Wednesday, February 1, 2012

January 2012 Wrap-Up

1. Moving quickly through the financial update (because I don't want anyone paying too close attention!) my Christmas spending caught up with me. I added $792 to my outstanding indebtedness and am now back up over $90,000. But my promise to myself is that this is the last time I will have to say that. My plan is that every month from here on out will have some kind of a reduction. Let's hope Murphy isn't reading this blog!

2. I cancelled my US Bank credit card. I haven't used it in years so it's no big loss. US Bank apparently felt the same way because they sent me a letter saying that beginning in April, they were going to charge me an annual fee of $39. Hmm--I think NOT! There's never been a fee before and I don't intend to pay one now. When I called them to cancel, the sweet young thang who answered the phone didn't even try to talk me out of it. I guess the financially frugal are not part of US Bank's target consumer base. I'm curious to see if the cancellation will negatively impact my credit rating.

3. The November, 2011 US Housing Report came out. My city showed greater losses in housing values for October/November than almost any other urban area. Oddly, Detroit showed the largest uptick--I'm guessing because there wasn't much further for their values to fall. I occasionally go through the Detroit listings just to see the amazing values to be had in their market. In mine, sellers are holding onto their homes in hopes that prices will raise in the future, leaving foreclosures as the hottest part of our market.

4. January is the month I schedule all my health check-ups. All turned out well. I may not have much money, but at least I have my health. And my health insurance! I cannot stress too much how grateful I am to be fully covered by my employer. If there is one thing I think is wrong in this country (which I love dearly), it is the lack of universal health care. No one, at any income, should have to worry about the cost of taking care of their personal health.


Jane said...

You can't put a price on good health! Sorry to hear your indebtedness increased but I like your positive attitude towards reducing it!

Anonymous said...

Hi Grace,
Can you please explain what this number is that you wrote:

"my outstanding indebtedness and am now back up over $90,00."

What is $90,00? Is that 90 dollars? Or 90 thousand?


Grace. said...

Oh Morrison! What's a missing zero between friends??

[I fixed it so now readers won't know WHAT you're talking about!

And don't I wish my debts totaled only $90!

Anonymous said...

Not to appear snarky, but you do understand that in order for your employer to keep paying for your health care, it had to streamline its operation? Unfortunately, that meant it had to lay off a few of your fellow co-workers. What about their health insurance? Do they have any? Whatever happened to them?

Grace. said...

Anon--as president of my white-collar union local, I am only too aware of lay-offs. In my organization, health insurance costs have been high for the employer, but not higher in the past two years. Other events (loss of some city/state funding sources, for example)have had a more serious impact. I have been involved non-stop in securing health and termination benefits for those laid-off. Beginning at the end of 2012, I will, once again, be involved in collective bargaining with the employer. We're a non-profit, and no one, not the employer nor the employees are happy about the cut-backs.

Alex Morgan said...

I'm always thankful for my employer covered health insurance. I work at big company so premiums are fairly low and there's a few different choices as well. My spouse has had at their last two employers only high desuctible options. It's crazy to me that anyone thinks the system is working. It's only working if you get decent coverage through your job or are on Medicare. I buy home owner's insurance and car insurance and the market seems to handle those just fine. But health? It is like you are on your own. I have a disabled family member who gets healthcare from the state. I can't even imagine what she would do without that. She supposed to get it through her job though she can't work? She supposed to pay out of pocket from the job money she doesn't have? I don't know.

DeeDee said...

I wish I could say that our indebtedness is declining. We went from no debt aside from our mortgate to rapidly escalating medical bills.

My employer is also a non-profit, and they are self-insured. What that actually means is that the cost of my family's medical care comes directly from their pockets (not counting my premiums and co-pays). I'm glad I have it, but I'm hoping that I don't bankrupt us!