Thursday, August 25, 2011

Learning to bank on myself

The credit card companies, once a source of endless hours of stress, now merely amuse me. A few weeks ago I got notification from one of the banks with which I still have a card with a balance. The letter informed me that they were lowering my credit limit, due to information they had seen on my credit report.

I admit, I was briefly disappointed by the news, until I remembered I am no longer charging to that account and have no intention to in the future. So, oh well. No biggie.

Then this week, I get a notification from a different credit card issuer that tells me they are raising my credit limit.

I had to laugh. How can two different financial institutions look at the same financial information and come to two opposing conclusions?

Periodically, I still look for logic from these institutions. I still hold out some faint hope that a couple of the account holders will take note that I am paying down my accounts in pretty big chunks. The debt snowball is rolling and it is moving a little bit faster all the time. It sure wouldn't hurt my feeling is the interest rates on a couple of those accounts were reduced. But I now see that the best way to lower the interest I will eventually pay is to pay all the accounts off, one by one, as quickly as I can.

I still wish I could get the debt paid off immediately, which I can't. But I have increasing confidence I will get it all paid off. It will still take a while, but I've kept to the plan for more than a year. Just need to stick with it.

I am breathing easier. I now feel like I have options. For example, I've been putting off buying new clothes for work for more than a year. When the weather turns cooler this fall I am going to need some new long-sleeved shirts. Now, I know I can pay all the minimums on all my accounts and use part of the extra I pay for just one month's payment on my smallest account and buy a whole new wardrobe if I choose to do so. It won't be a fancy wardrobe, but it would be several shirts, a couple pairs of pants and a new pair of shoes, all of which I sorely need.

While I am at it, I should also get an eye exam and some new glasses. My current pair is several years old. I can afford to do that now if I wish to do so.

The thing holding me back on the new clothes and the new eye glasses is that I don't want to slow down my progress. I am reluctant to spend money on myself. In years past, I would have used credit cards for such purposes and not blinked. Now, I can, and will, spend cash.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Technology closes the book on pages

I didn't know this was even possible, but here is proof the federal government can actually close a program this is no longer needed. It was announced today that the House of Representatives will end it's page program.

Here is a link to the Los Angeles Times' version of the story.

But, of course, the Senate page program will remain.

Uncle Sam, are you feeling Standard and Poorer?

Uncle Sam is going through the same thing many of the rest of us have already experienced. His credit score has been downgraded and financial experts are saying he may be at higher risk of not paying off his credit card bills.

Oh, sure, he was still paying his debt. He hadn't missed a payment. Shouldn't Standard and Poor's cut him some slack? Yea, I said the same thing to Chase and the other credit card issuers who jacked up my interest rates and dropped my credit limit. It didn't go me any good. It's some small consolation that Uncle Sam didn't get much better treatment either.

Now, we will see if he learns the same lesson some of rest of us have had to learn. Will he figure out that some of the things he thought were necessities are really luxuries?

I don't know about you, but I'm not holding my breath.

The End Debt Daily