But most pressing this time last year was my property tax bill. See, I don't escrow my taxes every month, so they all become due at the same time. Last year I owed a total of about $6,300 and I charged nearly all of that to credit cards. That would be a smart move except that the tax assessor charged a fee for me to use my credit card.
Fast forward to today, and I owe close to $9,000 in taxes (one house in particular I had just bought last year and the tax was just on the land, so the tax on it is about $1,800 more this year).
So why am I so happy? Because this week I managed to pay $3,136 in property taxes out of my checking account, fee-free. Yippee! Sure, that still leaves nearly $6,000 I have to come up with by the end of the year, and I'm sure I'll still have to charge some of the taxes to a card. But the fact that I've already paid over 1/3 without fees is something to celebrate. I wouldn't have been able to do that this time last year.
Oh, and the $800 car payment? I got rid of the Bimmer last December. Now I pay less than half that with plans to totally pay my car off in 2011.
2011 will be a turning point in my life.