14
   

Hooray!!! Less than $400 (au) left to pay off on my credit card!

 
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Sep, 2009 04:21 am
@mysteryman,
Quote:
Maybe its just me, but I dont have any credit cards, and dont ever plan to.

I was always taught that if I cant pay cash, I dont need it.


Good for you, mysteryman!
And no bad habits to unlearn!

Quote:
Having said that, congrats on getting your cards paid off.Many people go thru life never getting their credit cards paid off.


Only one card, thankfully.

Is that true? Some people carry credit card debts all their lives? Yikes.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Sep, 2009 04:24 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Quote:
I have my normal bankcard ("maestro"), which is a debit card. (With my bank, I've an overcraft with no fees and just really low interest.)


I considered the debit card, Walter. But, you see, if I had the ready cash, I'd have no need for a credit card for possible emergencies! Wink
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Sep, 2009 04:27 am
@parados,
Quote:
No fee card that earns cash back or points of some kind. Pay it off every month so you don't have to worry about how high the interest rate is. Then PAY IT OFF EVERY MONTH or you will have to worry about how high the interest rate is.


I'm not sure there is such a creature as a no fee card in Oz, parados. But if there is, I'm certain someone will enlighten me!
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Sep, 2009 04:27 am
@msolga,
True. But we use it here for shopping as well. (And for emergencies, there's the overdraft.)
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Sep, 2009 04:28 am
@Reyn,
Quote:
We have the Classic Visa Rewards card. No annual fee (wouldn't take anything else). The reward points are nice. I save up 3000 points (quite easy to do) and get a $25 gas gift card. So, I save a bit of money as well.


So you do most of your purchasing by card, Reyn, rather than using cash?
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Sep, 2009 04:36 am
@Robert Gentel,
Quote:
Whoa! Not even shoes? You take this too far msolga!


You wouldn't thinks so if you saw how many pairs of shoes I already own, Robert! Some might describe my attraction to shoes as something of a fetish. Razz

Quote:
I know the feeling. I had nearly $30,000 in credit card debt a little over a year ago. Now I have it down to under $2,000


Wow, how did you do that so quickly? Incredible. I suppose I could ask how one finds oneself with a credit card debt of $30,000, but my manners are better than that! Wink I couldn't sleep if I owed that much!

Thanks for the link. I've checked it out & a few others besides.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Sep, 2009 04:41 am
@roger,
Quote:
They're either spoofing you, or things are different in Australia. In the US, there is no standard "Visa Rate".


I meant "standard rate" for that particular Visa card plan, roger.Turns out it's the most expensive of the Visa options available to me via my bank. I just pottered along for years without paying any attention, or even thinking about it. Yes, I know. I'm a silly sausage! Rolling Eyes
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Sep, 2009 04:44 am
@Reyn,
Quote:
I sense an enormous amount of pride in this accomplishment! Wink Laughing

[clap, clap, clap]


Thank you for the applause, Reyn. Smile
But a $300 debt looks so much nicer to me than the $400 debt of yesterday!
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Sep, 2009 04:54 am
@margo,
Quote:
I think some of the smaller banks, e.g. Bendigo Bank, have decent credit card deals.


Yes, some do, margo. And being a member of one of those smaller banks, I discovered today that I can knock something like 8% off the annual interest rate I'm paying now. Just by changing to a more basic Visa model! I might even be able to transfer my current debt from this card to a new one ... at no cost! Should've done this ages ago!

I spent a bit of time online this morning. This is what Choice had to say.:

http://www.choice.com.au/viewArticle.aspx?id=106909&catId=100296&tid=100008&p=1&title=Don%E2%80%99t+get+bitten+by+the+card+sharks

So I think I'm about to become a black Visa card holder.

0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Sep, 2009 05:01 am
@dlowan,
Quote:
I have just found out my strata fees have doubled!!! I was having trouble paying them before...what I am gonna do now I do not know.

THAT was the money going to pay off my credit card.


Doubled? That's a bit rich!

What an absolute bugger, Deb!
0 Replies
 
Reyn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Sep, 2009 03:45 pm
@msolga,
msolga wrote:
So you do most of your purchasing by card, Reyn, rather than using cash?

Yes, I use our one credit card (Visa, no fee) 99% of the time, if credit card is available. For me, it's a matter of convenience, not having to run to the bank to get cash all the time. I don't like having too much cash at home. In the 30+ years that I've had the card, I've only not paid it off every month, one or two times, and then paid it off after a couple of months, and that was when I first had it.

I rarely use a debit card, as I'm wary about it. There's a lot of scams going around lately with the use of them. Stuff like criminal stealing the scimmed info from a store's card reader. Scary stuff.

At least with a credit card, your liability is limited, if at all, depending on the situation.

msolga wrote:
But a $300 debt looks so much nicer to me than the $400 debt of yesterday!

Every bit helps.

I know our oldest daughter has racked up a fair bit of debt on her card. I worry about it. The interest rates are really highway robbery.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Sep, 2009 04:14 pm
@Reyn,
I don't hesitate to use credit cards. Locally, mostly for gas. Sometimes for groceries. Always for internet orders. I make heavy use of plastic when traveling. Like you, I don't carry large amounts of cash.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Fri 11 Sep, 2009 05:47 pm
@msolga,
msolga wrote:
Wow, how did you do that so quickly? Incredible.


If you are willing to dramatically change your life anyone can do it. One of the main attractions to me in moving to Costa Rica was to be able to drastically lower my living expenses if need be, something I couldn't do as easily in San Diego.

So I went from having a nice car that I was paying outrageous amounts for monthly to a beater that is paid off. I moved to a cheap house, I got my fixed costs lowered and then cut my discretionary spending drastically.

It helped that I made a lot of money back then, but now I don't (small startup business isn't doing as well in this economy) and I'm still able to live below my means on a fraction of the income I used to have.

Basically, I went from having a policy of "make income rise to meet expenditures" (in which I was always a little bit behind the expenditures but was increasing my income fast enough that it didn't hurt me too much) to considering high expenditures to be a yoke around my neck. I wasn't free to go where I wanted if I had car payments and debt to carry around. I had to give up all my things when I moved to another country, and began to see things as a liability and prefer liquidity.

I don't wanna start preaching about my new found fiscal sanity, but it was one of the most dramatic changes in my life. I learned money in the last few years and will never be the same as a result.

Quote:
I suppose I could ask how one finds oneself with a credit card debt of $30,000, but my manners are better than that! Wink I couldn't sleep if I owed that much!


It was not just personal, and included business expenses like server bills. But that doesn't excuse it, the bottom line was that I was going from rags to riches and wasn't being smart about my money.

Now I want to go from riches to freedom, and it means getting control of it all. I only wish I learned this a year or two earlier, I'd be in a very sweet spot if I had this common sense while I was making more money, but money was new to me and I just wasn't very good with it.

Now, I just can't shut up about it, like any ex-____!
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Sep, 2009 06:08 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Quote:
... I had to give up all my things when I moved to another country, and began to see things as a liability and prefer liquidity.

I don't wanna start preaching about my new found fiscal sanity, but it was one of the most dramatic changes in my life. I learned money in the last few years and will never be the same as a result.


Now that's what I'd described as really, really determined! Good for you, Robert. I'm amazed at what you achieved in just one year, really.

Quote:
It was not just personal, and included business expenses like server bills ...


Hmmm. I was hoping that your level of debt wasn't influenced by A2K "factors". I had my suspicions & was going to ask, but thought you might not exactly welcome such an inquiry. Wink

I recall years ago, in the early days of A2K, that you couldn't afford to fix your car because of A2K running costs.

Quote:
Now I want to go from riches to freedom, and it means getting control of it all. I only wish I learned this a year or two earlier, I'd be in a very sweet spot if I had this common sense while I was making more money, but money was new to me and I just wasn't very good with it.

Now, I just can't shut up about it, like any ex-____!


I'd say yours was an extremely swift & steep learning curve, myself! Feel free to rave on about it to your heart's content! Wink
Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Fri 11 Sep, 2009 06:30 pm
@msolga,
msolga wrote:
Hmmm. I was hoping that your level of debt wasn't influenced by A2K "factors". I had my suspicions & was going to ask, but thought you might not exactly welcome such an inquiry. Wink

I recall years ago, in the early days of A2K, that you couldn't afford to fix your car because of A2K running costs.


A2k costs have had their times contributing negatively to my bottom line, but I don't blame it at all for the financial situation I got myself in because the real problem was the fact that I was willing to spend more than I earned. That one factor is all that matters, if you spend less than your income you do fine. And it certainly wasn't all going to support a2k.

Hell, I had a perfectly good car but bought a new one on a whim, I was bored and said that if they could do the paperwork in 30 minutes I'd sign. I didn't bother to negotiate and was just plain stupid with money. Now I fix the pieces falling off my beater with some chewing gum and smile at how I'm not pissing away money on a fancy ride.

None of the costs are at fault, it was the idiot who didn't know money management to blame. When my income gets back up I'm gonna be sitting pretty! And if I didn't learn this lesson before my finances took such a beating I'd be in dire straits right now.

Quote:
I'd say yours was an extremely swift & steep learning curve, myself! Feel free to rave on about it to your heart's content! Wink


Ok, then let me pitch a book. I read it long after I learned the lesson myself, but it struck me as something that would have gotten me thinking about it much earlier if I'd seen it back when I needed it the most because of how well it explained everything.

It's called The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason, it's a short book (less than 150 pages, I read it in a single sitting while waiting for a plane) in parable form, so it's very easy to read. It hammers home the basic principles of money management pretty well, I recommend it for anyone who hasn't learned basic money management (and even to folks who have, just to reinforce the concepts). Especially any kids and teenagers you might know that don't yet get it.

The concepts are simple, but explained forcefully. For example, it says that some of your income should be yours to keep. And by keep it says not spending it on things you want, that makes your income belong to the merchant you spend it with. It should be yours, and work for you. It was a nice way to argue for thrift, because so many people see spending money as doing something nice for themselves, when in reality they are only doing something nice for the merchant most of the time and setting themselves back (especially if they buy it too early, instead of just waiting till their next paycheck to do it without credit).

I used to poo poo thrift, and never wanted to be miserly with anyone, least of all myself. I like being generous, and still am generous, but it wasn't generosity, it was just stupidity. Now I get the relationship of time and money so much better. In the past I only thought of the money, and not the time. I now get that just by manipulating my spends according to time I can have much more money that is mine to keep.

Another thing I want to pitch is personal finance software. I started using it back in the day when I still didn't know how to use money, and it changed my habits way back then. It gave me insight I didn't know about my finances. Even if I didn't use it wisely enough it gave me tracking and projection at a level of detail and control that I just didn't have when not bothering to have budgets and run reports.

I used Microsoft Money back then, and use Pocket Money on my phone now, but there are other good options like mint.com or Quicken online which are both free. Using financial software can really help you understand where your money is going and get better about improving it.

And now I will get off my soapbox.....
roger
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Sep, 2009 06:36 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Good software helps. I happen to use Peachtree. Lots of reasons for most people not to use it, but definately helps me.
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Sep, 2009 06:44 pm
@roger,
A pity that "good software" and accounting software tend not to be mentioned in the same sentence though. I haven't tried Peachtree, I always thought it was for big businesses. But I've heard lots of good things about it.

Unfortunately, I need something that is more portable. I want the data stored on the web, with a mobile app so that I can enter expenses on the fly (instead of emailing myself to remind me to enter it later) and that really cuts the options down. I'm probably going to switch to either Mint.com or Quicken Online as those are the only major options that have software for my phone.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Sep, 2009 07:14 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Quote:
A2k costs have had their times contributing negatively to my bottom line, but I don't blame it at all for the financial situation I got myself in because the real problem was the fact that I was willing to spend more than I earned. That one factor is all that matters, if you spend less than your income you do fine. And it certainly wasn't all going to support a2k.


OK. Just let me say, then (without sounding patronizing, I hope) That I'm very glad that A2K survived, despite those tough financial times .... & that I'm also very glad that your financial position now is so much better than it was then!

Quote:
The concepts are simple, but explained forcefully. For example, it says that some of your income should be yours to keep. And by keep it says not spending it on things you want, that makes your income belong to the merchant you spend it with. It should be yours, and work for you. It was a nice way to argue for thrift, because so many people see spending money as doing something nice for themselves, when in reality they are only doing something nice for the merchant most of the time and setting themselves back (especially if they buy it too early, instead of just waiting till their next paycheck to do it without credit).

I used to poo poo thrift, and never wanted to be miserly with anyone, least of all myself. I like being generous, and still am generous, but it wasn't generosity, it was just stupidity. Now I get the relationship of time and money so much better. In the past I only thought of the money, and not the time. I now get that just by manipulating my spends according to time I can have much more money that is mine to keep.


That certainly makes a lot of sense, Robert. The other important factor, of course, is a strong commitment from the person whose attempting to put those ideas into practice. I think, in my case, I need to put some serious work into this area!
0 Replies
 
margo
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Sep, 2009 06:55 pm
Olga

In today's paper there's a bit of a review of banking and finance - especially mortgages, personal loans and credit cards.

The credit card that came out best is a Mecu (apparently a Victorian Credit Union) Visa - this may be worthwhile having a look at.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Sep, 2009 07:42 pm
@margo,
Thanks, margo.

I'll definitely take a look, but I suspect I'll go for the best (credit card) deal with my current bank. Looks like I've found a much better deal (credit) than I had before, too. Could've had this ages ago if I'd bothered to look! (duh) It just makes things a lot easier for me to have all my banking transaction (savings, credit card & cheque account) under "the same roof", so to speak.
 

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