Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Annoyed but also amused by Chase. And other notes.

So I logged onto my Chase account a week or two ago and found that they had reduced my credit limits. To within a couple hundred bucks of my current balances on each card. This really pisses me off - the thing I'm working towards most right now is to get each card below 50% utilization so my score will improve. I tried to apply for credit cards about six weeks ago, to try and get a balance transfer for the higher rate cards, but no one would bite. Which is really upsetting to me because I've never had a problem getting credit in the past, and I've never missed a payment, and I do have an income now. So shaving thousands of dollars off my credit limits on my two highest balance cards means that it's going to take practically an extra YEAR to get everything down.. especially since I'd bet you that they will reduce my limits more as I pay it down more. I guess I should be grateful that they didn't reduce my limit below my current balance. None of the other cards have had the credit limit reduced although no one wants to take balance transfers right now. Unsurprisingly I do get cash advance checks sent to me in the mail, but yeah I am not going to pay the high interest on that.

Amusingly though, Chase sent me my 1099 for the $125 reward I got for signing up for a checking account - and apparently, they've already sent $35 to the IRS on my behalf to cover it. This wasn't mentioned and if tax was required to be withheld I would have assumed they would have made a bigger deal out of it (ie made it a $160 promotion, with some diverted, as opposed to a $125 promotion that people might not even find out about the $35 credit until months later.)

In other news I am trying to find a few days to make the ol' budget a little roomier.. I did a lot of mystery shopping while unemployed, and because I am young I can do compliance checks. I only do alcohol - while I neither drink nor smoke, I don't feel stupid trying to buy a can of Mike's Hard Lemonade, but I feel like I would be picked out instantly as someone who's never bought cigarettes in her life. Lately I have only done restaurant shops (free food!) but I applied for 11 shops to do this weekend. I did 23 in 2 days in August, that was fun. =P So I'll get $8 per, plus $1 for a candy bar or whatever (basically so I'll get a receipt) and try to buy alcohol without an ID. I get $8 per shop, so $88 plus 11 bags of Fritos. Or whatever. I try to vary it so that between Boyfriend and I we should eat all of it.

I also applied to grade tests at home with one of the test-grading companies I've worked for in the past - it really sucked to work 20 hours a week after work at their facility, but it does pay decently. Although it probably sucked mostly because I didn't have a car - so I got on the bus right after work and spent about an hour and 15 minutes on the bus to get out there. I did have a ride share home, but I'd basically be gone from 8AM till 10:30PM, and that was for about two months straight. Grading at home, especially since I can do it on the weekends, will be a lot better and I'd be able to put in more hours. But I won't know if I'm going to get put on a project or not until at least the end of February.

And one that was a little humiliating for me, but I thought it would be at least worth it to ask - I emailed my dog's daycare (yes the dog goes to daycare be quiet) to ask if they would be willing to trade my working there on Saturdays for her fees during the week. I haven't heard back from them yet, although it's hard to say if that's because they don't want to, they're thinking about it, or because nobody checks the email very often. But I don't think I can keep paying $75 a week for her to go every day and make any headway in savings. So if they don't want to do that, I am going to cut her down to two days a week and take her to the park more often. (Which would also be immensely helped by nicer weather which I hope we get some more of soon.) The daycare's fees are on a scale where the more days you go, the less each day costs - so $75 for five days, but $40 for 2. I'm probably going to get the 20 days package though, where you can buy 20 days to use anytime in any combination, which is $18.50 a day, and that would last us ten weeks.

I'm also (as usual) cooking up new business ideas - I have a couple I've been kicking around but I guess we'll have to see when I get the money to pay somebody to program the sites for me! If Boyfriend ever gets laid off, he has said he'd be willing to do it, so at this point he'd have months of backlog of ideas I've had that he could code for me. :) I guess I am a child of the Internet generation - pretty much every idea I have involves a website, and those that don't, involve specialized computer programs to make the business run more efficiently. I sort of think from the website up.. although not a bad thing I guess as I tend to stick to ideas that don't cost much to implement other than getting the dang thing coded.

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