New Post- Amex offers

Check out the new page about Amex Offers, I will continue to update to help us all save some money.

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New section

Check out the new section for what will be a complete guide to the points travel game. Everything will be uploaded as soon as I can. Thank you for checking out the site and your support

Part 4: Just wait and see

So this last part is just kind of reminder that this whole process takes patience. As you begin to pay off your debts( while making sure you don’t take any more debts), you will notice your credit will start going up. So here is the thing, as you being to clear up debt unfortunately you will be tempted with more, since they will allow you to increase you limit.

This is where people begin to diverge on how to handle this new empty road. There are some people who say that you should not attempt to increase your credit limit because you may be tempted to use it up again. However I am one of the ones that say go for it but make sure you don’t use it. As you have a lower utilization it will help you in the long run. Since most cards only allow you to really ask for one credit increase every six months. Remember do not use this open credit to buy more, we are trying to clear up to make room for what really matters food and travel.

Well this is a short one be patient, have fun, pay it off. Don’t take on any more debt and you’ll be golden. See you next time

Part 3: A step in the right direction

So now that we have our budget as well as began to cut our cost we can start to tackle the debts. needless to say there is no specific way that will work for every situation, so it’s really up to you ( going back to the being honest with yourself part) to see what really works for you. This part is part physical discipline, part mental strength, and just patience. its physical discipline because you have to know not to impulsively pull out that credit card for any little thing and more, mental strength because you have to know where your money is going to go to work best for you, and overall patience because you have to realize that no matter how much debt you have either 1 thousand dollars or even twenty thousand dollars its going to be sometime before you pay all of it off, not years but definitely not overnight.

So the two major and most popular methods to tackle debt are the snowball method and the high interest first method. Snowball is pretty easy to figure out, pay the card with the smallest balance first then use that money towards the next and so on. High interest is just as simple but depending on your credit cards it can get confusing, because you will have to pick out the card with the highest interest and knock that one out first then follow the routine until all done.

So many people swear by the snowball method because its sort of rush when you realize that you have paid of one credit card you can then move on to paying the next one. Illl admit I have used this method and that is actually what i am currently attempting, my main issue with this is that the accounts with a higher balance and high interest continue to build interest which makes it that much harder to deal with.

Then on the flip side we have taking on the higher interest cards/ balances first. This one is the same concept  as the snowball method in that once you finish one or at least reduce the amount you’ll have more to move to the next one. However just as with the other one this method gives me the same issue, I’m focusing on one thing but I still have the smaller balances to worry about.

So this is where I try to implement a combination of both. I have been making the minimum payments on the cards but I try to make enough available where each card will get a bigger payment than the minimum. this way I can A) decrease the lower ones while also B) paying of interest. Also a note with the interest payments is that I recommend looking at all your balances and seeing how much your interest payment is, from there make the minimum payment and try go pay an equal amount of what the interest payment will be. Example credit card x has a minimum payment of 50 dollars, however the interest is 25 dollars, so with a balance of 1000 dollars every time I make a payment of 50 dollars half of it is basically going to interest. So what I recommend is making a payment of 75 dollars, that way you’ll actually make a 50 dollar payment to reduce principle faster and next time your interest will be lower. Also please don’t mention the fact that the above numbers are completely unrealistic, I just couldn’t think of anything else. So as you begin to pay of the credit cards you will notice things begin to clear up and before you know it your credit will skyrocket your life will get easier and we are on our way to traveling all over. However this all takes patience, that is why I have one last post about debt help coming up, probably posted in the next 2 days.

 

Please don’t forget to comment or send in questions or follow the site.

Part 2: Hard Choices

So we have our numbers written down( excel spreadsheets work best but if you want to actually write it down go for it), time to look at them and decide. This is the hard part and also the honest part, because tough choices have to be made. Now this is where variances will come, because its time to decide what you really need and what we can get rid off. So first thing that I did was look through my expenses and decide what it is that I really need to have and what I can do without. From there we break down to what we can save money on. So here is where I decided okay I need a cell phone plan, but how can I save money on it. For me it was getting rid of the unnecessary extras, and taking advantage of any promotions. Same goes with the tv, insurance, basically any bill that you can cut something out of to get a lower price to pay, even your credit cards can be dealt with like this.

So for my phone service i realized that I was only 3 months away from paying my phone off, this would save us some money because I also called up my service provider, they were very nice and allowed me to jump to their plan where the taxes are included for using auto pay, after these two things I was already saving $40 a month. Next up was internet service, now where I live i only have 2 choices for internet and tv service which is a bummer because the one company knows this and they pretty much don’t give you and leeway in terms of pricing or even customer service( but thats a whole other story). Either way i called informed them that i wasn’t happy with the service and that i was thinking about switching and after about 15 minutes and 2 “managers” i was able to get placed on their latest promotion which saved me about $70.  Now for tv that was pretty easy go with streaming, i mean if its absolutely necessary( which sorry but I’m a huge Game of Thrones fan so I had to) but i was able to get a pretty cheap plan with the channels that i actually watch.

So this is where you come in, from here on out I want you to make your own calls, decide what you really need, what you can afford to remove and what you actually want. Im not saying going out and cancelling everything but every little amount helps( you’ll see this money start to add up in the next step). So we all know that tv, phone, etc all those can be lowered by calling the provider or even shopping around. Now even with the credit cards that you have you can also save money on your monthly payment. If you give them a call and speak to them nicely ( not to the general customer service reps, but the actual managers), they can actually reduce your APR sometimes permanently other times just for a couple of months. While a couple percentage points don’t see like much trust me they will begin to add up.

So now that we have some additional money in our pockets we can begin paying everything off. But hold your horses because this next part is going to be a true test of patience. The way i have felt at times is that its a game of chess requiring strategic moves and over all patience to win. Good thing though that this is always a victory if you follow the correct guidelines, you make the moves your way, but just follow the basics.

Next time we will begin tackling all sorts of debts. I feel there are various kinds of debt that can all be tackled in different ways so well check it out when on the next one.. See ya then.

Starting a new life… Part 1: Facing the Facts er… Numbers

I’m not going to bore you with the statistics about debt in the US, because for better or for worse we all have it. Now the problem with debt is that it is a quick rolling avalanche, for most people once that first bit of debt piles up it starts to carry on to other parts of their lives and pretty soon they have a huge mound of it on their door steps( I tried to do a witty analogy but pretty sure it failed, anyway you get the point). Point being debt is very easy to get into, correction with all the “flexible methods of payment” now available debt is extremely easy to get into, why do you think there is a whole industry devoted to getting you out of debt and pretty much also willing to get you back into debt.

So the great thing about this whole thing is that debt is actually manageable both when you have it and before it even begins. Like anything else in life it begins with a little bit of honesty. You have to be honest with yourself and with your finances. Pretty sure we’ve all heard it before start with a  budget, make a budget, budget this budget that… Well folks its true in this game you can’t go anywhere if you don’t have a budget, as a matter of fact you can’t do much in life with out a budget, not necessarily because they are essential but because they are pretty useful. So first part of this plan for me was writing how much money is coming in. That means if you’re salaried hourly whatever the case is just make sure you get an exact number to work with, this doesn’t really work if you guesstimate or round-up or down. Next thing is write down all your bills, ALL OF THEM, make sure you first write down your essentials ( car note, rent/mortgage, insurance, phone bill, water/power, etc.), next write your card debts (simple enough right, make sure you write down the exact minimum payment amount.

Now the reason I said that this is where you have to be honest with yourself is because the second part of this is seeing what is and what is not important. Stay tuned, see you soon.

First thing’s First

Welcome to FeastingOnMiles.com my first site. So as a quick backstory early this year I  took up the travel hobby. However I really haven’t been able to do much traveling this past year mainly because there was the small issue of a wedding I had to take care of. Yes I got married this year, however the bills quickly piled up and therefore it put a hinderance on our travel plans.

Thats where this site comes into play, its part of our journey to more journey’s. With this site I will take you with me through the journey of clearing up expenses and making room for travel. I want to provide a way to make traveling more exciting by taking advantage of the many credit card options to open up new ways to travel, but more importantly than that new foods to eat.

To me the most important part about traveling is the delicious foods you get to try. Even if its just a couple of miles to get something not available in my area to thousands of miles for a foreign cuisine. The best part is that with all the cards available now its possible to make the journey or even the destination even easier to afford.

 

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