Thursday, April 27, 2006

I got an email from Patrick O'Connell in Boston. Since there are a lot of us in this financial boat, I thought I would share his email.

I work in the financial services industry, and as a side project my company has recently launched a financial planning site that helps consumers reduce personal debt without consolidation, settlement, or counseling. The site is dynamic and fully automated to tailor a plan to each individual consumer. It can be found at

I wandered through the site briefly this morning and it looks very helpful. I am going to spend a bit more time over the weekend checking it out. It does have one thing many financial assistance sites don't have: a money back guarantee! I like that.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

I cashed out ten grand of my retirement. I put $1000 into savings to pay that pesky 10% penalty for early withdrawal. I paid off the folks at Discover Card, Household Bank (which I had slowly allowed to creep back up), and my little Chase card. I also paid $1000 on my American Express Blue card (cutting that balance in half), and $100 on my regular Amex card. That left me $350, which is going towards my ambulance bill.

My dad suggested I put some money into savings. But I decided that I would pay more in interest on my cards than I'd get on my savings.

I also increased my retirement contribution so I can pay myself back faster. All I have to do now is to be good, and pay off the last couple of cards promptly.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Former President, teen heart throb and the bestest President ever, Bill Clinton's Smithsonian portrait was unveiled yesterday. He posed with a newspaper in one hand and his other on his hip, and his coat unbuttoned.

Heh! Look where his tie is pointing! Heh heh! That Bill! He's such a scamp.

Monday, April 24, 2006

I spent most of the morning waiting for Blogger to fix their publishing problems. This afternoon, I took my car to have the brakes fixed. I have known the mechanic in question for thirty years. We went to school together. He graduated a year or two ahead of me. He and my brother were in the same clique. My dad has been doing business with the mechanic's family for forty years.

I get to the shop a little after 1 pm, and ask his daughter, since I work until 6 pm, an hour after they close, if they can deliver the van. "I'll have to ask." I ask if they can park the van outside the fence so I can pick it up. "I'll have to ask." I hand her my card and say, have your father call me so we can talk about this.

Sure enough, at 4:30, the daughter calls and tells me the van's ready. So I ask about them leaving the van outside the fence, and she tells me they can do it if I want to pay over the phone. I tell her that I was going to pay cash, but since I can't actually get there during their business hours, I guess I'll pick up the van on Thursday. Thanks. Bye.

I understand why they do it. I understand that this is the first time I have had work done at their shop. But their needs to be a bit more customer service there. My other mechanic, who couldn't look at the problem till next week never has a problem with leaving my van out and letting me pay the next business day. I guess I'll use them next time.