Rich in Spirits

Net worth in the six figures!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Eagle Eye Gets the Prize...

Busy, busy, busy. Who among us can really say that they have enough hours in any day? I know I can't, that's for sure. But there is one thing that we need to make time for, and that is a quick review of our accounts and all their ins and outs.

When I got the first bill after signing up for my cell phone plan a few years ago, I almost had a heart attack. Something definitely didn't seem right - it was so high! I took a look at the bill, and found that, although I had signed up for a plan that included free nights and weekends, I was being charged for all the calls I made during those times! I called the service provider, they said right away, "You are right! I'll change your bill right now!" But what if I never looked? What if I had that bill set up to auto-pay every month and never looked and it just kept deducting that wrong amount?

I thought of this the other day, too. I get paid once a month for the number of hours I worked in the previous month. I usually calculate the amount before my check even comes, so I know how much to expect and can plan out my budget. When I got my paycheck this month, I saw right away that the number was not correct. I called the office, explained the situation, and they checked on it, agreed with me, and wrote me a check for the difference of a couple hundred. What if I hadn't bothered to find out in advance what my check should have been?

Nowadays, our information might pass through the hands of numerous people, and who can say how many computers, before it gets to where it needs to go. Humans aren't perfect, and computers don't have the brain to tell when something "looks wrong." It's up to you to keep an eye on your accounts - it's your money!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

October 2006 Totals

0!!!!!! - Credit cards !!!!!!!
8427 - Car
32864 - Student loans

41291 - Total

Yes! I did it! I paid off my credit card! I am going to be eating a hell of a lot of rice this month, but it will taste so awesome, I can just tell.

I think I may revise my strategy just a bit for a couple of months to really get my emergency fund funded, as well as some sort of long-term savings set up. I'll probably start reporting those totals each month too, once they start being a little less embarrassing. I did have a fair amount saved up, and then there were all these....emergencies.

My strategy is changing a bit from here on out, based on some talk I've been having with some very kind and wise folk on a PF forum I found.

I think that I will beef up the Emergency Fund (EF) first, then focus aggressively on paying off my car by June 2007. Then I will work on the student loans while also putting the maximum $4000 a year in a Roth IRA.

I think this will allow me to stay on track in paying off my debts, or maybe finish paying them off a few months later than scheduled, while making sure that I do start on some long-term plans and planning for short-term unexpected needs as well!