I am not good with money. But with my decision last year to try to be healthier physically and emotionally, I also decided to try to be healthier financially. I AM LEARNING SO MUCH. And much of it is significantly less painful than I thought it would be.
1.) I bought a trampoline and opened a new credit card in 2006. This is as responsible and practical as it sounds. Didn't get me in trouble AT ALL.
2.) It really is important to pay your bills on time. Who knew that a late payment upped your APR 20 percentage points? Oh, you did. That's how dumb I am about this stuff.
3.) Also important not to go over the credit limit. We'll get back to this. I used to think it just wouldn't let you. I'm telling you, I'm about as good with money as I am knowing my left and right.
4.) Last fall, I did a partial balance transfer to a new card with 0% until November 2008. YAY ME! That is going to be one kick-ass month. This was my first step and attempt at being healthy and responsible. It kind of worked out.
5.) Since it has a lower interest rate on purchases than my original card, I try to use it for online purchases.
6.) I should just use my debit card. DULY NOTED.
7.) Before I realized how important number 6 was, I used the new card as my iTunes card.
8.) I love New Music Tuesday on iTunes and am known to spend money on that day.
9.) I also love Democrats and witty t-shirts.
10.) This spring, I saw on Urban Outfitters a t-shirt I HAD TO HAVE. And buy for a few friends. I like to share.
You would have bought it, too (and you still can). After I placed the order, they told me it was on backorder for two months.
11.) I'll wait for a really cool t-shirt.
12.) I continue to buy really cool music. (I'm legal, and I only buy the songs. No stealing music for me.)
13.) I get the shirt!!!!!
14.) My next credit card bill tells me that I'm over my limit, my interest has shot up to 29% EVEN ON THE BALANCE TRANSFER, and my 99 cent iTunes songs cost me about $26 each. NUMBER 3 IS REALLY IMPORTANT AS WELL.
15.) I'M BITTER.
16.) What the hell happened? I thought that I paid for the shirts when I ordered them. Nope, they charged my card when they shipped them (two months later). So when I checked my balance and thought I was cool (and thought that the payment for the cool shirts had already gone through), I WAS WRONG. VERY VERY WRONG. And I kept buying really expensive songs. Now I feel like even if the songs were good when I bought them, that they can't be that good, and it is just depressing to listen to some of them.
17.) I still love the shirt. And I'm dating a Democrat so that works out.
18.) This story has a happy ending.
19.) A month ago, I read an article on CNN about how easy it is to lower your interest rates, but I doubted it, and I thought I was too busy to mess with it. Something happened to me this weekend, though, that makes me want to get my life in order, so I just called and explained what happened (true), told them I had offers in the mail for cards with lower interest (true), and Erica fixed everything. She gave me my original standard purchase rate of 8.9% back, and also restored the 0% on the balance transfer. I know I can get it paid off by November.
20.) It went so well, I called my two other cards to ask them. One said no, but I could call back in September and get a lower rate. (This is the card that had a late payment. That's a no-no according to number 2). The other card, that I transferred the balance from, said no to everything. I will be all too happy to just close that account.
21.) Just wondering - what song would you pay $26 for?