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Life After Credit Card Debt – A Calm March

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Hi everyone! Tricia here with a monthly update.

This month has been a lot better than last month even though there was a pinch from my medical bills. The total damage after insurance came to $560. I can’t really complain when the total bill for my mammogram, ultrasound and biopsy came to almost $2,000.

Back when we had $37,000 in credit card debt, those medical bills would have set me off the deep end. There would have been plenty of tears and moments of desperation. I can’t say how thankful I am that we managed to pull ourselves together, pay our credit cards off and stash some money in an emergency fund. It seemed like a long three years at the time, but in hindsight it doesn’t seem like it was that long at all. If you are having a hard time with keeping motivated to pay off debt, just keep at it. Trust me. It’s been worth it.

That leads me to mention that we are still credit card debt free. We are spending less than we earn and we still have money in the bank. We aren’t as far with contributing to our savings or paying towards our other debt balances as I had hoped, thanks to some financial set backs. None of them forced us back into credit card debt so I cannot complain. What we will do is keep chugging along.

In the last update, I mentioned that I had to sit down and do our taxes. Well, they are almost done. I usually go through them once and put in a few estimates if I can’t readily locate some paperwork. Then I go back in and finalize it. I’m at that point where I have to dig for paperwork. I am glad to report that we will be getting a tax refund just shy of $1,000. I thought for sure we didn’t pay enough in self-employment taxes but I guess we paid more than enough! Some new deductions we were able to take this year really helped and were a pleasant surprise.

What should we do with the windfall? My first thought (as always) is to get a nice LCD TV. I first wrote a post about how much I wanted one back in July of 2006 (that’s the really neat thing about blogging – you can look up dates like that πŸ™‚ ). I am still mesmerized by them all of the time in the stores and I’ve watched the prices drop year after year. But we still haven’t bought one. Am I finally going to get one? No. As much as I still want one, I can’t do it. Our tax return is going to our savings account.

I will conclude this update with saying that April 24th will be a special day in our household – it marks exactly a year since our credit card debt was paid off. I can’t believe it has been almost a year. My, my, my, how the time does fly!

Till next time…take care everyone!


10 Comments

  • Reply jolie |

    wow I can’t believe that it’s been a year already. Congrats Tricia. I am so glad things went better this month for you.

  • Reply BibleDebt |

    Keep going towards the debt payoff one step at a time. At least you will be one step closer to being out of debt rather than one step further in debt. Congratulations on your progress. I just found your blog and enjoyed the update!

  • Reply Tammie |

    Hi Tricia I love your blog and read it as often as I can glad to hear you are feeling better BTW. I want to tell you this post jarred me if you will, we have had set back after set back here lately and I am down, but to see someone else that would go “off the deep end” to at things encourages me. I know its a hard road to travel and I know we can get it done so THANKS for the blog and encouragement. Please feel free to drop by and visit me sometime.

  • Reply Rachel |

    There is something wonderfully affirming about reading that someone else has been down this road and feels the journey is worth it. We have a long road ahead of us but knowing someone else out there has made it and is still debt free helps.

  • Reply erika |

    I needed to read this tonight, thank you. We’re still on our journey, had a frustrating weekend re: spending, but the march must go on.

  • Reply Jordan |

    It’s been a while since I visited. Great work and it looks like you are doing really well. Your posts seem lighter than at an earlier time.

  • Reply Ken |

    CONGRATULATIONS on being credit card debt free. Great to hear you’re saving that refund. Have you thought about maybe using 100 for fun?

  • Reply Tricia |

    @ Ken – the thought did cross my mind to spend some of it for fun, but we have a small amount budgeted now for that. So, it will all go in the savings πŸ™‚

  • Reply John |

    I agree with the above (Rachel). It IS nice to hear from someone who was here, where we all are. Someone who has played all the games, dealt with the denial.. someone who actually dug in and did something about it, who sacrificed.

    Making good financial decisions is habit forming. Reading your posts over the years, yes many year reader here, has been encouraging. I am just at the point where my snowball becomes an avalanche, and everything multiplies tenfold, and I know a large part of my success came from coming here and reading the humanity of the struggle in your posts. The sadness. The guilt. The struggle. The determination. The focus. The sacrifice. The joy. I’m about $30k out of debt, and I don’t know if I would have been able to stick through it without you.

    Thanks Tricia.

  • Reply scout |

    Thanks from me too Tricia. You have been an inspiration. Each time you take a moment to imagine buying the thing you ‘want’ and then end up doing the thing you ‘need’ to do, you reinvigorate me.

    scout

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