Confessions of a Laid-off Lawyer

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

Ninth Day of Accounting

with 6 comments

Total Black: $1,942.16

Here’s the Breakdown:

Primary Checking: $1,400.09
Secondary Checking: $539.00
Savings: $2.36
PayPal Account (Personal): $0.71
PayPal Account (Blog): $0.00
Amazon Payments Account: $0.005
Mutual Funds Account: $0.00

FICO Score 506

Total Red: $229,689.31

Here’s the breakdown:

Credit Card Debt:

MasterCard: $5,588.01     [Minimum payment for April = $214.00.  APR 27.24%]
Visa: $7,689.56     [Minimum payment for April = $292.00.  APR 27.24%]
Visa: $5,039.00     [Card closed.  Minimum payment for April = $206.00.  APR 27.24%]
American Express: $2,400.23     [Minimum payment for April = $48.00.  APR 27.24%]
Raymour & Flanagan Credit Line: $6,340.68     [Account closed.  Entire balance due]
Saks Fifth Avenue Credit Card: $0.00

Student Loan Debt:

Federal Stafford Loans: $94,504.20
Private Student Loans: $31,940.56

Back Taxes:

IRS (2007): $1,438.11
IRS (2008): $28,275.80
NY State (2008): $0.00

Other Loans:

My mother: $46,473.16

Already my ninth day of accounting.  And, as requested in a comment by Anon, this month I’ve broken out my APR and minimum payments for the month for my credit cards.  Not much movement this month.  In fact, movement in the opposite direction: total red has increased since Eighth Day of Accounting.  And tax day is just around the corner.  Although I haven’t even looked at my paperwork yet, I know I will owe.  Just not how much.  New York state does not allow for the withholding of income tax from unemployment benefits.  Benefits—yeah, commented on that one back in Benefits They Call Them.  At any rate, I’ll owe on state taxes for sure.  Not so sure on federal taxes; I’ve had federal income tax withheld from my unemployment benefits since I started receiving them.

As for credit cards—yeah . . . well . . . what can I say?  My APRs are almost as high as can be.  I just need to bring those cards down.  But it’s the endless hamster wheel.  I pay them down; they go back up.  If I siphon funds from somewhere else—like rent—it just bites me in the ass later.  I’ve saved up total black for an upcoming tax attorney appointment.  And in case I need to go to H&R Block or some other tax prep company.

Otherwise, it’s a short post today.  I worked two shifts at the theatre: The 39 Steps and then Naked Boys Singing.  I’m glad returned to quasi-full-time work at the theatre, mentioned back in Done Stepping Down.  My shifts should start picking up again soon.

6 Responses

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  1. You are accruing about $470 per month in interest on your credit card balances alone because of those outrageously high APRs.

    I had no idea it was this bad. You need to make some phone calls, and I mean THIS WEEK, to make some deals, possibly consolidate at a debt center, or something.

    Leaving debt like this unattended and just “taking it up the $%#” by the credit card companies is going to prevent you from EVER getting ahead.



    April 11, 2010 at 07:01

  2. Thanks for listing the minimum payments/interest info. (Not sure if that was in response to my question.)

    Can you roll some of the credit card debt onto one card at a temporary low rate? That might help with some of the interest. AMEX and others used to even have 0% for one year on balance transfers.

    Also, what are your student loan payments? Are you on a 10 or 30 year plan?



    April 11, 2010 at 08:08

  3. I have several mimimum payments totalling about the same. Looks like for the first time ever I may not be able to make some of them. LoL, what happens if I miss my payment. They will just add on a $40 fee and jack up my APR?

    Also I looked into debt consolidation but several people [Suze Orman one of them] say just to negotiate with the credit card companies individially and that debt consolidation is a scam.


    April 11, 2010 at 10:00

  4. Ladybug: There’s a differfence between debt consolidation and debt management. Orman is right about debt consolidation, but she also recommends debt management through her program or through one of the major non-profits.


    April 11, 2010 at 11:03

  5. I do not know who your savings is with but Sallie Mae has a savings account that allows you to deposit Upromise earnings into the account and as long as you have an automatic savings plan of $25/month, it gives you a 10% match of your Upromise earnings into the savings account every February.

    The money may not seem like much but it can be once you start linking all your grocery reward cards, etc to your Upromise account.

    Louisiana Solo

    April 12, 2010 at 04:17

  6. Seeing everything listed out like that brought back some bad memories.
    I got out from my credit card debt (20,000) in 3 years by frugal living, multiple streams of income (like you, more than one job), and reducing my APR.
    I called all the credit card companies. Only Amex said “yes, we’ll reduce your rate!” This was right before the economy went to hell and I had been making payments to them consistently (although small amounts). The other companies said no (they were all closed due to non-payment). So I funnelled as much money as possible into the highest interest card and paid the minimum on everything else. Now I am credit card debt free, and paying my student loans (116,000) in 3.5 more years. Because virtually all I do is work and pay past bills. Kills me sometimes to think about.

    Anonymous Contract Lawyer

    April 19, 2010 at 21:50

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