Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Coming in for a landing!

The topic of this post has nothing to do with the title, but I had to share. As I was sitting here contemplating the topic for this post, an acrobatic spider dropped in to say hello. It rode it's silk thread from the ceiling right on down to the computer desk and took off running. It's in the vicinity of the cable modem right now.

So let's talk about the real topic at hand...money. As in, I don't have any. As has happened to many college and post-college young adults in the past, I find myself with a certain amount of credit card debt that is not covered by the two part-time jobs that I have smushed together in an attempt to create a full-time-ish job when in fact I am left instead with, well, two part-time jobs. And as I am in school and looking forward to having a Real Career once I am done with my program, I just thought I would coast along paying a bit more than the minimum but continuing to use my credit cards because I like to have a Target blowout once in a while. And then I found myself with a ring on my finger and a song in heart...and someone else to worry about as I consider my spending habits.

My grandfather, when I was little, bought me savings' bonds for many occasions. And these have been sitting in my mom's dresser, maturing and waiting for the day that they are needed. Several years ago, after a car accident that I was not interested in reporting to my insurance company, I cashed in one of these bonds to pay for some car repairs. The rest are still sitting in the dresser, biding their time.

My plan was to use these to buy a house someday. After all, my grandfather gave these to me because he wanted to invest in my future. They were supposed to go toward college, but my dad was able to pay for that for me. And then I thought maybe they would go for my second round of college, but I am taking out loans in the hopes that a hospital will repay them for me one day. So then I moved on to the house thing. But Bill has a house. So then I pondered some house upgrades (item number one, paving the driveway; item number two, central air).

What I do know is that he didn't give me these so that I could pay off some credit card debt someday. They weren't given to get me out of a mess of my own making. And considering using them for this reason feels a little bit like a betrayal to me.

However, after talking things over with my mom and with Bill, I have decided to cash in two more bonds to pay off my store credit cards and most of my Discover. I will also use a little money to buy two new tires to rotate on to my car so the two almost-bald ones can rotate off. And then I plan to transfer as much of the balance of my Visa as I can off of the high interest rate card that it sits on now and on to a card that is offering me 0% interest on balance transfers through November 30, 2006. By that time, the wedding will be over, I will be about a month away from being a nurse, and I will have more time to worry about this. For now, however, I am sticking a Band-Aid on this rather large problem in hopes that I will be able to soldier through until Someday. And Someday can't get here fast enough...

Oh, and spider update...he has thrown himself off the computer desk and is apparently exploring the floor. Just as long as he doesn't end up in my bed...

13 comments:

Jen said...

Credit cards are the worst. They should come with warning labels on them or something. We finally paid off all of our credit card debt a few years ago, and it felt great. Never again will we use credit cards for anything that can't be paid off that month.

patrice said...

your grandfather might not have intended you to use those bonds to pay off credit card debt, but I'm sure if you asked him about it today, he'd say to use them for whatever would make the biggest impact to your life. right now, that's the credit cards, because school is paid for (or will be) and a house isn't an issue. go forward without guilt.

and good tip on transferring your balance. just don't do that too many times or your overall credit rating will go down. but this sounds like a one-time deal, so it's perfection.

lonna said...

I agree with Patrice. Your grandfather would have wanted what would have made you happy and that's to be debt-reduced if not debt free. I have a lot of student loan debt (in the six digits), but we paid off the credit cards first because the interest rates are just insane. We were able to get our debt down to my student loan, a car payment, and our mortgage. It feels so much better to have that weight off of your shoulders.

My brother's wife wouldn't marry him until he had paid off all of his credit card debt because she didn't have any and didn't want to deal with his. That got him moving and he took care of it ahead of schedule.

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