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credit = doom

Didn't it sound cool that my accident - sorry, the accident that happened to my car - resulted in a net sum of nearly $2,500 for me? Just a minor hassle to get the car fixed and reapproved for road use, and I have a nice bonus, just when I could really use one, too.

Except, I've already spent half of it in the past month, and would have even if the accident hadn't happened.

See, I needed a new bed for my new condo - and no mistake, I definitely needed a new bed, my back was really hurting a lot from the futon I'd been using - which I had delivered, and I had to rent the truck to move my other stuff to the new place. Then there were a couple weddings, and the new pants I needed for the weddings (oh yeah, the other clothing is on my Macy's card, and OH YEAH, they don't know my new address! damn), and my .Mac account renewed, and so did that "Citibank Auto Plan" that isn't actually AAA and that I've never used, and then of course the car repairs were added to this card as well... and what do you know, that quickly adds up to $1,200. Only the car repairs would have been left out of that total, which would be $180 less but still the total added to the card would've been over a thousand. As it is, that $1,200 doubles the outstanding debt on that card.

Meanwhile, the other credit card - the one with all the car repairs that happened over last winter and spring, plus other miscellaneous expenses that went to that card while I was trying to pay down the braces charge on the first one - is now approaching $3,700.

So that handy $2,500 bonus that I was going to use to pay down my credit card debt? Well, I can still pay off the first card entirely, or I can take a big chunk out of the second debt (which is now accruing $50-a-month interest). But the actual effect of that money is now only half what I expected it would be. And my monthly mortgage/condo payments start at the end of this month, so I won't actually know how that affects my ability to make credit card payments until then, but it's likely the best I'll be able to do is keep up with the interest.

Oh, and Christmas is next month, when I was hoping to go home for a visit, and when I typically spend around $300 for family presents. Now I'm unhappily thinking that not only should I stay here, I also should not buy any presents for anyone.

I don't know just what I'm supposed to expect as a tax return, when everyone says, "oh, you're a first-time homebuyer, you'll get a BIG refund on your taxes," but if it's not in the range of a few thousand dollars then I really don't know how I'm going to bring this credit card debt back down to zero.

Also: I came down with a cold today, although it feels like I've already dodged the worst of it, which is odd.

Just as a sort of footnote, I know things aren't desperate for me yet, and other people are far worse off and far less able to bring things back under control. I'm just disappointed and frustrated to realize that I do seem to be slipping further, and if it weren't for the accident that I'd actually be even worse off.

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Comments

( 4 have written — Write )
alkelda
Nov. 5th, 2005 05:17 pm (UTC)
Hi Phil,

The car accident (which I almost spelled "addicent") was sort of a felix culpa</a>, eh? I am totally in sympathy with you over the financial issues. I know it is of small comfort to you, but I've talked with other people about really (as in really-really) scaling back Christmas presents to include only home-made and free items, not to mention the ever-so-handy agreement of "Hey, how about I don't get you a present,and you don't get me a present?" (Warning: this may only work with close family members and siblings.)

I am in support of you posting a condo-warming wishlist. You don't need to broadcast it, but if people ask, you can guide them to the list. When Brandon had his first house-warming party, he had to inform his friends that they should bring presents like alcohol or candles. Just about everyone brought alcohol or candles. (I got him a coffee canister and a Mojo Jojo fridge magnet, but I'm not showing off or anything, of course.)

alkelda
Nov. 5th, 2005 05:18 pm (UTC)
P.S.
Yikes! I didn't close an italics code! So sorry.
(Anonymous)
Nov. 5th, 2005 09:20 pm (UTC)
crap! I' m no signed on this machines..
aka, I own too many computers and not enough space in my head to remember the passwords to anything anymore...

Phil, easy cowboy... its cool you're an american. on the plus side, you are a home owning american... and one more thing, you're a home owning american with a Brother-in-law who is a crash on wiz bang accountant. Mike ROCKS... if you don't have him do you taxes? maybe you should consider asking him for some advice, about your income taxes next time around. maybe he can help with some other ways to help your situation...

heres something else to think about, you've been to a concert in the last couple months.. where as, I have not, can't remember the last concert I went to, or film I went to, or last time I went out, and paid... and its not for a lack of a babysitter... having some high credit card balances is one thing... you still get to do some cool shit... now get the heck off that pile of gaming books and let me do some whining about my finances. : )

oh yeah... and I'm in the middle of now where, witha little girl crying in her crib. : ( later

(Anonymous)
Nov. 9th, 2005 04:18 pm (UTC)
is there anything you can do for extra money? it's not like your job requires you to do work at home. and no one wants to flip burgers on the weekend, and we all know retail sucks, but maybe you could do some sort of freelance something. ask around.

i think free financial planners exist, too. they might be helpful in budgeting so you don't have to freak out. mike would be good to talk to, but WA tax laws are outside his realm of knowledge, no?

i'll miss you at xmas. =(

a
( 4 have written — Write )

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