Today was the day that my first credit card bill landed on my doorstep with a small thud! Thankfully, for me, the thud was due to the included catalogue, NOT the size of the bill. But with the worsening economy in the US, home to the majority of my readers, the first credit card bills of 2008 couldn’t be coming at a worse time. So, as I peruse my light reading, I can’t help thinking of those for whom things are much worse:
- MSN has a useful debt calculator that helps you work out your debt level and whether you are okay or not.
So, how did I do? Let’s see. It seems that in December I spent nearly NT$14,738 on things that I can’t remember (I’ll have to look over the bill from December to see what went on!).
But WORSE, I only paid about $7,179 dollars of the outstanding balance off, meaning that I incurred an interest charge on the remainder – I haven’t done that in months. At 11.5% per annum, that’s about NT$174 (or nearly US$5.00).
The other charges are minimal (all currencies NT$32.5:US$1).
- The biggest is my regular insurance/investment product that charges about $2000 to my card every month. I should really blog about that product from Cigna but I can’t make up my mind if it’s a good thing or not.
- Then I added a $1000 amount for a regular membership of the local video store, as I was in the middle of watching the DVD series The Apprentice Series 4. Very enjoyable overall, though the final candidates didn’t surprise me at all. We still have a few hundred dollars outstanding so we can rent more movies.
- Of course, my mobile phone bill came in at $398 but that was for 2 months, not one. I hardly use it these days at all, even for incoming calls. It helps if I charge it and turn it on!
- We also went to Hola in Taipei which is a furnishings store near B&Q, where we were looking at the Roomba. Between these two stores, we bought a new shower curtain, and a few odds and ends: total $1233.
So why didn’t I pay off the bill in full? Well, it was for a stupid reason: I was trying to save a round number to open a new CD. I had planned to open one for NT$100,000 (about US$3,000), but that move cost me more than I’d have earned. I prefered to earn 2.4% per annum instead of paying off a bill that charged 11.5% per annum – how dumb is that: to spend $174 to save an extra $20? Not a smart move.
Have you ever made dumb moves with your credit cards? Let’s hear it here.