Have a plan

I heard someone say the other day, “If you have money, have more than a plan to spend it.” It stuck with me enough for me to write it down, and now write this blog post.

My husband told our son Sunday that he has two kinds of money, spending money and saving money. Shaun was convinced he could use his “saving” money in his piggy bank to buy himself a bull truck (a semi with a cattle trailer). It was a cute conversation and one that I’m glad my husband handled. He’s much better with saving than I am.

When I was a kid I had a collection of pennies and didn’t really have a savings account. I spent birthday and Christmas money about as fast as I got it. I didn’t get a checking account until I was a senior in high school and heading off to college. (Admittedly I didn’t get a savings account until I was well out of college.) When I was in college I enjoyed life and didn’t have a job besides my school work. I’m glad I had it that way because my grades never suffered.

But, and I’ve written about it before, I’m still paying for that $7 taco from college. I was lucky enough to have a couple of grants and scholarships that helped pay for my tuition, but I did have to take out some school loans to pay for my education and the remainder of my loans is what I lived on. That and credit cards.

I’m only about half way through paying my student loans off and I completely envy my college classmates announcing on social media they’ve paid theirs off. I chose to go out of state and value my education. I do not mind paying every month for my education.

Now, for the first time in six years of marriage, my husband and I got a decent sized tax return. While it’s not enough to pay off our bills, it is enough to get my brain working. I’m dreaming of a garage or a new set of tires on the vehicles and doing appropriate research. Meanwhile, it sits in the bank. I’ve got to have more than a plan on how to spend it.

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A $7 taco

I caught an episode of Two and a Half Men recently and the scene showed Alan playing what I would call “credit card roulette.” Pay this card with this card, and then this one with that card. But what do I do with the last bill to pay? Hmmm…

My finances aren’t quite that bad, but I still have some credit cards that I wish I would have never gotten. I was a stupid college kid living out-of-state and trying to live on my own when a Discover card offer flashed in front of my naive eyes. I jumped on it and used it to pay everything from meals out with friends to entry fees at the rodeos. Shockingly they gave me a $2,500 limit way back then and I didn’t even have a job! Sucked me in, and it didn’t take me very long to get it up to its limit.

I still have that card, and it’s still got a balance on it along with crazy interest. I’ve been trying to get them paid off, but seems like a never-ending battle. Sure I could get serious and cut out all non-essential items out of my budget and sock it way to pay off that Discover bill from college, but what fun would that be? Still seeing several hundred dollars go out of my account to pay off credit cards should be some incentive to get rid of them, right?

I haven’t used my Discover card for years. Last three cards they sent me I never activated and shredded. Within the last two years they have upped my limit at least 4 times, maybe 5. I guess it makes the balance I do carry on it look not as bad – at least in my eyes anyway – now that there is a lot more than $50 of credit (like I used to have in college) remaining on it.

Today in my mailbox was a letter from Discover, and guess what? They upped my limit once more. Why keep upping my limit? Do they think they are going to entice me to use it? Not a chance. No way, no how. Heck, I’m still paying for that $7 taco from college.