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> My Two Cents: Saving, Debt, Finances
treehugger
post Aug 22 2008, 07:03 PM
Post #81


cryostat bitch
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Posts: 1,717


Question for all yous moneywise Busties!!!

I have to get into a brief history here.

I own a condo, in a building where there are 93 condos...and my condo is one of eight at the "top" rung of the building...top floor, largest floor plan, corner unit, skylights, most square footage, etc.

On top of that, my condo faces the "good" side of the building, meaning it has a good view, as opposed to the ones facing the other side, which look out onto a freeway and a parking lot.

Soo, I am thinking I may not be able to afford to keep it, if the condo fees keep going up. Long story, but the fees for me have almost tripled in the past two years. (it was restructured to be based on square footage, where it used to just be divided by 93 and everybody paid the same fees)

I am inheriting money, enough money to either pay off about 1/5 of my mortgage, or to upgrade my kitchen. I do have a decent interest rate on the mortgage.

I am thinking I want to upgrade my kitchen, to make my condo easier to sell. Am I being counterproductive? I guess I am thinking, the kitchen in this place is kind of standard builder's grade...and if I upgrade to premium appliances, rework the floor plan, etc, give the kitchen some "Oooomph", that maybe it will increase my resale value.....


Not that I am PLANNING to sell. But, I am hedging my bets, and thinking the probability is up around 50%.

I should also mention that Madison has a bit of a glut in condos.

Input???


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Christine Nectar...
post Aug 22 2008, 01:28 PM
Post #82


Hardcore BUSTie
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Posts: 598
From: Toronto


QUOTE(erinjane @ Aug 22 2008, 01:00 PM) *
Setting up RRSP's is easy and I think worth it. I started contributing to my own when I was 19. For the last 4 years I've been putting in $20 a month because I've been a student. It's small but it ads up. When I start working my hours I plan on upping it to $50 twice a month. I just called up my credit union and asked to have an appointment with a financial adviser and he got me all set up. I think he was surprised when this teenage girl showed up at his office.


yeah, so far we are making regular contributions to our high-interest savings account. definately think that RRSP's are a good idea, but they are such a long term investment, i want to be ethically on board.
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erinjane
post Aug 22 2008, 12:00 PM
Post #83


Hardcore BUSTie
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Posts: 1,301
From: Winnipeg


Setting up RRSP's is easy and I think worth it. I started contributing to my own when I was 19. For the last 4 years I've been putting in $20 a month because I've been a student. It's small but it ads up. When I start working my hours I plan on upping it to $50 twice a month. I just called up my credit union and asked to have an appointment with a financial adviser and he got me all set up. I think he was surprised when this teenage girl showed up at his office.


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vixen_within
post Aug 22 2008, 11:26 AM
Post #84


Hardcore BUSTie
***
Posts: 359
From: fair verona/canada


I don't know much about that but am interested too, Christine, in a vague, don't have enough to save, way.


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Christine Nectar...
post Aug 22 2008, 10:03 AM
Post #85


Hardcore BUSTie
***
Posts: 598
From: Toronto


anyone here know much about SRI's (socially responsible investing)
i've been noticing that a lot of credit unions seem to be into this, but i'm looking for as much info as i can get. we'd like to set up some RRSP's.

any advice/info appreciated!
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geekchickknits
post Aug 22 2008, 08:35 AM
Post #86


Hardcore BUSTie
***
Posts: 319


I love ING Direct. I put money in the account, and I don't spend it. After just over a month, I already have over $400 in my savings account. It may not seem like a lot, but the balance before I started saving was $4.76.
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geekchickknits
post Aug 5 2008, 11:16 PM
Post #87


Hardcore BUSTie
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Posts: 319


Faerie, I know lots of people who've done that. It seems to work out because they usually get a higher paying job with their MAs and then they can pay off that loan quickly.

(((((debt reduction vibes)))))
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faerietails
post Aug 2 2008, 01:03 AM
Post #88


donut-lovin' heathen
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Posts: 624


Yeah. I know this sounds kind of bad (considering I just got my MA last May), but a huge factor in me going for my second master's right now (in addition to the fact that I'll be able to actually find work once I graduate), is that I knew I'd get a lot of financial aid back that would let me pay off some of these credit card bills PLUS stall my student loan payments a couple more years while I try to get back on my feet. Since I'll be a full-time student again, I'll be able to get that full-time student forbearance.

That's pretty awful, getting into more debt in order to pay off your high-interest debt (...and earn an in-demand degree to make up for the useless liberal arts one you just busted your ass for, of course rolleyes.gif ).
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likeanyother
post Aug 1 2008, 03:51 PM
Post #89


Hardcore BUSTie
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Posts: 128


Okay, I feel like I’ve taken a first big step in my debt reduction. I had a $50/month payment plan for my parking tickets that I fell off of during my jobless period. But I just called and made up for all my missed payments and am back on track. So, I’m feeling less hopeless about one day being rid of them once and for all.

I did just have a big disappointment in finding out that my boss’ recent announcement of a “company-wide raise” apparently doesn’t apply to anyone who’s been here for less than 4 months (aka me and one other dude), which I found out from the LAST LINE of the letter attached to my check this morning. Total tease.

But, I’ve got no real choice other than to keep plugging away, so that is what I shall do. Thanks for the encouragement geekchick.

Faerietails – that’s exactly how I got into my credit card debt. Now I’ve got a hefty sum owed that they won’t even LET me make payments on, ‘cuz they want it ALL right NOW. Sha right…I remember when I was in college and considering whether I should put my student loan refund toward my credit card debt, or hold on to it -- which considering I was making like $6 an hour and living on my own and paying all my own shit, was a tough choice. I ended up having to use it to live off of, but if you can use it toward your high interest debt, by all means do it. Student loans can add up to something huge, but at least they’re low interest and you can pay them off according to your actual income. Unlike credit card dickheads who continue to labor under the illusion that you can get blood from a stone. Bastards indeed…..

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faerietails
post Jul 30 2008, 03:23 PM
Post #90


donut-lovin' heathen
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Posts: 624


I completely screwed myself over with credit card debt because I've been fairly jobless (making a meager $99 a week for months on end counts as jobless in my book), and for a while I just let the payments go because I had no means of paying them.

Now that I've had a second part time job for a while and am somewhat back on my feet, what's been helping to knock down the credit card debt at least a tiny bit more quickly is that I pay so that my end result is a multiple of $25. So let's say my minimum payment is $76, but the total balance of the debt is $1083.56 or something. I'll just go ahead and pay the $83.56 so that my balance is a nice, even multiple of $25 ($1000).

Paying that extra $7.56 isn't going to break the bank (well, now it isn't, anyway...), and it's amazing how much of a dent it makes in paying down the debt. Especially with this other card I have? The balance is only $200 something, so rather than paying the $25 minimum, I just pay my $30 or so and I'm knocking out that debt pretty quickly.

As soon as I get my financial aid refund next month, I'm using it to make huge payments. My minimum payments should get way more manageable after that. It's the interest that's killing me. 2 of my cards have reasonable interest rates (as a matter of fact, they're lowering the interest on one of them soon because of how diligent I've been about trying to make payments since getting my second job), but one of my cards went up to 32%(!) because I fell behind on my payments (and of course, that's the one with the biggest balance). I'm paying over $100 in interest each month on that one, so I feel like instead of my debt getting smaller, it's just getting bigger. It's fucking robbery.

Once I make my huge payments, I'm transferring over some of the balance of that 32% card (but continue making my $150 monthly payments so that the finance charges don't start building right back up). Those people are fucking assholes, too. They don't care that for a while, the minimum payments they demanded of me were almost 3/4 of my entire meager, monthly income. I had to fight like hell to get my minimum payments down to $150. Bastards.

It's just frustrating. This wouldn't even be an issue if I had a real job. I don't go on spending sprees; I was just living off my cards because I had no other way to make ends meet, and I thought I'd be able to find a job in a reasonable amount of time. If I had a real, full-time job now, I'm positive I could pay off all my debt in about 2 years, then just focus on getting my student loans taken care of. Sigh.
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geekchickknits
post Jul 30 2008, 08:03 AM
Post #91


Hardcore BUSTie
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Posts: 319


QUOTE(likeanyother @ Jul 24 2008, 06:36 PM) *
I think to maybe, actually, really save money for paying off debt I need to set a limit on how much spending money I give myself out of each paycheck…. dry.gif .


I have a savings account with ING Direct. It's great because it's got a fairly high interest rate (3%) with no bank fees. The other thing is that once you've transferred over the money, if you want to transfer it back, it takes a couple of days, which means you need to plan to take money out of it.

I've found that what's worked so far for me is AS SOON AS MY PAYCHEQUE IS IN MY ACCOUNT - take out the cash I allocate as allowance for the next two weeks, put half my rent in my rent account, allocate the reimbursement of work expenses on my credit card, pay any bills (gas, electric, phone) that I've received since my last paycheque, look at the remainder in my chequing account, and put half of it toward my debt and half into my savings account. This leaves me ONLY with my allowance I've given myself. In case of emergency, I can pull from my rent account and then top it up from my savings, but I try very hard not to do that.

I find if I allocate everything from my cheque as soon as I get it, my bills are paid on time, and I feel good that I've put at least something toward my savings. Not only that - I find it easy not to spend money when I have no money to spend!

Even before I was able to start putting large payments on my credit card (only started doing that when the end was in sight) I used to pay the minimum PLUS whatever was listed as interest on the bill - that way my minimum payment went toward the capital and it wasn't too much more to pay. It also meant that as my debt went down, my payments got smaller!

Anyway, what works for me may not work for you, but if I can get my debt paid down likeanyother, I know you can too!
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morganelizabeth
post Jul 27 2008, 10:41 PM
Post #92


BUSTie
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Posts: 18
From: Cape Cod, Trashachusetts


Heellllloooooooo everyone!

I'm working full time, for the first time ever...
Which sucks! But it's also really great to have money.
Even if I can't spend it.
I'm saving up for a car; specifically, an amazing, adorable, mint condition white LeBaron convertible. It's $1800, and by Wednesday I'll have about $2300...

I'm going to be so depressed when I instantly have zero dollars in the bank.
I hate going to school so far away from where I live, I wish I could've kept my bike...


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likeanyother
post Jul 24 2008, 05:36 PM
Post #93


Hardcore BUSTie
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Posts: 128


Rock on geekchick! It will be a brilliant day for me when I can pay off my credit card debt. Right now I’m working on the $1600 in parking tickets I owe the city so that I can get my license back. Tee hee. Though I’m finding it a tad difficult to totally pinch my pennies, I did choose not to go to Pitchfork in Chicago with all my friends last weekend, solely to save money. So, that’s a start, ‘cause I don’t usually do stuff like that.

I think to maybe, actually, really save money for paying off debt I need to set a limit on how much spending money I give myself out of each paycheck…. dry.gif .
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p_176
post Jul 24 2008, 05:34 AM
Post #94


Hardcore BUSTie
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Posts: 532
From: Baltimore


hellotampon - it's possible the car loan people may waive the late fee, if you ask and explain the situation. since you've been paying on time, they might be amenable. as for the credit score, paying late one time should not throw your score for a loop.
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geekchickknits
post Jul 23 2008, 09:30 PM
Post #95


Hardcore BUSTie
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Posts: 319


xpost with the i did it thread....

I paid off all my credit cards today, and put $300 into my savings.....yes......the plan is working!
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geekchickknits
post Jul 12 2008, 09:53 AM
Post #96


Hardcore BUSTie
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Posts: 319


QUOTE(hellotampon @ Jul 12 2008, 09:49 AM) *
Should I try and write a letter to the car payment people or something?


I don't think it would hurt - if you haven't sent them yet, I would try calling the car payment people and offering to pay immediately on credit card, or send them a certified cheque or bank draft so that way they don't have to wait to receive payment. Explain what happened, and ask if they have reported it yet. They may be able to accommodate you. Can't hurt!
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hellotampon
post Jul 12 2008, 07:32 AM
Post #97


Hardcore BUSTie
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Posts: 1,018
From: Connecticut


My mom forgot to pay my bills while i was in Europe! I left on a Sunday and had no stamps, so I gave my mother my bills and money and asked her to mail them for me. She just called me and said she forgot to do it.

My car payment was one of those bills. As far as I know, my car is the only thing I have that counts on my credit score (I'm on my mom's cell phone plan and I don't have any credit cards). I have never missed a payment or been late before, and now that's all out the window. In October I'll have had the car for 2 years, so I was planning to go to my bank and try to transfer my loan to them for a lower interest rate, but now I'll have to wait an entire year for this blemish on my credit record to go away.

I'm really pissed. How can you be so careless with other people's money?

I don't know what to do. I don't know much about finances other than you need to pay your bills on time. Should I try and write a letter to the car payment people or something?
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CandyMandyDandy
post Jul 11 2008, 04:10 PM
Post #98


BUSTie
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Posts: 30
From: Los Angeles, CA


i decided to save money by buying a little expensive piggy bank with no outlet so that i cant take out the money...and if its a little expensive then i wont want to break it...SO that way i can put money in there and save it up smile.gif but i would only put bills in there and they would be lig bills most of the time a little bills when i have to many of them...smile.gif
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geekchickknits
post Jul 9 2008, 09:18 AM
Post #99


Hardcore BUSTie
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Posts: 319


kittenb, likeanyother, thanks for the support!

likeanyother, I know you can do it too! I'm currently putting equal amounts toward debt reduction and savings. My goal is bi-weekly deposits of $270 toward each. This last paycheque, I wasn't able to do that, so I just put as much as I could - $85. It was the first time I'd put money in my savings account in over two years.

I'm so excited though - one more paycheque and I'll be able to completely eliminate my credit card debt! *happy dance happy dance* Buh-bye 19.5% interest!

This morning I started thinking even bigger - like saving $10,000+ and going on a trip around the world! Then I thought, let's just get to $3,000 - heck I can always save more!

My biggest hurdle is going to be the fact that I am currently eating out of the house for EVERY meal. I need to go grocery shopping and become diligent about bringing my lunch to work, and cooking dinner at night. This is going to be tough for me. I love home cooked food, and I like to cook, but I procrastinate, and a lot of the time after work I get SO hungry that the 45 minute commute home plus cooking time is too long to wait. My roommate on the other hand is the complete opposite. I should really make my lunch when I see him making his.
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likeanyother
post Jul 9 2008, 07:32 AM
Post #100


Hardcore BUSTie
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Posts: 128


Hellz yeah you can geekchick, that is a sweet and simple plan for saving. I have the exact same goals money-wise so I'm totally going to do the same thing, so thanks for the idea!! I just got a new job and, though it doesn't pay that much, if I cut down on my stupid and irresponsible spending habits, I can pay off my shit and save for future travel.
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