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Lessons Learned: Credit Cards, Loans, And Transfers

Today, I was thinking to myself: I’m out of money in checking, should probably move some over to hold me through the week.

This isn’t something that occurs often, but more so as of late. For a while, I really blamed it on moving from every week to every 2 weeks for getting paid. Not much has changed financially, you could actually say its become stagnant…. or stable depending on how you think. Since I have two savings accounts, I had options.  My question was “Whats the minimal I need to stay afloat?”  I’m usually pretty good about knowing when what will get paid, but because my smallest account wasn’t enough to cover any one bill, I decided to log into my web portal and get some details.

It looked as if the only thing that hadn’t cleared yet was my loan payment, which should be coming out in a few days.  Not a big problem, just wanted to make sure I did at least move enough to cover that, too.  I decided to take a look and get some exact dates for my other auto-pay cards and bills while I was here.  I’m very much the spreadsheet type, now is a good of time as any to collect this stuff, since I was I thinking about paying off 2 of my credit cards. This is were ‘how I work’ really starts to do well for me.  Let me explain what I’m working with.

I have 5 credit cards and 2 loans.  Of those 2 loans, one is the mortgage and I’m leaving it out of this conversation with the usual bills.  The usual bills and utilities are getting left out because they’re predictable and not at all flexible or disposable. The primary credit card I use is with the back I use for everything.  It’s been nice because a long time ago, I set up an automatic transfer to send $50 to it every Monday.  Seemed like a decent way to keep the amount down.  Two other cards are with other banks, there are 2 department store cards, and one personal loan.

So I took the dates each of these guys actually hit my bank account, not the dates they’re due.  I took the rounded amount and put them on a spread sheet.  While doing so, I found that my bank is still hitting my account directly for payment on the credit card it has on my account.  In addition to that, it’s also hitting me with a finance charge.  It didn’t take a master’s degree to figure out, I’m pushing over $300 a month to a credit card with a $1000 limit, and have been for over 2 years.  Yet, I’ve been unable to pay it off despite not using it regularly.

I wasn’t even mad, though very disappointed.  It seems like the lesson to learn here is: Just make the minimal payment and/or pay it off in full.  Despite dumping more money into it, the interest is just beating me to death.  That is partially due to a high interest rate, it was my second card ever.  Because of that though, its my longest line of credit and I’m under the impression that means something to some one. In my next pay check, I’ll be able to pay the whole thing off.  In doing so, I’ll be knocking down my total credit usage, saving myself $300 of the $600 a month I’m paying in just credit bills, and can start focusing on the next target

About Ashley Young

I'm a North Carolina transplanted girl reaching my 30's. A few years ago, I procured my first DSM that would eventually mature many of my skills. This website is dedicated to the stories, adventures, and lessons that the car has brought to me over the years.

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