Approaching the Limit

The following is a staff writer post from MikeS.  He is a married father of 2.  So, with the cat, he ranks number 5 in the house.  He loves numbers and helping people. Please leave any questions or comments below for either Mike or Crystal. There are still times when I can still be surprised by my finances; such was the case recently when I reviewed my credit card charges.  There was a time when I would check my charges on a daily basis, but that has changed recently, probably over the last 6-9 months.  I still check them at least once a week, but I don’t watch them like a hawk. So, it was a surprise when I looked at my account online and saw that I was only about $900 away from my credit limit.  Since the limit on my card is $10,000, I was caught a little off guard.  When I looked into the details, there was nothing amiss and my finances were completely fine. How I Got There Not since I dug out of my financial hole have I been that close to my limit.  There are probably two main reasons why I was that close … Read more…

My Credit Card Rewards Update

The following is a staff writer post from MikeS.  He is a married father of 2.  So, with the cat, he ranks number 5 in the house.  He loves numbers and helping people. Please leave any questions or comments below for either Mike or Crystal. A while back, I talked about revising my credit card strategy. I was looking for a way to increase the amount of cash I received by using my credit card for all my purchases. I was curious as to whether I saw the increase that I thought I would, turns out, I did. My Credit Card Summary If you didn’t see that post, I basically used one card for all of the household purchases. I was using the Bank of America 1-2-3 card. The card gave 1% on all purchases, 2% on groceries and 3% on gas. If you deposited your cash reward into a Bank of America bank account, they would give you a 10% bonus. I was averaging between 1.2% and 1.4% for most months. I then saw an ad for the new Citi Double-Cash back card. You earn 1% on your purchases and then you earn another 1% on your payments. Since … Read more…

Credit Card Strategy

The following is a staff writer post from MikeS.  He is a married father of 2.  So, with the cat, he ranks number 5 in the house.  He loves numbers and helping people. Please leave any questions or comments below for either Mike or Crystal. I used to have a fairly basic strategy when it came to my credit cards… I only used one. I didn’t have multiple cards in my wallet.  There was one card that was used for everything.  I certainly tried to maximize the rewards or cash back that we would get from that card, but I really didn’t spend that much time thinking about it.  I simply paid my bill in full every month and pocketed the rewards that I earned.  My situation today has certainly changed. Multiple Cards The first time multiple cards came about was so that both my wife and I could have our own personal cards.  Rather than use our joint card for our own purchases and then figure out how to transfer money between our accounts, it was just easier to have separate cards.  The rule was, and still is, the card is paid in full and you are not allowed … Read more…

I Gave Myself a Raise

The following is a staff writer post from MikeS.  He is a married father of 2.  So, with the cat, he ranks number 5 in the house.  He loves numbers and helping people. Please leave any questions or comments below for either Mike or Crystal. I recently gave myself a raise, not my salary at work, though that would be nice, but my allowance.  As I have mentioned before, my wife and I each receive monthly allowances.  This helps us to stay on budget, as wants are paid for via allowance money for the most part and needs come from the household budget.  I have been finding recently that my allowance is too small.  In the past, I have managed to get by with a much smaller allowance than my wife.  That ability to get by has been under pressure for the last year or so as my wants have started to increase. Increasing Wants The biggest expense that has come up, is I am trying to surprise why wife with a second-honeymoon in a few years.  Don’t worry; she won’t see this post, so I haven’t spoiled the surprise.  It will be our 15-year wedding anniversary, as well as, … Read more…

I Bought a New TV

The following is a staff writer post from MikeS.  He is a married father of 2.  So, with the cat, he ranks number 5 in the house.  He loves numbers and helping people. Please leave any questions or comments below for either Mike or Crystal. I might get tarred and feather on a PF website for saying this, but I just bought myself a new TV.  There wasn’t anything wrong with my old TV.  I just wanted a new one.  Before you start typing your response, let me explain. Want versus Need The idea of a new TV actually occurred to me in the beginning of the year.  For whatever reason, I decided I wanted a slightly bigger TV.  So, do I go right out and by one?  Nope.  Since the TV is a “want” and not a “need”, I have to use my allowance. Yes, I get an allowance, so does my wife. We each receive a set amount each month to spend on whatever we want, no questions asked.  The rest of our income is for joint expenses and generally reserved for “needs”.  I decided that I wanted to have the TV by January at the latest.  My … Read more…