Sunday, January 18, 2009

DIARY 92 - Staying in Credit

As the flat move nears, we are beginning to realise the full cost in us doing so. It's stipulated in our lease that we must have the carpet cleaned (£50-75),the curtains (£57.90)and windows (£10). The estate agents final inspection fee (£50) is taken off our deposit,and should we want to dispute their assessment and another inspection has to be done, another £50 will be deducted. A pretty effective deterent I'd say. Take what money they offer and run, they'll skin you alive otherwise.

We also had some dissapointing news on the electricity bill, which we'd been informed had a credit balance of £330, which seemed a bit high to us at the time. Our last quarterly bill came through this week, and, by the time we leave, we will end up owing them around £250. Between a 40% jump in energy prices, and us not checking their dubious Direct Debit estimates, we've been stung. So we're now looking at coming out of our move with little or nothing left in our joint account. But, then that's not a catastrophy, we aren't in debt, and we are moving to a much much better place, It would really we churlish for us to bemoan our lot at this point, with such good fortune.

Personally, I'll be much better off financially once I've moved to Abbey House. I checked out with my bank, what a likely figure would be for clearing my loan off. It's less than I expected. So depending on how things go with the flat deposit, I could either be looking at clearing it completely, or paying a lump sum and the remainder in increased monthly payments. With any luck I'll be free of it sometime this year - Hurrah!! The bank of course wont really appreciate losing all that lovely loan interest, but they've had a sizeable chunk of it off me.

I stopped using my credit card in March 2008, and have been successfully living off my actual monthly income since then, With my credit card renewel due in March this year, I've had an arm twister of a letter from them, informing me that if I didn't use my credit card, I'd lose it. A credit card, for me, is only a safe guard incase I'm ever anywhere where I need dosh quickly, and my current account is temporarily depleted of funds. A credit card is a service, whether I use it or not, is really up to me. So, I think I might make a few small purchases in the next few months just to make them believe I'm responding to there injunction, and then stop using it again. Once I've been issued with a new one, I suspect I'll have a few years grace before we go through the same rigmarole again. The letter concluded with the sentence -
'If you want to continue enjoying the generous benefits that come with your credit card, simply shake the dust of your card and start using it today!'

This seems somewhat disingenuous, having begun the letter with a barely concealed threat. But then that's banks for you. They like you being in debt, just so long as your debt doesn't come back home to roost with the banks themselves. We live in strange times.

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