Sunday, February 18, 2007

My credit card debt is...

I just read an article in The New York Times by John Leland entitled "Debtors Search for Discipline via Blogs" about some debtors who have blogged the specific amounts of their debts and efforts to get out of debt, but you can be sure that I will never (or almost never) divulge specific details such as amounts even though I may discuss my own financial situation and past problems in general terms, or that when I do get fairly specific, I won't give specific dollar amounts for my financial situation. I'm a little skeptical about some of the blogging efforts referenced in the Times article.

If you go to some of these blogs you find references to a "people-to-people lending" site called Prosper.com. I suspect that some of these bloggers are just trying to make a few extra bucks from Google AdSense ads by associating their blogging efforts with Prosper. Kind of a Web 2.0 variant of Amway. Sure, I have Google ads on my blogs as well, but I'm not teasing you into reading my words by suggesting that I will offer intimate, gossipy details of my finances.

I do track my budget and net worth on a weekly basis, but no numbers. Yes, I told you when I finally got into the black and back to a positive net worth, but I won't be telling what my net worth really is. Crossing over zero was the closest I'll come to giving an actual number. I won't even be telling you my weekly meal budget or how much I spent on dinner last night.

Sure, I'll blog about my budget for a trip to NYC, but that doesn't reflect on my overall financial situation.

Now, back to the important stuff.

I will continue blogging about abstracted details of my financial situation, but I will stay away from anything resembling a direct look at my spreadsheets.

So, what is my credit card debt? It is a grand total of... sorry, I simply am not going to divulge that information, but it is a rather small number.

I pay off my credit card debt every month in full, paying the statement balance, which means that there are additional charges against my account after the statement date that aren't due until the following month. My net worth spreadsheet does have a "credit card debt" line which simply lists the total amount of credit card expenses that I have outstanding, irregardless of the fact that it will be paid off (the statement balances) each month and those payoffs are already in my budget for the coming month. The only reason I have this line on my net worth is that if for some reason my income was immediately disrupted, that debt would in fact come due, and it is strictly speaking a liability that counts against next worth.

-- Jack Krupansky

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