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What to Do When Your Debt Reduction Progress is About to Slow Down


This month, I know in advance that it will be a tough month for debt reduction. There are just too many expenses that cannot be avoided and put off to another time. Our home repair just needs to be done and it’s not something we can do ourselves.

Adding to that, my husband will be cutting his hours at work in two weeks. That will give him time to work on other projects. The projects are great and have the potential to provide more income than he currently is making, but it will take a while to get the ball rolling to start receiving revenue.

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little bummed about all this. We have been doing well, and of course I wanted to keep the momentum going. I want that debt gone so bad that it eats away at me. I just imagine a life without that credit card debt looming and I see much more freedom.

So, taking a dose of my own medicine, I can’t dwell on the problem which is our reduced funds for paying off debt. I have to look for the solution. But what can the solution be?

Here’s a few ideas I’ve come up with:

1.) I need to sell things that we don’t need in our house. I thought about doing this before, but I wasn’t very organized and it didn’t materialize. What I am going to do is turn the other half of my office into an “eBay processing line.” I will line the wall with tables and store things to sell underneath. I will set up areas on the tables to clean items, take pictures and then package. Thanks NCN for letting us know about the free boxes for shipping via USPS. That’s awesome info!

2.) That old truck in the garage has to go. The junkyard once gave me a quote of $100 to haul it away. Since then, there is another place open so I should give them a call as well. I could put a for sale sign on it and try to sell it myself, but I’m not the best at that. I sold my old Plymouth Reliant years ago for $100 and I was fortunate to get that. My for sale posting actually listed everything I knew wrong with it and I spilled all of the beans when people came to look at it. That’s just the way I am. Might as well let the new owners know everything.

3.) Need to increase my income. I guess it’s time to ask for a raise with my one job. It won’t have a huge effect, but it will help. My main problem right now is making my time worth more. One thing that was nice recently was that I was called upon for some help and I was able to name my rate. It almost makes me wonder if I should get my business going. I had started getting things ready for it, but with so much debt it was unwise to be anything other than an employee. Perhaps I could start growing it now and earn some extra income.

4.) Cutting expenses. Now that our car will be paid off this month (yay!), I am considering lowering the insurance away from full coverage. I almost dread to do it because the car is still worth around $5,000. I feel like I would be gambling to remove the coverage but perhaps I will look into a higher deductible. Right now our insurance is almost $100/month.

5.) Putting things I buy to use! I’m guilty of purchasing things that I just sit on. I have three domain names that I thought were great but aren’t doing anything. I think I will go ahead and create some websites and host them through my dreamhost account (you can host unlimited domains with one account). I’m not sure what to do yet, but why just let them sit around? Perhaps they could earn a few dollars here and there. (BTW – if you need website hosting use my code for dreamhost.com “BLOGGINGAWAYDEBT” you save $92 and I make $5).

I think the above will be a great start. One thing I’ve learned is that sometimes if I overload myself with “things to do” I am not the best at getting them done. I’ll work on these for now and when I think of more I’ll be sure to share.


  • Reply Tricia |

    Hi Peggy – thanks for writing your story. It is one of those things where I\’d be gambling if I took off the comprehensive coverage. In Michigan, we have no fault insurance, so if an accident is the other driver\’s fault, and I don\\\\\\\’t have coverage, it\’s all up to me to cover repairs. We do not have an emergency fund at all so we would have to pull a loan to get the repairs or a new vehicle. Your comment really shows that you just never know when things may happen. I think I will just see about raising the deductible.

    Best of luck with writing the Ohio senator. Hopefully he can help you.

  • Reply Sara |

    One thing I do when I know we aren’t going to have extra income – a pantry challenge – I try to buy only the groceries I NEED in order to use up stuff in my pantry that’s just been sitting there. So, I’ll only buy what I need to complete a recipe/meal that will use up more things in my pantry.

    And, I know you’ve struggled in the past with your grocery bill – I swear by www.grocerygame.com – we’re a family of five and when I’m in good shape pantry-wise, I can grocery shop for less that $60 a week. It’s unbelievable!

    One more thing – I applaud the way that you are living consciously. What I mean by that is that you are choosing your life rather than letting life just happen to you. You are planning for your repairs, you are planning for the change in your husband’s hours, rather than letting them happen and then just deal with them. I admire that(I hope that made sense, and didn’t just sound plain crazy!).

    Ooh, and we dropped comp. coverage when our last paid-for car was worth less than $1K. My current car’s paid for, but haven’t dropped the coverage yet, because it’s still worth a little. Not much, but it’s still worth more than I have.

  • Reply peggy west |

    Whatever you do DONT drop the full car insurance after you pay it off unless you have cash on hand to buy another beater. I paid my ’98 tracker off in full approx 4 mos ago-( following Dave Ramsey).
    I immediatly dropped the comprehensive and only carried liability. My 19 yr old daughter came home on leave from the navy and was driving my car exiting the freeway and wham! a commercial tow truck rear ended my tracker. Aprox 2K damage. It wasnt her fault but her leave was over and she had to get on her plane like now.In other words she received permission from the police officer to leave the scene of the accident to return to her naval base. Well they took the tow truck drivers statement and long story short their insurance co refused to pay. Thank God I had the 1 k er fund. I worked some deals and the car is drivable but never again. I am actually at the point where I have written to my Ohio senator asking him to step in on this claim.Just dont be penny wise and pound foolish like I was.

  • Reply twinsmommy |

    Wow, I could have written most of that post myself. Sept. is going to be a tough month here too. I have been reluctant to get a roommate but I am going to have to in Oct. That should help with the extra income .. I have two rooms that I can rent out and there is a university close to me. I will just have to make sure to run background checks on everyone, especially now that I have the twins.

    I own a couple of domain names too. One for my blog (if I need to move it) and one that I may never use. I have paid for two years of hosting…I really need to get busy on that!

    Good luck selling on E-Bay. You may want to check out some dropshippers if you don’t have a lot of room for inventory.


  • Reply Dawn |

    We have some friends that are making a lot of money selling on www.amazon.com I know they have sold on e-bay in the past and prefer doing it this way. I am not sure why, but maybe its worth checking into.

    You are doing an amazing job at getting rid of your debt! I am very proud of you and only wish we were getting rid of ours as fast, but we are doing a lot more now that I have been following your progress.

    Take care and best of luck!

  • Reply Lisa |

    Keep your chin up, Tricia. It happens to all of us. We had a minor setback last month due to our car needing repairs, so we had to refund our emergency fund before paying further on debt. September is tough because of school starting (even if you don’t do a ton of clothes shopping, there’s always school supplies!)

    You’ll be back on track before you know it!

  • Reply D |

    I agree with the above comments for “not” cancelling your full coverage insurance. I just wanted to add that insurance is also charged based on your credit history. With the payoff of the loan and your score likely to be increasing from the lower payment percentage of your income, I would suggest that you leave everything the way it is for 30 days. This will give the credit bureau’s enough time to cycle the information through. About the time you receive your title, you should call your insurance company and ask them to re-quote you. Tell them there have been some changes, such as the car being paid off. At the same time, you should go out and receive 3 quotes from other companies. Letting them know that you have coverage but are taking the next 60 days to look for the best deal and coverage for your money. I think you will be surprised at the reduction I would expect you to receive.

    This is one perk of being debt free. Those higher credit scores provide you with lower costs.

    I would also advise you to do this when your homeowners policy is up. It is standard practice for them to check your credit. My policies from Pekin Insurance actually show a discount for good credit. They gave me a letter score I don’t remember what it is right now.

    As far as selling the truck and your past experience with your car sale – I say go for it. I love an honest sales person. Even if you only get $100, which I bet you may get more, you will be out no towing expense. In the Chicago land area they actually pay you at some junk yard to haul away your vehicle.

  • Reply Karen |

    Well, I have carried full coverage (w/500 deductible) on my 98 Olds Intrigue since paying it off 1 1/2 yrs ago. Friday I found out that it needs a new engine. Now it seems like such a waste, to have paid extra to insure an old car….the point is, hindsight is always 20/20. I think I would drop the full coverage and put the difference in a savings acct to cover any losses that may occur. One thing that seems to always be the case – if you don’t have it you’ll need it and if you have it you won’t need it LOL. I’m also realizing that, at least where I live (Houston, s-p-r-e-a-d out) I’m probably almost ALWAYS going to have a car payment. This is the second car that has died an early death soon after I paid it off, through no fault of mine. The rule of thumb WAS to drop full coverage on any car older than 5 yrs – but that was before they cost a small fortune….in any case, cars ALWAYS depreciate and what happens may not even BE covered by insurance so I would at the very least shop around if not drop it or raise your deductible. I also agree with Sara, you are doing a great job and living consciously is half the battle!

  • Reply Prince of Thrift |

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So, what do you think ?