Friday, March 19, 2010

A New Master?

Well, my debt is under $10 000 and settled nicely into my Line of Credit at 5.25%. The only strategy I had planned for the next year-and-a-bit is to plug as much money possible into that account to pay it down to $0. I was looking forward to starting with my next paycheque on the 28th (I get paid once a month, right?).

I figured at least one of my credit card companies would come sniffing around since they all have zero balances. So I don't know why was I surprised today to receive an invitation from MBNA to switch to their PremierRewards card. Normally I shred these invites but today I sat down and looked it over.

If they approve me for $10 000 I can move my LOC balance over and pay 1.99% for ten months. The "small" print at the back of the page tells me that there is a balance transfer fee of 1% of amount transferred with a minimum fee of $7.50. So right off I will pay $100 to transfer over. Interest on $10 000 is $16.58 per month, which would go down if I continue to be aggressive with the repayments.

Currently I pay between $30 and $40 a month in interest, and my minimum payments are about $250. I always pay much more than that but spread out throughout the month.

The "Rewards" the card refers to are 1% cash back for purchases. I wouldn't be using the card for purchases until after the ten month introductory period, when the interest rates shoot to 19.99% and I have transferred the balance back to my LOC. I currently use a MasterCard that offers points towards goods and groceries, and I was considering looking around for a card that offers cash instead. Any cash earned on the new card will be applied to the account once a year. I would prefer it applied to my chequing account ...

There is also no annual fee, unlike my VISA card, which I planned to cancel last summer prior to the fee being applied, but hesitated and decided to keep for another year. I was afraid closing the account would affect my debt-to-credit ratio (25% of my credit used vs 50%). Opening another card will increase my open credit, so I may feel more comfortable closing the VISA after all.

I'm not going to decide today. The letter says I have until April 30 to decide.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Axing the Amazon Associates Store

I was excited to learn that was going to send $15.61 to my chequing account for being a part of their Associates program. All I had to do to earn this was post a link on my sites and encourage people to click through my link to purchase their books and music. I have had the links up for over a year but it wasn't until this past xmas, when I started to harass my facebook friends, that I made the $15 and change.

I waited for the payment to arrive to my account, and in anticipation, sent $15 to a friend getting married who was selling stuff online to raise funds for her wedding. I sent it as a gift, not wanting anything in return. Meanwhile the $15.61 never arrived.

I began investigating over the past few days, using their online forms. I have to admit the responses were fast! First I was told that the payment had been returned by my bank, and to verify my bank information on my account page. I did this and let them know, and received a second response telling me that I had been given the wrong information, the payment had NOT been returned, and it had been processed by my bank on February 24. I was to contact my bank for more information. I did, of course, and of course the bank knew nothing of a payment from Amazon!

I let Amazon know, and the next thing they wanted me to do was fax them a VOID cheque so that they could investigate themselves. I didn't, because:
1) the bank is going to tell them what they told me;
2) I don't want my cheque going to an unfamiliar fax number;
3) this is turning into work, and it's not worth the time (since I would be faxing during work hours, I consider my time to be $20-25 an hour).

I informed Amazon that I am considering closing my Associates account. What's the point of promoting them if they are not going to send me the money they promised? It's more work for me to harass, I mean, remind my friends and family to use the link ... and I really have so many other things to do.

What would you do? Would you go through the hoops to get the $15 into your account? Or would you walk away, like I'm thinking of doing?


Saturday, March 06, 2010


Received my T4 at the end of February and immediately filed online. Received my income tax refund by direct deposit today and PAID OFF MY MASTERCARD. Looky at the pretty sidebars. I moved up the debt bar because I'm so proud.

People have been asking me how I cleared $11 000 worth of debt in 15 months and to be honest, I'm not quite sure how I did it. I'm making a mental list and hope to type it out and post it soon.

Hope you're having a great weekend. Mine just got that much better :)


Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Get Smarter About Money

Apologies if this has already been spammed about the web, but a random click on an ad banner (yes, sometimes I click!) brought me to this site.

I haven't have a chance to go through all of it yet, but at first glance I do like the look of it.

**This is not a sponsored post**