Friday, February 19, 2010

Not At All What I Wanted To Hear!

It looks like the time has come for me to retire my beloved 12 year old Honda Accord! Timing is awful but there's not many choices left. My car started sputtering a few days ago so I took in for a diagnostic test. ****sighing deeply**** It's the daggum transmission - $3,292, catalytic converter - $900ish and something else that I can't recall - $200ish. When you add it all up, we're talking darn near $5,500. Oh my goodness, I have no idea what I'm going to do. This was sooo not in the plans for 2010. Okay, gotta regroup and figure this situation out because I DO NOT, and I repeat DO NOT want a car note EVER AGAIN IN LIFE!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Mind Your Business

Since I became credit card debt free I only kept one card, which I pay off each month. I haven't carried a balance nor paid interest on this card in several years. There are stories all over the blogosphere and financial pundit sites that warn against the subliminal trickery of the banks to (1) circumvent the recently enacted credit card rules, (2) increase their revenue to offset the colossal amount of bad debt write-offs and other losses and/or (3) find innovative ways to increase their fee revenue ... which has become a major source of income for the banks during the heyday of credit abuse. Well, let this be a warning to you citibank, I shall not be a victim, scapegoat or random target for any foolishness.

It was my idea that I'd keep one credit card for travel and online purchases. Plans changed and I actually use the card for everyday purchases such as gas and eating out. Although my monthly bill is NOT very high, I often have MANY transactions ... many. Such was the case for last month's bill, which included the usual suspects as well as Christmas and holiday what-nots. Much to my surprise when I looked at all of the transactions prior to paying the bill, I noticed a $37.01 charge. Hmm? I looked closer and realized that it was a finance charge. What? So I looked over prior month's bill to see if I paid it after the due date, and therefore incurred a finance charge. Nope. The bill was paid 1 week prior to the due date. Next step ... call Citi immediately! I called, the rep agreed that the finance charge was an error and immediately corrected the account.

Thanks Citi, you get an A for customer service, but an F for effort. I'm sorry. Maybe I've bought into the financial conspiracy theory, the one that suggests big mega monster banks are sneaky, evil and prey on the unsuspected. Perhaps it was an honest mistake because after all, mistakes do happen. Mistake or not, I wonder how many of these "mistakes" go unnoticed by the customers. Hmm, yes, we all should exercise personal responsibility so I dare not lay all of the blame at the feet of the banks. This is just another example about why we must be vigilant about our personal financial affairs. As the saying goes, pun intended, mind your business!

***ps, thanks for all of the comments on my "bored" post. I'll stick around for now. I'm finding more inspiration now that I'm no longer forcing myself to always talk about finances. Oh, and my very first troll ... ha, thanks! I appreciate you too;-).