Friday, March 13, 2009

Closing Accounts, Chasing Rewards And Avoiding The Inevitable Taxman

I convinced my carpool to drop by my credit union after work so that I could close my account. Savings closed, checking closed, line of credit closed. I wonder what this is doing to my credit score? Oh well, I don't need to apply for any credit in the near future (hopefully). I carried my cashier's check over to Chase bank and put it right in to my account. I'm fattening up my Chase account so that I can make my extra mortgage payment next month. I have enough now but Wednesday is payday so I will have more padding in the account for other bills. I don't like the balance to get too low. When I got home I shredded my checks and ATM card. It's a good start for spring cleaning.

I still have too many cards in my wallet. 2 ATM/debit cards and 2 credit cards. I think I will take the cards from my California bank out of my wallet. Afterall, there are no free ATMs that are convenient for me. There are a few partner banks downtown who wouldn't charge me a fee but I rarely go over there. One ATM/debit is good enough. As for the credit cards, as Tight Fisted Miser informed me yesterday, Discover rewards can still be exchanged at $20 increments for gift cards after May. I will take my Discover card out of my wallet and only use it when I can get 5% back. That means I should use it for home improvement in April and gas in July. I promise not to buy things that I wouldn't normally buy. No sense in buying extra stuff just to get 5% back.

The extra cash back/gift card money will help me with my home maintenance budget which is severely lacking at the moment. I need all the help I can get. I don't have any wiggle room in my budget right now and I really don't want to add another month on to my mortgage repayment plan in order to create wiggle room. I've added too many months on already this year. I want to make progress not continue the one step forward 2 steps back that I have been doing lately.

What I am actually afraid of is my taxes. They are on my to-do list for tomorrow. If I owe money I will be totally bummed. Last year would have been a great time to sell my loser GM stock so I could write it off but it's too late for that now. Hopefully it will all even out. If not I'll have to add another month to the mortgage plan in order to pay the tax bill and I will be sad. At least I have the money, but I would much rather put it towards the mortgage than give it to Uncle Sam.


Anonymous said...

Glad I could provide some useful information. I use a Discover car myself so when I saw they were raising the redemption requirement to $50 I searched for some more info. I usually just get a statement credit but now I'll have to see if there are any useful gift cards for me.

I only use my Discover card for 5% cash back purchases. The April through June categories of Home and Fashion likely won't be of any use to me. I can use the card to buy gas once July rolls around though.

Sharon S said...

Hi there-lets hope the tax calculations work in your favour my dear and well done for streamlining your accounts too! have a great weekend!