Monthly Archives: June 2014

Old habits die hard, so freeze ’em.

I mentioned freezing my credit card in my last update. Well, it had gotten to be bad–there was that time in February where things got out of whack, what with the huge taxes I owed, and moving, and the trip to the Gulf Coast

Because I had wiped out my emergency fund/savings account to pay for the taxes while still paying off as much debt as I could, I found myself “temporarily” charging things on my credit card. After I had worked so hard to pay off that $13k in credit card debt over a year ago.

Well, it got bad. Pretty bad. At first I was charging things in New Orleans like one of the hotel rooms, some restaurants. Then it became groceries here and there, running shoes. Several running race entries. Before I knew it, I made an almost $700 payment on the card early this month…and after it went through, I still had another $700 balance on it! WTF?!

I charged another hotel room on Priceline a couple weekends ago and had such an appalling experience–the front desk guy swore there was no reservation and they were booked so we ended up trekking to Mr. Bacon’s dad’s house. Lo and behold, two days later I get an email from Priceline saying we never showed up and would be charged the $73 for the price of the room as the cancellation fee. Excuse me?! After calling both Priceline and then my credit card company, Capital One suggested freezing the card indefinitely as I hadn’t been charged yet.

Priceline later got back to me saying we wouldn’t get charged, and in the meantime, I have no intention to unfreeze the credit card. It gets me in trouble and I shouldn’t use it as an emergency fund.

So that’s the scoop. I’ll pay off he rest of it as soon as I get paid this Friday and will get refocused on the student loans again. I’ve learned my lesson now!!

May Finance Update, KAPOW!

Darn, I only blogged three times in May. There’s a fourth in “draft” mode about travel reimbursement as bonus income. You’ll have to wait for it!

On the good side…last month, I decreased my student loan debt by $1,575.43 to $81,281.32! Woohoo! Next month I should be under the $80k mark, for sure! I made an extra payment of $1,350 for a total of $1,815.90 in payments, meaning “only” $240.47 of it was for interest. Isn’t it INTERESTing how the more you pay, the less goes to interest? (See what I did there!)

The bad news bears is that I ended up charging a lot on the credit card…which I actually froze on Monday. (More on that in a near future post.) I paid for a lot of race entries, most of the big ones on my schedule for 2014 (a half marathons, a 10-miler, and a 10k). Yes, more on that later.

I did two races in May, a 10k (which doubled as our wedding scouting trip/romantic-ish weekend) and an Olympic triathlon. I’ve recently decided to do less triathloning, and more running races, which should be easier on the racing budget. We also seemed to go out of town on little side trips every weekend, though ironically did the staycation thing for the long Memorial Weekend. The traveling expenses definitely added up–road trip food, fuel for the car, accommodations. Yuck. Mr. Bacon also had some medical expenses that I helped out with.

Budget-wise, I ended up going way over for fast food and dining out (see road trips above), and $22 over the $500 grocery budget despite “shopping my fridge.” There was a big Costco trip in there to replenish the empty fridge, so hopefully it’ll be a while before we need to hit up Costco again!

Overall, I feel like I’m on track again after April’s embarrassing update… Thanks to some of your encouraging words, I drafted up “Game Plan 2.0” to get back on the horse. I think freezing the credit card will help, so I don’t slip into bad habits again. Although the super aggressive plan has me decreasing the debt by $2k every month which is possible if I really stick to my budgets. Unfortunately, it likely won’t happen for June because of the whole “borrowing from my future self” thing. And that my emergency fund is even further depleted to $25… But moving forward, I know I can rebuild and tackle this big freakin’ mountain! With the credit card indefinitely frozen, most of my race entries paid for, and an updated game plan, I’m ready to tackle the world!

How was your June? Ever have to freeze your credit cards to stop swiping them?