13 March 2013

Hump Day Herald, Hawkeye Edition

This weeks edition of Hump Day Herald is coming to you from Iowa, the Hawkeye State. In addition to the plentiful corn and soybeans, my girlfriend lives here. She's been the one to visit me for the last couple visits, so it was my turn to make the trip over. Maybe another time, I'll look into posting about saving money on travel. I've paid roughly the same amount for the round trip for the last several years, so I know when if I'm actually getting a deal. This time, the price was within the average range, so I didn't overpay, but no money was saved either.

A picture of corn would be appropriate.
Anyway, enough of that. Being on vacation means I actually have ample opportunity to get more posts ready for here. Instead of rushing out the door at 0700 to go to work and not returning until after 2200, I might roll over and out of bed before 1000. At that point, I really don't have much else to do. I'd intended to use the free time to get posts all lined up, but that hasn't materialized as easily as I'd hoped it would. I even tried sitting at Starbucks and writing, to no avail. Fortunately, I still have another five days here, so I hope to rectify the issue.

Moving on to other news: I finally got one of my goals for the year taken care of and paid off a credit card. It was the first card I ever got, but the interest is something awful, and they won't lower it even though I've called and asked several times. However, they have been kind enough to voluntarily raise my limit over the years which I suppose is a blessing in disguise if properly managed. Needless to say, I didn't manage it properly until recently. Now that it's paid off, some might suggest that I put it away for good going forward. I will be greatly curtailing its use, but I still have a few reasons to pull it out on occasion. The extra rewards categories are nice to have. Getting paid to buy what I was already buying sounds good to me. Also, it is my oldest card, and closing it would ding my credit score a bit.

In reviewing the goals post, I realized I'd actually finished two of them. One of the retirement account loans also got paid off a bit over a month ago. That has freed up just about $55/month in cash flow in my budget (about a week's worth of gas). When combined in conjunction with the money I will no longer be sending my credit card, a tidy sum will now be redirected into servicing other debts and building up my reserves for FIRE. After years of mediocrity, I can finally see some real progress and I intend to keep the momentum going.

Anyway, enough about me. If you have a similar story of finally getting some debt paid off that has been sticking with you, do share in the comments. Ditto if you have some that you've been wanting to get rid of, but just haven't figured out why it hasn't happened yet. I know exactly how that feels and I'm sure there're plenty of other people who also share those sentiments. We're all on this journey together. And don't worry, I didn't forget. I still have haiku for you.

Paid Off
Paid the charge card off
Making progress toward FIRE
No more crisis mode

Image courtesy of koratmember / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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