Monthly Archives: June 2005

Back From a Week Off…Emergency Fund

Okay…so, I was gone for a week with a camp for some local kids. We had a great time and we are exhausted. So, quick update before we get some much needed shut-eye. We had a major emergency this past week with our mini-van. Something broke under the hood, and it cost 600 dollars to fix. In the past, we would have run to use our credit card to fix this. But, alas, we have our emergency fund. We withdrew the needed amount, and we will slow our debt re-payment down until we have replaced the 600 dollars. This will (might) cause a delay in our over-all debt re-payment schedule, but, we WILL NOT have to pay a dime of interest on this 600 bucks. If you do not have your mini 1000 dollar emergency fund…you better get on it. Back with more in just a bit…ncnblog

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Money…A Strange Thing

I have always been fascinated money. Not with what money can buy necessarily, but with the idea of money ITSELF. The fact that there exists this thing called “money” and I can give it to you for a good or a service, and you will accept it, and give me the good or service…this is so “strange” to me. Why? Because, who says that money “means” something. Well, I guess we all do. Somewhere back there, some folks decided that a little rectangular piece of paper or a circular piece of metal with some particular markings would be the mechanisms for facilitating the exchange of goods and services. And we all go along with this…kinda neat.
What REALLY got me thinking about this were the fees that I was charged by my bank, and the fees that were refunded. They “removed” 240 “dollars” from my account, and then they “returned” 240 “dollars” to my account. BUT…did that money every really MOVE? Was that money ever even “real” or was it just a series of 1’s and 0’s on a computer hard drive? We live in this age of electronic exchange of money…I can “send” you 10 bucks via paypal, but what have I really “sent.” WHERE is that magic money. How long does it take to physically move from my bank to yours…or DOES IT EVER EVEN MOVE…I guess it just sits there, being “traded” around by various electronic transactions…The money doesn’t even really “exist” in anyone’s accounts, it exists on a balance sheet somewhere on some hard drive. Granted…you can “get” to the money in you accounts when you withdraw cash from you bank…BUT…that’s not really the money that I sent you…That cash is just some bills that your bank ALREADY had…very, very weird. Billions of dollars can “move” around the world everyday, without a dime of it actually “moving.”

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Super-Big Post

Time to get caught up.

First off, I have been super-sick for two weeks, and have felt like total junk. I have a summer cold, and it is totally killing my sinuses. Awful pain and hurt, plus throat pain and soreness. Anywho, I am almost over it, and am ready to jump head-first into my debt re-payment plans.

We had a slight setback in our debt payment schedule, due to my being sick, and the baby being sick a few weeks ago. Income was not exactly what we thought it would be. THANK GOD we have the emergency fund. I cannot stress how important an emergency fund can be.

Now, as for our situation with our bank. WoW…I cannot believe how awesome they were. I THOUGHT that they were going to charge me the 240 dollars in insufficient-funds fees, even though I tried on FIVE separate occasions to make a deposit. But, behold, they were totally cool and professional, and they refunded my ENTIRE fee amounts and the APOLOGIZED for the inconvenience. Now, because of their great service, I am going to name them. I bank at SouthTrust, which is soon to be merged with Wachovia. I cannot begin to express how pleased I was with their service.

As for weight loss, get outa here. I was on vacation for a week, got sick, and have been out of commission for 3 straight weeks. I will re-start on Monday. Again.

Check out the chart on the left for our debt payment update. Almost 20 percent of our debt paid. YAY! We are making great progress, but I am going to have to really, really look hard to see if I can “catch-up” with our original goal of being debt-free by 10/10/05. Do I think that it is still possible? Only time will tell, but I am going to crunch, crunch, crunch those numbers.

Lastly, a quick note on budgeting. I have noticed that several sites suggest categorizing your savings, and I think that this is a great idea. However, some people seem to be confused and think that you have to have an INDIVIDUAL savings account for EACH savings category. This is not so. Simply put all of your savings into a savings account, such as ingdirect.com, and keep a record of how much you are saving in each category. For instance, you might have 1000 dollars in savings for emergency, 100 for clothing, 100 for insurance, etc. These amount need not have their own accounts, they simply need their own categories on your budget sheet.

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Home Again…

Well, after a few days away for vacation, we are home again. I will have much to talk about in the next few days, including a brand new rant, a new diet plan, and a new debt payment schedule.

Today, however, I need to tell you about my crap bank. This past week, I tried on FIVE different occasions to make a deposit, and for various reasons, I was unable to do so. This lead to some significant fees and penalties. I am furious. At two of the local branches, they had no envelopes available for night deposit, two ATM’s were down for maintenance, and then, when I did find a branch, they could not make a deposit because I was in a different state than my home state. I am calling today to get this problem fixed, and if they don’t I will list their name here and everywhere else that I can imagine. I will get my revenge!!!!

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