Becoming Debt Free in 2009

May 3, 2009

Read the Bill Notices

Filed under: Budget,Car,Journey to Debt Freedom — ambercouric @ 2:53 pm

Okay, I have been paying a water bill to the same place for nearly 20 years.  In the past the bill was due on the 19th by 5:00 or the late fee was $1.00.  I have always sent my bill off usually the 14th or 15th because they received the bill the next day and it posts on the day they receive the bill.  I just took the bill out to get ready to write the check and noticed a $4 previous balance.  I thought maybe I paid the wrong amount so I went and checked and I paid the amount due.  Then in VERY SMALL writing it said payments must be made by 5:00 pm on the 15th of each month or there is a $4  late fee.  Also, they charge a fee if you pay online, something like$3.50 so I always mail the payment.

I wonder how many of these late fees they collected for the last couple of months from their normal on time payees.  This started at the first of the year but I must have mailed on the 14th the first couple of months.

Lesson learned – read the bills carefully.

Another thing I noticed last month was with my car payment.  I am nearly three years ahead of the payoff and every month there is a zero balance.  I still pay above the payment amount so it will be paid off in just a couple of months.  Last month there was a minimum balance of $121.  Again, this makes no sense to me since for the last year it has been zero due.

Being debt free can’t get here soon enough.



  1. I just went to my bank and paid an extra amount on my automobile, or one of them, but the surprize came when I redieved the reciept back from the teller. The interest that is charged on the auto loans are compounded daily, in the back of my mind I knew this but always held the main thought that they worked like a home mortgage and the interest was paid along with the monthly payment. I would be nieve to believe that I am the only one who thinks this way and this was not made clear to me when I closed on the original loan. A WORD TO THE WISE!

    Comment by Huff for Debt Freedom — September 2, 2009 @ 1:02 pm

  2. It’s because if you don’t specify an extra payment to be used for a specific planned payment then they apply the extra amount to principal. And the next month they reamortize the load according to the reduced amount of principle and the time left over on the loan. Thus in this scenario your next month’s payment is still due but it is less than it would have been otherwise.

    Comment by Steve in W MA — September 19, 2009 @ 11:16 pm

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