It’s not you..actually, it is.

It’s not like I expected closing a credit to be a super easy process. After all, the credit card company had been making some super nice passive income on behalf of my interest payments. I can get how that might be hard to let go. But I’m not here to make them feel more comfortable.

So, when I called to break up with my Presidents Choice Mastercard I was totally honest – ” It IS you, not me. You’re too expensive and holding me back”- and didn’t expect them to take the news lightly. And they didn’t. They sucker punched me by telling me that I had over 180,000+ PC Plus points attached to the card. That’s $180 dollars of ‘FREE’ groceries, clothing, electronics “Anything you want, baby, just give me another chance!”.

If I canceled the card, the points would disappear. Is that fair? I spent the money and paid the interest in order to earn the points. Shouldn’t I get to keep the super comfy, oh-so-soft, and smells-like-him t-shirt points?

Like any too-trusting teenager, I’ve given them 5-7 days to transfer the points to my regular PC Plus card. THEN I can cancel. I should probably cancel it even if the points don’t show up.

The lure of ‘free’ goods (that I’ve already paid for in a TON of interest fees, service fees and bank fees) is stronger than I am at this point. And I could really do with some new pants for spring.

Would you let the credit card hang around just a little longer for a few free points. Are free points free if they are attached to a 19% interest rate credit card?

How a 2-hour run clarifies the mind

If you haven’t noticed yet, I run. Right now, I’m training for a 30km race in April which means long weekend runs. I was lucky with the weather during my latest long run, managed to swindle a ride to my start point to ensure that I had the wind at my back, and ran 22km home in sunshine and increasingly warm temperatures.

Just before my long run, I had opened the Mint app on my phone to double check my cash flow situation. It’s becoming a daily habit, partly because I’m obsessed with moving forward and partly to see whether I’ve been dinged for charges I didn’t expect. Yesterday, I got hit with a $131 finance charge for the stupid Mastercard debt. $131!! That’s like TWO race entry fees! OUCH. That made me mad and frustrated. I was dollars away from that balance hitting $6k purely because I was carrying a balance and paying the ridiculous interest rate.

I started the run, frustrated at myself for letting that balance grow, for getting hit by another finance charge, and not having control over the situation. I thought about it for over an hour while listening to podcasts (I listen to Budget and Cents, Dave Ramsey, M.O.N.E.Y., Tim Ferris. Pretty much anything that will inspire me to think, learn and perhaps act a little differently.) And then I hit a wall…but not the runners wall. The wall of OBVIOUSNESS.

Here’s the thing, my line of credit has a 3.7% interest rate. My credit card has a 19.99% interest rate. I have $12k of room in my line of credit. And $5,900 of credit card debt.

HOW DID I NOT SEE THIS?

Another hour later (an hour of lamenting my lack of vision) I got home. Before I even untied my shoes, I transferred the Mastercard balance to my line of credit.

Did I pay the Mastercard off? NO. But I did save myself a little bit of interest payment for the next 30 days, while I work on building that emergency fund.

What’s your opinion on short-term moves to save cash while you work on a bigger goal? Have you done that? Did it work out for you?