Happy New Year!! I wish everyone a very SAFE, HAPPY and HEALTHY 2008. I hope the New Year brings you all the goodness and prosperity you deserve. Stay tuned for more great posts in 2008 as I continue my way towards my debt free goal!


We're in Debt hosted the last Carnival of Personal Finance for 2007. The 133rd Carnival offered some great articles including:

You might be a personal finance redneck if....from brip blap. This one is hilarious.
How do you organize 181 accounts? Check out this post from My Dollar Plan to learn how.
How to save an emergency fund when money is tight from fellow M-Network member, beingfrugal.net.

I submitted the results of my 2007 Holiday Spending Poll.

Be sure to visit the carnival to read all the great articles submitted.

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I spent most of my Saturday at a car dealership. I've done this a few times before having bought 3 brand new cars in the past; prior to my financial awakening.

Fortunately, even though I spent most of the day at the car dealership, the new car was not for me. My Uncle called me up on Friday advising he was ready to buy a new truck and wanted me to go along to help him out. For some reason, when my family has financial questions, they seem to call me. I'm glad to help out when I can.

I was going to write a post about the entire experience but it would be an extremely long. I've decided to take a different direction and just highlight three main points from this experience:

  • It's financially beneficial to have a good credit score.
  • Know the full details of your financial situation.
  • Never co-sign for a car loan.
It's financially beneficial to have a good credit score. My uncle had no idea what his credit score was. He didn't even know there was a such thing as a credit score. Turns out, his score was only in the high 500's. Not the best score when you are trying to make a large purchase on credit (with no down payment). With a good credit score, you have options and the transaction goes alot smoother.

Know the full details of your financial situation. Again, for the same reason as posted above. Not only that, he was not sure how much money he made or who his creditors were. This can save you time and embarrassment (if you have a poor credit score).

Never co-sign for a car loan. With my uncle's low credit score, he had very limited options for purchasing his new truck. I purchased my car from the same salesperson and same dealership so the salesperson knew that I had a good credit score and stable income. The salesperson is a distant relative so she pulled me aside and asked if I would co-sign on the loan. I do appreciate the fact that she did not ask me in front of him. That would have been extremely awkward!!
As much as I wanted to help him out, I had to decline. I did not want to risk him not making the payments and having this car loan on my credit report for the next 6 years. Luckily, his wife had a high enough credit score to co-sign on the loan.

After spending about 6 hours at the dealership, my uncle drove away in a brand new 2008 Nissan Titan. I drove it and I have to admit it is a nice truck but I think financially it is not going to work out. The payment is a bit much for their income and gas will be a killer. I tried to talk him out of it and explain the cons of purchasing a new vehicle but in the end, my words fell on deaf ears. I know the feeling as I had been there before. You want something and you will not stop until you get it; whether it makes financial sense or not.

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As we count down the last few days of 2007 and head into 2008, I wanted to review my financial goals I set in 2007 and post my complete 2008 financial goals.

In this post from September 10, 2007, my main goals were to:

  • Payoff my 0% credit card balance before the promo rate expires. This has been completed. I paid this off when I paid off the remainder of my credit card debt.
  • Payoff my credit card balance at 2.9% for life. This was also completed. See above.
  • Increase my Freedom Savings Account to $2000. This has been completed. The balance now stands at around $2400 due to the infusion of cash from my year end bonus. This account is where I keep money to pay for my automobile insurance premiums, automobile tag fees, and any other bill that is paid on a quarterly or bi-annual basis.
  • Increase Rental Property Savings Account to $1000. This has not been completed. While the balance has increased, it has not increased to where I've planned it to be. Since my Freedom Account is fully funded, I will direct more money into this account until it is fully funded. This is the account I use for any emergency repairs to my rental property and to pay for the home maintenance plan.
  • Setup automatic bi-weekly transfers to my Freedom Account and Rental Property Account. Not only did I setup an automatic transfer to these accounts, I setup a WEEKLY transfer instead of bi-weekly. I don't even miss the money now.
  • End 2007 with a Networth of $64,000. After that September post, I increased the goal to $65,000. I've passed both of those goals but the final numbers will depend on how the market performs thru the rest of the year.
As I posted in the 1st Carnival of Financial Goals - 2008 Resolutions Edition, one of my goals for 2008 is to decrease the balance of my car loan to less than $20,000 by the end of 2008. To accomplish this, I will add an additional $200 a month to my regular payment to decrease the principal balance. I would also like to:
  • Increase my Networth to at least $75,000. This is very conservative and will be adjusted accordingly around the middle of the year.
  • Increase my Freedom Account balance to $5000.00. This is alot more than I need in this account and if the balance gets that high, I will direct any additional money towards debt payments.
  • Increase my Rental Property Account balance to at least $1500.00
  • Decrease my Non-Mortgage debt to less than $40,000. Now that my credit card debt is gone, my focus is now on the car loan balance. Once the car loan balance is gone, I will then start on the student loan.
  • Increase my Credit Scores. I would like to have at least a 720 with all 3 bureaus.
Be sure to subscribe to SingleGuyMoney to see if I accomplish these goals. I would also would like to wish you a very happy and prosperous New Year. Let's make 2008 the year we get free of debt!!!!!

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I got an email from my Human Resources Department today advising that based on our pay schedule, we will get 27 paychecks in 2008 instead of 26. Based on the way our pay schedule of getting paid every other Thursday, we usually get paid 3 times 2 months out of the year. The first 3 paycheck month will be January 2008.

In order to make everything work out, they will not deduct the amount of our benefits (medical, dental and vision) from the first paycheck in 2008. This will not be a huge amount as my benefits only add up to about $50 a month.

One of the bad things is that I will not get anymore earned time off. Our earned time off is credited per paycheck based on your tenure with the company. I currently get 17 days off per year. This will not be included in the first paycheck but will continue with my subsequent paychecks.

Related Posts you may also enjoy:

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I ran a poll on the website for two weeks prior to Christmas asking how much you spent on holiday gifts this year. The results were pretty much exactly as I thought. The number of people spending over $1000 was a little bit higher than I thought.

The following chart shows how the results ended up.

Out of 133 votes:
  • 31 people (23%) spent $0 - $100 on holiday gifts.
  • 66 people (49%) spent $100 - $500
  • 25 people (18%) spent $500 - $1000
  • 11 people (8%) spent over $1000
I spent between $100-$500 for my holiday gifts. I did not put any of this on my credit cards. I set aside a portion of my yearly bonus to pay for my gifts. How did you pay for your holiday gifts?

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Today is the last day that the holiday spending poll will be up at SingleGuyMoney. Please visit the site to cast your vote if you haven't already. I want to know how much you've spent on holiday gifts. There is about 22 hours left to vote. The poll is located in the upper right hand corner of the page. You will need to visit SingleGuyMoney to vote in the poll.

I'll post the results on Wednesday, December 26th.

The choices are as follows:

  • $0 - $100
  • $100 - $500
  • $500 - $1000
  • Over $1k

I know I said it before, but THIS will be my last post until after Christmas. Again, have a MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Be sure to subscribe to SingleGuyMoney for more great articles in 2008.

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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone! I'll be taking a break for a few days but I'll be back on Wednesday, December 26th. I wish everyone a very safe and HAPPY HOLIDAY!



I have a credit card from one of the big home improvement stores. When I bought my first home four years ago, I figured I needed a credit card from one of the big home improvement stores in case I needed emergency repairs or supplies for my home. Knowing then what I know now, I would have setup a special savings account for home repairs.

I bought several things over the first two years with the promotions the stores would run. Make any purchase over $299 and pay no interest for six months or twelve months. Of course, I would never pay the balance off before the promotion ended and would end up paying more interest than I saved over the course of the promotion.

When I decided I wanted to get out of debt, this was one of the cards I paid off first. I've had a zero balance on this card for over two years. I've used the card since I've paid if off but promptly paid the balance in full the next month.

Lately, the big home improvement store has been sending me 2-3 coupons a month advising I can save 10% since I am such a valued customer. This is nice but the only way they will let me save 10% is if I use my credit card and I can only save up to $200. If I am such a valuable customer, why don't they let me use whatever method I want to pay for my purchase?

And why can I only save up to $200? Where do these coupons end up? In the shredder along with my pre-approved credit card applications.

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Today is the day that I usually do my weekly budget and Networth updates. Sometimes, I get a little obsessive and update it 2-3 times a week.

While updating the numbers tonight, I realized that I have hit my 2007 Networth goal of $65,000. Right now, the number is actually sitting at $65,334.43 to be exact. I'm happy about it but I will not celebrate until the end of the month. With the wild swings in the market, I could exceed my goal or fall way short. Right now, it's just too close to call.

Income
I've received my last paycheck of the year (will go into my account on Thursday). I've received my bonus (more on the distribution in another post), the payment from the insurance company of the party that rear-ended my car last month and the December rent from my tenant. I am not expecting any more income this month.

Expenses
All the major expenses have been paid for the month (mortgages, car payment). I still have a few utility bills left and my homeowners association fees. This will be less than $500. I'm almost done with my holiday shopping but that money had already been saved and accounted for.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the stock market stays in the green. If the stock market is good to me, I'll be good to the stock market by feeding it more money (investing).

This post sponsored by: Discover More Card "More ways to earn cash than anyone else."

Be sure to subscribe to SingleGuyMoney here to get notified of all the latest posts. Don't be shy and feel free to leave a comment.

If you haven't already, be sure to check out all the great articles at the Naughty or Nice Edition of the Carnival of Personal Finance hosted by Get Rich Slowly.

My article: "The Breakup", was featured in the "Tinsel Lined Tree" (budgeting) section.

Be sure to subscribe to SingleGuyMoney here to get notified of all the latest posts. Don't be shy and feel free to leave a comment.

I have been putting off filling out and sending off my holiday cards. I must do it today or I will have to save them for next year. All of my friends and I have agreed to have a frugal Christmas and will exchange holiday cards instead of giving gifts. Before I start doing my cards, I'd like to highlight some of my favorite posts from this week.

From the M-Network:

And from my blogroll:

That's all for this Sunday. Be sure to visit all the great articles mentioned. Subscribe to SingleGuyMoney for more great articles.

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I'm not really into playing video games but after hearing alot of talk about the Nintendo Wii, I checked it out and decided I really wanted one too. I'd heard about how hard they were to get and how much people were paying to get them but I refused to pay an inflated price.

My neighbor works at Wal-Mart so I asked her if they had any available. They had none at that time but they were getting in a shipment soon. She said she would keep and eye out and let me know when they came in. I was able to get 3 Nintendo Wii's for about $240 each. I only needed one so I decided to put the other 2 on Ebay after reading HustlerMoney's post on Side Income: Learn to Ebay Hot Items.

I listed the item for 7 days with a starting price of $100. For the first 5 days, I only had 1 bid on each of them for $100. I've used Ebay for over 5 years so I knew that the bidding would pickup as the auction came to a close. I wasn't real worried that I would get less than I paid for them because everyone wanted to get their hands on one of these.

The auction ended on Friday and I sold both of them for over $410 each. After Ebay listing fees, Paypal fees and shipping, I was able to make a profit of $291.89. Not only did I get my Nintendo Wii for free, I made an additional $50!!!!

Did you purchase a Nintendo Wii for Christmas? How did you pay?

I have been looking for a good business credit card to use for all my rental property expenses. I'd narrowed it down to 3 and I finally decided on the Discover Business Card. I have a Discover personal card and I have been really happy with it.


The Discover Business Card offers the following benefits:
  • 0% Intro APR. Balance Transfer fee is 3% with a $75 maximum fee
  • 5% Cashback Bonus on office supplies
  • 2% Cashback Bonus on gas
  • 1% Cashback on all other purchases
  • Earn 10% Cashback Bonus on first $2000 on restaurant and electronic purchases.

Note: I am a Discover Card affiliate and would greatly appreciate it if you apply through this link.

You do not need to "own" a business to apply for a business credit card. You can apply with your social security number where it asks for a Tax ID number and you can put your name as the business name. I would not recommend "making up" a business.


Those sneaky credit card companies are always out to make an easy buck. I paid off the remainder of my credit card debt last month but I got a bill this month for the remaining interest charges of $20.99. I immediately went online to schedule my payment. The payment is due on the 17th of this month. As I was scheduling the payment on the credit card company website, I had the option to schedule the payment to post on any day up to the 21st of the month.

Why would they even offer the option to pay on the 21st when my payment is due on the 17th?

The credit card company wants me to schedule my payment AFTER the due date so they can promptly charge late fees and jack up my interest rate. Just a heads up; when you are scheduling an online payment, be sure you schedule it to post on or before your due date. (I usually schedule my payments to post at least 2 days ahead just in case there is a problem. (This gives me time to fix it if something does go wrong.)

I won't mention the name of the credit card company but they aren't located in my CITY. ;-)
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I am curious to know how much you guys are spending for holiday gifts this year. Please take a moment to visit SingleGuyMoney and vote on the spending poll on the upper right side of the page.

Here are some of the posts I've enjoyed reading from my fellow M-Network members this week and would like to pass them along to you. If you haven't seen them already, please be sure to check them out.

I'm off to finish doing my laundry and getting ready for work tomorrow. Why does it seem like the weekend goes by so fast?

Working on my budget for the next few months, I realized I have a bit of extra cash coming my way. December-February are historically very good months for my finances. Where is the cash coming from and what do I plan to do with it?

  • Bonus - My bonus from my employer is paid in December. I've gotten a bonus every year but the amount changes based on company profitability. The bonus is paid out in 2 payments with 75% being paid in December and 25% being paid in late January or early February. I've calculated that my bonus payment coming next week should be roughly $3200 after taxes. The February payment will be about $1000. About $2000 of this money will go to my Freedom account and Rental Property Savings account.Freedom Account funds will be allocated towards making sure I have money for all my upcoming insurance payments in 2008 (1yr of auto ins, 1 yr of homeowners ins, Umbrella policy) and my vehicle tag fees. Rental Property Accounts funds will cover my home maintenance plan policy and landscape charges. I haven't decided what I want to do with the other $1200.

  • Auto Accident - I had a minor fender bender a few weeks ago. I didn't make a post about it since it was not a big deal. I was rearended while stopped at a stoplight. The other insurance company completed an estimate and the damages were about $582. I've decided not to repair the vehicle since the damage is strictly cosmetic and does not affect the function or safety of the vehicle. I may take 1/2 of his and buy a nice electronic gadget since I have been so good about denying these urges.

  • State Tax Refund - I usually always get a pretty good refund from the State of Georgia especially since I've had the rental property. Last year, I got a refund of about $2200 but this was offset by the $1500 I owed the federal government. Based on my early calculations, I should get about the same this year. I will owe the feds about the same this year too. I know I need to adjust my withholding but I haven't done it yet.

  • Performance Bonus - This one is not guaranteed but I have it good shot at getting one (according to my boss). Once I have my performance evaluation in February, I will (hopefully) get a % salary increase. (Last year it was only 4%). If I exceed company expectations again this year, I will get a merit cash bonus of 3% of my yearly salary. Last year was nice surprise as I got a cash bonus of about $2500 after taxes on top of my salary increase. I haven't made any plans with this money since it is not guaranteed.

Having this extra cash will definitely help me complete my 2008 Financial Goal of adding an additional $200 to my car payment to decrease the principal balance.

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I've been so busy during the last 2 weeks, I forgot to tell you guys that Starbucks and I have decided to go our separate ways. It wasn't easy for me to say goodbye. In fact, I think there may have been a few tears involved...LOL. I decided that the relationship was not good for me or my financial future and I needed to make a change. Actually, there was another person involved that helped me with my decision.

My mother was tired hearing about me spending my hard earned money at Starbucks for something I could do at home for alot less money. She decided to give me my Christmas gift a couple of weeks early. I got a brand new coffee maker, coffee filters, a big container of coffee and coffee creamer. She was even thoughtful enough to buy me a nice new coffee cup.

For the past two weeks, I've been brewing my own coffee at home. I use the Vanilla Caramel creamer from CoffeeMate and I have a tasty drink for much less that I would have spent at Starbucks. I figure by making my coffee at home, it costs about .50 a cup instead of $4.24 at Starbucks.

I can't say that I won't ever go back to Starbucks. There will be those times when I need a quick "fix" and I may visit Starbucks here and there.

Don't worry Starbucks. I'm sure you will find someone new to take my place.

Are you breaking up with Starbucks or plan to breakup with Starbucks??? Have you broken up with Starbucks recently?

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It's almost Friday!!! I don't know about you guys but this has been a long week for me. For your reading enjoyment, be sure to check out the 1st Carnival of Financial Goals - 2008 Financial Resolutions Edition hosted by Patrick over at Cash Money Life.

My article, 2008 Financial Goals, was included in the roundup. I didn't make the editors pick but I'm still glad to have been included.

Some of my favorites:

Good Luck to everyone who posted their financial goals. I can't wait to find out who won the Ipod.

Be sure to subscribe to SingleGuyMoney here to get notified of all the latest posts. Don't be shy and feel free to leave a comment.

I just happened to realize today that my 6 month blogaversary is coming up real soon. Technically, my six month anniversary is December 23rd but due to the holidays, I'll probably be too busy to celebrate.

I've made some big changes to my finances in only a short time. It will be interesting to see how things look a year from now.

Here are some of my prior posts with an update.

  • I'm starting to do it right.... - I posted about starting to save for those irregular expenses instead of paying for them with a credit card. I've saved enough to cover about 75% of my irregular expenses for a year. I should be able to fully fund that account over the next 2-3 months.
  • Official Debt Tracker - I posted a debt tracker on the sidebar to keep track of my debt reduction progress. I started the year with over $66k in debt. I've since reduced this to a little over $47k.
  • SingleGuyMoney is Mad - My cousin called me to "borrow" a thousand dollars and got very upset when I didn't loan it to him. He still hasn't gotten the money and WILL NOT get it from me.
  • "I want to be rich like you" - My cousin (not the one that wanted to borrow money) thought that because I have a nice home and car, I am rich. I had to sit him down and explain a few things. He knows now that appearances are not always what they seem.
  • $70 Error - I made a big mistake when changing bank accounts and learned an expensive lesson.
  • Real Life Example of the Sucky Housing Market - Two of my friends were trying to sale their homes. They STILL have not sold them.

Be sure to subscribe to SingleGuyMoney here to get notified of all the latest posts. Don't be shy and feel free to leave a comment.



I'd like to take a moment to thank all my readers, RSS subsribers and email subscribers for reading my blog. I hope my blog has helped you with your personal finances and/or inspired you to take the steps toward getting out of debt and improving your financial health.




I'd also like to thank the following websites (in no particular order) for sending the most traffic my way:

And for the most traffic sent from my friends at the M-Network (again, in no particular order):

If you haven't already done so, be sure to subscribe to SingleGuyMoney to get notified of the latest posts.

Assets:

  • Rental Property - $137,000
  • Primary Residence - $193,000
  • Car - $29,500
  • Retirement - $41,775.28
  • Cash (checking, savings) - $32,818.54
  • Brokerage - $3,319.66

Total Assets: $444,992.98

Liabilities:

  • Rental Property Mortgage - $150,162.23
  • Primary Home Mortgage - $183,295.25
  • Car Loan - $25,248.69
  • Student Loan - $22,223.81
  • Credit Cards - $ 0

Total Liabilities: $380,929. 98

Net Worth: $64,063, increase from prior month is 0.95%


Monthly Recap:

  • Paid off the remainder of my credit card debt this month!!
  • The market correction this month affected my net worth increase this month. This is the lowest net worth increase I've had this year. However, it was still an increase.
  • I set a goal to have a net worth of $65,000 by the end of the year. I should be able to easily meet this goal unless we have another month of "market corrections".
  • December should be a great month financially. I've already saved up for Christmas gifts and I should be receiving 75% of my yearly bonus. (The other 25% is paid late January or early February).

Looking back....

Since I started tracking my net worth in detail in March 2005, my net worth has changed as follows:

  • Assets - increased $210,738.98 or 89.96%
  • Liabilities - increased $153,664.94 or 67.61% (my new home purchase in April 2006 caused the increase)
  • Overall increase in Net Worth - $57,414.04 or 863.50%
If you've enjoyed this post or reading about my personal finance journey, please subscribe to SingleGuyMoney here. Be sure to visit SingleGuyMoney to leave a comment or for more great articles.


It was a nice surprise when I logged into my E*Trade account today to find that the rate for their Complete Savings Account has been increased to 5.05% APY. The rate had previously been lowered following the series of rate cuts by the Feds.

I am a big fan of E*trade despite the recent news of them having financial problems and the recent $2.5 billion dollar infusion of cash from Citadel Investment Group.

Best features of the Complete Savings Account are:
  • No minimum balance
  • Just $1 to open the account
  • Yields more than 8x the national average
  • Easy access to your money with the Quick Transfer feature
  • Secure online statements
  • FDIC insured up to $100,000

In addition to a Complete Savings Account, I also have an E*Trade Brokerage account so it is very easy to transfer money back and forth between accounts.


TIP: If you need immediate access to funds from your savings account, transfer the money to your brokerage account and write a check from the cash portion of your brokerage account. I do it all the time and it works great. Just be careful not to exceed the withdrawal limitations of the savings account.

Patrick over at Cash Money Life has started a new carnival, titled the Carnival of Financial Goals. Patrick is filling a niche as there is no other carnival currently dedicated to setting or sharing financial goals. I think this is an excellent idea. Share your 2008 financial goals for a chance to win an Ipod or 3 personal finance books. Make sure you visit Cash Money Life to submit your 2008 financial resolution and review the rules of the contest.

My 2008 financial resolution is to: get the balance of my car loan under $20k. Per Patrick's requirements, I will use the S.M.A.R.T goal format.

  • Specific - I want to decrease the balance of my car loan to less that $20,000 by December 2008. I will do this by applying an additional $200 per month to my car payment.
  • Measurable - Once the payment posts, I can determine how much of my payment was applied to principal and how much went to interest.
  • Actionable - This is 100% reasonable considering I decreased my monthly expenditures by over $400 by paying off the remainder of my credit card debt.
  • Realistic - Absolutely. I could say I will apply an additional $1000/mo to my debt but this is not reasonable because I would not be able to cover my other bills. $200 will not make a big change in my budget.
  • Timely - One year is more than enough time considering my balance is about $25,200 right now. It may actually take 6-9 months instead of an entire year if I am able to apply more than $200 a month.

What is your financial resolution? When does the contest end? December 4th, at 11:59 EST.

If you've enjoyed this post or reading about my personal finance journey, please subscribe to SingleGuyMoney here. Be sure to visit SingleGuyMoney to leave a comment or for more great articles.

It's finally the end of another work week and time for relaxing or having fun on the weekend. Need to add a few bucks to your Emergency Fund, House Fund, Car Repair Fund, etc instead?

Below, you will find a couple of easy signup bonuses that will help you get closer to your goal.

Open a free checking account and get a $25 signup bonus. Open a regular savings account and get an additional $10 bonus. Open a regular savings with at least $1000 and you get a $25 bonus. All I need is your email address to send you the referral. Your email address will not be saved or sold. Email me here. New customers only!


Open an Electric Orange checking account or a Orange Savings account with at least $250 and you will get a $25. Open both and get $50. Email me here. New customers only!


Want to shop, save money and get a referral bonus?




Click, HERE, to visit Ebates.

I'm a little upset this morning. Why am I upset this time? The warehouse of one of my favorite charities, The Empty Stocking Fund, was robbed a couple of days ago. The Empty Stocking Fund provides toys for underprivileged children in the Metro Atlanta area during the holiday season. They have been one of my favorite charities for about 5 years.

Apparently, when you are a thief, it does not matter who you steal from.
The thieves broke in thru a small window and made off with over $50,000 in toys meant to be distributed to needy children during holiday season.

What makes this story even crazier? The warehouse is in the same building as Atlanta City Hall and the Atlanta Police headquarters!

I will be donating a little extra this year to help them out. If you want to know more about the charity or donate, you can check them out here.


If you've enjoyed this post or reading about my personal finance journey, please subscribe to SingleGuyMoney here. Be sure to visit SingleGuyMoney to leave a comment or for more great articles.

After paying off the remainder of my credit card debt two weeks ago, I have been watching my credit scores to see the affect of reducing my debt by over $10,000. I use TrueCredit to monitor my credit reports and usually pull a new report every 2-3 days to check on any changes.

Here is a summary of how my scores have changed since 11/14/07.

  • Transunion (11-14-07) = 707 Transunion (11-27-07) = 701 Not real sure why the score dropped by 6 points since my total debt load did not increase and there were no new inquiries.
  • Equifax (11-14-07) = 694 Equifax (11-27-07) = 709 My score with Equifax went up 15 points and there are have been no major changes besides 2 old inquires dropped off my report. They are still reporting the balances on my credit cards that have been paid off. The balances should update on the first week in December and I expect a huge jump in my score.
  • Experian (11-14-07) = 706 Experian (11-27-07) = 706 No change in my score here which makes sense since everything is still the same as it was 2 weeks ago.

It's funny how much your credit scores can change in such a short time. Once my report shows my credit card debt as paid off, I will be interested in my numbers then.

If you've enjoyed this post or reading about my personal finance journey, please subscribe to SingleGuyMoney here. Be sure to visit SingleGuyMoney to leave a comment or for more great articles.

I have to admit I do not know anything about Cyber Monday until this year. I kept hearing about it on the news so I wanted to do a little checking into it. For those unfamiliar with Cyber Monday, Wikipedia describes it as the Monday immediately following Black Friday where the online retailers offer the best deals like the brick and mortar stores offered on the previous Friday. Planning to do a little online shopping today?

Make sure you sign up for Ebates.com. If you have been reading this blog for awhile, you know that I am a big fan of Ebates. Not only do they offer signup bonuses and cash back on your purchases, they have all the major stores. TODAY ONLY (Monday), you get DOUBLE CASH BACK! SIGN UP HERE.


Not interested in shopping? Be sure to check out the 115th Edition of the Carnival of Debt Reduction hosted by fellow M-Network member, beingfrugal.net. My article was included: Paying off debt makes you feel.... so be sure to head over and read all the great stories.

It's the perfect day to be stay at home and be lazy. It's windy, cold and rainy outside and I will be staying home all day to do a few things I've needed to do around the house. I need to put a couple of items on Ebay, balance my checkbook, do laundry and catch up on a few shows I've recorded but haven't had a chance to watch yet. It was nice to have my family in town for a few days but they are all gone back home now.

Here are some great posts I've read around the blogosphere.

From the M-Network:

  • How Blogging Changed Me from beingfrugal.net. I totally agree with Lynae and I feel most people have forgotten the true meaning of Christmas. I too will be having a frugal Christmas.
  • Why do I always find a better deal AFTER I buy it? from Gather Little by Little. I hate when that happens.
  • Thanks for Everything from Paid Twice. Paid Twice gives a hearty thanks to the readers for keeping her accountable to improving her family's financial situation. I too am very thankful to my readers for helping me stay on the right track with my finances.
  • 22 Money Maximizing Moves You Can Do Today from Moolanomy. It's that time of year to look at where you can minimize your 2007 tax bill and this post certainly helps.
  • Buy Nothing Day is Friday - Are you participating? from My Two Dollars. I planned to participate but I found a good deal on a $20 Shop Vac that I had been wanting. I almost bought one last month for $60 so I saved $40 by waiting. Considering some of the big ticket items some people bought, $20 is not bad at all.
  • 100 Free Resume Templates from The Dough Roller. Looking for a new job? This massive list of resume templates will definitely help you build a killer resume.

And from my blogroll:

I'm off to go enjoy my last day before going back to work tomorrow and catching upon all the things I didn't get done last week. It seemed like I was in holiday mode ALL WEEK and I didn't get much done.

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Thanksgiving has come and gone and now I am munching on the delicious leftovers. I made sure I packed enough food to last me for at least a couple of days.

First, I would like to give THANKS to my readers. I just realized I hit over 10,000 readers on yesterday. I know this is a small number compared to some of the personal finance blogs out there, but this is huge for me. Thank you so much for reading and following my blog. I hope by following my personal finance journey, it will help you with your own personal finances. I also thank you for all the comments and emails with words of encouragement. If you have not signed up for the RSS feed, you can do so here. It's totally free and you will be notified of the newest posts here at SingleGuyMoney.

I am also starting a new regular feature for the blog. Every Friday, I will have a "Free Money Friday" post highlighting a few of the best bank or credit card bonuses. Even though it's Saturday, here's a sample of what you will find.

  • Chase Bank - $100 bonus for opening a Free Checking Account with direct deposit. This is good if you have a local Chase bank branch. If you do not have a local Chase Bank, you can still open an account online and get a $75 bonus. Click here for the offer.
  • Wells Fargo Bank - $50 bonus for opening a Free Checking Account. Details are here.

I look forward to celebrating when I reach 20,000 readers.

Save money on your holiday shopping, visit Ebates.com. You get a $10 bonus for signing up and making at least one purchase.



Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I have alot of things to be thankful for. I will be spending all day tomorrow with my family and eating alot of food. I wish all of you a very safe and Happy Thanksgiving and I should be back to blogging by the weekend.


Skip the crowds on Friday, shop online and save money using Ebates.com. Sign up for an account, shop at your favorite stores and get money back on your purchases.
Right now, they are offering a $10 signup bonus just for opening an account
and making at least 1 purchase. You can signup HERE.

If you've enjoyed this post or reading about my personal finance journey, please subscribe to SingleGuyMoney here. Be sure to visit SingleGuyMoney for more great articles.

If you are like me, you've probably been keeping an eye out for all the "deals" to be had on Black Friday.

The two things on my list, a brand new flat screen tv and possibly a new laptop. After paying off the last of my credit card debt, I decided to put the money to better use. The 50" TV I have now works just fine and my laptop, although some of the keys have to be pressed really hard in order for them to work, is ok for now.

With that in mind, I will not be shopping on Friday. I do plan to make one small purchase though. I want a ShopVac. They have them for sale at Wal-Mart for $20. They usually run about $40-60.

Be sure to check out CleverDude's post - Black Friday and Buying out of Budget. CleverDude gives some excellent reasons for putting off those unneeded purchases.

What are you buying? How much are you planning to spend?

If you've enjoyed this post or reading about my personal finance journey, please subscribe to SingleGuyMoney here. Be sure to visit SingleGuyMoney for more great articles.

The 127th Carnival of Personal Finance-Wonders of the World was hosted my fellow M-Network member, Moolanomy.
Be sure to visit the carnival for some great reads. Thanks to Moolanomy for hosting!

Some of my favorite articles:

I posted my article, Slipping back into bad habits - ALMOST.

If you are looking to do a link exchange, please feel free to contact me. I would prefer that it be a blog related to personal finance and be at least 3 months old. Please check out my blog, SingleGuyMoney, and let me know if you are interested.

GREAT! Every since I paid off the remainder of my credit card debt, I feel alot better about my finances. It seems as if a huge burden has been lifted. I advise anyone that if you pay off your debt, you will feel much better about your finances and life in general.

If you need more reasons to pay off debt, consider this:

  • Better Cash Flow. Working on my budget for December, I had to figure out what to do with the extra $400 I am not sending to the credit card company. This is great problem to have.
  • Better Financial Flexibility. It's nice not having to try and figure out how to stretch your paycheck to cover all of your monthly obligations.
  • Higher Interest Rates. Your lenders will charge you higher rates because they will see you as a greater credit risk.
  • Interest Savings. Don't let the credit card companies get rich off you. Save the interest you would be paying to a credit card company! Invest and make it work for you.
  • Better Credit Score. One of the major components of your credit score is the amount of debt you are carrying. Carry less debt, the higher your credit score. My credit scores before I paid off my debt are 707 Transunion, 706 Experian and 694 with Equifax. I'm looking forward to see how my credit scores increase.
  • Reduced Availability of Credit. If you are looking to purchase a home, the amount of debt you carry will affect the amount of the mortgage you are able to qualify for.

I can't believe how much of a psychological boost paying off debt gave me. My next loan to tackle is my car loan. Once I get this paid off, I will be in a much better position mentally and financially. I also never plan to finance another car, if I do, I plan to put at least 50% down and finance for no longer than 3 years.

If you've enjoyed this post or my blog, please subscribe to SingleGuyMoney here. Be sure to visit SingleGuyMoney for more great articles.

Well, it's not really raining money, it is more like a slight drizzle. When I opened my email inbox and my postal mailbox, it wasn't filled with the usual junkmail. Today, they were filled with money. How much money you ask? Well just keep reading.


  • Ebates: I received my "Big Fat Check" of $43.90 via email from Ebates. As I posted before, this website allows you to shop at all your favorite stores online AND you get a rebate for purchasing thru the Ebates website. The rebate percentage is clearly listed on the website. I hate going to the mall so all my holiday shopping will be done thru Ebates. They are offering a $10 signup bonus thru the end of today (11/15/07) and then it goes back to the normal $5 signup bonus. You must make at least one purchase to get the bonus. With the holiday season approaching, that shouldn't be a problem. Signup HERE.

  • PineCone Research: I completed a survey yesterday and received my $5 payment today. The surveys are pretty easy and take about 5-10 minutes to complete. They usually send a payment via Paypal the day after the survey has been completed. I signed up a few months ago and I get about 2-3 surveys a month. I certainly won't get rich doing this but every little bit helps. Signup HERE.

  • MyPoints: A couple of weeks ago, I redeemed some of my points for a $50 Target giftcard and it arrived today. I have been a Mypoints member for a few years now and would estimate I have received over $500 just for clicking on emails or shopping thru the Mypoints website. Tip: You may want to setup a separate email account to use for MyPoints. I usually get anywhere from 5-10 emails a day. Signup Here.

I'll be sure to enjoy my $98.90. Do you want to make a little money for doing a little bit of nothing? Be sure to click on the signup HERE links. I only get a referral fee from Ebates.com. Is there a site that you use to get free money with little effort? If so, feel free to share.

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