Category: Debt (page 1 of 7)

Credit card roulette: TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite Card

It’s been a little while since my last credit card application, a month or two i’d say, so high time to give it a try on another one! Here’s a screenshot of what I was eyeing up earlier today;

 

Please forgive the amount of notifications on my phones screenshot, I’m bad for ignoring them! You can read about this card further on the forum thread on RedFlagDeals right here. With the fee waived for the first year and 50,000 td points this is a decent deal for me. The 50,000 points will be worth about $250 in travel credit on the Expedia for TD, I’m not super interested in any of the other “perks”, like insurance as I already carry other cards that have the needed medical and travel insurances for when I trawl the globe. 🙂 This card has an income requirement of $60,000 or household $100,000, with my extra job this year I was able to jump through that hoop so I applied!

 

It’s always a little bit of a surprise doing these applications, and a happy party when it’s succesful! Can’t wait to snag these points and use them! 😀  I’ve only been declined one card in the past four years (the Chase Marriott Visa that no longer exists, sadly, it was great value and very churnable) Do I worry about these cards affecting my credit? Nope, because they don’t really

Why do I do this? To afford travel, travel will never be totally free as there are always costs involved but travel hacking has allowed me to see and do things I wouldn’t be able to afford otherwise.

Does it hurt my credit? MMMnope!

I keep tabs on my creditscore using creditkarma.ca; my score updates every Monday, I request my free Equifax report once a year and am generally watchful of whats happening on my credit.

I also have a fraud warning on my profile to verify identification prior to extending credit as I previously had a compromised creditcard.

Does it hurt my ability for future big things like buying a house? Not really!

As I am not currently in the market for any car or home related loans I have no problem continuing this game. With any new application my score may drop a few points, usually nothing big and sometimes there is no change at all. This application had zero effect on my score. Were this to change and were I to need to start shopping for a mortgage I would take the appropriate actions, shut a few things down and slow down my applications but for now… happy travel hacking!

Have you ever tried travel hacking?

Road to debt-free; the last payment on my HELOC!!

I’ve been working my ass off this summer to get ahead, renting out my house, three other cottages, keeping my regular job and working on the side on weekends for someone else and… I just made the last $509.61 payment on my HELOC… it’s done! It’s paid off! I will do everything I can to never have to use it again and intend to close it in the future, barring emergencies. It’s just going to sit there all empty, propping up my creditscore. 🙂

Next month I will re-evaluate my savings goals and set up a plan to begin prepaying my mortgage. I’ll also know more about wether my contract is renewed, which greatly influences my finances, obviously ;)… so for now, I’m just going to keep on trucking and maybe spend a little on a nice dinner this weekend. Woohoo!

Happy Monday everyone! 😀

25 goals for 2015 – May summary

Cucumber, carrots and radishes sprouting :)

Cucumber, carrots and radishes sprouting 🙂

It’s May! I just love spring and it took so long to arrive here in PEI, it was like the snow was never ever going to melt. I got some seeds started in egg trays in late April and some of the beans and cucumber plants seem to be doing well in their pots now. I need to pick up a lot more soil to fill the pile of buckets I still have to plant. (All the buckets were free from a restaurant, ha!) My lettuces and tomatoes are off to a very slow start and the zucchini just isn’t going at all.. Perhaps I am lacking a green thumb.

On to financial things, I’ve been trying REALLY hard 🙂

Financial

2. Save & splurge on a nice new purse in the spring. Not sure anymore. Saving is more important.
3. Sell my house. In progress.
4. Savings – Emergency $571.59/month. SMASHING success.
5. Savings – Retirement TFSA/RSP  $105.53/month. Done.
6. Savings – Vehicle fund $17.33/month. Done.
7. Savings – Future House  $41.66/month. Done.
8. Travel expense 2015 $1,500 jan – oct. In progress. 
9. Networth of $72,000.  In progress.

My house was taken off MLS for the winter, just went back on and two days later had a request for a viewing. I really need this place to sell before next winter! I’ve had 5-6 showings before last fall so I don’t get very excited about them, but it’s nice to get a response so quickly after going back on the market.

So in May I had to put in the almost $600 bucks of regular contributions to my Emergency Fund, which I did, and I also needed to catch up on contributions I’ve been missing out on the last couple of months due to it being winter, expensive, and spending… and I did it! I hadn’t expected that I actually would, but I did! Contributing factors:

My seasonal job started back up mid-May and that means a gradual drip of a little bit of extra income. I became an accidental landlord and began renting out my house as of this month… as it still hasn’t sold. My after tax take-away from rental income is going straight to my Emergency fund. 🙂 I was also able to collect some money owing from previous work I’ve done AND I was quite careful with my spending, choosing to pack lunch every day, not eat out and try to cut costs where possible. It worked!

All my other financial goals are on track for now, I need to begin thinking of a plan on what to do once I have completed my $10k emergency fund with my job uncertainty, do I keep hoarding cash, do I start aggressively paying my mortgage, what to do? I want to write a post about that too and why it’s so important to me.

I am still running my chequing to almost $0 before every paycheque so in June I renew my focus to cutting out that nonsense. I need to build up a $1k buffer so I don’t have to worry about that darn bank balance overdrafting anymore. The end.

Travel

10. Visit Cape Breton. Haven’t done anything with this yet.
13. Go camping in the Magdalen Island for a week. Haven’t done anything with this yet.

2015-05-25 19.13.04-1

Lifestyle

15. Lose 30 for 30. In progress. 
16. Track food, journal, exercise daily. Done.
17. Go swimming once a week. Fail.
19. Start weighing in weekly by June 30, 2015. Haven’t done anything with this yet.
20. Average steps per day 8,500. Done! 9,310 daily average!
21. Read more: read 30 books this year. Fail.
22. Wear out shoes, don’t buy more, reduce total amount of shoes owed. In progress.
23. Complete the #100happydays challenge. In progress.


My step average
dropped a bit to 9,310 average over the month, I was above 10k daily for April, but still, I’m above the goal I set at the start of the year which is great. I still have not been back swimming but with the warmer weather am walking more, and the dog too. My knee has healed, it bothers me infrequently now, but I still have no desire to pick up running again. I was at the beach twice this week for a long walk with my dog. Overall I feel fantastic! I have been journalling my food and activities, now using my home made Moleskine planner/journal, since Christmas last year and the difference in my mood, stamina and general health is noticeable. Eating well does a body good.  I look better too *wink wink nudge nudge* Ah, yeah. Okay, I’m awkward.

On the job front, my contract is now being discussed (versus just me speculating and worrying about it) Everything is going really well, in fact the best it has ever been but I got the unfortunate news that regardless of my main client being very happy and that they would like to continue the contract with me, the board will very likely still want to put my contract up for tender… so uncertainty remains.

I haven’t been seeing much interesting to apply to. I did do one application and did not get selected for an interview… in fact, my sister got that exact job I wanted working for Air Canada. I was… jealous but also happy for her to have landed a job with benefits etc, she needs it as much as I do. I am currently in the running for another exciting opportunity and have a Skype interview next week, (in Dutch, nonetheless!). I did not apply at very many places in May, just haven’t been seeing anything interesting to apply to. I did make the choice to amend my resume and reword my positions: I am the company owner, I can’t really lie… about that but it was suggested to me to word it differently because hiring managers might be making assumptions about my actually needing work/seriousness/suitability/over/underqualified. Henceforth I have baptised myself general manager for company x. Which… I am, although I am also the 50$ owner of company x, but that is no longer evident from my resume. Maybe this will get me more bites? I also looked up the NOC codes that really do apply to my jobs and streamlined things a bit better, I’ve accumulated more references so all in all… on paper I should be lookin’ alright. 😉

Aaaaand that’s a wrap for May, let’s see if I can get this emergency fund bastard wrapped up by the end of June – actually, wow I just realized i currently have the most emergency savings I have ever had sitting in my account – just over $8k. Ever! Wow!

Summary goals for June:

– Finish Emergency Fund
– Find another freaking job, finally, really
– Build a $1k buffer in my chequing
– keep on keeping on being healthy and stuff

 

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