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Another month, another big win!
I managed to get rid of my last 2 credit card balances this month! I’m super excited to only have 3 loans left to pay off. Even though they are big amounts, they are not credit cards so they will never increase.
4-28-17 Debt Balances and Minimum Payments
|Debt Type||Balance Due||Minimum Payment|
|Credit Card 1||$0.00||$0|
|Credit Card 2||$0.00||$0|
|Credit Card 3||$0.00||$0|
|Credit Card 4||$0.00||$0|
|Credit Card 5||$0.00||$0|
|Total Debt Owed||$41,869.00|
My total difference since the start is now up to $8,900. I can’t begin to describe how it feels to know that I’m close to $10,000. That’s nearly 1/5 of the way to being finished and it really has gone by pretty quickly.
This has not been easy, however. I find myself this month being close to broke again, so even though I am paying off my debts, money is still tight.
I’m not feeling down though, because I know that this is a temporary season for me. It will pass. I am so grateful that I’ve been shown that living with debt is not a good thing for me. Some people may find they can balance all those payments. That will never be me.
I don’t want to go back to credit cards as a safety net. I especially want to learn how to use my money in the best way possible. Nothing feels better to me than being able to just use cash for things I want or need. (Without having to go into crying fits because you can’t believe how much you just spent!)
Some tips that work for me
I know I’m an anomaly. Not only in the way I am taking this debt payoff journey but just in general, I don’t feel like a “normal” person. (Which I’m 100% okay with!)
Some of the things I am doing you probably have heard actually slow your progress while paying off debt. That may be true from an expert point of view but here’s the thing: It’s my point of view that matters in my own life. And what works for one will not work for all.
- I haven’t set an end date goal. I’m doing this for as long as it takes, I don’t care if it takes me 20 years. (I know it won’t but I’m okay with playing the waiting game. Rushing it along only makes you feel like you’re stuck)
- I’m not obsessed with penny pinching. Coupons, sales, etc. are fine but I don’t allow them to rule my purchases. I buy what I need and fewer things that I want. If there’s a coupon for what I’m buying anyway, I’ll use one.
- Haven’t touched a credit card for regular purchases. I am struggling to move money out of my savings if I need to but I would rather do that then start using credit again.
- I’m learning that one of my biggest troubles is not keeping up with my check register. I used to do that diligently a long time ago before my account could be updated via the Internet. Now that I have that auto update, I hardly ever manually enter my purchases. (Huge mistake and something I’m definitely working on)
- Savoring the success I’ve had so far keeps my head up. It’s easy to get discouraged when things are going great and all of sudden, money is low again. I just keep looking at those debt paydown sheets I have and focus on all the good I’ve done so far.
I have decided that I can’t add my snowball amounts from the last 2 cards I had yet. Through this process, I realized one very important thing: I had way overextended our finances.
Instead of rolling over my payments, I’m going to allow that to work in adding more money to our checking rather than throwing it all at the debt. It’s all about balance and with the few things I’ve paid off so far, I feel like the scales are going in the right direction.
It’s important to take a step back sometimes and admit that you’re living above your means. I know that if I keep trying to pay down the debt while paying double, my situation will get worse and I’ll be in the position to have to use credit cards.
I am going to shoot for after this next month to start adding extra to my monthly payments. I’m thinking also that I will start adding a little, not the full minimum of the last thing I paid. That way, I can balance paying the debt off while having more to spend and to also put into my savings.
Learning how to manage money is one of the hardest things I’ve done. Nobody said it was easy after all but I’m happily discovering it’s certainly not impossible.