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Smithee Debt Update, Mid-April 2010

This article was written by in Debt Reduction. 8 comments.


Happy Friday. It’s been just about a month since my last debt update, and I’m feeling relatively successful at it. I’m still on track to get rid of it by July, having eradicated $1,267.39 in the last four weeks.

Aside from the satisfaction of persistence, there’s actual good news: as of yesterday, my employer has brought my salary halfway back up to what it was a year ago. We all took a 10% pay cut in April of 2009, and the company’s leaders are finally, but cautiously, optimistic about growth in 2010, so they gave us “raises” equal to 5% of what our salaries used to be, and hopefully will be again.

After taxes, this means an “extra” $115 in my twice-monthly paycheck. This should’ve meant that on April 15th, instead of making a $650 payment to my “newer” credit card debt, I could make a $775 payment. Unfortunately, around the same time that the “raises” were happening. my shoulder pain from sitting in a crappy desk chair was getting unbearable. From previous experience, I know that my employer is not one to take quick action to remedy a health problem, so I got fed up and got a new chair. (Maybe they’ll offer to reimburse me. Who knows.) Coincidentally, the chair and a footrest cost a total of $115.71.

Debt Totals

Here’s where things stand right now:

Credit Card Debt Totals Change
Legacy Debt $496.81 -194.03
Newer Debt $3,734.36 -1073.36

Since I started the debt updates on January 26th, the combined debt has gone down from $6,828 to $4,230.

And starting at the end of April, I should have another $115 to add to each credit card payment.

Of course, I have some typical and atypical admissions to make concerning the things I put on plastic, instead of using cash.

Things I Put on Credit Since the Last Update

  • Enterprise Rent-a-Car – $17.29 – This is a perfect example of why we should always check our statements, line by line. I didn’t know this was here, and I’m not sure why it is. Renting the car while they worked on my 60k service should’ve been free. I suppose I should call and ask about this.
  • Toll roads – $120 – Apparently, I’ve been driving a lot these past four weeks. Roughly once a day I wonder if I should take surface streets more often, but I always end up deciding that I’d rather just get home soon.
  • Mobile phone service – $85.36
  • Web hosting – $16.25
  • Google AdWords – $2.24
  • Usenet service – $2.99 – as promised, I lowered this to cover just what I need in a given month
  • Podcast subscription – $5.00
  • Various entertainment things purchased through PayPal on Amazon and iTunes and CDBaby – $40.99 – I am shamed.
  • Lawn maintenance – $64 – I should switch this over to use the debit card for our joint account.

Unfortunately, that’s not all. I also used my debit card a few times since the last update.

  • Comedy at the Improv – $23.93 – I went out on St. Patrick’s Day to support my improv teacher and other local comics, and you’re probably familiar with that stupid “two item minimum” thing.
  • Rifftrax version of “New Moon”, and others from Rifftrax – $6.93 – This is so awesome.
  • Convenience store something – $3.16 – I have no idea what this is.
  • Parking for my standup comedy practice – $3.00
  • The afore-mentioned new office chair and foot rest – $115.71 – a necessary evil, I’m afraid

So, the things that I feel at-least-slightly guilty about total about $80 for the last four weeks, the same time period that I got rid of $1,267 in debt. End result: go me!

You can cheer me on and/or witness my money minutiae on Twitter if you want to.

Published or updated April 16, 2010. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Smithee formerly lived primarily on credit cards and the good will of his friends. He is a newbie to personal finance but quickly learning from his past mistakes. You can follow him on Twitter, where his user name is @SmitheeConsumer. View all articles by .

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Money Funk

I like how you say, “having eradicated $1,267.39 in the last four weeks.” Makes for a more powerful play on words then saying, “last month”. Nice play on words and action.

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avatar RainyDaySaver

Four weeks, one month — semantics, my friend. No matter how you slice it, killing off $1,267 in debt is excellent. Except you put $300-plus back on the credit card. D’oh!

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