Looking for lucky zeroes! (APR, that is)

This morning (actually Thu morning), I got up with a vengence to transfer my high-interest card to 0% for 6 mos. I had two “preapproved” offers. Once I filled out the website form, I got a confirmation page saying that they’ll let me know in 30 days! 30 Days?!?!?! I have a bill of $390 due tomorrow! I thought it was going to be paid off. So, I’m not sure what to do. I think I should put the minimum onto another card – which I have thankfully at 0% for 6mos.

I told my wife to find out her balances and APRs and told her to call and tell them that she got offers. She got 3 of her interest rates down from 22% to 17%. At first, she was kinda sheepish when calling them, I told her that she’s doing them a favor by keeping the account with them. Just say that you have better offers. Instantly, the customer service operators switched it down.

She’s really good about doing what I recommend. However, I need to listen to myself more. She has been doing the 10% savings ever since I told her to last year and has now saved up about $2.5K. Me on the other hand saw my 2K depleated mysteriously. I live like a miser (which I’m getting sick of). I have holes in the crotch of all my pants – actually only have 3 pairs total.

So tomorrow, I’m going to try and build out a site and see if I can make google adsense work for me based on this ‘get rich quick scheme’ (which I totally don’t buy into). I figure if I make a fraction of what she claims to make, it’s still passive income. However, I’m also trying to make some money before the end of the month to pay rent. Not sure how I do it as I have $300 in my account and need another $450 for rent. My tenent from my condo moved out so, that’s going to delay any funds coming in for a few weeks, possibly. So, I’m preparing for the worst. Been on craigslist and actorsaccess, but paid gigs are few this time of year.

Also, I posted this response to Greengirl’ who’s an actor unlike the others on the site who are pulling in 100K or so on mymoneyblog.com when I was trying to figure out if I should pay down my credit cards or to keep funding my Roth-IRA:

I’ve been doing the actingfilmmaking thing for about 7 years now. I didn’t care at all about my finances til last year when I got married (to an actress as well). We’re both determined to NOT get a ‘real job’ and keep at our dreams.

The main thing I learned in this past year was to concentrate on getting my FICO score up to get my debt down. I managed to go from a 630 to a 725 in one year. Now, I have all these 0% credit card offers to which I’m transferring my high interest rates – some as high as 30%.

Also you gotta keep your eye on the ‘passive income’ like your website (read Rich Dad Poor Dad if you haven’t already).
Last year I worked on over 35 passion projects (indies, student films, etc) which won many awards at festivals, but didn’t pay a dime – actually I lost money if you count the gas involved. This year I was determined to only get paid acting gigs, but didn’t enjoy them as much even though I made about $3.4K in acting – which I thought would’ve been impossible a year ago. FYI: The average SAG actor in LA makes about $6K/yr through acting. So having passive income from another source will let me choose passion over trying to get a gig just because it pays, but which I can’t stand.

I’ve been living on $1200/mo for everything. I’m usually in the hole by a 100 or 200, so I totally understand what you mean about Roth and 401K as not even being an option. So at the end of almost every month, I’m kinda scrambling for background work or something to the like. On paper, I look like crap, but in reality, I’m more stable than some guy who’s been at a job for 30 years is about to get laid off.

I got my savings account up to about $2K by just saving 10% of everything I brought in even if it was a $10 gas money from a student film. However, it went away b/c of medical bills (no health insurance previously, but got it now). I fell off the horse, but I’m determined to get back on.

The main reason I read this whole thing to the end was the debate b/w Roth funding or debt payment. I think I’d go towards clearing the debt til I become a financial chess-master like Jonathan. I’d rather write a screenplay than jump my credit cards around – even though I have autopayment now for the credit cards, I still miss something now and then and can lose the low APR. If I get rid of it and don’t accrue more (I only put $150 this year on credit. Everything else was paid in cash (aka debit card).

After 7 years, I’m kinda getting tired of the starving artist thing, but am determined to be financially smarter yet not get a day-job. I’ve been getting into real estate as well (flexible enough to make every audition). The main reason is that my parents are getting older and I want to see them and not have lame excuses like I don’t have enough money to fly out there.

Good luck, or um , break a leg. Keep me posted.


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