Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Two Challenge Takers ~ two outcomes

Gorgeous - Ballarat Botanical Gardens 

Well done readers ~ we know two people have contacted their banks about their interest rates after we issued the Challenge.  

One didn't fair too well ~ Nicole commented on yesterday's post. I think it's because she's doing brilliantly already with a zero balance and only a low limit ~ but if her bank is getting nothing from her now - what's an interest rate drop to keep a customer happy?? Good on you Nicole for giving it a go!

But Renegade Rosie (not her real name) has the type of success we would expect. At 25 years young, Rosie has an almost max'd out card of $25,000!  Even worse, she has been paying interest at 21.6% and an annual fee. Rosie messaged via FaceBook and said no-way would this work. So I responded that it wouldn't if she didn't at least pick up the phone, call and ask ~ I even bet her $1 she would get at least 5% on the first offer and, if the bank did drop it to about 15%, ask for a little more.  So she did ~ and into our Spare Change Jar $1 has been put!!  Rosie went from 21% to 11% ~ a full 10% drop.

So she dared me back and said stop talking about calling the bank with your Line of Credit and do it. Little whipper-snapper had me *grins*  So I called our lender and we've been given three months off making payments on the mortgage and line of credit ~ holy Toledo Bat-tlers.  The three months of repayments will be added to the term of the mortgage, but we are four years ahead in payments so adding about $1500 for the relief of well over $4500 in payments, fees and interest is going to sit well with us.  By capitalising on the mortgage we can still pay into the account, and it will sit there as a redraw if needed. The other change we made to the loan package was to lower the amount available on the NIVA to $1000 - this way any repayments go and stay in the Line of Credit and don't keep going into the NIVA to make up a balance of $3000 - much more reasonable. That's going to save us over $580 a month in the short term, and a heck of a lot more in mental stress in the long term.  Woo Hoo!!

But I didn't stop there.  No ~ it was then on to Helstra to change our telephone account to a $0 incoming only line. Brilliant.  Sure, you have to beg and pander a little to get this, but that is a monthly saving of $20.95 better put into the LOC than to the telecommunication giant (headache). With Skype, email and text, we don't need a home phone to make calls, it means others can still contact us for a local rate, not mobile rates. What's more, I discovered the pension concession had not been applied when the low-income phone line was applied 5months ago and got a refund of $15.90. Hahaha ~ feeling a little power-happy.

So I rang Optus to see what discount I could get there.  Right off the bat - the paper fee was removed. That's $2 in our pocket. Then we changed my phone plan down by $10 to a $49 cap (no contract) which gives me an additional $200 of calls and text plus FREE FaceBook on the phone/internet. It also comes with 1.5GB of data download ~ although I am not really sure what that means.  No doubt it is about email and stuff, but I 'do' email on computer so that's an elephant (irrelevant).  Too darn cool ~ this little chickie is on fire with the finances today!  Really it is only being back in control of the crumbling mess of our limited finances. There was only one biller left ~ because the VISA rate was lowered last week ~ and that's the electricity and gas company.

This one has not been set as yet - but the outstanding balance on our account is still up at the $800 mark and it was suggested we apply for a charge waiver under hardship.  Did you know you can apply for this once every two years?  A total zeroing of any overdue account on electricity, gas AND water. Of course, 'conditions apply' but each service is eligible. I see a light - and it's not over at the Frankenstein place...

All up, in under 5hours, we have free'd up $620 a month

Today I also did my first street as an Avon Lady ~ ding dong...
One sale, one possible sale and sore feet. It was slow but fun.  Anyone want any Avon? There are some great stocking fillers, Christmas labels and decorative earrings along with the make up and skin care on offer!

And two of the items on eBay sold.  Sure - nothing huge but it is another few dollars to be put into the debt and for the first time in a long time we feel we are doing the right things to get back in control.  So if you've thought about throwing your spare PayPal change in our Jar or Treasure Chest but didn't want to be supporting some lazy no-hopers just wanting scam others to pay up - surely this shows how committed we are to helping ourselves as well.

We really could do with some help tho' ~ 100 people with one spare dollar will help us get this week's debt challenge paid out!  Go on ~ use some cents and help us out . . . please!?!


  1. Way to go Mands & Rosie - what a fantastic result.

  2. Thanks Nicole ~ I was really excited Rosie got such a great result and that she 'dared' me to call about our line of credit. Dealing with the bank can be so scary while you're on hold, but once you start talking and asking ~ gee it's easy! You know you're a legend too!