walk by it on my way to the garage and when doing laundry. One of the keys to dedicating time to something is to have it appear in your field of vision each day. Now lets just hope I can stick with it.

Friday, October 27, 2006

ING Referrals Up

Well, I used to put the ING referrals up by hand, but now I have put up a box on the right hand side of my layout so you can just enter your email and ask for a referral link. This is much more efficient instead of having to repost them when/if they expire. So, let me know if you want a link.
In other news, I've switched to a blogger beta™ account which I like much better since the tagging available and I like my non-standard layout now too. Maybe I will get around to creating a banner for myself soon too. That would be good.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Man With A Plan

Well, I have figured out a plan to start tackling the next debt. It calls for about 340 dollars per month going toward this debt. The difficult thing will be sticking to it through the long haul. If the income side of things continues as I am forecasting, and I am being conservative here, then I will be doing this routine for about 19 months. That assumes no major changes or shifts in the meantime.

Of course, there is always a chance that more work could come in faster, but I dont want to plan on that. So, for right now, the plan is to have this student loan paid by the end of June 2008. I'll work like heck to get it paid off before then, but I am curious if I will be able to make it or not :)

The one thing that I havent figured out yet is whether or not a 0% interest credit card transfer is something I should try for or not. By my calculations, in less than 6 months I will be down to something like $25 dollars or less in monthly interest. I just wonder if the potential ding to my credit score and balance transfer fee makes it worth it. I'm also concerned that by doing a transfer I will force myself into a higher payment which reduces cashflow for emergencies.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Time To Refocus

Well, the unbelievable has happened; the absolute final credit card payment was sent and now I am wondering what is next. For the past several months I have been saying that we are working toward the credit card debt getting paid off but now I am looking at our other debt and it would be great to get that paid off too. So the question is, what is next?

I currently have three student loans but one of them is a very high interest rate (it might as well be a credit card; its a variable rate that currently is squatting at 8.5%) whereas one of the others has no interest and the third loan is tax deductible and I get the full benefit of that deduction every year. So, that makes the next target my student loan. I just wish the balance wasnt so much. Right now it hovers somewhere around 6500 dollars, but that seems like it will take forever to payoff.

Currently I am taking extra money that I earn on the side and throwing gobs of it at this debt, but it still seems like it will take a long time to be free of it. But in reality, when I look at others like Tricia at Blogging Away Debt, it doesn't seem like that much debt at all.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Busted! Why you should check your Bank Statements, promptly

This past week I was getting ready for the year end madness with my taxes by reviewing my business checking account and figuring out what was deductible and so forth. The bad news, I discovered was that last winter in Janaury, I went out to eat at a bar in Boston. However, the amount that the bar charged me seems too high. Given that the account did not have much activity on it for several months during this time of year, I got lazy and wasn't keeping track of it.

Figuring out if there was an error should be easy, I thought. I will check with my bank and try to get a receipt. Well, it turns out that any charges on my bank statement must be disputed or questioned within 60 days or there is nothing that can be done. So, the nice customer service rep at my local branch explained the situation to me and now I believe I might be out 40 bucks. Again, not the end of the world, and I've learned one valuable lesson about keeping up on my account statements. At 40 dollars, maybe that is getting off cheap.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Free 3.00 Starbucks Card

So, my plan is working perfectly.
Some of the highlights this month include:

1. Started a ROTH IRA
2. Opened a separate investment account at an online brokerage
3. Finishing up the last credit card payment this month.

I will continue to work extra and save money in this way for retirement and I will be grateful for the compound interest when I am fifty and have a nice nest egg.

In other news, this morning outside of South Station Bank of America was giving away free $3.00 Starbucks cards to promote $0 equity trades given certain conditions/qualifiers.

I won't be trading there, but I'll take the free gift!