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Archive for November, 2011

Credit Limit Increased

November 26th, 2011 at 03:18 am

Due to our exceptional payment history and near-excellent credit, our credit limit with Chase Freedom (our only credit card) was increased. I did not receive notification of this, but learnt just tonight by way of checking to make sure our most recent payment went through.

This is very good news for us! Not only will this look great on our credit report, but it will also make using the card much easier! The starting limit was a measly $500. It doubled. Considering that we only spend about $700/mo, we will now be able to use the credit card without having to make multiple payments a month.

We did have to flop our budgets around. We realized we were not spending as much on baby items as we thought, so we increased our pets budget, which was much needed!

Doing pretty well for being on such low income (all things considering, besides the fact that we do not live in our own place).

Other than that, there is not much else going on in the way of finances.

We did find this awesome new body wash soap that we are using instead of bottled body wash. It is Black African Shea Butter bar soap, costs $6 at Target, is all natural, and lasts much longer than liquid bottled body wash. It also smells much better and leaves our skin much softer.

It's Not Always About Money

November 15th, 2011 at 12:31 am

While our little one sleeps, I get to listen to my niece and nephew fight. That's somewhat normal in today's world... Then, their dad (my brother) comes home. What's he do? Comes home, yells at them, and says, "Pack your s***, you're going to your mom's and I'm moving to the homeless shelter!" Then proceeds to yell at our mother about how he has to live in the basement when Molly and I could easily fit with the baby down there (ugh, mildew and mold with a baby, anyone?). Then yells about how he doesn't want to live anymore and how he needs to shoot himself. I'm tempted to offer him my rifle, but he would probably go on a frenzy on everyone else. This is the world (house) we live in. It's not just about money. It's about emotional stability. Unfortunately, money would help to secure that.

We live in my parents' house. Where the plumbing is corroding (a simple $1,200 fix that should be no problem for a couple that makes $60,000/yr), there's a sinkhole in the back yard (free fix - they have yet to get ahold of their contact, and it's been over six months), and the relatives are absolutely certifiable!

I don't know what to do or how to do it. The only thing I can think of is going to college (been my goal for a while now), but that will only make things harder...

My wife's mother is most likely moving into a place (out of her mother in-law's) that is 50 miles away. That would equal a 100 mile commute each workday for my wife. In one day. My wife's parents work and go to school here in town, as well as her sister. But her youngest sister goes to school in the town that is 50 miles away. So, three people are accommodating for one. Makes sense, eh? My wife and I have offered to pitch in for rent if they were to move here. The way they see it, however, is that since rent is so cheap out there, it makes up for having to drive so far. But it does not. They just don't keep track of their finances, so they've no idea.

Nerve-racking to say the least! Stuck between insanity and too far away.

Moving Away from the CC

November 11th, 2011 at 07:07 pm

If you remember my last post,

Text is Our Credit Card Usage - Your Input? and Link is
Our Credit Card Usage - Your Input?, you'll recall that we are not exactly happy with our method of usage. We have been using the credit card to pay for everything. And then we pay it off. However, it has shown to be an issue sometimes when it comes to pay the card. Such as last night.

Last night, there were no more pending transactions, so I paid the balance. However, today I check, and there is a balance of $85.67. Which is the total of the most recent transaction, sans the payment from last night. So, thinking Chase may have made a mistake, I download all my transactions and past into Pages, then get the sum for all transactions. Nope, turns out to be -85.67. So Chase is not to blame entirely. However, as it is shown on my account statement, the payment comes in after the transaction. And, remember, the transaction was posted when I made the payment. Not pending. So it looks like it takes some time for their system to show an updated balance after the transaction goes through. Strange.

Granted, I should know exactly how much the payment should be. I was doing this initially. However, I have since stopped. Why? Not too sure. Possibly because of all of the changes in our life recently, and taking on new responsibilities myself.

I am thinking that we will no longer use the credit card for absolutely everything. We will use it on items that are included in the 5% revolving categories, as well as monthly fixed payments. Unfortunately, most of my bills are paid from my checking account (because they do not accept credit cards), so we will definitely not be getting as many rewards points. However, I must remember - rewards points are just a gimmick. A tool used to get you to spend money. So, if I focus on the rewards points, rather than keeping our finances simple, then I will lose track.

Wish us luck! Smile

Our Credit Card Usage - Your Input?

November 8th, 2011 at 08:52 pm

I have been using the Chase Freedom credit card for a couple of months now, paying off the balance every two weeks or so.

So far, it has gone okay. However, I somehow feel that I am overspending whenever I use it, even though it is for budgeted items. Also, the way Chase updates their account statements online has lead to some issues. It's also a hassle to manage two accounts as if they were one.

So we are thinking about not using it for everyday purchases anymore. The 1% on all purchases is great, and the 5% categories is pretty awesome too. But, for some reason, it feels like it is taking too much effort to manage. I don't know... It's hard to explain, really.

However, using it has - I believe - helped to raise my credit score. I am now only 11 points from entering the 'Excellent' credit score range.

What do you guys do with your credit cards? - anyone use it?

November 5th, 2011 at 03:03 pm

I love the idea behind However, I have yet to be able to use it successfully. The most irritating thing about it, is that it will categorize purchases all by itself after I've already categorized them (or, in terms, set a budget for them). So it screws everything up. I am probably missing something, as Mint has a HUGE user base.

Anyone use it?

Also, credit score went up two points this month, probably from paying off the personal loan. Was hoping to see it go up a lot more, but oh well.