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Free computer programs...

December 13th, 2006 at 07:51 am

I found this site:

giveawayoftheday.com

There are some neat little applications available for download. I have yet to download anything because I really haven't had the time or energy to browse around. When I get a chance to do so I will post a follow up. Enjoy.

Atlantic City...

December 11th, 2006 at 05:21 pm

Just returned from the work Christmas party in Atlantic City. Didn't go to well when it came to making my fortune at the blackjack table! Took the worst beating of my gambling career! It's not much a career...a few trips to AC and a few poker games among friends and family over the past 10 years. A lot of people might say that I am crazy to gamble around the holidays...especially while I am trying to pay down some debt. Maybe I am. All I know is that I didn't lose any money that I didn't plan on losing. When I bring money with me to gamble, I expect to lose it. Therefore I do not "need" the money for anything else. I actually put this into my budget and save up for such a trip. To each his own I guess. At least the debt payoff is going in the right direction. I am almost done with the x-mas shopping and I made all purchases with cash or debit card! Starting January, the debt payoff should start to pick up some more steam. Happy Holidays to all and to all a good night!

The wallet has been returned!

October 31st, 2006 at 10:22 am

I just received a telephone call from my wife at home letting me know that my wallet just returned home after 3 days missing! The following note was attached:

"Found your wallet in the Wal-Mart parking lot. Be more careful next time."

Almost everything was still in my wallet. Can you guess what was missing...

That's right...the money. No big deal. I was going to send the $25 to whomever sent it back anyway. It is nice to see that some people will go out of their way for a stranger. This person does not know me but yet took the time to pick the wallet up, finger through it for contact information, take it to the post office and send it back to it's rightful owner. This whole situation has taught me an awful lot about myself and others. When I get home, I will be writing a thank you letter to the very kind and caring person who retruned it.

Lost wallet update...

October 29th, 2006 at 09:08 am

I have called all CC companies, purchased a duplicate DL with a CC that I do not carry in the wallet and put a FRAUD ALERT on my SS# with the big 3 credit agencies. I have called Wal-mart about 10 times within the past day to check to see if someone turned in a wallet. No luck yet. I think that I have protected myself as best as I could in this situation. Here are some things I will be doing in the future to further protect myself:

1. keep a copy of all id's & cc's that are kept in my wallet.
2. keep my SS Card safe at home.
3. don't wear pants without pockets when going to the store!

Thanks for all of the kind words of support & sympathy. I still hold out hope that I will be receiving a phone call or the wallet itself in the mail.

Just lost my wallet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

October 28th, 2006 at 03:12 pm

I can't freaking believe it! On the way home from Wal-Mart I noticed that my wallet was not in my jacket pocket! To make a long story short...I lost it! This is the worst feeling in the world! Trying to remember what was in my wallet is giving me a monster headache. I am pretty sure I got everything reported lost. There is just an empty feeling in the pit of my stomach. Hopefully there are some good people out there that found the wallet and will either return it to the store where it was lost or mail it to me. I am not getting my hopes up though.

Yes...my SS card was in my wallet! I fugure that there are about 5 of me walking the streets right now.

A rough month...

October 28th, 2006 at 08:38 am

October has been a rough month at Chubrock's house! I had to put my aggressive debt repayment plan on hold so that I could save up enough money to redo the bathroom. Water, water everywhere! There were leaks coming from everything! Instead of charging up a fortune to get it fixed, I "rigged" it for the time being but it is only a temporary fix while I save up a few grand. I should have the project complete just in time for Christmas.

It is an ever changing process...

September 23rd, 2006 at 01:25 pm

After about a month of researching how to attack my debt, I have finally written down a plan. I can't believe how easy it was to look at when it was wirtten down!

I have a bunch of small balances on credit cards, under $100 on each card. These will be taken care of by the end of this month. I will then start to pay off my debts one at a time starting with the smallest debt first. It so happens that when I sort my debts by amount and then by APR, they come out in the same order - lucky me!

It feels good to finally have a concrete plan of attack. The stress of figuring out how to do it was crazy. I was racking my brain and scouring the internet for useful information. Anyhow...the debt update for September 23, 2006 = $55043.26. A 3% month!

Change of plans

September 18th, 2006 at 02:34 pm

I have decided to take my mortgage off of the Debt Calander total. It makes me feel better to see a lower number. This was a motivational factor and nothing else.

I have also decided to pay off my car before the credit cards. The reason for this is I have just consolidated all of my credit card debt to a 0% card for the next 18 months. I think it is a smarter move for me to tackle the car loan first since it is at 4.75%. I am hoping to have the car paid off by the time the April 2008 comes along.

Spontaneous spending...

September 13th, 2006 at 05:06 pm

So I went ahead and bought 2 tickets for the Mets first playoff game this year. It was an impulse purchase. A lot of people tell me that they have a better time watching the game from the comfort of their own home. Not me. I love the excitement as well as the smile it brings to the face of my 8 year-old. He starts "Let's Go Mets!" chants and is really animated. He may be the truest Met fan that I know. For his birthday, we brought him to a game and had his name displayed in lights on the scoreboard. It was really cool.

Life happens. It cannot be 100% planned. Don't get me wrong, I would love to be able to write a plan and stick to it. But...life just always seems to get in the way. I don't consider buying these tickets a bad thing because I don't do this all of the time. The Mets haven't been to the playoffs since 2000 and I haven't been to a playoff game since Game 6 of the 1986 World Series. For all of you who don't know, that was the game where the ball trickled through Bill Buckner's legs and allowed the Mets to win the game. I was 13 at the time and I still get goose bumps when I think about it.

I do not consider this an excuse to be a big spender whenever I wish. It is just one of those "Budget Busters" that we all have.

LET'S GO METS!

0% for 18 months!

September 9th, 2006 at 12:36 pm

I just scored a huge savings when I was approved for a 0% into rate until APRIL 1, 2008! I have just transferred all of my outstatnding credit card debt to this account with no fees! I should be able to just about clear up all of my credit card debt by the end of the into rate. I will save over $1600 in interest charges over the course of 18 months. I can't believe that I am getting so excited about 0% interest. I think I will sing:

I'm so excited.
And I just can't hide it.
I'm about to lose control and think I like it!


If anybody is wondering, the card is the World MasterCard through Chase bank. I heard about them through a mailing that they sent me. The telephone number on application is 1-888-848-0540. Give them a call and find out if the offer is still good.

Are you throwing away $144 per year?

September 7th, 2006 at 12:43 pm

When we purchased our new home this past April, I found an old Planters peanut jar while unpacking. Why it was there, I don't know. Instead of throwing it out, I decided to keep it in my bedroom closet so that I could empty all of the change from my pockets each night. Before I did this, my wife would yell at me because I would just dump the change on the kitchen counter or on my dresser in the bedroom. I was interested in just how much money I was throwing around.

Day after day, I would return home from work, head up to the bedroom and empty the change from my pockets. A penny here, a nickel there, and the occasional quarter and dime ended up in that old peanut jar. This went on until August 26, 2006 when I took that now heavy peanut jar to the bank and threw the change into one of those coin counters...........$60.80! Wow! Not bad for 5 months worth of change. Comes out to about $12 per month or $144 per year. I was throwing away $144 per year! Never again. Needless to say, the jar is starting to fill up again.

Oh yeah...this was put towards my mountain of debt.

My new home!

September 6th, 2006 at 12:25 pm

It is offical...I have left blogger.com and decided to make this the site of my blog. If you look to the right hand side of this blog, you will see my DEBT CALENDAR listed underneath the Author Info section. I plan on updating the calendar once per month. Hopefully you will see it continuously going down to zero!

Decided to pay myself first...

August 31st, 2006 at 04:57 pm

I have finally made the decision to go ahead an pay myself first. I was already putting 5% of my pre-tax earnings into the 401k and putting another $50 per week into my kids 529 account so what is another $10 per week? I went ahead and opened an ING Direct Orange Saving Account with an initial deposit of $25. I immediately made a 100% return on investment because ING gave me a $25 bonus for signing up! Now what I should really do is take my original $25 out and just let the free money work its magic. That's acutally not a bad idea now that I think of it. Maybe I will open another ING account under my wife and get another $25 bonus! Then I will deposit $10 per week automatically into one of our accounts and watch it grow!

0% through April 2007

August 30th, 2006 at 08:16 pm

I have just applied for a 0% intro rate Visa card. This card would give me a 0% interest rate for approx. 6 monts. Let's say I get approved for a $5000 credit line and transfer $5000 right away with no fees attached to the transfer. I did request the entire $15k to be transferred. This would leave me with approx. $10k left on another credit card. I am thinking of only paying the minimum amount on the 0% card and attacking the other card as fast as I can to reduce the amount of interest being accrued. Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Pay yourself first?

August 30th, 2006 at 10:21 am

In researching the best way to eliminate all of my debt I came across a book titled the Automatic Millionaire by David Bach. It took me about two hours to read through this little gem over two days. This is a trick that I learned from an old friend. Instead of purchasing books, I just go to the local Barnes & Nobles or Borders and read during my lunch break. Now the money that I would've spent on this book will be put towards my outstanding debt.

A recurring theme in many of the books I have read, including the Rich Dad series, is that you should pay yourself first and invest that money for the future. Now I am struggling with wether or not to do this. After thinking about it for a while, I realized that I already do pay myself fist by contributing to the company 401K plan at work. Now I only contribute 5% a week but it is better than nothing. The big question with paying yourself first is this...

Are you getting a better return on your investments than the bank is getting on you? If your investments are giving you a 5% return and your credit cards are costing you 7%, wouldn't it be better to take as much money as you could possilbly scrape up and pay off those credit card bills as quickly as you can? You are actually losing 2% by paying yourself first!

Some experts may try to shoot this theory down but I can't see how. There are ways to cut your credit card interest rates so that they are less than that of your investments. For example, you can play the 0% credit card game. This is a tough game that I have lost in the past. I will attempt to get it going again once I feel comfortable enough about doing so. There are some good articles on www.debtsmart.com regarding this method.

I am not sure what to do about this. I am in a quandry (I love using that word! I don't really care if it is used incorrectly!) My gut says to stop contributing to the 401k and start hitting the credit card debt hard. This, however, goes against everything that I have been taught. Save, save, save, save! What to do? What to do?

The credit card plan...

August 30th, 2006 at 10:20 am

After much though, I have come up with a plan to start paying off the credit cards. I have just finished transferring all credit card debt onto one credit card that carries a 5.99% APR for life. This beats the 12-18% that I would be paying if I left it where it was! I plan to play around with those infamous 0% offers in the future. Right now I am just trying to get started. I am happy with the 5.99% rate for now and my happiness is all that counts right now.

Thanks to my father I have always used a weekly budget so I already know how much I can afford to pay towards my credit card bills. (I will post about this budget in more detail at a later time.) I will just combine the amount that I was paying each month to all three cards and put that total towards the new card. I will also be adding the following extra money each month towards the credit card debt:

I used to round up my mortgage, car payment & student loans to the nearest $100. That equates to approx. $100 per month. Instead of paying this extra to the mortgage, I will pay it to the credit card company. This extra payment will significantly decrease the principal over the life of the debt. I am not real good with those calculations, but it can't hurt!
Believe it or not, I am very excited to do the bills this week! I cannot wait to get started. I can envision it in my head. I just hope it all works out in the end!

Increasing Credit Card Debt!?!?!?!

August 30th, 2006 at 10:19 am

Why would I be so stupid! I have just signed up to have my cable, phone, internet & cell phone bills paid automatically to my Amex card! I thought I was supposed to decrease my credit card debt. Well, it is one of those reward cards. A Costco reward card to be exact. I will be earning Costco cash that will be redeemable in February of March. I have enough faith in myself to pay off the Amex bill at the end of each month (the Costco Amex allows you to carry a balance). I will just take the amex card out of my wallet so I don't use it by "mistake". I know that I am taking a chance on digging myself an even larger hole but I am willing to take that chance for an extra $100 in Costco cash!

The beginning...$56,815.68 in debt!

August 30th, 2006 at 10:18 am

My debt consists of the following:

Credit Cards
Student Loans
Car Payment

I am not listing items such as utilities, insurnace, telephone, cable, groceries. These are recurring debts that are taken care of in full on a monthly basis. In an effort to become debt free, I will, of course, attempt to lessen the strain that these bills have on my wallet. My plan is a simple one:

Pay off the credit cards
Pay off the car payment
Pay off the student loan

How I go about doing this is a different story. There are plenty of people out there that are willing to give advice. Now if I can just figure out whose advice will work for my situation.