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Life After Credit Card Debt – Figuring Out Priorities

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Hi everyone. It’s Tricia here with a monthly update. I have to apologize for last month’s update since I completely forgot about it. With the excitement of Halloween, it slipped my mind. I’m a little less scatter-brained this month even with it being the Thanksgiving holiday. My mind is actually pretty clear at the moment thanks to a relaxing visit with family. It’s the first time I have been able to travel to visit my mom and dad for a Thanksgiving in many years so it has been a very nice visit. There is much to be thankful for this year.

I am very thankful we are still credit card debt free. It’s not easy, especially around this time of year with all of the specials. I was very tempted to try to get a deal on an LCD TV but I told myself no. We are not where we’d like to be financially quite yet. Plus, there are more important things to spend money on right now (like visiting with family). Back when we were paying off credit card debt it was all about determining your priorities. The same thing goes once you pay off credit card debt.

I sometimes have my priorities straight. At other times they are way out of line, especially when it comes to specials. There is something about finding a great deal that gets my blood flowing. With visiting family, it made it pretty easy to not wake up early and join in on the shopping. But deep down I wanted to get that rush. I’m trying something different this year and will try reading a few Black Friday articles once I return home. Perhaps I can get a rush from reading about the awesome deals others have received (if you have a story – feel free to share!).

As for an update on our finances, they are doing well. They are not as great as I’d like them to be, but they could be better. Heh, they could always be better πŸ™‚ We decided to do some much needed work around our home that we have been putting off for some time. Some of it we did ourselves and some of it we outsourced. We finally hired someone to cut down a tree in our yard that has been in poor health since we purchased our home. The years went by and I knew we were on borrowed time this summer because a large part of the crown didn’t even get leaves on it. After they cut it down you could see all of the rot in the trunk. My guess is that it would have come down this winter after a heavy snow.

Things went well with deteriming our priority in regards to our tree. I cannot say the same for our car. In an effort to save some money we took off the full coverage insurance we had. Our car is worth less than $4K at this point so we felt that it was time to remove it. I probably don’t even have to say what happened next – it was in a collision that was not our fault. Thankfully there were no injuries and the damage was cosmetic but our car is worth even less now. I did kick myself for a little while for taking off the full coverage. We probably will think twice before removing the full coverage again from a vehicle. We still have a lot to learn πŸ™‚

That is all the time I have for this update. I hope all of you had a fantastic Thanksgiving!


10 Comments

  • Reply NYGIRL |

    Hey Tricia…great to see your post! With regard to the accident, wouldn’t the other party’s insurance pay for the damage to your car? Glad to hear you are still cc debt free!!!

  • Reply jolie |

    Great to hear from you. So glad things are going so well, even if it is not all smooth sailings. Glad to hear that you weren’t hurt in the accident.

  • Reply Beth |

    Hi Tricia!

    Thanks for continuing to blog about life after debt. I learned a lot from you about getting out of debt and now I am continuing to learn from you about life after debt!

    Please keep updating us – what might seem like a misstep to you could help lots of online fans from making those same mistakes in their futures!

    I wish you and your family all the best!

    Beth

  • Reply Tricia |

    NYGIRL – Unfortunately, I live in Michigan and it is a no-fault state. That means that your insurance company pays if it was your fault or not. We cannot go after the other driver’s insurance. Since we didn’t have full coverage – we were out of luck. If we had full coverage, it wouldn’t have cost us anything (if an accident is not our fault we do not have to pay a deductible – we only pay a deductible if it is our fault).

  • Reply ConnieF |

    Too bad about the no-fault, but are you sure that’s how it works? What’s to prevent people from going around having accidents all the time if their insurance never pays for anyone else?

    Also, aside from looking at the value of your car, you should look at whether you can afford to buy a new car if/when yours gets totalled. For instance, I own a ’94 Ford Explorer worth maybe $3,500. BUT my collision insurance only costs an extra $150 a year. So I can way more easily afford to pay the $150 for insurance than I can to pay $3,500 for another car. The old saying, “penny wise and pound foolish” comes to mind.

  • Reply emmi |

    ConnieF, if you go around having accidents all the time, then your insurance raises your rates astronomically, or simply cancels your policy and good luck getting another one except in the special high risk pool, which can charge you something insane for it.

    The alternative is keeping an extra 10k lawyers occupied a year arguing out who is at fault in every single solitary auto accident.

    We took the collision off our 19 year old 4k value car that we drive about 10 times a year. It was only $90 a year at the time, so as you say, not enough to really self-insure. I’ve rethought about that several times since, but never added it back on.

  • Reply Jay |

    Tricia–

    Your updates are really great. I still check in often hoping to read one!

    Ugh. Sorry about the accident. If there was ever was a reason for an emergency fund, you have just identified it!

    Also…GOOD FOR YOU for resisting temptation re: the LCD television. Especially this time of year, temptation is all around!

  • Reply Joe |

    That stinks about your car! But if you compare what the car is actually worth against the amount you would have paid in insurance over the next couple of years before potentially purchasing a newer car, I’m sure it at least evens out. The timing just got you.

So, what do you think ?