Archive for the ‘Goal’ Category

Fico 800?

February 13, 2008

My goal is to get a Fico score of 770 (which seems to be the lowest “A+” by an article on bankrate.com).  I went to a used car dealership yesterday which had the best price on cars.com.  I had to get my wife into a safe car.  I don’t think I can put a dollar amount on her safety.  So, yes we bought an 11K used car.

FICO AUTO 2  – WTF?

The dealer asked what my fico was. Proudly, I stated, “720 on Experian and 710 from Fico.”  Then when he ran the report a 670 came out.  HUH! I knew I opened up a few account recently, but couldn’t imagine that dropping it by 40-50 points.  Then he told me that they use an Auto-2 Fico score which is about 30-40 points lower than your regular fico.  The reason for this he stated was that you can’t run off with a house on your shoulder.  However, you could take off with a car to a chop shop.  So the number for ‘Auto-2’ is more conservative.  Whew!  I’m glad I knew that.

I also in passing who recently came in with the highest fico score.  He stated that some guy came in with an auto-2 of 800 which meant his regular fico is about 840.  He said that he had about 50 accounts all open and paid on time.  Plus, he was young – mid-to-late 30s.  Very impressive.

Today I applied for a loan as I was not happy with what the dealer stated that he could get us – 12.99% for 60 months with no prepayment penalty.  The best Bofa could do for me was 20%.  I turned him down – felt good, kinda like that lendingtree.com commercial.  I told him that I’d be back later with a better fico score.  Also, I asked him what it takes to get an 850 fico and he said that he’s been doing this for a long time and he made it seem like there was a better chance of spotting the lochness monster than a “perfect” fico person.  He said that you have to have more than just credit card accounts as debt.  You need auto and mortgage and very old accounts to get the score up there.  So, I’m not sure that I’ll be able to get it up there this year.

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Debt Consolidation complete for now!

January 30, 2008

Ok, I’m card hopping – not the best routine, but better than getting killed with high interest rates.  Now I the most I’m paying is 4.99% at Bofa for about 11K of debt.  The rest of my $15K debt is at zero percent.  This means that I’m paying about $525/year in interest charges down from $2100 just a few months back.  Also, I increased my credit limit on my bofa card to 16K.

FALLING BACK INTO THE DEBT PATTERN

Since my rental check didn’t come in, I have not been able to pay the bills so I had to put it on my credit card.  This is the same pattern that happens so quickly with falling into debt.  I have not at all been able to spend time focusing on film – especially my own projects which I direct and/or produce.  I have people pissed off at me, but I’m trying to make them understand that working on a non-paid project is hard to justify when I can’t pay my bills.

TO BLOG OR NOT TO BLOG? 

A few weeks back I was studying about blogging intensely, but realized that if I put that same effort to learning about real estate my wealth will increase even more.  So I have been focused on that. I’m not going to discontinue blogging, but it will be much further back on the priority list.  I do see a passive income stream there, but a slower one.  I have one site already set up with google adsense and will maintain it.  However, I don’t think I will start anything soon.

I’m also looking to get a job with an airline or some other franchise or both.  This way,  I can visit my parents more frequently.

MY PRIORITIES

My priorities are in a state of flux.  Previously, it was in this order:

1. Film/Acting
2. Family
3. Travel

Then last month it was:
1. Family
2. Finance
3. Film
4. Travel

Now since I’ve seen my  parents recently it’s:
1. Finance
2. Family
3. Film
4. Travel

I have a pretty clear vision now of where I’m going.  A few variables are getting a job to pay the bills until the passive income kicks into a higher gear (at least $2K/mo).

Financial Pressure was Mounting till I Chose for it to NOT Mount

January 12, 2008

I was feeling very stressed out yesterday about the international trip. I had been looking for jobs but nothing came my way. I made up around 3 different resumes, but something just didn’t seem right about aimlessly working to make money. I wanted to work somewhere where I could gain knowledge. It felt like my dreams were crumbling as I see so often with my friends who have to make money instead of going on audition and next thing you know, they’re a full time manager somewhere and their dreams have gone away. I do NOT want that happening to me.

My wife preaches the book, “Who Moved My Cheese?” about how to break habits. (She’s really good about practicing what she preaches. She took my advice when I told her that she should be saving 10% of everything she makes and she stuck with it for the past year and has several grand in her account. Then she opened up an HSBC saving at 4.25% just yesterday.) She said that I keep going through this every time property tax rolls around. I said that I want to build up a system (blogs) and not just work minimum wage jobs which will take away from my time to build the sites. Plus, it’s not like I sit around all day and watch TV. I don’t watch it at all. She said that it didn’t look like I need money that bad because I’m not jumping at any job. This is exactly how I keep getting into debt. I’m managing it now, but the trip will be too much.

Then I went to sleep and woke up feeling almost the same way, then I realized that it’s all a choice. I am choosing to be stuck in this pattern and be miserable. Like one of my favorite quotes, ‘you can be in debt and be miserable or you can be in debt. Period. I prefer to be in debt and do something about it – which I have been.

Then it dawned on me that I wouldn’t mind owning a franchise and possibly even working somewhere first where I could gain knowledge and then later own it.

I spoke to my father as well about selling their second house which they never use and buy a 4-plex. My mother was interested when I told her about it recently. I’m heading there tomorrow to see them and will bring it up and possibly go check out the area as well.

Mysteriously $2K disappeared out of my Bofa account and it is not showing up in the transactions as well as any other of my credit cards. The wamu2 got declined because I had the wamu1.

Coming out of Avoiding Negative to Gaining Positive mode

January 5, 2008

I was hesistant the other day to put purchases on my SWA credit card because I didn’t want to go back into a credit card debt.  So I put a few things on there (gas, groceries,etc) and immediately paid it from my checking account.  Now that I got a lot of the 16% debt down (see previous blog), I am aggressively putting all my bills on there and including my wife’s bills so I can get free airline tickets.  Basically, I gotta spend $16K/year to a free ticket.  Which is basically a 2.5% return on purchases.  I valued the ticket at $400 because of the flexibility.

This is in essense passive income because I’m spending the same amount as I would have otherwise, but now I’m getting something back.

Let me know if you find a better cash back card.

End of Debt Consolidation Tunnel Starting to Emit Light

January 4, 2008

Today was a breakthrough that gave me a little bit of piece of mind.  I was supposed to pay about $350 tomorrow for my Bofa CC which had about $9K on it.  I missed the payment last time and it knocked me back a bit mentally.  But they went from $135/mo to  nearly $400.  I paid $130 a few days back which they vollied back to me with a 5 extra day grace period, but was still insistent on the full amount.  I started my hsbc card a few days back along with my 2nd wamu and 2nd chase cards.  Then the hsbc card came in the mail approved (0% til 12/08)!  Then I logged onto the bofa acct and about $2400 was paid from my wamu 1 cc.  So the nervousness about that amount instantly vanished.  The balanced dropped down to about $6K.  Then transferred another $2.5K to my hsbc which should go through w/in a week or so.  So interest per year went from $1800 to $1400 (monthly: $156 to $121) on just the 16%.  I’ve got 2 more pending cards with 0% hopfully approving soon.  I’m assuming that together it’ll be about $5K.

So then I will transfer the remaining bofa debt to the $4.7K debt on the usaa (limit $13K) and then transfer all that back to the bofa at 5% for the life of the debt. Then that will be my highest interest rate.  Not bad eh.  It all happened within one month.  Well, not really, as I spent the whole year making sure I paid my cc’s on time which allowed my fico score to go up by 100 points.  That allowed me to get the 0%s.  My debt ratio is about 40%.  If my second wamu card comes through, then I’ll use it for my checking overdraft and not really put anything on there.

Also, I told my wife that I will transfer her 18% over to one of my 0% cards, but that doesn’t look possible right now.  I can put it on my 5% card in about a month.

I can’t believe that this is just a simple game of chess.  Not at all like playing Kasparov.

Why did I neglect this for over a decade?!?!?!?

To Blog or Not to Blog?

January 2, 2008

I spent almost all of yesterday 6+ hours learning about blogging as well as this morning for a couple of hours.  I’m becoming slightly disheartened by the amount of time I’m spending and the potential return. I’m expecting to make $1K/mo.  I’m not looking to do this full time.  However, after watching Donald Trump on a show and seeing how if I were to put this same effort into real estate then, it might pay off much bigger.  Which is still a plan, but I have not taken any steps yet.

FOCUSING ON ABES OVER SUSANS
I keep thinking about what Robert Kiyosaki says in Rich Dad Poor Dad about how much time people spend clipping coupons to save fifty cents, but they won’t put that same amount of time into learning about finances which would bring them much bigger returns.  However, the plus side of this blog thing is that 1) I write in my journal anyway, which I’ve been doing for 5+ years, 2) I just need to set up a system (the blog site, adsense) and then it becomes just a maintainence issue of writing and analyzing and it is passive income if set properly.  I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, but that’s why I’m spending so much time right now learning about what not to do, so I don’t waste 6mos and end up making enough to buy a pencil every week via google adsense.

I have even shied away from the financial stuff and have not really looked at the balance til this morning.

Coming soon to FYGUY.com

January 1, 2008

I just bought it.  I was so surprised that it was available as all 3 and 4 letter URLs were sold out by the early 2000’s – even funky combos like sczx.com.  So, I still need to find hosting.  Will keep you posted.  Financially, I was a bit hesitant on spending an extra $8 or so a year to keep the url private, but with all the detailed financial info, I thought it would be a good idea.

Oh do you like my new graphic I put up there?  I made it yesterday and then found out that you can’t make any money here.  Of course, “Sisyphus B. Anthony” will travel to the new site.

FYGUY

Can’t make any money here!!!

January 1, 2008

I just found out that you can’t put google adsense or any income streams on wordpress.com.  So I will keep writing in my journal, but will not post here and once I get a site set up, I’ll post the link here.  There are no readers here, so I’m not that concerned about it.  It’s a lesson learned from problogger.com.

Whew! No late fees

December 30, 2007

I just check the BofA cc and they did not charge me a late fee, but did put another payment due on 1/5 for 254.  hopefully the balance transfer will go through by then.  Also they have a 4.99% balance transfer so after the 6 months if I don’t find more 0%, I can transfer it back to that.  I have a $13.5K credit limit so all of it can go there. well, ideally most of it will be paid off by then.

Google Adsense
All day yesterday I spent time adding content to my website in hopes of getting google adsense, amazon affiliate, etc on there.  I got it up to about 20 pages which is the minimum that previous article I linked to stated that adsense was looking for.

Now, I’m going to learn about SEO, and making money from blogging.

Chasing the Debt Consolidation Train

December 30, 2007

This post is from two days ago, I’ll try and be more timely with these.

3:07 PM – I just applied for the HSBC credit card with 0% balance transfer til 12/08. It was kind of confusing. At first it stated that I was approved for a $2750 credit limit, but after putting in all the balance transfers ($150 from my Chase cc and $2250 from BofA), it stated that I will get a confirmation if approved. These cards are so confusing. Why don’t they just speak plain English?

I also have the pending $9K application from Chase (which I doubt I’ll get b/c all these others have been around 2500), so it will be interesting as to what happens there.

If this goes through, then my BofA balance will be $3,960 @ 16.24% – finance charges of $53.56/mo ($642.78/yr). A few days ago it was hovering around $2100/yr. I can’t believe I was spending – not “spending” – but wasting that much money!!! I knew I was, but I never put it down on paper so it’s staring me in the face.

I’ve been wanting a digital SLR camera which would cost me around $1400 so I can take headshots and get it paid back. So, now I’ll be able to allocate these ‘missing funds’ towards investments.

Tip: I also bookmarked all my credit card sites in my mozilla firefox browser in the ‘toolbar’ area so I can see it readily. These cards have funky urls like wamucards.com instead of just accessing it from wamu.com.