Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Rainbow Cupcake Escape

Last night I became obsessed with the concept of the Rainbow Cupcake, did a search in the old Newspaper Archive and was able to locate 3 different recipes: one rainbow cupcake recipe from 1959, one frosted rainbow cupcake recipe from 1981 and the third rainbow cupcake recipe from 2001. It may interest you to know that rainbow cupcake recipes haven't changed much over the last 51 years.

If anybody reads my blog, they may have noticed that I fell off the map just before Christmas of last year. The reason for this is that I have been devoting my time to trying to earn some extra money to pay off all our debt. This has proven to be rather time consuming as you can probably imagine. While I am making progress, it has been slow going and we still have close to $20,000 in credit card debt to pay off. Still, I consider us lucky in that my husband still has his job, and his salary covers our basic expenses - so everything I make goes to the grand debt dig-out.

Our creditors do not seem to appreciate my efforts to repay them, however. Despite the fact that I have been paying far more than the minimum payments on our cards, we have watched the interest rate we are being charged go from 9 or 10% to 18 - 20%. Still not as bad as the 25 - 30% the likes of Discover, Chase and American Express were charging on my husbands cards - (they have now been paid and closed) - but high enough that I can only assume that they do not ever wish to have us as customers again. I am very happy to oblige them in this regard, and once our balances are paid, I will close the accounts and those companies will cease to exist in our world.

I wonder who these credit card companies expect to have as customers a few years down the road - if they think that we are going to forget their loan-sharking, they are in for a nasty surprise.

Another concern of mine is our variable rate mortgage - that we had planned on refinancing initially. This now seems to be impossible as the value of our house has dropped and while we are not quite "under water" as they say, the banks have all suddenly found religion and require 20% equity. That we have been making our payments and then some doesn't seem to matter much to them. I don't understand the logic of keeping their customers in risky loans, it seems to me that our bank would want to do what they could to ensure that they get their money back - ie allowing us to refinance to a fixed rate loan so that they don't turn us into part of their problem.

Unless of course, this is their long term strategy - keep us paying until interest rates go through the roof causing us to default and allowing them to foreclose. They probably figure that real estate will recover eventually and they want to own lots of it when this happens.

Phase 2 of my great debt dig-out plan is to start making extra principle payments because I really would like to keep our house.

So that is where we are at the moment - Not great - but still hanging in there and still counting our blessings. I hope y'all are surviving as well.

RH

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