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Getting back to zero

That big check I sent off for the car payment hasn't show up as "cashed" yet on my eBanking account. I half-expected this to happen because whenever you send large checks, banks will wait several days for it to "clear". Hopefully it will clear soon and then I can get on with paying off the credit card, and then (insert dramatic music here) I will finally be back at "zero" again. Trust me, this is a good thing.

Everyone I know is in some sort of debt, be it a mortgage, credit card(s), car(s) or whatever it is. No one I know has small debts or is anywhere near "being at zero". Usually, the average debt I see for my age group (27 to 32-ish) is somewhere between $25000 and $45000 or more - not including any medical stuff which will add a few ten thousand more.

I got a few friends who have "consolidated" bills. Personally I think the consolidation thing is a stupid idea. Don't know what it is? This is what it is in a nutshell:

Take all your bills, and get a debt consolidation loan that 'pays' all those bills, then pay back the loan. The monthly payment for the loan is smaller than all the bills combined you were paying previously.

I said this was a bad idea. This is why:

My advice to anyone who's got bills: Pay them off the traditional way, don't get caught in the "miracle cure" of a debt consolidation loan because it's not a miracle. It's just a way for other companies to take your money.


Last night I mailed off what is probably the biggest check I've ever written. And you guessed it - it's the one to pay off my car. **Scary**, very scary. Then again, it needed to be done. Yes I sent it early, I couldn't wait any longer and my courage was waning. (grin)

I should note that I didn't send the entire amount due. I will owe around $149 bucks after the check clears. I had a few reasons for doing this. First of all, my car loan goes up about $1.25 a day (for those who don't know - car loans vary in what is actually owed day by day, for real). So if I paid off the whole thing, I'm quite certain I would be left with a $2.50 balance because it takes a few days to get there and process.. and like hell if I'm going to write a check for $2.50.

In addition - I'm not sure if there is a penalty for paying it off early. That's the 2nd reason I didn't pay the whole thing off in one shot. I will be calling them as soon as I finish writing this (they have a 24-hr toll-free support number, neato).

I pray to God that no unnecessary crap happens with all this. Banks hate it when you pay stuff off early, because they lose money when you do it, hence the reason they don't like it.

And sure enough - a problem happened with the car today. The blinkers decided to stop working for about 5 minutes. Then they came back on, then went off again. I think I have about 1 or 2 months of warranty left of this thing, so that's another call I will be making tomorrow. I will just make it before the warranty expires. (grin)

Laziness and Responsibility

I've been connecting to home from work for a few days now - everything seems pretty stable which is good. I get kicked off the connection every now and zen but otherwise it's tolerable because I can just reconnect.

I have been getting very lazy concerning the screenplay I'm writing, and I've got to get that done and not let it just sit there. That has been bothering me for a few days now.

My Counter-Strike team is still looking for team players who will actually show up when they're supposed to. I am having (what I consider) a large problem getting people who apply to the team to actually BE there when tryouts are scheduled. This is what happens: They sign up, get their application approved, have a tryout scheduled and then ditch. They they contact me AFTER they ditch and explain "why" (which is a guaranteed lie). Sadly enough, most teenagers (the age group who plays Counter-Strike mostly) have absolutely no sense of responsibility when it comes to commitments of any type. Very, very frustrating - and annoying to boot. I guess that's what you get when you deal with teens. Most of them just expect to have everyone else take care of them and not suffer the consequences of their actions. But I don't play that. (grin)

It's also getting closer to the big day when I pay off the car. I look forward to it but at the same time fear it for obvious reasons. See my previous post on that for the reasons why. As the day gets nearer, I'm reminded "Wow, I've been making car payments for seven years!". Yeah, seven years. Making car payments for what seems like forever happens because most of us will "roll over" an old car's loan into a new one in order to get a new car. That's what I did several years ago. It's also the reason I'm still making payments today. But not for long. And man does it feel good to say that. The happiness outweighs the fear here. Yeah I'll take a big chunk out of my savings to pay off the car. But I will have a paid car. Paid, paid and paid. YES. (grin)