Monday, March 17, 2008

All the money stuff

Lately I have felt really comfortable talking about money. I am thinking this is partly to the fact that some of my more mature friends have been talking finances with me. While I don't consider myself an expert by any means, the last month or so I have been doing a lot of reading on the subject and really examing how Nathan and I live.

So today I was thinking about credit cards. We recently paid them off and I am soooo happy about that. The only balance we carry on them is a few small charges here and there that we can pay off every month without any kind of charge. But with all kinds of things happening in our lives like the sewer problem, having to pay a big amount to taxes, my neck injury (we have insurance but for a long time we didn't) etc. It kind of got me thinking about if we do have to get into the credit cards again, I need to make sure we are in the mindset that they would be able to be paid off in a timely manner.

I made some phone calls and made sure I knew our interest rates for each card because honestly, I knew the ballpark for each on standard purchases but nothing exact and I had no clue about the cash advance rate. Here is what I found out about the three cards we carry:

Card 1: 11.24% standard purchase, 31.74% cash advance
Card 2: 11.99% standard purchase, 20.99% cash advance
Card 3: 19.99% standard purchase, 24.99% cash advance

These numbers really surprised me and I am REALLY glad I called about the rates. Because Card 1 is linked through my bank and due to the glory that is online banking, it is the easiest to transfer money out of, but with a 31.74% rate on cash advances that is obviously not the best move.

I am just glad I am staying informed because life can throw curve balls at you pretty fast. Now, some of you are probably saying, "ah, duh, Teresa, that is kind of common sense." and that's okay, I know I am kind of nerd, but just in case someone else didn't think to look into this, maybe now you will. :)


Julia said...

The money matters suck. Isn't it Murphy's Law that says what can happen will happen? I hope you don't have to get into the CC mode again but at least you are thinking ahead. And that is exactly why I'm a big believer in the Emergency Fund with six months of expenses saved up, not to be touched. It's a lot but I have to know it's there if we need it.

Kudos to you for being mature enough to plan ahead!

Teresa said...

I wish our E-fund was bigger, but paying off CCs was definately the first priority. If anything major happened now, I doubt our E-fund would be able to cover much.

6 months expenses saved is a wonderful goal and it is a shame more people don't have that in mind.

Aimee said...

I've been getting into finance lately, too. I read a good book (well, I thought it was interesting) called Smart Couples Finish Rich. I knew next to nothing about finance stuff until fairly recently (yes, I'm that bad!). It's more interesting that I originally thought it would be good.

Congrats on paying off your CCs!