## Thank you all for your advice

I was looking for this number to give me some incentive to look for spare money to pay this loan off faster. And to be honest, it doesn’t look like it is worth it.

This is a credit card balance we’ve had since at least 2007. The interest rate is actually 5.9%. One of the first of our cards to jump the interest rate. So we froze the account and have been paying it off since. We have since started following Dave Ramsey and have paid off a whole bunch of “smaller” debts. This is the first of three “five digit” balances we have. Starting next month, we’ll be paying \$250 a week on this card, hoping to have it paid off in just over a year.

And to be honest, at this point in our life, it’s not worth sacrificing to save \$5. Especially since, after Sharon mentioned amortization charts, I started looking at those, and did actually find the one at bankrate.com that someone suggested. When I put in the actual numbers (\$12,000 at 5.9%), an extra one-time-only payment of \$50 would save us . . . \$1.49.

## I have an android phone and found an app called “Pay Off your Debt! Calculator”

It’s really simple — it has the fields of:
Amount Owed
Annual % Interest
Monthly Payments
Years to Pay it Off

Then you can choose if you want it to solve for amount owed, monthly payments, or years to pay it off.

It was what I was looking for – really really simple — I could quickly find out how much sooner I could pay things off by adding just a little bit to the monthly payment number.

I sort of used the calculator for your question — and it’d be less than \$5.

## Well I think I need more info like the amount of the debt

For instance, if the debt was 5000 for the year… The monthly payment would be 440. The total interest is about 275 dollars. To take 50 bucks off the principal would lower your payment by about 5 dollars a month but the total interest payment over the 12 months is only a 3 dollar savings. I used an amortization calculator to get the above numbers.

## I need a formula

I’m sure it’s out there, and I’m sure my Husband could come up with one. But I’ll have the debt paid off before he gets down researching it, figuring it out, and explaining it!

How much will you save if you throw a one-time extra \$50 on a debt on a debt with 10% interest that you will pay off in a year. I know you have three variables — \$50, 10% and 12 payments. I just don’t know what to do with those three numbers.

Sincerely, Helen.

## When is a gift/give-away yours?

Wondering if there a “golden rule” about giving gifts (or even a legal one)? For example, my brother once gave away 1,000 baseball cards. Most had little to no “value”, but one of them happened to be worth \$1,000. The kid & parent he gave them to, once they found out how much they were worth, offered to give some of that money to my brother. My brother was like, didn’t think it had value before I gave it to you, just because it has monetary value afterwards doesn’t change it, but thanks.

Then I asked on freecycle for a motorcycle helmet for my oldest son a few weeks ago. A person responded, I picked it up. They also happened to have a higher end scooter for sale, so later I asked about its status. The guy responded back that he thought when he gave me the helmet that my son already HAD a scooter, and if he didn’t (and I quote, in capital letters) I DEMAND YOU GIVE ME MY HELMET BACK.

I just ignored him.

But I have a different dilemma– I was given a closed box of “kitchen stuff” a while back. They were going to toss it (literally), but they gave it to me instead, and I figured what I couldn’t use myself, I’d either sell at a garage sale or freecycle it. So today since we were having the garage sale, i opened it up.

Yeah, it wasn’t kitchen stuff. With a bit of effort I could probably sell the odds and ends and net about \$1,000.

So….is it mine? Or do I have a moral/ethical/legal obligation to get hold of them and give it back?

## Wow, I’m so sorry to hear this

I know how hard you two have been working to make ends meet, and this was such a relief, and now what a disappointment. I hope he can get on with one of the other companies; maybe it’s not too late, particularly if he explains what happened. Hang in there, and know that we’re all rooting for you and praying for you both.

## I don’t even know what to say..

So, the week that DH accepted this position he was told another firm was going to make him a similar offer.

He accepted this one and politely declined the other, and took himself out of the running for a much higher paying one (3rd company) because of the potential for growth at the company he went to work for.

That just went up in smoke.

DH came home tonight “early” (5:45pm on a Friday, in SoCal; he’s been getting home at like 8ish every night for the past 3 weeks. I said, wow. You’re home so early I’m almost worried you got fired or something!”

He said: I did.

And he wasn’t kidding.

The company is tanking fast, and they never should have filled the position. So he’s last in and first out.

I’m calmer than I was a few hours ago. I was SO MAD. The opportunity cost for us was tremendous. It’s possible that those other positions are still open, but it just makes me MAD, and it puts us in a very tenuous position.

Although on the bright side, it bought us an extra month when we needed it.

According to DH, “they’re so sorry, it’s all their fault” blah blah blah.

I said, Yeah? Were they “sorry” enough to cut you a check for a month’s worth of severance? Because it’s going to take 2 weeks to get unemployment flowing again. So they can gush “how sorry they are” but in my world:

MONEY talks, and BS walks.

I have no other words except, thanks for letting me vent.

## I don’t remember what we bought first

We bought laptops for hubby and son. Tablets for daughters. Bikes for the girls. We bought our son the new xbox one coming out in November. We also bought hubby his new building. My real dream is to travel and have lots of family outings. I am trying to figure out how to plan and budget it in right now. I have so much I want to do and I need to tone the list down.

## Once you are debt free?

Or if you already are—what did you buy? I’m talking the very first item? We’re getting close enough to being cc debt free we are starting to have that discussion and to make priority lists. Since our children are already out of college and we are already putting back for retirement (will increase the amount though) we are looking at needed repairs in conjunction with building the ffef and paying off the two mortgages that each only have 3 years at the most left to die a normal death—which we will speed up considerably.
We are planning on taking a big trip to WDW after the cc are gone and before going hard after the mortgages, but haven’t decided yet for certain what our first cash purchase for home/lifestyle improvement will be. I’m leaning hard toward a small chest freezer packed with meat and restocking my food storage big time (we’re in our 9th or is it 10th week of living out of it). Dh is leaning toward new decks for the house. We’ll probably change our minds 100 times between now and then.

## An end to your peace and quiet is upon you

After around 3 weeks of semi silence from me due to my frustration of typing on a keyboard who thought H and O were none necessities, and sometimes various other letters were to be forgotten as well I am semi up and running again.
I’m now on a Frankenstein desktop with a new and very stiff keyboard that is much lower than I am use to typing on. Plus and entirely different trackball set-up. All are actually used equipment from various computers we’ve had over the years so we are still working the bugs out. I’ve got a huge backlog of emails to work my way through, so if you see a response to something you wrote 3 weeks ago that is why.
For all of you like Kathryn who have e’d me privately to see if everything is ok I was not ignoring you.; I simply hated trying to type where the letters each had to be hit as many as 10 times to get them to show up. A single email often made my fingers ache for hours. So I simply didn’t even try after a few days. I apologize.
All of you that inquired about my blogs, I will definitely be getting that all up and going again as soon as possible. The new keyboard has a slightly different set-up than the one on my laptop, but all things are adaptable.
Francis, good news! We have been working not only the office to get the card business going, but ds purchased me two cartridges that will cut custom envelopes for the greeting card business. I’ll soon be doing a blog/facebook post on all the new products we are adding to the business this fall.

## Try again next week

You’ve already got everything organized, so it doesn’t hurt to do it again. Start on Friday. Place signs in bright poster board around area. Place adds in the free section of your newspaper beginning early this upcoming week. Mention better items you have for sale in the ad, as well as the fact that a lot of the items are brand new. If you’re selling clothing, mention the sizes or maybe the manufacturer if it’s something trendy or recognizable. I’ve never made less than \$1000 at any of my sales, but I always have a lot of crap that I’ve spent too much money on and don’t need any longer (or really never needed to begin with). Lastly, I’ve always been told the first Saturdays of the months are the best because people who have received their government assistance checks have just received those funds, and they are often cruising the garage sales when they feel they have a bit more jingle in their pocket. I don’t know whether that’s true or not, but I’ve always kept that date in mind when I’ve had sales. You might want to have a third garage sale (after next weekend) over Labor Day. I would think that would be the last big date for garage salers.

I’m terribly sorry about your husband, btw. We were all so excited for you when your dh finally found employment; hopefully, the other company will be willing to hire him and want him to begin immediately.

## Too bad it didn’t go any better..

At least you didn’t have to worry about the signage or garage sale permits. In this city, you need a permit(\$5, I think), and you can’t put signs anywhere else but on your own property. So you can’t have a sign on the corner of the major street directing potential customers your way…

## For me there have been three things that make yard sales work:

-good advertising. I find a way to list *what* we have on the posters and emails. A lot of people are looking for specific things: baby clothes, books, antiques, and you want to get the right ones to your sale
-really good signage. I live in a dense area with confusing streets. I print out three types of big arrows, and in smaller type have the address and date , and I go wild putting them up in the neighborhood (and try to find and take them all down later)
-really low prices that get lower as the day goes on. My goal is to bring NOTHING inside. If I think I can sell something for double digits, it doesn’t go in the yard sale, unless it’s one of the things that people look for (around here that would be good wood furniture, bicycles, large baby items) I’ve made money on yard sales in bulk. Which also means, can’t have them too often.

## Garage sales

It just so happens we are having a garage sale today. I thought i had change but i don’t and the banks don’t open until 10.

But it doesn’t look like Im going to need it.

What do people buy at garage sales anyway? I’ve never had a successful sale.

## I am so excited!

As many of you know I have a custom coasters business since last December. Wow, that seems like a long time when I write it out like that. Many of you know I was a vendor at some craft shows last spring, and for the most part it went very well. I met some nice people, made some sales, had a god time.

Well since late spring and into the summer I’ve applied to some shows for the fall. Oh, some of you live where you have a mild summer and probably have craft shows throughout the summer. Around here, the summers can be brutally hot and humid so IF they occur you might be lucky to find one indoors. However they are few and far between in the summer. Anyway, I am now officially in the two biggest craft shows in the area … one in the parish where I reside and one in a neighboring parish. Yeah! I am so happy! At both of the big shows they get 1000’s through their gates every year. One is held 2x/year. One is held annually, I think. I am also in a smaller one that is just having their 2nd craft show and it’s held at a church as a fundraiser for their women’s ministry.

The dates are Oct. 19, Nov. 2, and Nov. 9. That is 3 shows w/a short turn around. I told dh last night that I know what I’ll be doing the last 1/2 of October through the middle of November! Actually I cannot wait till the middle of October to get ready. I already had over 80 sets of coasters. Since I have nothing to judge my sales for the 2 big shows, having not attended before, it is pure speculation on what to bring. If I bring my typical 100 sets of coasters, I could be sold out by noon and still have to remain at my booth till it’s over. I am thinking I need to double what I normally bring to a small craft show, so that would be 200 sets of coasters (4/set).

For trivets, I have never really had more than 3 or 4 to pick from. dh suggested 25 coasters. So that is my goal to have on hand, at least at the 2 big shows.

I have had success in the most unlikely places it seems. The man who did our kitchen cabinets brought a guy with him a few weeks ago to finish the last little part. They employee realized I was “the lady who does coasters.” So he ordered a set for his mom. I went by to delver the set and collect payment. Another employee came out and said he bought a set from the display I had left and paid me for it. Another employee is in Ducks Unlimited and ordered 2 sets of coasters and 2 trivets to auction at their banquet in September! When I went by to show a sample of coasters to the DU guy, the first guy who ordered for his mom came rushing in, he says, “Hey, my old lady saw the set I got my mom and says, ‘And where’s my set?!’ So he ordered another set which I’ll deliver next week! To myself I am saying like, “WOW” I have not tried to sell a single thing here and they come in here to the show room, almost running … a bunch of cabinet builders, one of the least likely groups of people I’d expect to buy my coasters! Really LOL Rolling on the floor laughing

A friend and I made an antique-ing trip today to Breaux Bridge, LA. We planned it last week. You know, it is fun to take a trip like this and KNOW you are going to be able to pay the utilities, mortgage, gas in the car, and put food on the table …. AND still be able to buy something you like that’s in a store. Today I was looking specifically for stained glass windows, yes still in the window frame. No we are not replacing any windows. These are used to decorate in the sun room. we also have a place to hang them for decoration over the kitchen sink. Well, I did find one with a some stained glass. The jewel of the day was one made with slag glass. Here is a pick of what that kind of glass looks like, though it’s the one I purchased. if I can, I’ll get my purchased uploaded.

## Dh and dd will be with me at the craft shows

dh is taking a 2 hour shift at the rotary club booth then coming to help at mine. dd will be with me the whole time. One is very close to my house and one is too far away for that. It would easily take 30 minutes plus just one way. Even at the close one, once the show starts no one can pull up close to booths to unload anyway. They might as well be in my car … at least that save the trip home. Parking is a premium too so once we “lose” a space by leaving, we probably won’t get a close one again.

I am planning on bringing double my usual 100 sets. If I almost sell out at the first one, that is a good thing. But…. I’ll have lots to replenish that week before the next one!

## This is going back more than a week

A few months ago, we bought my son a car. He finally turned 16 last week, but he still can’t get his driver license until mid-Sept., because there’s a 8-9 week waiting list that I was unaware of! Anyway, when we bought the car we took advantage of the special offer from gshloans company (\$700 payday loans), it had some damage on the passenger side that we were aware of and some damage under the car that we weren’t aware of. Well, we got everything except the cosmetic stuff taken care of and the only thing we need to get done is the passenger side-mirror. It slowed my snowball down about 8 weeks. I’m gazelle again, and getting it paid off either the last week of December or the first week of Jan., depending on which spreadsheet I use!

We have decided to stay in our house for at least 2 years. However, it needs some work done to it. I need Jan and her enthusiasm and her family’s “get ‘er done!” attitude! I’m currently working on stuff that only cost elbow-grease and Old-School Engineering to improve the place. I covered a “Pain in my you-know-where” area in my yard with mulch and gravel, but the dogs started digging into it, so I gave up on that.

We switched cell phone plans. With my son driving (in theory, at least), he went from a \$15/month text-only plan to a \$29/month unlimited everything plan. My husband went from a \$30 to \$29 plan, no big savings, but he’s unlimited now. I still have my minutes until Feb. 2017 plan, but if I run out of minutes, I’ll upgrade to the same deal.

We covered the kitchen chairs the other day. I got the chairs for \$5 each 7-8 years ago, and the frames (metal) are still in really good shape, but the vinyl was shredded. I purchased a cloth/canvas table cloth for \$1 and it covered them all. I hope I can get my \$5.25 worth out of them some day!! I am working on making new covers for the couch cushions and possibly a slip cover (if I have enough fabric left) out of a sheet set I got for \$3. Again, good bones… bad fabric!

A co-worker has commissioned me to make a baby quilt for her. A little extra money for me! Yay! Quilting is a terribly expensive habit, but it’s the only bad one I have teeheehee. I need to make some money back on it. Right now, I should be making her quilt top or my cushion covers, but for now, I’m typing. Ok, maybe I have 2 bad habits 🙂

So that’s all that’s going on around here. Dealing with the car and fixing up the house is taken up all my free time! But it’s all good.

## A little late in my report, but we’ve had some interesting developments here

First, I’ve continued to send out resumes and applications, and I have yet to receive a single phone call from any of them. That’s an entire month lost to looking for suitable jobs and sending in applications. I’m continuing in that effort, but I can’t afford (literally and figuratively) to waste another month on this kind of effort, with nothing to show for it. So as of this week, I’m laying out how many hours I’m going to spend on that, vs how many hours I’m going to apply towards continuing to build farm income. I may not hit my earnings targets with farm production but at least I get SOMETHING coming in. With this job search, I’ve had all the same monthly costs, and zilch for income. We can’t keep doing that. So I’ll be something of a split personality in September – looking for work while continuing to build the business here. I need to just clone myself and get it over with.
The good news is we’ve got to unexpected but large sales suddenly on our planning horizon. We were asked just a few hours ago if we had any extra hogs that had not yet gone to slaughter, because a fellow hog producer is sold out and still getting inquiries. So we may get some sales from that. Also, we’ve decided to retire our two mature sows this fall; they’re getting on eight years old, which is ancient in hog years, and their careers are basically over. That’ll be lots and LOTS of sausage to be sold, which I’m just starting to tackle. But it’s a nice logistical problem to have. As I described before, it’s already paid for and it’s a high-value item. Now I just have to go sell it. If anyone on the list is in the western WA area, or would want it frozen and drop-shipped to them, let me know off list and I’ll set you up with the best sausage you’ve ever had.
So I’m discouraged with the job search, but maybe it’s just as well that I turn my attention back to the farm business. That’s what has the potential to really earn money for me. So that’s where I’m going to focus now.

## Oddly enough, yes

Remember how I was lamenting last week how I didn’t have a grasp on where my money was going? Well, not now 🙂

Seriously, I redid our expenses in order of what HAS to be paid to keep us going (i.e., rent, utilities etc.) I took cash in hand, apportioned it, and literally every dollar coming in after that (which isn’t much), has a name.

I’m going to call the car loan company today and see if I can reapportion two or three payments to the end of the loan. I’m hoping that will buy us some time. I’m going to turn in resumes at temp agencies today as well.

It’s funny, but DH’s first reaction when he came home was “don’t tell the kids, I’ll just tell them I’m working from home on Monday.” I’m like REALLY???? It’s kind of a metaphor for his view on money– just ignore reality, pretend everything is ok, blah blah. I’m not complaining about him, even though it sounds like I am. I am just amazed at the whole ostrich syndrome.

Oh, and ironically the job he turned down to take the own he did? He called them this morning to see if it was still open. Yeah, that guy starts TODAY.

## Nothing financial

I’ve been trying to declutter, which is a Herculean task at the moment. I’m hoping my budget survives this bowling season. I’ve agreed to be a regular member on a 2nd bowling league. So that’s more money going out, unless I can somehow WIN a bunch.

## Here is how I do my budgeting and paying of bills

I have a calendar page. (Can print free from computer, if you don’t have a very basic planner).
As bills come in, I write them on the calendar.
Say my electric is due Sept 12 —-on the square for the 12th… I write electric \$150.
Then, when a payday comes—I do the following steps in order:

1. pay all bills due for the next 2 weeks out of that check (2 weeks as we get paid every 2 weeks)—-first thing—before anything else is spent !!

2. I transfer any contingency fund items to my ING account (house repair fund, etc—we are living in a fixer upper house—this is necessary).

3. fill up the vehicles with gas. (this lasts us until the next payday).

4. then and only after 1-3 are done do I allow myself to go grocery shopping, buy things that come up, etc. (and trust me—things will always come up).

I find this method works best for me. I have tried numerous other methods and always did best with this one—so now just stick with it.

I have also found that I tend to get ahead more using the calendar method. Say there is a small bill due later in the month—but I have room for it out of this check. I just go ahead and pay it now.

Then, next check I have one less bill to pay and can pay the next bill a little earlier. Eventually, you get to the point where you can pay a bill as it comes in— a very awesome feeling.

Hope that helps a little—but like I always say—you have to find what works for YOU!

## You’re definitely not going to get rich off of it

but I’ve made \$60 over the last couple of months — it can get frustrating because you’ll get part way into a survey and find out you don’t qualify — but if you’re fortunate enough to get a follow-up survey, you can make more money off of those.

I figure it’s \$60 I make while relaxing and watching tv, so can’t hurt!

They have the fast payment to paypal I’ve every seen, so there’s that.

## I use it for both unexpected expenses, kids activities, etc

we just learned that my son now needs spearing gear for Tae Kwon Do. I took 80 dollars from my PayPal so that it did not need to be budgeted. I keep the money in PayPal until I need it. It is also time to sign up for dance, which is 100 for the whole year. I have enough to cover that. Then, my daughter has outgrown her dance shoes so I will pay for those grom eBay as well. I may even be able to find a good used pair. I made over 200 this month so far and I am hoping to bring in another hundred before the end of the month. Last year, I also used those funds for stocking stuffers at Christmas.

## We always just keep about \$10 in our paypal account, just to cover some unexpected fee, etc

We sell some things on ebay, but lately it’s mostly used for me earning money from opinionoutpost.com — they’ll transfer \$10 at a time – and each time, I transfer any money in the account over \$10 to our checking account.

I’ll admit that that money isn’t more than \$20-30 per month, and I use it as a buffer — it’s the one piece of our budget that doesn’t have a home, and I’ll admit, it often goes to something small – eating out, picking up some food, etc. It’s probably one of those things that keeps my husband sane through this debt re-payment period. 🙂

## I keep a minimum balance for two things:

1. Paying my monthly ebay fees automatically out of may paypal account.
2. If I see anything on ebay (or any other auction/sale site) that I can buy and resell I will already have money in my paypal account to pay for it.

When I was unemployed, once every two weeks I would transfer any excess funds in my paypal account into our checking account.

## Hmm, this makes a certain amount of sense to me

My guess at their reasoning is: if a loan is potentially going bad, granting a deferment for a couple of months just delays their ability to take action on it, while it sits on the books going bad. And if you don’t have a job, they don’t have any reason to know whether your circumstances are going to improve. (on the plus side, from their point of view, it does accrue more interest, but I suspect that interest on overdue accounts isn’t money they think they’re quite likely to see)

## I ran into the same thing with Chase’s credit card division

I knew I wasn’t going to be able to pay, so I called to get a deferral for a couple of months. They wouldn’t do it, so I basically ignored them until I started working again, and they came up with a number that I could *afford* to pay…

## HOW STUPID ARE LENDING COMPANIES ?????

So I called Wells Fargo. Boy, what a flashback as to WHY I don’t bank with them any more.

I called to find out if we could take 2 or 3 payments and tack them to the end of our loan. I figured given our sterling payment history (not kidding, even these last 6 months, they have been the people we have paid ON TIME), it would be a no-brainer.

NOPE. Reason? WE ARE UNEMPLOYED. They will only defer it once we are back employed.

I said, so let me see if I get this straight. If I don’t pay you for 60 days, and then we are re-employed, you will take those 2 payments and tack them to the end of our loan. (yep). But you won’t do it proactively? (yep)

I said, WHAT KIND OF IDIOCY (quote BTW) is that? He goes, “well that’s our guidelines.”

I said, well, then our conversation is over, and I guess you don’t need to call me in 45 days to find out when I’m going to pay you.

He goes, w-e-l-l-….I guess what I could do is change your payment date, so instead of being due on the 6th, it would be due on the 21st. But that’s the best I can do.

I’m like, fine.

Then I told DH, so I guess Wells Fargo just went below the line. I will make sure they never get to “was 30 days” status (he is so freaked out that our “credit rating” (puh leaze) will be damaged) but I’m no longer going to worry about them being paid on time ever again.

When DH broke his back years ago and was out of work for 9 months, I had enough \$ to pay rent and the car pmt or rent and utilties etc (we didn’t have any real debt way back then), but not both.

So that’s what I’m going to do now. Pay Rent & 4 walls one month, pay rent and car pmt the next.

Just sheer lunacy on the WF’s part. And they can’t figure out why people hate big banks.