Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Surprised again

Lately i've been having emotional issues and I think that plus work on both jobs has put me on a somber mood. I've been trying to figure out how to finish paying for my girl's school and how to control my budget with a wife and two daughters that cooperate half way.
The most depressing thing has been watching my emergency fund go down rather than up. Even spending Holy Week mostly at home and just travelling to my dad's ranch on a friends car (and on his gas), and we still managed to spend more than usual. Even he complained of the same. He bought a large inflatable pool and we took turns going to each other's house, which are nearby, and we still ended up spending more money than usual. Bathing suits and extra food caused that. So with that and other little things, that add to a big thing, my my emergency fund has gone to a record low.
Then just last week my wife asked me why was I sad looking and I started to explain my money concerns about the girls' school and I got no support from her. My oldest daughter's birthday was comming and she got upset that I wouldn't give her money to buy a present for my daughter, I told her we could buy one this last weekend rather than on the actual birthday since I would have some money by then. My daugher was ok with that, she's turning 13. However that idea got a cold reception with my wife and we had one of those ugly discussions about why I owed so much money, how come I still owed so much money, who else was I paying for (implying that I probably had a mistress), etc,etc. Even though she's a business admin mayor and is studing a master's degree, the concept of interest evades her. I see the credit card bills, no charges, and the balance only goes down about 10% or 20% or my total payment, the rest is lost to interest charges. Such is the price to pay for many years of money mis-management. However she refuses at times to consider that the party is over. Eventually we did it my way. We cut her a birthday cake on wednesday and saturday we went shopping for a shirt and shorts for her and it all went fine, except I had to endure the awful discussion earlier in the week.
Well, this week I had to cover for a coworker which meant I could've leave the office for anything until 2pm. So I told her I wasn't going to be able to come home for lunch. Surprisingly she volunteered to bring me lunch to work so that I wouldn't have to buy food here. I agreed even though in my head I was already making the math of the fuel cost of her driving here versus me buying here. But like most money problems it's not all about math but also about emotions. I know if I start making the math with her she will get upset at me by not recognizing her effort to help me with the food costs.
So I was going over the tution problem over the weekend and this week and thinking about the Promerica balance and how I was going to pay it all up on August or so. I figured that I needed a little breathing room between now and August. The montly payment of Lps 8040 is the second largest payment I make after tuition. So I called Promerica just a few minutes ago.
I got a guy there, let's call him Al, and I explained that I wanted to lower my monthly payment by either lowering my interest rate or extending the term. He looked at my account and said he could make cut my payment in half by refinancing my "loan" to 48 months starting now. Good, but 48 months!!! No no. Plus the balance he had is one payment behind of the balance I have. So I told he I would go to their offices to clear the issue. It's then that he told me that if I could he would prefer I paid a little more because with a 48 month refinancing I would pay a lot in interest, I agreed totally. He said I should try a shorter term. I guess they do have a heart too.
It was then that I told him that I expected to have about 80,000 lps by August and make a "ballon" payment on the debt. He then spoke a little softly and said that once I had that amount to go to their offices and talk to his supervisor and tell her that I had x amount of money and that I could pay it all at once. He said it was probable that I could get a discount on the balance owed!! LG, you commented about this and I said it was very unlike. Well I'm glad I at least had your comment in my mind. He said I could get 10% or 15% off if I pleaded my case well. So I will try that but won't count on it, that way it will be a happy surprise and money that I would put towards another one of my debts
Unfortunately Al is going on vacation starting tomorrow and I have to get this done this week, but he was going to pass my case to his buddy "Dean" who would handle the refinancing and balance review with me tomorrow. I want to lower my monthly payments to something like 5000lps, but still have the plan to pay it all at once when I get to the sweet spot. That being the month in which the money I can take out on a coop loan (at 12%) is equal or more than the money I will owe by then on this card. From previous calculations I estimate it will be August.
So i'm a little happier today. It's probably a combination between getting paid today, having the wife in "cooperative" mode for now and Al's information about refinancing and the possible discount.
I still have to figure out how to pay for 1 and half month's of the girl's tuition to end the year. If things become desperate I know I can pay it but it would mean setting me back for the start of their school year in September. So I have to make a saving's plan to have that money available by mid June. (my 14avo bonus is already comitted to that cause to pay for 2 and a half months).
I had thought of taking the coop loan earlier and making that ballon payment and lowering my balance a lot to keep paying for a couple of months, however with Al's information I think I should do my math once again to really try to get the full amount or close so I can get the discount by making the full payment. We'll see how it goes. I can't wait to start paying up more money to my HSBC account!!
Oh, happy Columbus Day!