Saturday, September 29, 2007

Expensive Report

There are times that we have to front money for work reasons. I have done so occasionally, for parking or ink for my printer in our satellite office. Nothing more than $40 or so, and they reimburse me pretty quickly. My husband has to operate a little differently.

He works for his own company, which is growing and expanding rapidly. While they're still developing, we front some of the expenses for his travel. Usually it's no big deal, he'll submit his receipts and we get the money back before the credit card comes due. September was a big travel month, so he was home only 1 week of the whole month. During that week, he was going absolutely crazy preparing for the next trip and wasn't able to file his receipts. So everything is carrying over.

We're not talking about $40 in expenses anymore. With round trip flights for two separate business trips, hotel, and various client dinners, the bill on the credit card totals about $3500. Ugh. To top it off, the credit card he uses is the only one we have paid off completely. Since we're snowballing our debt, we paid off the credit card with the highest interest rate first. So the interest rate on the card is... 27.99%. Yowza.

My husband will return home 3 days before the credit card bill is due. Even in the best situation, we won't be able to get the turn around time needed to pay it off this month. Doing the math, the interest charge for floating the balance this month should be about $40. I'm not sure if this will be considered reimbursable by the company or if we're going to have to eat it.

These expenses are undesirable. Usually, we don't incur any permanent personal charges. Eventually, we won't have to front the money at all. I have come up with the following plan to get through the time until then.

  • Look on the bright side. Hey, at least it's a points credit card. We get a $25 Amazon gift certificate for every 2500 points. ($1 = 1 point)
  • Minimize the damage. Believe it or not, 27.99% is the improved interest rate. It used to be 29.99%. I intend to keep calling them every 3 months to try and lower it even more.
  • Prevent when possible. With shorter trips, he can file the expense report and get reimbursed before the grace period is over for the credit cards. This time, the timing was just plain bad.
  • Don't let it affect motivation. Putting a balance back on that card just plain hurts. I know it's only there temporarily, but I hate seeing a balance. I hate that credit card. We worked our butts off to get rid of that beast. Just seeing another huge negative in my Quicken feels like a setback, even though it's not.
  • Git 'er done. No screwing around. Once he gets back, he'll be filing the receipts the next day. As soon as we get the check in our grubby little hands, it'll be in the bank account and turned over to the credit card the second it clears. Our interest is calculated on average daily balance, so the sooner that balance is zero, the better.


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