• Like a bad penny, debt always turns up…

    unless we change how we interact with money, of course!

    The Bad Penny is dedicated to two pursuits: getting out of debt and staying out of debt! It recognizes that frugality and caring for our planet go hand in hand, and that our unsatiated need for stuff is hurting us in so many ways.

    Easier said than done!


    I am not a finance professional. I write about the world as I know it, and my advice may not be the best course of action for you! Please seek qualified advice for your particular situation.

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February-March 2008 Progress Post

So I’ve decided that since we’re already halfway through March, this is going to reflect everything we’ve paid up until today. (And seriously, where does the time go?)

Personal Credit Cards:

Citibank: Was: $1212.73
Now: $114.17

This was all snowflaking from our business sales on ebay! Wow! That’s $1098.56! (And today I transferred that last $114 from my Paypal account. As soon as it is in our checking account I’ll pay this card off.)

Business Credit Cards:

Transferred to our Business Citibank for a better interest rate and a much better bank.

Chase: Was: $6138.80
Now: $6040.50 (I paid $150, finance charges of $24.79 )

Citibank: Was: $10,556.49
Now: $10,617.85 (I made a payment of $330.00, finance charges of $50.44 – and the reason it went up so much is because we charged 340.92 to pay for shipping for the business)

Total Credit Card Debt:
Original Debt: $18, 954.86
Last Month: $17,481.67
Current: $16,772.52
Monthly Difference: $709.15
Total Paid Off: $2182.34

Accessible Savings Account:
Current: $7,396.96

The huge amount in our savings came from a refinancing – All but about two hundred of this is earmarked for our new septic system. We still need to come up with another $6000 or so to cover costs. We’ve been talking about, and I’m not sure what the plan is, except to save as much as possible. It’s likely we’ll have to finance it, because if we put this off anymore to get more money together, we will get in trouble with the county health department – they have a law here that all septic systems must pass a particular test or be replaced when the home changes owners, and our’s is old enough it’s almost guaranteed to fail.

So I may not be posting much, but I’m still getting rid of this debt!


December Progress Post

Let’s see how we did in December:

Personal Credit Cards:

Citibank: Was: $2261.81
Now: $1787.71

We paid off $626.39 on this card this month – $20 of that was snowflaking, and $6.39 was a returned item at Walmart. We also charged $152.29 on the card – all automatic debits but mostly our cell phone bill ($130, half of which my father-in-law reimburses us because they are on our family plan,) which will be a paper bill next month.

Business Credit Cards:

Was: $5375.25
Now: $5375.25 (I just realized that I had paid $300 to this before I started this blog, so the initial amount reflected this month’s payment.)

Chase: Was: $6366.37
Now: $6,236.37 ( I paid $130)

Citibank: Was: $4951.43
Now: $4,927.42 (I paid $115 to this card in December.) More automatic debits kept this one from being lower – this time the shipping program I use for my business, and I had to pre-buy postage, which should last a while. But those purchases pretty much ate up most of my payment.)

Total Credit Card Debt: Was: $18, 954.86
Now: $18,326.75
Difference: $628.11

I’m disappointed that the difference is so small.  The purchases were what caused the problem.  Next month our phone bill will be paid with cash, so we should only see about $55 in purchases (our sponsored child ($32), the business stamps program ($16), and one subscription that can’t be done in any other way($7.))  Still, we need to find ways to reduce those or remove them from our cards and pay in cash.  Or keep that money aside specifically for those items on the credit cards.

I didn’t get much snowflaking done – I blame that partially on Christmas and partially on me. There were several things I was going to sell and never got around to it. Plus having started in the middle of the month, I wasn’t able to stack up an impressive snowflaking pile (ball?) to awe you all. 😛

January we start our spending plan and our debt reduction plan in full force. We tried to stay within our plans this month, but since we had spent half the month not paying too much attention to what we were doing, we had pretty much already blown it.

But we’re on our way, and if we continue on this path, we will eventually pay off our cards.  Our goal is to pay them off as fast as possible, however, so we’ll be looking for ways to reduce expenses and reuse what we have, as well as maximize our income.  Because if this month is indicative of anything, we won’t be getting to our goals fast if we don’t continue to change for the better!