Confessions of a Laid-off Lawyer

Just Your Average Joe Blogging Away His Debt—In One Year or Less

Wise or Unwise

with 8 comments

Total Black: $1,551.96
Total Red: $229,283.54

Whether wise or unwise, I’ve done it: as set out in Resolutions For the New Year, one credit card will be paid off by the end of January.  That leaves me with another to pay off by the end of February and then a student loan by March.  And I can’t wait!  As odd as it may sound, I actually can’t wait to pay bills now.

Yes, it’s true that the money that went to this card actually came from money that could have gone to cover January’s rent.  And one commenter tried to assert a difference between paying bills with rent money, claiming I’m asserting hollow victories because rent isn’t tracked in my total debt posted each day.  That’s true.  But recurring expense are just that: they will always re-occur, each month, without fail.  I suppose I could add $24,000 in to total red, reflecting $2,000 a month in rent, and then bring that amount down each month when I pay rent, but that seem even more of a hollow victory.  And besides, last time I was late with rent money was because I didn’t have it, not because I sent it elsewhere.  And I rushed to throw as much money at the landlord as possible and his attorney still dragged me to court.  And what did it get me?  As posted in Retardists, it got my counterclaims against the landlord dismissed because my rent had been brought current.  Since the proceeding was meant to be a summary rent payment proceeding, the judge said I should bring my claims as a separate action.  If I hadn’t paid my rent, I would have been able to maintain my defenses and possibly achieved an abatement or even a reimbursment for all the labor I put in at the end of 2008 to bedbug-proof my pad.  I’m still toying with bringing the action, especially when you see bedbugs in the laundry room, albeit dead.  So rushing to pay my rent wasn’t wise in that case, especially because all my other bills fell behind too.  This time I’m still within the month that I’m late.  January’s rent will be paid next week and February’s probably the week thereafter.  Sure I’ll incur a late fee, but I’d incur a larger one on each of my credit cards.

People don’t seem to understand that when you’re working with a meager amount, you’ve got to choose the lesser of two evils.  If I have $1,000 to distribute, sending $100 to ten different debtors doesn’t get me the wallop that sending $1,000 to one does.  It’s risky because I may incur other ramifications, but getting out of debt quickly won’t happen by the safe and easy route.  That’s what the banks want you to do so they can keep hitting you with those monthly finance charges.  I want the credit card companies off my back ASAP!  I get calls daily, this month it’s from Wells Fargo, for the furniture credit line I took out, and from Bank of America credit card account managers.  Last month, I noted in The Sound of Silence, that it was SallieMae.  Despite having brought two of the three cards with Bank of America under the limit, they still call to help me out.  Yeah, if you believe that one, then I’ve got a few items here to sell you.  And there’s the telephone as I type this.  At least they’re consistent.  When you’re working with a limited amount of income that needs to go to too many sources, dividing it up and spreading it out, I’m seeing, just seems to dilute the impact.  I’m not backpedaling on making multiple, smaller payments—making any payment is important I suppose when debts are high.  But the credit card company isn’t necessarily going to jump for joy at your $23.96 payment.  But do that consistently, once each week perhaps, then you’ve sent over $100 that month, plus any additional you can throw at the debt.  But even then, Bank of American doesn’t seem to take it in to account.  From one of my Bank of America credit cards, here are the payments made earlier this month:

01/14/2010  Payment -$29.92
01/14/2010  Payment -$208.58
01/14/2010  Payment -$72.34
01/13/2010  Payment -$8.95
01/11/2010  Payment -$13.64

When I sent in $1,000 to American Express, I received a telephone call thanking me for the payment.  No one from Bank of America called to thank me for the six payments I made this month, totaling $361.43.  Instead I got hit with a $35 late payment fee for the month.  I suppose because I hadn’t sent them enough.  Insane!  And yet it’s all my fault, right?, that I’m in this debt cycle.  All the money that I owe to the banks is all my doing.  I wish there were a way for people to see, truly understand, the pure usury and villainy the credit card companies enact.  We need a Michael Moore film on this one.  So yeah, whether wise or unwise, I’m going to race my debt, or snowball it, or burn it down.  I don’t care the term you employ.  Because once those cards are gone, then I can start dumping money on student loans and tax debt and will be that much further down the road to debt freedom!

8 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. $2,000 a month in rent and your landlord has already dragged you to court for not paying. You can’t afford to live there, time to move buddy.


    January 28, 2010 at 11:38

  2. I know New York is more expensive than Chicago, but your landlord sounds like a jerk. Why keep giving him money?

    On the issue of your credit cards, have you considered a repayment plan? Many banks will slash your interest rate and possibly even your principal if you agree to close the account. It can really help manage your payments. Getting in touch with the executive customer service lines at the banks can help. Here are some recently posted numbers:

    Jim in Chicago

    January 28, 2010 at 11:55

  3. I know. It’s the biggest expense and largest roadblock to getting out of debt that I have. But it’s hard to move at the moment. Got nothing saved up for a move and heading back to mom’s and commuting from there isn’t feasible just now if I’m working thirteen-hour days. Add on five for the commute and then say an hour for getting dressed / undressed and that would leave me barely five hours for sleep.

    But I’m toying with a few other ideas. Maybe instead of moving costs use some money to get the place set up to allow for a roommate. I’d actually like one. Never had one . . . well I don’t count a dorm back in college. That dude was weird. Anyway, definitely something at the forefront of my mind! A live-in boyfriend would be ideal, for example. No need to move anything and I’d get the added benefits.

    Can you put up an ad for that?

    Laid-off Lawyer

    January 28, 2010 at 12:22

  4. a move-in WEALTHY boyfriend. but regardless, combining two incomes would be a nice boost for you. living expenses are a real bitch.


    January 28, 2010 at 13:32

  5. Congratulations on paying the card off!

    There are undoubtedly many ways to calculate the debt and justify who to pay when the money is short, but however calculated, it’s a victory when no new debt is incurred and existing debt is reduced.

    If you can find the right person, the roommate thing could be a great way to cut costs. Since you don’t seem satisfied with your place, have you considered looking for someone looking for a roommate for their place, and you could move into that place?


    January 28, 2010 at 18:55

  6. Congratulations on starting to get a handle on your debts! Believe me, it feels great once you start to see those balances going down. Keep at it – you’ll get there.

    Eliminate Credit Card Debt

    January 28, 2010 at 21:00

  7. Bingo is right. One quick way to slash your debt is find a rich boyfriend/sugar Daddy.

    I was on a temp assignment once and this previously poor gay guy was rolling in dough after finding a sugar Pops. His rich boyfriend was an ex-porn star in Sweden, then invested his money in NYC real estate. The two met in a bar – the gay guy was OK looking but HOT body. Build up those muscles and you may be able to cut that debt sooner than you think.


    January 28, 2010 at 23:41

  8. exactly. there is more than one way to win the lottery.


    January 29, 2010 at 12:47

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: