Monday, October 22, 2018

This will be a short one.
I finally found my passport.
It was literally in front of my face.
A pile of papers I had placed into a cubby hole in a storage unit, right there in front of me.
I saw that USPS envelope sitting there and I thought, THIS is IT? RIGHT HERE?  I opened it up and sure enough, there it was.
Next time I am in Brownsville and have a detention opportunity I may very well cross the border.
Haven't done it in decades.  Feels kind of scary cause of the sites I've read about going into Matamoros. Stay in certain areas.

Well, when we used to go over there as missionaries, we didn't go alone.  There was always at least 2 people and often times 5 or 6 or more.  It was really just some of us that wanted to go over, find the needy people living in the cardboard shacks with dirt floors etc.  and give away food, blankets, warm clothing for the winter, whatever we had. 

And I am finally in ketosis.  I've been doing some work around the house and exerting energy, I skipped lunch, only had the muffin for breakfast and finnnnnnally it turned purple.  It's in the mediocre range of it, but it's FAR better than nothing.  All this time.  8 days of this diet and finally. 

Now to find my birth certificate.  I'm guessing it's in the same pile as the passport.  I got a bit excited finding my passport so I stopped searching lol.

So I did it.
I took out a 10k loan to pay off credit card debt.
Well how much debt do you have? Actually more than that, because I put 6 grand on the card that pays for the dental work.  I think I have around 14k worth of debt accumulated in credit card debt.
I've been wanting a loan that pays off this stuff in one fell swoop at lower interest rate instead of trying to pay down one card at a time.

Goldman Sachs helped me out with that.  I wasn't even looking for one when I stumbled across it, but after looking at it it's a really great deal.  No origination fees, no fees of any kind really to get the loan going.  The interest rate and the length of the loan are what attracted me.  I'll be paying 9 points less in average interest rate and I'll pay it off a year earlier than if I were to try to pay them off one at a time, which is what I have been doing but it's going at an abysmally slow rate.  I'm making a lot more money now, I don't rely on credit cards for anything excepting I used Care Credit to do the dental work. 

That needed to be done. It had been needing to be done.  My front teeth were gross. I had no idea how bad they looked until I saw the close up pics the dentist took of them before and after.  I mean, they were really bad.  What this loan enables me to do is pay off all of my credit card debt except the secure care, which I should be able to apply almost 2 grand of it towards. Note that the entire amount I'm getting is going to credit card debt, not toys or anything else. If I do anything else with it, it defeats the purpose and then I'm losing money on the deal.

So I'm kind of excited about that. I had to pay them off any way about it, this makes more sense.  It won't affect my net monthly output, it's literally the same.  Well no, it's less because I was making more than minimum payments on most of my cards.  And I can do the same on this loan without any prepayment penalties and anything over applied to interest. So I am going to try to pay $100 more every month. 

I don't have any temptations to use those cards, either.  I haven't been using them at all. I take that back, ATT has one card on file to make the monthly payment, but I always transfer that much over to that account every month to eliminate any interest.  I am much more disciplined on credit card use now simply by fact of making a lot more money, I don't need to use them.  But, some of these cards have rewards for purchases on them and I intend on doing some shopping on them on a monthly basis and then paying off balances before they accrue any interest.  Shopping as in stuff I would be doing anyway, such as fuel and groceries.  This what my mom has been doing forever and she gets pretty good rewards added up over time.  But then again, she is FAR better with money management than me. Perhaps because she worked in a bank in earlier times but probably the aftermath of the Great Depression.

Seems like people that went through that are much more frugal and expenditure conscious than the rest of us for the most part.  Of course, that and my mother is on a fixed income. Not that she's poor but she lives off of her monthly income and tries not to go over that at all.    I think my greatest learning experience with debt was going cash only for an entire year.  Actually I think it was a little longer than that.  That was the experiment I did with having no credit cards excepting a prepaid one to pay online bills.  I had to pay for everything by check or cash.  You learn a lot about yourself and your spending habits when you do something like that and you keep a daily tracker of what you are spending on everything.

Really changed my spending habits for life - except - that last job where I was going broke because of extremely low pow.  It was probably a God-send that they installed an arrogant, angry, egotistical manager to run the place that had frequent outbursts of rage over stupid stuff.  And took it out on everyone.  Literally bring a crowd of people together and ream everyone for one person's mistake versus taking that person aside and calmly discussing the situation with them. It was the prybar that finally unearthed my roots from that place and got me the hell out of there. I have no regrets.  I only miss the physical exertion of the job and home every day and no weekend work.  The physical exertion part I'm paying in terms of fat the home daily stuff I have learned to live with.

I don't like it, but I am tolerating it for the time being.  I will definitely be at 2-1/2 times the annual income by the end of this year if paychecks stay relatively the same as they currently are.  I'm already at more than double what I was making there for an entire year with 5 or 6 more paychecks to go this year. We're paid bi-weekly. 

Actually the truck is still in the shop and no word when it's going to be done, but I'm really hoping today. I need a good 3 day run to get on this next paycheck.  I get paid this week but I'm looking to the next paycheck after that.  Oops, I'm wrong. I'll be paying for this lack of work both this paycheck on Friiday and next paycheck 3 Friday from now unless she really gets m rolling.  Gonna have to suck it up and ask her to keep me busy to make up for 6 days off so far. 

My credit score is going to tank the first month and then hopefully go up beyond what it is now the month after after all the cards report that the principle amounts are paid off. Actually that may take a few months.  I'm fine with the tanking because I am confident it will actually go up. This is an installment loan, not revolving open credit.  And after I pay down these cards and keep them at zero balance, over time, they will increase my credit limit which will further help my credit score.  This move is not just to pay off cards, it's also an attempt to increase my credit score. 

I would love to be able to refinance my vehicle loan to a lower interest payment.  I have only made 2 or 3 payments on it so it wouldn't be a net loss versus if I had been paying for 3 or more years on it. The payment on it is pretty low tho, not really complaining about that but every little bit helps.  The gas bill is going to go way up here and my account is on that bill to pay it.  So I'm trying to bring other monthly expenses down to equalize it.  But, my monthly expenses in Phoenix are fixing to go way down.  Electric use will be cut in half - no cooling and water use goes way down - no watering plants.  That will help substantially in and of itself. 

Okay, onto the diet. Day 8. I got on the scale this morning and it showed 218 pounds.  I mean, how do you lose 6 pounds overnight?  A little googling and it's water weight.  I am drinking large quantities of water and some tea and of course my daily coffee.  My head was aching this morning when I woke up - 10 hours after going to sleep.  I was shocked to look at the clock this morning and see it at 10:00 am.  I mean, I woke up in the middle of the night for a trip to the bathroom but then I went back to sleep and didn't wake up again until the phone rang. No telling how much longer I would have slept if someone hadn't called.

But, getting up and moving around, dealing with dogs, getting a cuppa took care of that head aching.  I'd like to have hoped it would have gone away by now, but everything I've read is that this isn't abnormal.  Plow ahead.  Breakfast was almost nothing  - a biscuit made out of almond flour. Tasty but hardly filling.  Lunch will be a bit better.  This "new" diet we are doing is actually even less calories than what we were consuming.  I think down to around 1,000 calories per day.  That's not much for a 6 foot 2 tall person weighing in currently at 220 pounds.  But hey, if I'm not going to go into ketosis, at least I know my caloric intake is down which will hopefully have the same effect. 

Yesterday? I built the first fire of the cool season.  It was nice. I have some large logs I need to burn through that are starting to rot.  It took a while to get a hot fire going, but after I did get those nice hot coals I put a huge one on there and it's still smoldering out there this morning. Oops, it's not morning anymore. 

Well, I have things to get done.

Happy Independence Day to everyone! Beautiful day in northeast Texas. Well, it's hot and humid but oh well lol. Good day to re-read th...