Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween. Bah humbug.

Halloween has never been my favorite holiday. Too much pressure to come up with the best costume. Too many decisions on how much candy to buy.

This year I've decided not to partake. As in, the porch light is staying off and the doorbell will be ignored. Don't worry. We live in an older neighborhood and most of the neighbors are seniors. We have never gotten more than a handful of trick-or-treaters anyway - some years none at all.

And since candy isn't in the budget - and would end up mostly being eaten by me - I didn't buy any.

So there.

Bah humbug.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

A wedding, a late fee, and progress

My daughter got married this weekend. The weather was perfect, the bride was gorgeous and the wedding beautiful. I have spent this week catching my breath ... and washing bunches of votive candle holders that I need to return to a friend.

In all the excitement, I forgot to pay a bill ... so I am going to have to come up with the late fee. It pains me to have to pay that - it's been a long time since I've had a late fee.

On the bright side, I paid a couple of bills - on time - and our debt total fell under $140,000! See, if you feel bad about your debt, I'm always here to make you feel better!


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Hey CarMax - you're history!

Our CarMax account now says "Account Closed. Balance $0. And we paid it off nine months early!

If I could do a cartwheel, I would!


Monday, October 1, 2012

I want to live like that!

My across-the-street neighbor popped in the other day to rant about Wells Fargo. Mind you, she hasn't a clue about our financial situation, but we've been neighbors for 17 years. She is an at-home mom with one teenager at home and another at an in-state university. I would guesstimate that our household incomes are fairly similar. We live in a modest neighborhood, and we both drive our cars into the ground.

But back to the rant. She said her husband had stopped by the ATM to get some cash and called her asking why their checking account balance was so low. She had no idea, so she went online to look. Turns out Wells Fargo had made a mistake and added a zero to a payment. But that's not what left me with my mouth hanging open.

While she's telling me this, she says "And there was only $1,700 left in the checking account!" Seems the check she had written for $800 to pay a bill had been debited from her account in the amount of $8,000. And AFTER that much was taken out, she STILL had $1,700 in her account! Holy Cow!!! Is this how other people live??

But I started thinking. If things had turned out differently for us, and we didn't owe everybody in the universe, maybe we'd have a healthy bank account, too. That's the goal, right? We have a decent income. It should be more than enough to cover our expenses. And it would, if we didn't have all these debts. I can't even imagine having that much money sitting around with no place to go. Although even when we are out of debt, I don't expect to have thousands sitting around in a checking account tempting us to spend.

But how great will it be when a bank error only irritates us and doesn't send us over the edge?