Category Archives: Credit Cards

Hello, quick update, sorry about not posting blah blah blah


You know the drill. ūüôā Profuse apologies for not posting (sincere) Promises of more consistent posting (Lies!) ūüėÄ

Anyhoo. Very quick update, I am now down to TWO/ (2) /DOS /NI /DEU/ DVA credit cards with balance owing on them! And I have calculated that I can be rid of those in about 6 months. It would’ve been 5 months but I went nuts with one of the cards. Heh. *guilty look* This also means that I will be only be paying a maximum of $1200 in interest across both cards (assuming $100 interest is generated per month on the current balances). I had assumed an interest of $2000, so essentially I have $800 to spend for Christmas!

*RANDOM THOUGHT* Hmm. I’ve been using the iPad, more so than the laptop recently (which is why I haven’t been on much SO MANY APPS …O_O), and not having the use of emojis seems to stifle me.. >_< *END RANDOM THOUGHT*

So below is the current state of my Net Worth:

Soooo slooooowwwwww….

As you can see there was a large dip a couple of weeks ago. That was me blowing $2000 on crap. Don’t ask me what sort of crap. Just believe me, it was crap. But fun crap. Okay fine, its apps, vids and buying e-books! Now stop interrogating me biatches!

But! I’ve rejigged my budget and have allowed for the ongoing expense of aforementioned crap into my life (cause while I don’t need it, its soooooo much fun!). Starting with $100 this pay, and $30 every pay moving forwards. I’ve also found a deal which allows me to buy a $30 iTunes card for only $24 ūüėÄ So the $100 this week should net me $120 worth of credit! That’s an extra $20 for nothing!

Woohoo!

Alright real life calls. Laters alligators!

Hello, I DID IT!


After months and months (well technically years, but I’ve really only been able to be serious about debt repayments since February 2012) of scrimping, scavenging, tight-assery and cheapskatedness, I’ve managed to pay off 50% of my total available debt.

WOOHOO!

So in summary.

WOOHOO!

Hello, there are no ninja lemmings in this post or “Blogging – One Year on. Part 1 of 7”


I know, I know.

I declare I’m back and then don’t post a thing for two weeks.

I’d tell you the truth, that I was whisked away by ninja lemming’s to fight in their never-ending war against the evil samurai mole-rats, on the back of a flying unicorn while they serenaded me with various renditions of Kansas’ Carry On My Wayward Son, as they fed me pieces of french toast.

But,

you wouldn’t believe me anyways.

So, instead I’ll just use the following outrageous fabrication and sordid lies.

Deal?

Deal.

As I finished posting the last post. I realised I must be close to my blogging anniversary. And I was. Today, marks the 1st birthday of this blog.

And so I was stuck.

Such an auspicious occasion should be marked with a brilliant post. Something that bounces, bunny-like on the readers cerebral cortex, then does that other thing that bunnies are famous for doing, rhythmically, on your amygdala .

But I’m all out of brilliant, so you’ll all have to settle for narcissistic introspection.

In seven parts.

HA!

Sucks to be you.

Anyways.

Part 1: This started out as a personal finance blog (stop choking on your respective oral fixation objects. I know, it sucks as a personal finance blog, alright?) So after a year of blogging, what have I, Captain Sweatpants, learned about personal finance?

Well for one I am a budget nerd. I don’t particularly like numbers. I’m no math-elete. But when it comes to making spreadsheets, graphs, tables, whatever to help me tracking down my debt, wowsers. My “budget 2.0” spreadsheet currently has 11 different tabs/worksheets and 3 sets of graphs.

It’s fun goddamnit!

And anyone who say’s that they don’t have an awesome time putting into Excel all their expenditure and income and then trying to calculate a workable and realistic budget, then tracking debt repayments and progression, then putting all that data into a graphical format… well, I say those people are just too sane for my liking. ūüėõ

You’re looking at the last pay-cycle, just before the 1st birthday of this blog.

This is one of the graphs I’ve set up that updates every time I input data from the master spreadsheet above.

Two pie graphs showing my progress from the point when I first started a version of this spreadsheet (about a year before I started blogging) to now.
Green = Good
Red = Bad

Number two (hehehehe “number two” *snort giggle guffaw snort*), I can actually trust myself with credit cards now. Oh I’ll never match up to Cheap Tight McSkint (the most frugal man in the world), I like technology too much, I often get lazy and buy dinner instead of making it, and hell, there are times when I just want to buy stuff. But I’ll never get myself into that position again where I was 2 years ago when I was literally drowning in debt. I currently have 3 credit cards in my wallet, 1 has never been used, 1 is my everyday card, and the other is my emergency card. And while some people might think, “if you don’t use that first card why even carry it?” Well it’s kinda like when a smoker carries that one last cigarette. It’s a challenge if you will. I know it’s there, and as long as I never use it. I’m in control. That probably doesn’t make sense to anyone else, but whatever floats right?

And thirdly, well I’m a money grubbing whore. *grin* Nah seriously, the third lesson I’ve learned is that money IS important, but ONLY if you don’t have enough of it. With my current lifestyle and my current salary, and the way I’ve set up my automatic payments, and the way I’ve tailored my budget,¬† money isn’t really much of a concern. Oh sure, Iwantto upgrade my lifestyle. A nicer apartment, get a car, travel a lot more, buy more suits, better furniture, you know the drill. But I don’tneed to. And there’s something comforting in knowing that.

Stay tuned for part 2, where there will be an inspirational training montage sequence, as the ninja lemming’s whip me into shape for the inevitable battle¬† with the lord of samurai mole-rats – or if you are unable the beautiful truth of that narrative, the lie I will be telling will be something about what I’ve learnt regarding blogging and crap. I dunno, my lie isn’t that well thought out yet.

Give me a few hours.

Hello post-long distance relationship travel update: All I got was another $1000 in debt and some chafing.


So where have I been the past week?

Well I was attempting to build a physical connection on the long distance relationship.

Eight days of dinners, lunches, outings and mind-blowing sex.

But in the end it was decided that the distance just didn’t make the whole relationship feasible.

Sucky.

So how did the spend for those eight days break down?

– Air fares $600

– Car Hire $220

– Day 1 Dinner & Drinks – $180

– Day 2 All day in the bedroom (boom chicka wah wah)

РDay 3 Pizza & Drinks  Р$100

– Day 4 Lunch – $0 (she paid)

РDay 5 All day in the bedroom (boom chicka wah wah)

РDay 6 All day in the bedroom (boom chicka wah wah)

– Day 7 Lunch – $180

– Day 8 Lunch + Ice Cream $0 (she paid)

So a total of $1280 spent on the 7 days. About $120 shy of the $1400 minimum I set, so pretty good. Considering that $1400 target was for 5 days rather than 8.

Lesson learnt?

Well actually 2 lessons were learnt during this whole experience.

#1 If you wanna save money whilst in a long distance relationship, when you meet up, have lots of sex. It’s free and everyone is guaranteed to have a good time ūüėČ

and #2 Don’t do long distance relationships.

I am Jack’s inflamed sense of rejection… (brownie points to those who can name the movie and suggest other awesome break-up flicks… for dudes… none of this whiny chick flick crap)

Hello debt, I’m no longer scared of you! Neener!


I haven’t done a Personal Finance post in a while.

I’m sorry.

I’m a blogging slut. I will blog about anything and everything. My keyboard, spreads its legs to any topic that gives it even a glimmer of interest. I think it has something to do with the fact that it’s typewriter father never gave it much affection growing up…

Anyways, enough¬†anthropomorphising my blog and it’s slutty ways.

Debt!

I feel good about how I’ve managed and am currently managing my debt. It’s no longer a snarling, fang-toothed monstrosity that I have to bury my head in the metaphorical fluffy baby blue blanket with bunnies on it. I’ve come to terms that this debt was a mistake. But without making that mistake, I wouldn’t have taken the time to learn all the tips and tricks in regards to paying debt off (and in a year ¬† – wealth building). I wouldn’t have learned that not only I have the the willpower to create and stick to a budget, I really don’t miss all the crap I used to spend money on (alcohol and wild nights out).

So debt.

FUUUUUCCCKKKK YOU!

*ahem*

Sorry.

Now onto the budget! ūüôā

Holy Crap... Debt is in the mid teens!! WOO!

So this is my debt as it stands.

Amount Owing is pretty self explanatory – that’s the current amounts owing on those particular cards.

Amount Paid – that will be the amount I’m paying off come next payday, which will be on the 12th of April.

The percentage in the bottom far right is the percentage of debt I still owe on ALL my cards AFTER I make those above payments.

So in 9 days, my debt will be down around about the $15K mark. And sure, if any sane person had debt of that amount they would be in a state of near panic. But that’s probably the one good thing about having debt in the high-$20K – low $30K, you have perspective on just how worse it could be.

Okay it’s taken me 2 years to halve my debt. But in saying that it’s been the last 4 months where I’ve seen the most (consistent) upward movement in my net-worth. I’ve paid of $4000 off in my total debt since January! I’m no longer struggling with interest, as in I can pay off a significant amount of my debt every month (before interest is applied) that when at the end of the month when the interest is¬†applied, it doesn’t feel like I’ve gone 1 step forward and 2 steps back.

Now as you can see from my proposed payments, I am not strictly adhering to the avalanche method (where you concentrate all your monies on one debt, and make only the minimum payments on all others). The minimum payment for Ignite by Westpac is about $150 a month. I’ve put in $350 last pay, and will be putting another $300 this pay, essentially I’m quadrupling the amount I really should be paying. Why? Interest. If I get and keep my outstanding balance to under $7000 on this card, my monthly interest goes down from $150 to around the $100 mark.

And since this card will have an outstanding balance on it until December this year (8 months) that’s an extra $400 of interest I will not be paying. Couple that with the little-bit-more-than-the-minimum payments I make, when I actually start paying off this card (around the middle of August) I might actually might have made a bit of in roads into this card before the avalanche method brings it into focus.

Now let’s take a look at my Net Worth graph (and yes I am excited about putting stuff into graphs. I am a nerd. Deal.)

WOOHOO! Look where the two black lines meet! LOOOOOOOOK!

I have now reached equality to the highest point from my earlier attempts to pay off my debt (before life happened).

So in 9 short days I will have surpassed my previous ¬†benchmarks! And in 23 days I’ll have left those benchmarks in the dust! WOOT!

And even though it’s still 8 more months till I am completely debt free, that light at the end of the total is definitely a lot closer than before.

I can smell a hint of fresh air.

I smell freedom.

It smells like chocolate ūüôā

Hello, OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG!


Oh. My. God.

A big surprise was waiting for me when I was doing my fortnightly budget today.

I always do my credit card payments every pay cycle, and then at the beginning of every month (such as today) I update my outstanding balances (because of interest and any “emergency” purchases made on the credit cards).

Lo and behold! In my delirious state I had actually used a different credit card (one with a higher balance) than the American Express card. While this did mean I went over my credit card limit on that particular card by $31.08, which means I’ll probably get whacked with a $75 dollar over limit fee, or something ridiculous like that, it ALSO means that I was able to pay off the American Express card in FULL!

IN FUUUUUULLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!

Excuse me for a moment while I thrust my crotch into the air to celebrate this glorious victory.

Can you feel that debt? Can you? CAN YOU?!?!

That is right muchacho’s amd muchacha’s! I am down to 3 credit cards! Three! While yes, these three have all the highest balances, I haven’t been down to 3 credit cards since the middle of the last decade.

I am so excited, that if I had six nipples, they would all be tingling.

So, the budget looks like this after taking into account the payments I’ve made today.

Another red row! Red is good! We love red!

While I love being at this point in my financial goals, frankly I never really thought it was going to happen. And so I’m at a loss as to what to do next, so once again I am asking from advice from my fellow bloggers.

Of the remaining credit cards remaining which one do I pay off first?

ANZ credit card has the lowest balance but also the lowest interest rate. So while paying this off might give me a quicker “red row”, mathematically it doesn’t make sense.

Ignite credit card has the highest balance, and the second highest interest rate. This means that although the Mastercard has a higher interest rate, the higher limit (and therefore higher amount owing) I have on this card means that this is currently where I’m paying the most interest.

Gold Mastercard credit card has the second highest balance, and the highest interest rate. So using the avalanche method means that I really should pay this off first, but I’m not so sure. It makes more sense to me to pay off the one where I’m paying the most interest.

So, what do I do fellow bloggers? Any and all suggestions welcome!

Hello everyone, I am back from the “nearly” dead


Yes I have been scarce the past few days but I had a valid reason!

I was sick.

And not just man-flu sick, but viral meningitis sick.

Which admittedly isn’t as bad as bacterial meningitis (that’s the one that makes your brain explode, well okay not really, it makes your blood into poison instead. And yes that’s not the scientific and medical correct way to describe whats happening but when they were explaining the whole thing to me I was in so much pain I was just trying not to throw up on the doctor) but it’s the sickest I’ve ever actually been.

And the problem with being sick in one of the more affluent cities in Australia, is that it is damn expensive.

Overall I think I spent about $800 on medical tests and medication since all this started.

From memory (and admittedly in combination with the pain I was in and the pain medication I’m currently on is a little hazy) the costs break down as follows:

– Initial doctor visit: $80

– Initial script for weak-good-for-nothing pain meds: $23

– Second doctor visit: $80

– CT Brain Scan: $478

– Lumbar Puncture Test: $183

– Second script for oh-my-god-these-pills-are-awesome pain meds: $17 (I wonder why the more awesome pain meds are cheaper than the craptastic ones?)

And since I do not have $800 in my emergency fund (I had like $80) all of these expenses went into my credit card. Which blows a big fat one because tomorrow, I would have paid off one completely and would have only been left with 3 cards with outstanding balances.

ONE PAY DAY AWAY!

As of now it’ll take me another 2 paydays (thats 1 month) before I can clear out all those expenses and be back to where I was before I got sick.

So… what did I learn from this experience?

a) My body is in league with the credit cards to keep me in an everlasting cycle of debt

b) Emergency funds with a significant amount in them are a bloody brilliant idea.

Hello Finance Fridays – waxing philosophically


I will be getting an extra $760 in the next couple of weeks.

No, I have not been selling any organs on the black market. Nor have I been prostituting myself.

It’s bond money (I believe the term “security deposit” is what you guys use up in the Northern Hemisphere) from the previous apartment.

I’m having a raging internal debate about the money, and if you’ve read this¬†post, you’ll know how weird those can be.¬†The PF blogger in me wants to put ALL of it towards my debt. The suit aficionado says to blow it all on that grey three-piece. The gamer thinks I should blow it all on a new desktop (and more). The car hound thinks I should use it to start a fund to buy a car (which currently does not exist). ¬†The idiot thinks a big night out of drinking.

I can tell you this, it’s not going to be the last one.

I’m actually leaning a lot toward flushing it all into my debt.

But the one thing stopping me, is an argument put forth by the idiot in me. It goes like this (and read the below in a  Beavis and Butthead voice [if any of you are old enough to remember Beavis and Butthead]):

Read the below in their voice...

“Uhh… dude. Like, when are you going to start having fun? I mean seriously. It’s not like you’re getting any younger… You’ve wasted, what, 18 months on paying off debt? And everything shows that you’re not going to be done till the end of this year. You’re letting the best years of your life pass you by, because you’re hell bent on doing something that 90% of people really don’t care about. So take the money and have fun. It only takes a month off your schedule, if you plug the money into your debt. Whats another month? Doooo ittttt! I am Cornholio!”

And it has hit on some truth’s there. I have and am sacrificing a helluva lot to get myself out of this hole I’ve dug. I’ve forsworn a lot of socialising, simply because I can’t afford it. I don’t even remember the last time I bought clothes that wasn’t work related. I don’t have a car. I haven’t bought any new pieces of furniture for the new place. I’ve cut down drastically on the little things, like snacks, eating out, weekly wines.

And now I have to ask myself the question is it worth it?

I mean, essentially yes, I am setting myself up for a better future. Less stress over money. Something I really should’ve started doing a decade ago.

But what if I die tomorrow? I doubt the last thing to go through my head will be “God, I wish I had paid off my debt sooner.”

Should I forego paying off my debt as speedily as possible, for the opportunity to enjoy life’s pleasures? Or do I hold off on life’s pleasure just that little bit longer so as I can have a debt free life more quickly?

I guess it’s the flip side of the credit card. Should ¬†you use a credit card now for quick access to your wants and needs, only to have the headache of the purchase show up down the line in your monthly statement?

I know that a healthy balance, would probably be the best solution, but to me (and this is merely my personal view because of my personal circumstances. I actually applaud those that can seem to find that balance) that seems a solution where no one wins. I won’t be able to afford the things I really want in any sort of immediate time frame, and I will be living with debt hanging over my head for a significantly longer period of time. What’s the point of doing that???

So, like anyone who has created a blog, talked about his extremely weird thought-processes, inserted a pole-dancing rabbit gif into a post, and has confessed about his crotch being scalded by hot coffee, I’m putting it to a vote.

This will be a two-party system. Write-in candidates will not be accepted. There are only two choices:

a) Use the money to pay off debt

b) Use the money for fun stuff (for a relative value of “fun”)

Polls are open…..NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNow.

Hello Finance Fridays!


So Fridays we are now going to be discussing all things finance.

First off, lets look at the state of play.

Yes, I know I'm up that particular small body of running water polluted with feces without that particular piece of boating equipment used to manually propel small watercraft forward

So I am once again under the $20,000 mark.

Thank God.

I’m not going to be overtly smug about that again, because the last time I hipped-hopped hurrayed about the fact I had finally come under the magic $20,000 mark, what did I do? Blow it clear back into the $21,000 mark before the next pay-day, that’s what I did. So it will be a low-key celebration, just me doing this:

Gotta love the Success Kid Meme...

But this is the business side of the year for me. During the next 6 months I am not foreseeing any huge expenses, with the exception of maybe a few days in February, a friends advanced 21st birthday in May, and another birthday in June. And I am considering blowing off maybe 2 out 3. So really by the middle of this year (and here I go making predictions again) I should be well under the $15k mark (my budget says around the $11k mark, but I don’t really want to draw the wrath of the debt gods by claiming I’m going to hit that).

I was going to include a line graph showing my debt status from the 15th ¬†of April 2010 (yep, you read that right I have been trying to break out of debt for more than a year and a half now… well longer, but I lost the data for the previous years) and while there is a downward trend, the incline could be compared to the incline ski instructors put people on when they have never ever skied in their life before, and have a propensity ¬†to fall over a lot, coupled with the skill to mutilate any innocent passers-by with their ski equipment (the bunny slope). I’m hoping in the next few months will see a very steep incline, but the plans of mice and men and all that. Once I get that incline happening then maybe you’ll get to see it, cause frankly right now it’s kind of¬†embarrassing.

One other thing to note is that I am using almost 79% (78.87%) of my total credit limit of my combined credit cards. ¬†I hear the gasps of horror from you guys all the way over here in Australia. I know, I know, this blows my credit score completely out of the water, but it’s a helluva lot better than the beginning of last year when I was owing around 92% of my available credit limit *shudder*. Thinking about it however, that 92% doesn’t actually doesn’t tell the real story about the debt I had at that time, because at the beginning of last year I had a fifth (yes I can hear the “wtf?!?!” and the spray of coffee on to the screen as you splutter at my stupidity) maxed out credit card AND a personal loan (both of which have now been payed for and closed) which I can’t be bothered to input into my cut-and-paste formula. So I’m thinking it would have been more around the 96% mark. *even bigger shudder*

Depending on what you read out on the interweb, the advise is to maintain your outstanding credit balance versus your available credit limit percentage to about 50% – 30%. One website advocates ¬†you keep it down to around 10%. ¬†I think the rationale for keeping an outstanding balance on your credit is that it shows an active credit history, to any other financial institutions that may want to take a gander at your credit score.¬†Personally I’d like it at 0% :P,¬†but beggars can’t be choosers, so I would be over the moon if I can get that below the 30% before the middle of the year.

*sigh*

9 more months till debt-free-ness…

IthinkIcanIthinkIcanIthinkIcanIthinkIcan…

Hello being in debt by -$19,926.10. I miss you.


I haven’t really been blogging about Personal Finance cause well, let face it, I’ve been absolutely slack about budgeting.

Well not absolutely slack.

All bills are still paid on time, I have enough money to keep myself fed, I have enough to go to the gym and also maintain an internet connection so I can stalk people’s¬†blogs (yes, I mean you… have you noticed your page hits go up noticeably the past few months? It was all me! MUAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHA! The below video illustrates just how I laugh every time I click on a page multiple times to fool you into thinking your popular >:))

BUT! In regards to paying off debt and NOT using my credit cards is where I’ve been doing the metaphorical pratfalls¬†ala Buster Keaton. Flat on my face, limbs akimbo, with little tweety¬†birds circling my head as my debt repeatedly slaps me in the face, spraying spittle into my face as it shouts “C’mon¬†on then if you ‘ard enough!” (yes my debt has a cockney accent, don’t ask me why).

Since that post in far away August, I have not made any in-roads into actually reducing my debt from that magical $19,926.10. I have in fact gone backwards. I’ve still been making at least $900 worth of payments per month, but somehow I’ve managed to increase my total debt to $21,280.68 as of today.

 If you take into account my debt payments ($900 x 4) plus the my total debt as of today minus the difference of the August total of $19,926.10 ($1354.58). I have somehow spent $4,954.58. Include that the funds I drew from my emergency fund/savings accounts I could assume that might be somewhere around the $5,500 mark. Spank me sideways and call me Annabelle. How in the blue blazes of hell did I manage that???

I could probably account for $2,000 of that amount. Moving in expenses, the PS3, the new outfit. But the other $3,500 or so??? I have absolutely no idea. My debt truly has me by the short and curlies. 

No more I say! To quote from Picard (and I can feel all you Trekkies shivering in excitement at the ST:NG reference… it’s okay, relax, keep it in your pants)

¬†Not again. The line must be drawn here! This far and no further! And I will make them pay for what they’ve done!

(If you’re really hankering for some Picard see the video below)

So today I am making a pledge to which all of you are witnesses. I will now begin actually tracking my expenses as well as budgeting for my various repayments and expenditures. That’s right you read it here first, the Cap’n is going all trainspotter on debts ass!

I will track every dollar that I spend outside of debt repayments, rent, transport costs and bills,¬†cause that figure of $3,500 over 4 months¬†that I really have no idea what I spent it on is a little scary. That’s the reason why I was in debt in the first place, just spending without any thinking.¬†Budgeting can only take you so far. Sure with a budget you meet all your obligations, you can make sure that you don’t miss any repayments. But it doesn’t tell you where those niggly little life expenses are, and suggest ways of actually cutting that back.

So yes it took me four months and¬†$5k¬†to learn this lesson (I am if nothing a little dense). But the lesson has been learned. So every post will have a daily spend amount tacked at the bottom of it, and each Sunday I will collate all that data into a weekly spending report. So it’s back to basics people.

But not to worry, I will still rant about idiotical¬†things and share my (mis)adventures¬†concerning my crotch with you people (cause lets face it, bad things happening to other people’s¬†crotch is the epitome of high brow humour, for which this blog is most well-known for. Oh and sarcasm. Lots of sarcasm¬†:P), I just have to make sure I tend to the personal finance issues that made me start this blog.

So to begin:

Thursday 8 December 2011

$15.00 (Xmas party) (cash)

$50.00 (bus ticket back to Sydney and back for Xmas and NYE ) (ANZ Credit card)