Wallaby + Getting Finances In Order

As you may recall, Justin and I have been trying for quite some time now to get our finances in order. We have crazy goals of paying down debt, and being able to afford life's little luxuries (a new car, a new computer, a house, and travel expenses). Along with those lofty goals, I personally would like to maintain my job as personal assistant and continue to develop my photography and graphic design skills. This basically means that Justin is awesome and we are a one career family.

To maintain my happy state of photo editing and spending time with children I adore, I must also stay on top of our budget.

As of 2 weeks ago, Justin applied for 2 credit cards and was accepted. He applied for the Capital One Venture Rewards card and Chase Slate.

One of the most difficult issues we have faced this year in paying down debt is interest. Since Justin has owned his Costco American Express card he has paid approximately $1700 in interest fees. Doesn't that make you sick? Usually credit cards are meant to be helpful and allow you to earn points and money, but in this case it has actually hurt him. :( Luckily with Slate, we will be able to transfer over half of his Amex debt to the new credit card with no transfer fees and 0% interest for the next 15 months. If we are able to maintain our budget (which I imagine some fluctuations as emergencies come up), we will be able to pay off all of his credit cards in the next 10 months only paying approximately $150 in interest. (Justin's calculations. I have no idea if they are correct.) I'm really excited about the much lower interest rate. Obviously less interest means paying things off faster which means more freedom.

On top of that, Justin and I have already found value in using his Capital One Venture Rewards card. I believe with the Capital One you get 2 miles per purchase, which we are already seeing add up through our newest phone app Wallaby. I'm not really clear as to how the miles can be used, but I'm grateful to start earning rewards that can be used toward travel. Obviously we will need a LOT of miles to travel to Germany, but it definitely feels like we are on the right track. We will probably be applying for a different credit card with a mileage bonus around Christmas time after we've done a little more research on credit cards.

So, before I talk to you about Wallaby and why you should download it, let me share a secret about credit cards that I recently found out while reading travel blogs: Apparently if you apply for more than one credit card on the same day it doesn't hurt your credit score quite as bad. For one, as Justin told me, if you apply to more than one credit card on the same day, they don't "see" eachother. In other words, Capital One did not know that we had applied for the Chase Slate card on the same day. More importantly, by doing all of the signing up on one day, the two credit cards only show up as 1 hard pull on your credit score. YAY! Granted I'm not sure if this works the same for 15 cards or if it is just for 1 or 2, but I definitely like maintaining a good credit score. (How else would you apply for more credit later?)

Finally before I end this post, I must encourage you to check out Wallaby. Wallaby is a start-up company that attempts to help you earn credit card rewards. On the cell phone app, you put in all of your credit card information (whether that means which cards you have or your actual bank information is up to you), and when you are at a location (restaurant, movie theatre, gas station, grocery store) Wallaby will recommend (based on the information you've given it) which credit card you should use to earn the most rewards. In fact, within an undetermined amount of time, Wallaby is going to be providing to consumers a "one card to rule them all" credit card that you would carry around instead of your other credit cards. Basically, for $50 a year, you would pull out your Wallaby card (the only credit card you would be carrying around, of course) and Wallaby would automatically choose and use the best credit card for that specific location. In other words, if you would typically get the most rewards from using your Costco Amex at Costco (duh), when you pulled out your Wallaby card to pay, Wallaby would automatically pay using your Costco Amex. If your Capital One Venture offered the best rewards, Wallaby would automatically choose that one. Sweet, huh!?

While the Wallaby card is not yet available for consumer use, Justin and I have already been enjoying using the Wallaby app. After Justin put in all of his credit card credentials, we were able to not only see which credit card was best to use at which location but also the total rewards earned with our credit cards from the past 30 days and a graph showing where our money went.

Although I do not recommend credit cards for just anyone, if you are going to use a credit card, you might as well use it smartly and reap rewards by using Wallaby.

** I'm not getting paid or any reward whatsoever to review or recommend Capital One, Amex, Chase, or Wallaby. My opinions are my own. If you need financial advice or help getting out of debt, seek out a professional.

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