Day 159 | $61,994 paid | $28,723 till freedom
Boom! Sixteen dollars! I’m RICH!
My Dad always stuffs everybody’s Christmas stockings full of scratch-offs, but this time, since I wasn’t in town during the holidays, I had to wait (extremely anxiously since I could feel a big win was headed my way) for my parents to actually send them to me. The 20 tix finally arrived a couple of days ago. As you can see, two were massive winners.
This will put a huge dent in my debt. I’m psyched.
Bank of America Sucks
I was getting gas last night and my credit card was declined, so I had to use my debit card instead. I thought it was a fluke, but when I went to pay for groceries this evening, the credit card was once again declined.
So I called the number on the back of it when I got home. After 12 minutes of waiting on hold, an account manager picked up and, after getting my information, told me that my card had been reported “compromised” on Jan 10th, put on hold, and a new card had automatically been sent out to me and shipping would take five to ten days.
I’ve been using the card regularly since the 10th–it was only yesterday, three and a half weeks after it was allegedly “put on hold,” that it was declined. And the replacement card that was supposed to arrive in five to ten days after the 10th? That definitely never happened.
I got a little snippy with the account manager and pointed out all the problems with the situation. Why could I still use the card well after it was supposedly put on hold? Why had I never received a new card in the mail? Why had nobody called me to tell me the card had been compromised? Hell, even an automated courtesy email would have been a nice…courtesy…and wouldn’t have cost them a cent!
She basically ignored all of my questions and told me she would have a new card out to me within five to ten days. Umm…Fail. This is my only credit card, and while I have a few thousand in my UBS account, I don’t have a debit card for it. The only debit card I have is for my BofA account that has about $300 in it, and I don’t have a transfer mechanism set up between UBS and BofA.
She replied that she would get a card out to me by Tuesday and waive the $15 expedite fee.
Gee, thanks a lot. Way to go the extra mile for me.
I don’t know whether to be more confused by or angry with the situation. It’s so bizarre!!
First Roommate Is Peacing Out
Sarah’s six months are up at the end of the month, and she has elected to leave instead of extending her contract like I offered. I won’t comment on the circumstances that led to this decision, other than to say that it’s probably for the best (hint, hint). Unfortunately, it does mean that I won’t be getting her $450 rent payment this month since she paid first and last months’ rent in September, so that will leave a huge, painful gap in my February finances.
I am giving two landscaping quotes this weekend with Michael, so hopefully those turn into some lucrative jobs this month.
The Amish Project
Tell me you guys have seen this.
Two words: Holy. Crap.
For those of you not interested in clicking the link, it’s a video created by a guy who went 90 entire days without Facebook, email, Twitter, LinkedIn, and texting.
Incredible. The video is completely moving.
Here’s the article where I heard about it. Awesome stuff.
As the loyal readers already know, I left Facebook on December 23rd after I read a Harvard Business Review article about Facebook being a “den of comparison,” a huge waste of time, and a huge cause of superficial relationships. I did miss it for the first week or so, but I’m well over it now.
The gentleman behind the story, Jake Reilly, took things to a whole new level when, in addition to giving up Facebook, he also gave up things like texting and email. I admire the hell out of him for it. That’s awesome! It terrifies me to think of what would happen to my social life if I were to go down that road. It sounds like he was at first miserable when he disconnected, but he eventually hit an inflection point and ultimately thrived and didn’t even want the stunt to end when the 90 days were up.
It makes me wonder if I’m going to start thriving in my current situation, and if I won’t want it to be over, either, when I make my last loan payment. I guess it doesn’t technically have to be over–I can keep being frugal, but there will be less of a clear goal for me, so I might not be as motivated.
And I wouldn’t say I’m currently miserable, but I don’t know if I’m as positive about my current stunt as Jake was about his while he was doing it.
Is it a coincidence that this article surfaced during the same week that Facebook’s filed its $5B IPO?
By the way, if that figure outrages anyone, first take a chill pill. Then realize that we have nobody but ourselves to blame.
Get Paid to Save
A very considerate and well-read friend of mine from HBS, Stan, reads my blog regularly and sends me related articles from time to time. This week, he sent me two very relevant articles. The first one was about a company that will actually pay you points not for spending money, like credit cards do, but for saving and paying off debt.
I personally won’t be doing this because I’m not a fan of sites like this and others where my account information is on a site other than the site of the bank it belongs to.
But I do
like love the concept.
How Much Entertainment Can One Hundred Bucks Buy in Austin?
A lot, according to this article.
Stan sent me this article written by Seth Kugel who describes his weekend in Austin where he experienced a good chunk of Austin for only $100. He doesn’t eat or drink quite as much as I typically do, but I do appreciate what he’s done here. That said, I’m trying to spend $50 on entertainment over four to five weekends, not twice that amount in one weekend, so this will probably be more applicable to my post-NMHD life when I’ll be a little less frugal.