Tag Archives: personal finance

Freedom

After work today I gave myself the choice of either patrolling Sirius for music I like in a genre I hate, or calling to debate a $40 yearly fee they suddenly charged my credit card. Since I hate discussing money with people and talking on the phone for the most part, I listened to radio until Jimmy Buffet came on and suddenly lengthy discussions with people in finance sounded heavenly.

When discussing unfair practices with companies, my 2 reactions are either to give up, or cry. Actually, this is pretty much my standard response to all problems. This combined with what an ex-boyfriend once called my “host-voice”, as in “Hi, you’ve reached [whatever restaurant], how can I help you?”, that I take on when talking on the phone, did not bode well. Something about talking like a helpful teenager from Sweet Vally High, doesn’t help when negotiating finances with a big bank.

But, I’m not typical Erika this week, so I put on my best adult voice (Maria Bamford in my mind–“Sorry, we’re not serving little girls today”). Here’s about how the conversation went:

Me: “Hi, there’s a $40 yearly fee on my credit card that’s never been there. I’m still trying to get my grounding after college, and am not at the point where I can afford fees like this.”

Rep: “I completely understand. Unfortunately though, we sent out notices about this change almost a year ago. Did you not get these notices?”

Me: “Unfortunately I don’t currently live with my parents where you probably sent them. I’ve been with your bank for about 8 years now, I really don’t want to have to look elsewhere for a credit card”

Rep: “Looks like we can offer you this other credit card with no anual fee and with better perks. We can have that sent to you and reverse the recent $40 fee. Does that work for you?”

Me: (Because I felt super smart after all my research) “Now, this wont effect my credit score since I’m still getting it from through this company”

Rep: “You’re correct it wont. [Some extra rainbows and pleasantry]”

Me: “Thank you too and you also have a [rose petal, glitter filled] week”

I got off the phone and turned the random radio station back on. What was playing? George Micheal’s “Freedom”. I turned it up and laughed like I just settled Occupy Wall Street  myself.

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Money Management Wrap-Up

It’s hard to judge my progress for this week, but I suppose you have to take in account a learning curve. Most of my project have been about certain actions, not a level of understanding, which kind of makes me feel like a failure. But, you get ahead in life by actions, so here’s my meager list:

– I learned about what I spend money on, and set up budgets based on what I care to spend money on

– When I spent money on things, I did so conscientiously

– Reading I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi. I’ll talk more about this book once I finish, but truly, I wish I read this 4 years ago.

– Figured out a retirement plan (so weird at age 24) between my Roth IRA and 401K

– Interviewed my financially resourceful friend Emily Cardella

– Saved money by using coupons

-Oh, and bought a $300 painting, which was an investment, right? When I saw it in Stuart, I couldn’t stop looking at it. When my mom said she would buy my next ticket home for Christmas, it was a done deal.

Personal financing is going to be an ongoing challenge.