On Let’s Throw Some Money at Our Problems: July 2014 Check-in

I've never posted to one of these threads before. I have plenty of student loan debt, which I'm paying off steadily, but my real goal is to stop using my credit card. I typically charge ~$300 per month (sometimes way more) and then pay it off immediately the next month on payday. The issue is that I will be out and about, no planning on spending money, and it's getting towards the end of the month, and my checking account balance gets low, and I get afraid that I will overdraw. So I put things in my credit card. *OR* there will be an unusual expense (like renting a car to visit a sick relative) and I'll put that on my credit card. So while I never have to pay interest, I go through this debt cycle every month. I know this is such a stupid problem, but I'm finding it really difficult to break this habit. Taking my credit card out of my wallet doesn't seem to help (see rental car example above). I'm afraid to add some extra padding to my checking account from savings because I'm afraid I'll spend it. So the solution seems to be cutting down on expenses. Any other creative ideas? Credit card (goal: zero balance) July 2014: $214

Posted on July 31, 2014 at 11:40 am 0

On Let’s Throw Some Money at Our Problems: July 2014 Check-in

@c619 I have a Discover online savings account. .85% interest, which is the best I've found without a minimum balance. You can do multiple accounts for different goals. I've seen some recent cash promotions for capital one 360, though. If they have a similar interest rate it might be worth it to go with them.

Posted on July 31, 2014 at 11:28 am 0

On The Year We Saved $10K: Homes and Weddings

@Tripleoxer I think the cost of living for some of these couples must be relatively low.

Posted on July 29, 2014 at 11:29 am 0

On The Year We Saved $10K: Homes and Weddings

@francesfrances Mine started growing because I started paying down my student loans, but mostly because my retirement account kept growing. Watching it go from red to green was pretty exciting.

Posted on July 29, 2014 at 11:27 am 0

On The Year I Saved $10,000

@theotherginger Agreed! I worked a lot harder/longer hours as a grad student than I do now in my "real world" job. Yes, I got "free" tuition, got to set my own hours for the most part, and work in coffee shops but my job NEVER ENDED and the pressure was INSANE...insane enough that my department had a reputation at my therapist's office.

Posted on July 27, 2014 at 3:02 pm 0

On Only Suckers Don't Buy Generic

@beastlyburden I can settle this: use 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar like you would a fabric softener and get rid of dryer sheets and/or fabric softener. And the (generic) brand of vinegar is like $1 per gallon.

Posted on July 22, 2014 at 2:54 pm 0

On My Last $100: 48 Hours in Chicago

I live here, but these are the places I have taken (or would take) out of town guests: Hopleaf in Andersonville Taste of Lebanon in Andersonville (or their grocery store across the street) Lula in Logan Square Reno in Logan Square Khan BBQ on Devon Lao Szechuan (or any of the "Lao" restaurants) in Chinatown La Lagartija in the West Loop Volo in Roscoe Village Parsons in Logan Square Hot Dougs in Avondale Kuma's in Avondale Bongo Room (for the insane pancakes) Eleven City Diner in the South Loop Victory's Banner in Roscoe Village (for the weird factor) Laschet's Inn in North Center Disclaimer: I live on the north/northwest side so I'm biased in those areas. I second the Rootstock (probably out of your way, tho) and Black Dog recs! Revolution is not worth the wait IMO.

Posted on July 22, 2014 at 1:52 pm 0

On What Aren't We Spending Money On?

Thanks to everyone who replied to my question about vacation savings! I will keep the money where it is!

Posted on July 22, 2014 at 1:27 pm 0

On What Aren't We Spending Money On?

@moreadventurous Sorry, I'm hijacking with my own question, but say I'm saving up for a big trip in a year. I currently have my funds in a savings account at .85% interest. Is this a point where people would put it in one of these Vangard index funds so it grows faster (at the risk that the market might tank right before I'm ready to use it)? Or is it not something that people use for short-term gains? Or is this a decision that every person makes for themselves? I guess I'm just trying to gauge whether that's a nutso idea, and the only investing I've ever done is through my retirement account.

Posted on July 22, 2014 at 11:16 am 0

On On the Purchase of New Pillows

As a person with neck issues, buckwheat pillows changed my life. Now I can never go back, and I'm shouting the Buckwheat Gospel from the rooftops!

Posted on July 22, 2014 at 11:03 am 0