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No. of Recommendations: 5
ThyPeace, you have spoken so kindly in this thread and your posts are helpful, fun, and and informative. The "post daily" suggestion was a gem. It turned out to be a seed that has kept the helpful suggestions flowing. Thank you!

Since it is Friday night and I am broke, I stayed in and got a little more organized. I looked over statements, looked at the past 4 months trends and balances, and tallied January 2018 credit card debt.

The bad news: We have treaded water and made no progress. Our overall CC debt is almost identical to what it was 12 months ago.

The good news: We have treaded water and not gotten DEEPER in CC debt over the past 12 months. Deep breath...there is hope!

It may still take 90 days before any formal spending plan/budget comes together. Today I learned enough to know there is balance. If I earn a little more and play even better defense, the balance will go in the right direction. That is my tiny step for now. It is an important victory to me just to arrive at this place...a place where I can see that "possibility" exists!

ThyPeace, I have a little story about that Saturday trip to the bank and those savings bonds. When I dug them up, I knew they had to be cashed out. When I googled the tables and found out they are fully matured and earning no more interest I's time! The only reservation I had about cashing in was sort of sappy and sentimental. The oldest of the bonds dates to 1979. I was a little kid but I remember it well. I have a photo clipping from the newspaper that shows the president of the local chamber of commerce presenting the bond to me. It's in my old photo album. Also, the bond bears both mine and my mother's name..."Walstib OR (Walstib's mother's name)."

Mom has been gone 14 years now. I think this series E relic with our names is kind of cool. I actually thought about filing the paperwork to cash in a "lost" bond, then keeping the paper memento for my album. It certainly wouldn't make good money sense to hold a bond that won't earn interest, right?

Does anyone see where this is going?

I am considering a compromise on my emergency fund stance that involves holding those emergency "funds" in the form of old, matured savings bonds. This sounds good on several levels even though it may not follow the TMF playbook verbatim. These old bonds don't invoke even the slightest urge to spend. They can be converted quickly in the event of a financial emergency, but I would have to go to a bank during business hours. There would be a built in cooling off "is this REALLY an emergency" period, but yet the money would be there if the answer is "yes!"

It may not be in lock step with the algorithm here, but I think this works for me. This can always be re-visited, but here goes: For now, I'm planning to hold $250 cash plus $530.22 (ACV) worth of US savings bonds and will call it my $750(+) E-fund.

Card #1 will live on without those savings bonds finishing it off, but only for another week. Balance on it stands at $406.78. I feel a little less out of control today. Just a little. It is good.

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