Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday Freestyles... The Finance Edition.



Good Friday Morning.

Or Good Friday Afternoon.

Or Good Friday evening. 

Whichever it may be, because I been working on this here post ALL day long on my breaks.

I thought I would do something a little different for our freestyle Friday. I didn't get a chance to talk about my Triple F Posse meeting, so I will do that today.

So we got together at one of the local malls in the food court and caught up on all things financial.

The whole food court thing was O_o. Folks were giving out free samples, and you know me. If it is free, it is good.

Look, what had happened was... I had some Chinese food. This is fine. But I told the man to give me some rice, the veggie medley, and a piece of that orange chicken. This dude dump a couple of spoonfuls on my plate. Sigh. Dude. That broccoli veggie stuff was GREAT. I picked around at the chicken. I took 90% of that home and fed it to Oscar and Callie.

Both of them were soon laid out with the 'itis. Especially that Sister Callie:

Look at her wedged between the arm of the sofa and my leg. She is getting her 'itis induced beauty sleep. I guess that deep-fried fructose corn syrup orange glazed coated chicken do that to a feline. And a human, too. Cuz I myself had to go lay down somewhere and get my beauty sleep. I appreciate my raw spinach much more these days.

I now know how to get them to go to sleep.That's good.

One of the things that limits us is having a good regular meeting place. I am remotely thinking about having the meetings at my house. That way I am forced to clean and sand blast my house once a month. But hell... that is just going to stress me out something awful. I just don't know. And my house is so small that if you do a Wonder Woman spin, you will knock EVERYTHING over. I have to think hard about that one. If it means having regular meetings, then I may have to suck it up and figure it out.

Back to Finances.  It was good to catch up with everybody. And since it is more of a group where I can't share what all was said, I can choose to share my own thoughts and accomplishments.

Oh but I know I can tell one thing about another member. Ms. Erica got married to Mr. T., the male member of our group. Look at that ring:


It makes me want to sing that song, holler "BLING-BLING". Everytime ya see me "Bling-Bling! Everytime I come around the corner, "BLING-BLING!!"

Congrats Erica and Mr. T.! 

We always do a round robin and talk about our financial highs and lows. I will talk about mine here.

Kentucky and I did a 21 day financial fast back in March. Our meetings had sporadic, to the point where I thought we were on hiatus.  Kentucky kept asking when the meetings were, and hell, I didn't hear from anyone. So we did the fast together (It was scheduled for march anyway).

It went well enough. I always put away some extra money during these financial fasts. It also gives me a chance to watch my patterns, and set new savings goals, which I ended up putting into effect and that is doing just fine. There's another financial fast coming up in another couple of weeks and I will participate in that one too.

Payoffs. I finally paid off last years "blood" bill. If you can remember, I had to have nine iron infusions. These were $6000 apiece before insurance. After my insurance paid, they came up to $300 a piece for me. So overall, with infusions and doctor's visits cost, that came out to roughly $3000.  I paid just fine up until that last $900 bill. I would just move money out of savings and pay as the bills came. But I decided to just pay $100 a month for that last bill, just out of being hard-headed and not wanting to pay it off. (This was definitely a high class problem).

My rheumatologist said "Your iron storage levels are normal, and you can go and get infusions if you ever need them." That ain't going down unless I am about to fall out or something. I feel the same afterwards. I told her that it was all just too pricey. Yeah, if they were $50 apiece, that would be cool. But if I am paying $300 apiece, I better have some special Wonder Woman powers behind it. I'm just saying.

I also paid off a couple small credit card bills. All in all, it freed up some $180 of money. So that money is mostly going to savings or other things I need to pay off.

Credit score. Man... my credit score on all three reports ranged from 841-846.  Now, 850 is a perfect score. I don't know HOW that happened, as I been hanging in the 790s for several years.

I thought it was because my mortgage got sold. The way it looks is like I paid it off or something. And they have a mortgage amount some $30,000 more than what I paid for my house. That is what is paid off. Not sure whether to call the peoples about that. I think I will just watch it. The account number is correct, etc. So yeah... since it's not deleterious, then whatever.

The group thought it was because I paid off some cards. Ok. I will take ya'lls word for it.

Credit Card Application. I got a special application in the mail.  Check this out.
 

A black card application. Ain't that special?  It made me feel special. It truly did.

I felt special until I saw that $495.

Hated it!

We discussed this in the meeting. Kentucky was looking at the brochure and thinks highly of the concierge service they offered.

"I don't need concierge service," I hollered.

And I don't. That's what blogger Serenity_23 is for. She is a bit on the bootleg, but if I need some feminine type stuff and help she will help. She will help her good tomboy friend, she will. Kentucky will too. Between those two, I am good. And there services are free.

And I don't use credit cards that much. They said that you should spend $3000 in the first 3 months to get some bonus points. That is absurd.

I did a little digging around and found out that the real black card is by American express. $7500 annual fee to start. And you have to spend $250,000 a year.  You see me with that, you know I am robbing banks, selling drugs, selling azz on the corner or something else illegal.

No thank you! How can I get financially free doing that type of tomfoolery?

LOL

So that was fun, just to imagine.

Seems like what you really want is the metal card. That's what these "black" cards are made of. So when you place it on the table and it clinks, and people can ooooh and ahhhh.  You can impress folks with it.

You know me. People can kiss my ashy kneecaps. I ain't trying to impress NO ONE. Nope.

But that was it for my update to the group. I have no big goals right now except to have a holding pattern until the end of the year. There was an interesting discussion about sinking funds, and for the next month, I may be setting up a couple of specific ones instead of having one for everything.

Additionally, by December, I will have one of my emergency credit cards paid off. And savings will be extra healthy, where I want it to be. But that's about it.

One thing that resonated with me was that someone said they had to keep things straight because they had no one to go to if they needed help financially. That struck me to my core, and I think about it from time to time. I have to immediately chase that thought away by confessing that God has never left me high and dry, impoverished, or without help, and I have no reason to have fear.

And that is that. Period. But it still comes to mind. And it is still a reminder of maintaining good stewardship over what I possess, and aiming to get better and better with that with each passing day.

Amen. *fans self with Obama church fan*

Oh, and there's new people in the group. They weren't there. But you know how I am. I get quiet around new folk.  And it's already known that if things don't shake out right, I disappear. That's it. I don't discuss nothing.  It seems that that shouldn't be a problem as these new folks are earnestly working hard on their stuff. But if I come away all stressed, I am ghost. Just habit for me. I will go so far as to call it an idiosyncrasy. There is a reason for that. And it will be discussed in a food-for-thought discussion next week. Kentucky and I had one of them convos... sigh. (You know how my conversations can go off deep like the ocean).

I was glad to get back into the folds of the group. The discussion is always great, and it is also a "safe" place to say whatever you have to say, especially if you messed up, without judgment. And that's what I like. Some are doing very well. Some are just getting along. But we all learn something from each other.  And I LOVE that, honey.

Alright, that's the recap. Sorry for the late posting. Busy as a bee today. Sigh.

I start a 30 day detail on Monday. That should be... interesting.

More about that later.

All I know, I better make it a great weekend. On purpose.

And you do the same.  

14 comments:

  1. You have a good weekend too!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Blessings...
    You too funny, you put your pets in a sleep induced coma with chinese food?

    Congratulations to Erica and Mr. T make blessings be the foundation of your union.

    Financial fast, hmmmmm, i think i am a permanent financial fast.

    Have a blessed weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Chinese food puts me to sleep too so I feel Callie.

    I just looked at a doctor bill that I need to pay off. And in a couple of years, O will be getting braces. Someone told me that I needed to start saving now. Lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I ended up throwing some of it out. I am sure they would have awakened and wanted more!

      I feel like we are ALWAYS getting things paid off here and there. I celebrate my little pay-offs. And work on the bigger ones.

      Braces are expensive. Get ta saving.

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    2. I need to start Savin for this expense too. It would be great just to go in and BLAM here ya go and not stress about it.

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    3. Start saving Tracey! I found it most useful to autodebit my savings into a specific account that I don't "see". For vacation, I opened up a account and have money put into that account everytime I get paid automatically. I check it every few months or so.

      Delete
  4. What is a 30 day detail?

    I need to re buy my book. It grew legs!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 30 days working in another group that is a start up right now. I have been sat down and some "come to jesus" meetings have occurred because I NEVER do details, let alone apply for anything. I get tired of the Lucy and Charlie Brown football scenario so I don't bother applying for jobs around here. Maybe they will be happy about this detail(as you can tell, there is an undercurrent of pissivity and annoyance here).

      I bought the second edition. Want to see how it differs.

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  5. What does the fast consist of exactly? Only spending on essentials (i.e. food, mortgage, bills, etc.)?

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    Replies
    1. Pay your essentials, but no eating out, entertainment, extra frivolous stuff. Work out of a book and journal everyday as directed. It has helped me pinpoint problem areas and save money much better.

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    2. I may do a financial fast in September or Oct. I like this idea!

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  6. I need to get back on track with my finances. Good food for thought.

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  7. I just located my Financial Fast book. Maybe I need to take this for another whirl.

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  8. I need to get better about my finances. Really get a hold where wasteful spending is occurring. That will be my goal this weekend! I really need to see where my autodebits are happening because I KNOW I am not using everything I sign up for.

    Thanks Lee!

    And Callie is too cute!

    ReplyDelete

Slap the *crickets* out the way, kindly step up to the mike, and SAY something!!