June 30, 2011

Maintaining Healthy Finances

This deployment is almost over. Just like past deployments, I have saved money and continued to use coupons whenever the right ones for me are available. There have been a few times that I have splurged and stopped by Sonic, and I even ordered pizza once. It's not that I regret doing those things, but I do have a hard time spending money. When we got married, we were all ready in debt. As my husband and I were dating, he would take me out to dinner...a lot. That probably explains why I am not big on going out to eat now. Anyhow, every time, my then boyfriend, went to pay for all those dinners, he would have a card swiped. At the time, I thought it was a debit card...I would find out much later, that it was indeed a credit card...and not just one of them. He had three!

It wasn't until much later that I realized I was marrying into so much debt. It took us even longer to pay it off. Years later, I can gratefully say we have a much better credit score than we did when we were first married. I have managed to stay out of "bad debt," but it takes a lot of work on my part.

Last week, I went to the Victoria's Secret Semi-Annual Sale. Every time I have ever been there, they offer me their Angel's Card. It is a store credit card that you can use there, or at Bath & Body Works. I always turn them down, and tell them that I might get it later. They always tell me the same thing too...that it won't go against my credit if I don't qualify. It is tempting, but a credit card is not for me right now. I have thought about getting a store credit card, and maintaining the payments on it, just to build my score. My husband doesn't think that's a bad idea. He knows I will pay it just like I would if I was using cash.

Being in the military, it is important to maintain good credit. In fact, they will kick you out if you are not handling your finances properly. The FFSC (Fleet and Family Support Center) offers free financial classes for active duty and their dependents. I have went there and worked with a financial counselor. They helped me work out a budget, and told me how I can obtain my free credit score. I was nervous about doing that. I don't suppose I am the first person to be nervous when finding out those numbers. The FFSC financial counselors also gave me some good advice. They told me that there are three major reporting places that I should seek when obtaining my credit reports; and that I should not use all those places at once. Apparently, you can receive copies from these places once a year, so they said that I should use one of the three major places quarterly. I like that advice. When I was giving financial advice at one of our FRG (Family Readiness Group) meetings, I gave the same advice to the women at the meeting.

I am happy that we are now much more soundly aware of our finances. My husband leaves the finances to me, and he knows that I will keep them healthy. He knows that I replace all my unmentionables at the Victoria's Secret Semi-Annual Sale, and he's okay with that. Every once in a while, I splurge on him too. :)

2 comments:

  1. I have recently been given full reign over our finances and it is going great! It was so hard to try and maintain things when he was using debit (and credit...) cards left and right! We went through Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University a year and a half ago and since that time we have not used a credit card once! In fact we have paid them all off except one!!!

    We are making progress on that final one, then we have his consolidated debt (car loan, past credit cards, computer loan) to pay off and my student loans! It is so exciting to be so close to being credit card debt free!!! Then comes the lengthy battle with student loans and hopefully a mortgage someday!

    Glad to read that you are making progress eliminating debt as well :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Shelley,

    I really like Dave Ramsey's book! Recently, I had the pleasure of lending my copy to a friend. She will probably want to keep it. :)

    You are doing fantasic! Keep up the good work! You're right; it is exciting. It makes you feel good to not owe people. :)

    Blessings,
    Kristine

    ReplyDelete