Sunday, June 22, 2008

Where Has All the Money Gone?

I've had quite a bit of money come in over the past couple of weeks, some expected (or hoped for, at least) and some out of the blue. What, if anything, have I done with this money?

The first thing I did was get current on a bunch of little bills (electric, gas, cable) and repay my daughter for some money she'd spent on my behalf (her little sister's ballet lessons, pierced ears and haircut). I also paid my cell bill, the bottled water, internet and made a couple of payments to IKEA. Now, when I return the mirror that doesn't fit over the fireplace, I'll have only a couple of dollars balance to pay off. I also made a payment to Capital One even though I didn't have a minimum payment due.

I paid them $100 plus the almost $80 tax refund plus the payment that I made for my internet bill that I had to charge on my card (I'd been kicked out of the pre-authorized system a couple of months ago without my realizing it). Then I rounded it up by a few dollars to $300.

I took the $750 I received in vacation pay and opened a new sub-account at ING, labeled (how original) Vacation Pay. Now, when I take vacation days, I can just transfer back $50/day into my regular bank account. I also raised the pre-authorized weekly deposit from my main bank into my ING Emergency Fund from $10 to $12.

I want to go to Home Depot tomorrow and pay them the approximately $750 that is coming due in July on the first of three 0% interest payment plans. This one was for the electric fireplace and light fixtures. The hardwood floor doesn't come due until next year. I know I could wait 3 weeks or so to pay this off, but I don't care. It's better to do it now than to risk forgetting and incurring all the accrued interest over the past 5 to 6 months.

We're planning to spend a few days at the other house next week and that will entail spending a little money too. We need to get a plumber out to fix the leak under the sink and to get someone with a truck to haul away all the junk from the renovations to the dump (along with some things the former owner left us).

Oh, wow! I almost forgot that I arranged to pay off Dell! I was getting close to the date of the next automatic withdrawal, so we set it up that almost all the money will come out of the bank account on Wednesday and then the balance (the regular withdrawal) will come out on the 29th.

I can't believe how much money I wasted by not paying cash to start with. The painful thing is that I had cash from selling our condo to use when I bought the laptop. But Dell is clever. Their kiosks don't take Interac, but they're happy to open up an account for you (I was approved for $2,500 when I only bought a laptop, backpack carrier and mouse totalling just a little over $1,000 with tax). The payments were about $30/month and the interest was about $20! Such a bad deal, but I was "too busy" to deal with it to start with and then I spent the cash on things like new appliances for both houses and the floor and roof repairs. Getting the insurance settlement was just what I needed to get me to deal with this.

I feel so much better getting back on top of everything. And there is still more bonus money to come in! We should be getting $300 at the end of June from the BC Provincial Government (for the carbon tax), plus my child tax benefit money (the retroactive payment) in about July. I don't know exactly how much it will be, but I figure it must be at least $600. All that will really help with knocking down the credit cards.

So, what have I achieved? I'll have paid off Dell and IKEA by the end of the month, I'm current on all my bills, and the credit card balances will stop going up and start coming back down instead. That's pretty darn good! Of course, it'll be better when the credit cards are back at zero but that's getting ahead of myself. The best thing is that each bill that's totally paid off is one less monthly charge to deal with on a regular basis.

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