Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.

11/2/2018

Payment Plans for Flying

Filed under: Better Living Through Technology,Fun — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning or 7:05 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

Plan ahead and pay in installments.

Air travel is expensive. There’s just no way around it. In fact, when I had over $50k of credit card debt a few years ago, a lot of that was related to air travel. Before I moved down to Houston from Chicago in 1998, I spent way too much money flying down to see my now ex-wife. And, yes, I’d still say it was too much money to spend even if she weren’t my ex-wife. That debt was crushing.
But, even though I’m remarried, my family is still mostly in Illinois, which means I still need to fly. So far, I’ve managed to do it without going back into consumer debt, but I’m not sure that I’ll be able to keep that up forever. Maybe, though, with the help of Airfordable, we may be able to swing it. Now, full disclosure, at the time of this post, I haven’t actually used the service yet, so all reports about it are anecdotal. What they do is let you buy a ticket well in advance of your flight and then make regular installments until it’s paid off before you actually fly. Obviously, one advantage of this is that you get your ticket price locked in, because, let’s face it, airfare rarely drops in price. And, yes, there is a service fee for doing this, but it’s considerably less than paying all that interest at 15% or more on a credit card. Also, it lets you be sure you have a flight booked for, say, holiday travel, before you may have the money for the entire ticket.

So, let me know, faithful readers, have you used this service or one like it? How did it work for you?
And come back next week for more travel-related posts!

This post originally appeared on Use Your Words!

2/18/2011

Free, Customized “Get Out Of Debt” Plan

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Deep Thoughts,Hoffman's Home for Wayward Boys,Life Goals,Life, the Universe, and Everything — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:00 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Full Moon

I don’t make a big secret of my enormous debt.

It’s a problem.  I came by it honestly, for the most part.  I was almost debt-free when I lost my job in 2001.  I was freshly married to my girlfriend of several years and had to support her and her daughter, at least partially, in addition to myself.  I did it with credit cards.  I’m not proud of it, but, well, I did what I had to do.
Then, in 2005, I got divorced, which actually stemmed the bloody flow of money, or rather the swelling of debt.  Of course, I still had my house to deal with, which hasn’t been cheap, but I had started to get things under control again.  Then, of course, I got cancer, which brought all kinds of medical bills with it, even after insurance paid most of the bills.

I’m getting a handle on it, but it’s still not easy to do.  What would have helped me was a plan.  A good, solid plan that was laid out for me.  Now, thanks to Ready for Zero, linked via Lifehacker, you can get a plan to help you get out of debt, for free.  And, let’s face it, if you’re deeply in debt, like me, you can’t really afford to spend a lot of money on books and workshops to help you plan how to get out from under.  A free plan is priced just right.
Do yourself a favor and check it out, even if you’re not in debt yet.  Before it’s too late.


Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"A woman is like a teabag, you can not tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water."
   --Eleanor Roosevelt

11/14/2008

Earning Power Vs. Freedom

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Bavarian Death Cake of Love,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,Life Goals,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Personal,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:46 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

Right, I need to keep this all in mind.

So, as my regular readers know, I’m technically back in the dating world. I say that, “technically”, because, honestly, I haven’t been trying very hard at it. I’m still really recovering from chemo and trying to get my life back on track, which, rightly or wrongly, I feel I need to do before I’ll be ready to date. Naturally, for me, part of straightening out my life revolves around money, or the lack thereof.
See, back when I was out of work for a year, to keep the house and my erstwhile family together, I took a rather substantial pay cut. Now, I’ll grant you, I also didn’t work as hard, or as long, which was fine at the time, since I actually liked spending time with my family, especially my step-daughter. I liked being dad, even if I was one of two and only his “stunt double” most of the time. But, the thing is, I made a trade-off. I decided it was better to not have quite as much money so that I could have more quality time with friends and family. Only, sometime between that decision and now, during the divorce or chemo most likely, I lost sight of that. Until I read this article on MSN about dating a woman who makes more than you.

Sure, the average female lawyer or doctor earns vastly more than I do, but she also has to slave away for 80- or 100-hour weeks, whereas I can achieve my modest income with just a few hours of writing a day. Often, the result is that I’m desirous of her attention, while she’s envious of my ability to kick back on a lazy summer weekday afternoon and do absolutely nothing.

Wow.
I read that and re-read it. Then, it occurred to me just how unhappy I really was when I was “doing well” financially. I was so miserable and grouchy and stressed and … Well, let’s just say I wasn’t any fun to be around anyway, so I might as well have been at work where at least I might do some good.

The only thing is, with medical bills stacking up, I really started feeling the pressure and getting stressed and grouchy and miserable all over again. So, I really need to enjoy that I don’t work every weekend any more, or eleven-hour days. And, I need to not waste that time suckling at the glass teat, either. Geez, I have so many books to read that they’re piling up! Not to mention all the stuff I have to write.

Heh, maybe God really was doing me a favor when He forcibly slowed my life down and curtailed a lot of my spending.


Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"A hero is no braver than anyone else. A hero is only brave five minutes longer."
   --Anonymous

7/2/2008

Emergency Funds

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,Life Goals,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Personal,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:27 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a New Moon

How much money do you have saved in case of emergency?

No, I’m not asking you to tell me in the comments. But, it is a good question to be asking yourself. For instance, it would have been nice to have a fund to draw on for all those unexpected medical bills last year. It’s hard to stay out of debt when the doctors keep charging me to maintain my good health! Seriously, though, one of my goals in the next year or two is to get at least two paychecks worth of income set aside in case of emergency. Initially, I thought I’d keep it all in a single account, but after reading Use a Freedom Account to Prepare for the Unexpected on the Get Rich Slowly blog, maybe I’ll set up more than one “emergency fund”. Sure, it’ll take longer, but I’ll probably feel safer.
At any rate, the article itself is sure worth a read and gives you something to think about!


Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"Before you give someone a piece of your mind, make sure you can spare it."


Powered by WordPress
Any links to sites selling any reviewed item, including but not limited to Amazon, may be affiliate links which will pay me some tiny bit of money if used to purchase the item, but this site does no paid reviews and all opinions are my own.