“Reducing Debt” Archive
I went into the credit union today to put the signature loan in my name alone–pursuant to the divorce decree. While I was there I asked about options regarding both the interest rate on the loan as well as borrowing additional amounts to knock down one of the other two cards. I am so happy to report that they lowered my interest rate to 4% AND increased the loan amount to $20,000! I couldn’t believe it but then realized that I am better off standing on my own credit rating than combining with my former spouse! Just another validation about the whole marital mess!
I’ll complete the final paperwork later this week and then make a payment to Bank of America to bring that balance down. The BofA will continue to be my focus because A) the interest rate is the highest and B) say it with me…I hate Bank of America! I’ll update the numbers when all of the transfers and such are complete.
Happy Day! I’m feeling GREAT! What a total shot in the arm at the beginning of this new year!
And they aren’t too bad given the horrendous month that September was on the emotional front! I will indeed pat myself on the back on this one. I certainly had some slips but nothing like what a slip would have been like in the past!
I like the looks of that emergency fund! That is giving me some confidence as I move forward. I love that I got rid of that annoying small $285 card and eliminated another $25 minimum payment. Thank you for motivating me to get that done.
I am refreshed and re-energized and ready to enjoy my VERY favorite month of the year! October! It’s my birthday month and I have always been a huge proponent of celebrating birthdays big! Not fancy mind you but I do believe birthdays should be celebrated! Last year for my 40th I did something “out of my box” each day of the month until my birthday on the 25th. I want to do something similar this year but with a financial spin to it…but it is already the first of the month and I don’t have a concrete idea. Maybe I will avoid a purchase of some kind and put that money aside and then get something special for my birthday! I’m not sure yet but I do look forward to this month. The weather is changing finally!
That reminds me…my first utility bill arrived since the separation. It was a very hot month of September here in SA and I’m thrilled that my bill dropped to $145!
During the summer I kept getting contacted by friends and family with questions about our real food plan. After awhile I started brainstorming about how I might be able to turn this into some sort of exta income opportunity. So, in late August I organized a “real food workshop” idea and had a great turn out. I hadn’t shared about it on the blog because I wanted to see how it all went before I committed to it beyond this first try.
At the first workshop–on September 9–we made the very simple whole wheat tortillas from www.100daysofrealfood.com. I rented the neighborhood clubhouse so everyone could have a lot of space and figured out the numbers so that I was sure to not lose any money in the process. I charged each person a $10 fee to attend to cover the rental fee and everyone brought their own ingredients. I envision this becoming a sort of support group to get people and keep people on the real food wagon. I was amazed that the first workshop had 10 attendees! Most participants are moms that work outside the home and we discussed a very long term goal of making it a sort of “supper club” where we each make multiples of the same meal and then we swap and all leave with different meals for the week.
As a sort of afterthought to the workshop idea, I did something pretty crazy for me. At the last minute I decided to become a Pampered Chef consultant. Over the years, I went to many a kitchen show and have a lot of great kitchen gadgets to show for it. But, until the real food revolution hit my family, I wasn’t using a lot of those tools. But, now that I cook so much I am getting so much use out of them AND know the importance of having the right kitchen tool! I was kind of scared to share this b/c it did cost me $150 to sign up. Well, I’m happy to report that as the month draws to a close, I have earned $450 with this adventure! That’s commission and overage on the attendance fees only. I also earned more gadgets and dollars to spend with PC.
What perfect timing for me to stumble into this workshop/Pampered Chef idea! Actually, I was opening the new consultant kit when Steve said we needed to talk that day before he moved out. I laughed later picturning myself as one of those consultants you read about that say “PC changed my life! I was opening the starter kit when my husband informed me he was moving out!” It has been a great distraction for sure but the VERY best part of this is that the kids–especially DD–are totally on board and excited. In fact, DD has no fear and I even got an email from her teacher asking me to send in a catalog! LOL! And DD sat and watched all the teaching materials PC sends to new consultants and then one day asked if I had spoken to three new people about my business that day! Talk about accountability! When you come home to an 8-year-0ld checking on your progress, you really don’t want to disappoint!
So, we will see where this takes me and I’ll enjoy every step of the latest adventure! Please don’t worry that I am too busy for this—keep in mind I am kid free every other week (after helping with transportation for M, T and W activities). It’s a fun distraction that made me a lot more money this month that I was expecting. I hope to reinvest just a small portion of the commission into the business and use the rest to pay off debt.
On the divorce front, there’s good news on what is owed in taxes for 2011. Instead of close to $1500 it is actually only $935. Since I had not heard anything from Steve on it I found the return on Turbo Tax (he had been working on it) and finished up what needed to be finished and snail mailed him the forms with a note asking that he sign and send me his half of taxes. This snail mail communication is how Steve has to do this but given my history with dealing with my ex it just feels bizarre. In hindsight, what a huge red flag it is that someone cannot get along with an ex. That’s so telling about anyone I’ve decided–if they cannot be a civilized adult to the person they had children with, something just isn’t right. That’s a great life lesson to take away from this and the lessons just keep coming to light.
And what a gorgeous San Antonio morning it is! The sunrise was phenomenal today! Of course, what isn’t gorgeous when it is finally 63 degrees outside? We are getting a small taste of fall and I am always aware of what great things that does for my mood. It was such a wonderful weekend with my two kids and extended family! Much to be grateful for in this life.
You will see the debt updates are made and I know you will have a lot of questions. I have to ask that you refrain from posing those questions because I simply cannot provide more detail. By now you all know how difficult that is for me because I am a detail kinda gal (yes, often TOO detailed) so this is my only comment about this and we will all be well served by just moving forward with these new, much reduced, numbers!
I don’t know what kind of progress to expect through the rest of 2012 because things are so uncertain right now. I do know that I tweaked the new budget spreadsheet and feel pretty good about the plan going forward. I got the kids involved with the budget planning and both of them had some great suggestions! DS set his goal as helping us reduce the utility bill. This is a good one for him to focus on since he is the worst about leaving lights and electronics on! DD wants to help us save on groceries by being in charge of checking the sale ads and coupons. That might be too big an undertaking for her but she won’t be discouraged. I can definitely make more cuts in my weekly spending money and with the help of the kids we can find another $100 to $150 to sink into debt.
I do feel refreshed and rejuvinated on the debt payoff plan. There is a lot of positive energy flowing in the house. It’s a new day and that doesn’t mean that there isn’t sadness for the loss of what we all thought we had in our family. There is comfort in realizing things aren’t always as they seem, people will disappoint and hurt you in this life but if you have faith as a constant, nothing is too big to overcome. Keep Calm and Carry On!
A comment today from a new reader prompted me to write this quick post to those readers who are reading but, in some ways, still hiding. As I told that reader–these are the people I really want to reach with my writing. These unknown people are exactly the reason I agreed to be the blogger for this blog. I have learned and will learn so much from the veterans of debt reduction and absolutely value their input—but in those moments that I am embarrassed by my mess, it is those silent readers that get me back to the keyboard.
In the darkest days of my debt, I can still remember myself waking in the middle of the night and walking to the bathroom. Each and every time I did this in the middle of the night, I thought it was because I was aging and my bladder was too! HA! And each and every time I did this in the middle of the night, I remember clearly thinking this thought: “I am $60,000 in credit card debt and no other living soul knows that…how will I EVER pay that back?” I’d go back to bed and toss and turn and eventually fall asleep only to wake in the morning and often go create more debt!
And so the purpose of this post is to share that until I allowed light in on the darkness of my debt—it was not going to go away. For me that moment did not come until I bared my soul to a trusted friend and (thankfully) was met with compassion and understanding. Until that point, I was keeping up a facade on so many fronts and that is so tiring. Now, did I expect to move to such a public forum so quickly? Of course not! But what a gift it has been to share the debt secrets in such a public way! It is the only reason I am making the progress I am making–without a doubt.
Give the idea of sharing with one trusted confidant some thought–and prayer if you are so inclined–the ripple effect will be beyond your wildest dreams. Promise.
Well, we are under $90,000! Not by much but that’s okay…I am feeling pretty good about the near $5,000 paid down in debt in June. It wasn’t easy but so worth it! I was determined to get below the $90K–that was my goal. It meant cutting corners even moreso with spending but it is done! It also meant not putting an extra hundred in the emergency fund but I really needed the morale boost so that’s the route chosen.
You’ll notice that my Dad is paid…that annoying small credit card is done and then a huge near $2,000 credit card balance at 15.9% interest is totally wiped out! Our next focus will be the dreadful Bank of America card with $23,278 on it. That hag BOA will be getting an absurd amount of money from us each month but only for a time certain so that’s the bright side.
It’s 11 pm here right now and I have to wake up for a 6:30 am flight to Denver. Let the paid for vacation begin!
I was bombarded by the message “stop making excuses” today. I don’t mean that I heard that directly or that I said it directly…but instead I’m talking about multiple instances of hearing totally random people making excuses for their respective “bad” situations.
A lady in front of me in line was on her cell phone explaining to someone why she can’t stay at her current job. The person on the other end was obviously encouraging her to keep the job and not make any rash decisions. I gathered there had been a string of “bad jobs” and that this person kept leaving them before finding something new.
A caller on a radio show called in to discuss why he quit school because he was experiencing stress related illnesses. He needed some time to gather his thoughts and needed to do that while living with his parents.
An acquiantance that I ran into on the office elevator randomly shared that she was broke but was still going to stop at the mall on the way home after leaving the office. She needed something to feel better about this no good, terrible day and she was owed a shopping trip.
I think back to the many excuses I made for why I couldn’t start getting out of debt NOW (before I started this blog) and cringe. There was probably someone listening to me on the elevator or overhearing a telephone conversation thinking I was just one big excuse maker.
I’m not writing this to judge the folks I ran into today as everyone’s circumstances are their own and I can’t pretend to know where those individuals are in this life– but instead share for two main reasons. First, to say how pleased I am that I’m done–for the most part–with making excuses and putting of debt payoff. Secondly, I am compelled to share just in case some you had an excuse making sort of day. Today might just be the day that you are destined to stop making excuses about why you can’t avoid new debt right now and why you can’t pay down debt right now. Challenge yourself to stop that madness today! You won’t regret it! (okay maybe there will be days you DO regret it but the pros so quickly outweigh the cons that you just need to take that first step!)
My DebtLarge Graph
- Current: $31,490
- Paid: $66,611
- Original: $98,101
- Emergency Fund: $1000
- IRS Savings: $
- Broken Down:
CC #1: $0 ($64) CC #2: $0 ($240) CC #3: $0 ($650) CC #4: $0 ($785) CC #5: $0 ($1,500) CC #6: $0 ($1,886) CC #7: $0 ($1,984) CC #8: $0 ($2,135) CC #9: $0 ($7,145)
- CC #10: $12,570 ($14,561)
CC #11: $0 ($24,388) Credit Line #1: $0 ($182) Credit Line #2: $0 ($182) Auto #1: $0 ($16,579) Auto #2: $0 ($25,819)
- Cons. Loan: $18,920 ($20,000)
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