It reminded me a lot of a phone call I made on July 1st, 2009. That was the day I enrolled in the debt consolidation program
Hopefully, you have disability insurance, either through a group/employer, or individually. Let's explore the basics of disability insurance, including a few things to beware of.
Now that we have completed our debt consolidation program, my wife and I are finally able to look at doing some things that we had delayed as we made our final sprint towards the finish line.
Many people believe that you cannot do anything with the over ripe or almost expired foods that you find at the discount rates in the grocery store. However, the fact is you can save a great deal of money purchasing these items on a regular basis.
Had we been more diligent in determining how much we needed to send for our final payment we would have not had to deal with this situation at all. That being said, you would think that the credit card company representatives would be able to answer simple questions about how their overpayment refund process works.
We know we should have made changes. I know we should have changed our withholdings to increase the amount of taxes taken from each paycheck. In Vonnie's case we may have had to dictate a specific amount to be taken out of each check.
This time I'd like to talk about things that I did each and every month to make sure that everything was on track and running smoothly.
With accounts at different institutions and bills with varying due dates, budgeting is difficult.
All together we spent about two and a half hours discussing out finances. Our discussions on non-payday weeks are a little shorter, but it is a fairly accurate representation of how long we discuss our finances each week.
Sometimes, they would all start singing old songs and a few would actually dance. Everyone brought something to share - lemonade, cookies, popcorn balls - lots of super good stuff. This could go on until 10 or so which was timed with when their houses cooled down from the summer heat. No central air conditioning in those times and most did not even have a window fan.
But even as that final withdrawal was taken from our account, I didn't cue the trumpets just yet. I wanted to see all my creditor balances at zero. On Friday, February 7th our payments had all posted, and we were officially DONE, and $109,000 of credit card debt was officially GONE
I was very upfront with the banker, telling him everything about our credit card debt, and our enrollement in debt consolidation plan. After reviewing our information, including our income and debts he thought we had a good chance at being able to get the interest rate lowered on our line of credit.
The bureau just released two bulletins for the industry, reminding debt collectors to avoid misleading consumers about how paying off debts will impact their credit worthiness, credit reports and credit scores.
I can say now that it was the best financial decision my wife and I have ever made, but at the time it wasn't so cut and dried. Although I'm rather transparent about our journey here in the CareOne Community, we kept it a secret from our friends and family for a very long time.
Between your credit card and insurance policies, you could save yourself some serious money on travel insurance.
Paying back our credit card debt through our monthly program payment took a huge chunk of money out of our budget. We are constantly looking for ways to cut costs and save money.
Those were the days before strip malls, WalMart super centers and even indoor malls. Absolutely everyone gathered for late night shopping each Friday and we all knew the store owners and workers by their first names.
Once we make that last payment, we gain control over our money for the very first time in our adult lives.
Those we've got in the bag. But there are a lot of lesser-known actions that can affect your financial situation, too. In fact, there are some that are just downright strange. And not knowing about them could get you into trouble, financially speaking.
The appraisal came in roughly where we thought it would, and we were full steam ahead. Our banker then dealt us a blow by telling us that our ability to move forward depended upon underwriting approving our mortgage application. If we were approved, the appraisal fee would be returned at closing.
Start by FOCUSING on the changes you feel you may be able to make quickly. Don't take on too much at first.
Over the last year, I've honed those skills and learned some new skills to keep our weekly grocery bill on point.
Some people have a penchant for recklessly spending cash. Others have no control with credit cards.
For the last eighteen months I've been hoping that the van will make it until we complete the program, so that we'd be in a better financial state to buy a new vehicle. It was almost a foregone conclusion that we would make the last payment, hang up the phone, and drive immediately to a dealership to pick out a new vehicle. Now that we're almost there, I could care less about having a new van. I just want this one to last as long as possible.
If you are still reeling from the holiday shopping and have sworn off spending any more money, you might want to reconsider to take advantage of some super discounted sales during the month of January.
In addition to the blogs, be sure to check out the new CareOne Groups:
Are you finally out on your own and figuring out how to balance your finances? If so, this is the group for you. In Starting Out, you can talk about the challenges you are dealing with in a group of like-minded people.
Do you feel like you are finally understanding what being a "grown-up" is all about and are settling into your adult life? If so, this is the group for you. In Settling In you can connect with others who are just like you.
Struggling to balance all that an established lifestyle has to offer? The balancing it all group is for you. Discuss the challenges you face when your responsibilities at work, at home and with family and friends all compete for your attention.
Are you currently retired or planning on retiring very soon? If so, this is the group for you. Times have changed and so has retirement. Learn how others are redefining retirement.