Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The Lord is my light

That devourer, he just keeps coming, but let him. I am not worried. Did I mention the fact that my back tire leaks? A lot. Like 2.5 PSI per day. I am concerned about this, but haven’t been able to take care of it yet. I also haven’t seen a hole or nail. It’s just leaking. Leak your heart out tire! I’ll fix you soon enough.
Also, we had a bit of a snafu with our washing machine. For some reason, it started backing up. The pipe, not the washing machine. As the machine did the spin cycle, the water wasn’t going down the pipe, but would overflow. This caused a big fat mess in our laundry room (nice clean floors afterward though, it’s all about attitude). Brother Vallieres was kind enough to come and snake the pipe for us, and that seems to have fixed it. But the piping wasn’t up to code (it was white PVC instead of the black stuff) so Alann had to replace it. That and it got broken while we were taking it apart trying to fix it ourselves. No biggie. It was just a few dollars to replace. But the clutch on the washing machine had been acting up, again. Basically, the clutch makes the thing spin, if it wears out, it doesn’t spin anymore, and you end up with wet soggy clothes. Hopefully, it was just backing up and that was weighing it down and now it will be fine. I ran a load last night and it worked just fine. I sat in the living room most of the time so that I could listen to it and make sure it was behaving itself.
I finally quit procrastinating. (That is quite an oxymoronic statement. Finally, meaning took me forever. Procrastinating, meaning putting it off. I procrastinated stopping procrastinating.) Anyway, Alann and I have been talking for a while, a couple of months anyway, about taking our (or more correctly, MY) savings, and applying them to our debt. I don’t have much. About $2000 when all is said and done, but it would make a good dent. We couldn’t really decide how much to use. I thought we should keep $500, he thought we should just use it all. After reading Dave Ramsey’s book, I decided we (ok I, it is my money after all) would follow his advice and keep $1000, and put the rest toward our debt. Earning 3.5% (roughly) while paying 9.5%, does not make a whole lot of sense. I know this. Why did I persist in keeping the savings around? Why didn’t I say, use it instead of my credit card when things were rough? I don’t know. I think I just saw “savings” as sacred, something to be amassed and never touched. I still cringe to use it, but I know it will be better off in the long run. And, with my savings, and my “third check” in February, I will pay off my credit card. I am excited.
Some of you might ask, if we live paycheck to paycheck, how can we possibly afford to use an entire paycheck to pay off our debt? Easy- at Granite, I got paid 2 times a month, on the 15th and 30th. I held onto my 15th check until the 30th, cashed them both, and paid the mortgage. This was the only way to keep the money safe until I needed it. (It only got me in trouble once. My boss called me in once to see if I had lost my check. He ran a report to see the outstanding checks. After I explained my system, he didn’t bug me about it again.) Since Alann pays the utilities and groceries, this is actually rather easy for me. He is getting a third check too. Know where it is going? That’s right, the CC (minus enough for groceries, etc). I intend to fully implement a similar budget when we can- that is, this month’s checks = next month’s expenses. I am having a hard time adjusting to being paid every other week. Well, really it is adjusting to direct deposit. I decided that I could do DD and put it into the joint account, and be able to not touch it. NOT SO! (I have never been good at fooling myself. If I set my clocks ahead, I still know they are ahead and don’t bother abiding by them.) So I just switched my DD to my ING savings account. Hopefully, this will help. I really can’t touch it there. No card to swipe, no atm withdrawals. Nothing. Safe. And, earning a bit on the side. AND! They are currently running a contest that if you sign up for DD or an automatic savings plan, you get entered to win $1000 or $10000 at the end of the contest (In June). You get one entry every month that you do it. (I should get 5.) I don’t have any high hopes of winning, but it was something I needed to do anyway, so it just sweetens the deal a little bit.
To be perfectly honest, you may laugh when you read this, most of the savings I have came from left-over student loans. When I finished school, I had several subsidized loans, and 2 unsubsidized student loans. I paid one off, and consolidated the others, locking it in at 4.5%. Could I have paid the other unsub off? Not entirely, but about halfway. But even when my ING was making 5%, I was only making .5% more than I was paying. So I should have paid it back. Oh well. Life goes on. And this way, I am saving about 5% in interest by using my student loan money to pay off my credit card. Makes sense, kind of.
Ya know, even just having a plan makes me worry a lot less.

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