Friday, June 20, 2014

Zero Interest Balance Transfer

I use the Mint app on my phone for my finances. 

I think it's a helpful tool to get a quick snapshot as to where our finances stand. Occasionally Mint alerts you about suggestions as to how you can save money and they show you offers for credit cards and stuff. A recent offer was for the Chase Slate card. Chase was offering not only a zero interest balance transfer but there was no balance transfer fee (which can typically run 3-5%)! So I applied and was approved. I quickly transferred some of the balance from my highest interest card to this new one. I'm really looking forward to paying less interest on that card going forward!

It may be a baby step, but it's a step in the right direction... one day at a time! Hope you all have a cheap weekend planned ahead ;-)

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

24,000 Reasons to Stay at a Job You Don't Love!

I don't LOVE my job. 

Phhhhewww, it felt good to say that! Sure, when I took this job, it seemed like the right "next step" in my career and it made sense at the time. It pays well and I've learned a few new things, but I'm just not able to contribute at the level I want to. In this role, I'm one of many instead of the "go-to" one. I've realized that I want to be able to make more of a contribution.

I feel like Goldilocks, but I'm trying different sized companies to see what's the best fit for me, instead of trying different sized chairs. At this point, I believe a smaller company is my next step.

I've been contacted about another opportunity and I'm pretty far in the interview process. It would be a similar role to one that I had before. It would be at a start up company and I'd be the go-to person running the show. This is interesting to me. In this new role, I would also likely get a $6,000 pay increase, but they only offer a very small 401K match.

The thing that is mentally weighing me down is that if I stay at my current job, which has a nice 401K match, I'd be potentially leaving $24,000+ behind if I leave before I'm vested. Ouch! This is a large amount of money to walk away from. Given that our retirement accounts aren't where we'd like them to be, I kind of feel like I need to suck it up and stick it out with my current company.

What would you do in this situation?

I'm open to your thoughts on staying until after I've vested versus getting out now and going to the other job where I can contribute more and get a pay increase. Thanks!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Blog Makeover!

As I restart this journey to climb back out of debt, I felt that I needed to freshen up my blog and give it a makeover. I wanted to give it a clean, fresh look. During this process, I debated switching from Blogger to WordPress, as it offers way more creative options, but I figured that this has worked for me so far, so I'm going to stick with it for now. So, I hope you like the changes and if you can't find where something went, just let me know :)

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Free San Diego Harbor Cruise!

This week my hubby and I were selected by a local radio station to be able to attend a free listener concert. Neither of us were too interested in the band playing, but I love live music and even more than that...

I love free stuff

so we decided to go! It also happened to be on a cruise that goes around the beautiful San Diego harbor at sunset. You can't beat that! Parking was free, so we only had to worry about dinner. We picked up some sushi and had that on the way there. It was great! I even brought my camera (something I'm trying to do more often) so I could share some pics from the night. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Radio Winnings - Update!

On Sunday, I posted that I had won a $125 gift certificate to a local nursery. The hubby and I went to check out the nursery but we didn't see anything we loved. I debated just holding on to the gift card and maybe getting a nice Christmas tree later this year but the more I thought about it, the more I realized I should just sell it and use the cash to pay down debt. 

This nursery tends to overprice their items so I'm sure a tree would cost us a bundle! I'm just as happy going to pick out a cheap one. Here's a picture of our cheap tree last year. I thought it looked pretty good :)

So, I'm off to post that the gift card is for sale. I'm hoping to get $100 out of it, but I'll let you guys know!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Radio Winnings!

I've been lucky over the years to win free stuff from time to time on the radio. The items have varied from CD's to concert tickets to amusement park tickets, but normally it's nothing too expensive. It's always a treat though to win something and hear myself on the radio.

Last week I won a $125.00 gift card to a local nursery!

We just moved into our condo and our place could use some plants or something but I wasn't about to spend money on that. Now that we have the free gift card, it feels like this may be a good way to spruce things up a bit without us having to pay for it ourselves.

On the other hand... I've been considering selling the gift card online for a discounted price ($100?) and using those funds to pay down our debt. I'm still on the fence about it. I think the hubby and I will go check out the nursery later today and if nothing jumps out at us, we'll do just that. No sense in buying something we don't really like just to spend the money.

So, there it is, if we don't fall in love with anything, we're going to sell the gift card and use the cash for debt repayment. I'll let you all know what we end up doing! Enjoy the rest of this sunny Sunday afternoon. It's a beautiful one :)

Monday, May 26, 2014

It's Time for an Update...

Hi again! Why does it seem like time goes so fast as you get older? It seems like just
yesterday that I posted "Happy 2014." That was two months ago, in March. I was so excited to get on here to share my news. Then I blinked and two months went by. Crazy!

Anyway, it's been an interesting ride since I last updated you guys. Here's what we've been up to - 

  • May 2013 - My hubby went back to school to finish his bachelor's degree! It's an online program that takes up most of his free time, but by this time next year, I know we'll think it was all worth it.
  • September 2013 - We added a new member to our family and rescued our first dog, Daisy! She's a beautiful black and white cockapoo. She is a very social dog with an old soul and a mean jealous streak. She loves to stare into our eyes until we acknowledge her presence and then she wants nothing to do with us. She's a lazy dog at heart and would lay for hours if she wasn't constantly interrupted (see below).
  • December 2013 - We adopted a companion for Daisy, our second dog, Rosie. (Can you tell I love flowers?) She's a pretty cream colored maltipoo. She has an endless amount of energy, is obsessed with chasing her ball, and is extremely protective of her family. At the end of a long day of ball chasing and barking at strangers, she knows just how to come up and sit on your lap for cuddle time. 
  • December 2013 - We put an offer in on our first home! It was a beautiful single family home with a large backyard for the dogs to run around until they collapse of exhaustion. It seemed like it would fit our needs and give us plenty of space.
  • January 2014 - We rescinded our offer on that home after the inspection scared us off. Turns out it was a good decision. Although the house seemed great and was priced right, we were a bit concerned about committing to an hour commute each way for both of us.
  • February 2014 - We found a great condo which was close to both of our jobs and put an offer in on it. It was quickly accepted! We needed to put all of our savings into it as the down payment (5%).
  • March 2014 - We closed on our condo and moved in. Ahhhh, homeowners, finally! 
  • May 2014 - I wake up and realize we've gotten ourselves back in the same mess were were in in 2010 when things first started. I finally sit down and write down our status so the recovery can begin. 

I try to always be the kind of gal that sees the glass half full. I'm pretty optimistic most of the time. But I must be an idiot to have gotten us back in this mess again. I'll be honest, it's hard to see the glass as half full right now. We took a major step backwards instead of forward. The only thing that's helping me stay positive is knowing that we now have the skills we need to fix this. The last time we were here, we didn't know where to start. 

I know some of you are curious about how we could end up here again. It's a combination of the cost of schooling, a trip back East to see family, and a bunch of other stupid decisions! At the end of the day it doesn't really matter "how" I guess, just that we're here.

Here's a breakdown of our current numbers. I included our investments, even though we're not fully vested yet in the 401k balances. 

Original Debt $60,555.72

Original Debt Paid Off $49,748.55

Current Debt as of 4/19/14 = $54,096

CC # 1 : $13,875 (Average 15% Interest Rate)
CC # 2 : $19,978 (4.99% Interest Rate)
CC # 3 : $1,020 (0% Interest Rate until 3/2015)

Car # 1 : $5,792
Car # 2 : $13,431

Investments = $33,919 (Not fully vested yet)
401K #1 : $6,000
401K #2 : $22,205
401K #3 : $5,073

Lending Club : $641

So, that's our update. I know some of you may have some choice words for us and our current situation. I'm fully expecting to hear them. This is the first step to our recovery and I'm happy to be taking it.