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A Reflective Look Back at 2006 – Goodbye to $13,000 of our Debt

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For those eagle eyes out there, you’ll see that I’ve updated my debt total at the top right for the end of December. It sits at $24,398…$13,216 of our credit card debt is gone!

The past 11 months have flown by, and I thought it would be neat to highlight some posts to recap the year.

Almost $37,000 in Credit Card Debt – the scary truth when I added our credit card balances together in February.

I Can Be Debt-Free – I let everyone in on a phrase that I say to keep positive.

Calling Credit Cards to Reduce Your Rate – My first attempt at calling my credit card to lower the interest rate failed.

I Transferred the Wrong Balance – My first big boo-boo with shuffling my debt around to lower interest rates.

Finance Charges Paid in March – $417.49 – When I added up how much it was costing me a month to have my credit cards, the total wasn’t pretty.

Here it Goes, Here’s How Much We Make – Back in April, I projected that we would make $40,000 in 2006. Now that I have the numbers in for December, I can tell you that our income is just shy of $47,000 this year.

Maybe I Shouldn’t Have Been So Agressive – I became so focused on paying off debt that I didn’t leave an adequate buffer in my checking account.

Should I Save Up An Emergency Fund? – Probably the topic that stirs up emotion in a lot of personal finance bloggers. For me, I am choosing to forgo the emergency fund and pay off debt first.

Betray Me and I Get Bitter – One of my cards raised the rate on me for no reason. That wasn’t nice.

27 Years, 8 Months…Sounds Like a Prison Term – I ran a calculator and found out how long it would take me to pay off our debt by only paying the minimum payments. Eek!

Big Announcement – The Goal Date is Set – May of 2009 is still my official goal date to have our debt paid off. I’ve toyed with moving it to Christmas of 2008, but I haven’t officially done it.

Eight Ideas to Make a Few Extra Bucks – Making more money can mean more money that can go towards your debt. Here’s a few ideas.

Could Prosper Help Someone Like Me – My first thoughts about Prosper.com (who I did receive a loan from later in my journey).

Money, Marriage and Compromising – My husband and I sometimes butt heads because I am pretty agressive with paying off our debt.

Calling Them Finally Worked – Yes! Success at reducing our credit card interest rate by calling!

It Was Hard to Do But We Made a Fun Purchase – There is a balance to be found with spending money and paying off debt.

Introducing Credit Card #7 – I was lured by a balance transfer offer and added another credit card to the family.

Thank You Prosper Lenders – I officially received a loan from Propser.com. Now, all of my credit card interest rates have been reduced.

What a Beautiful Picture – The credit card with the highest balance (and was the one that raised their rate on me for no reason) was now paid off with balance transfers. It felt very good.

A Quick Post – I Got My Raise – I received a 7% raise at work 🙂

I Wish Those LCD HDTVs Would Quit Calling My Name – Whenever I go to the store, I still look at the LCD HDTVs. They are still tempting…I am still resisting.

Total Credit Card Debt – Under $30,000 – We reached a big debt milestone in July.

I Can’t Believe It – They Raised My Interest Rate – After calling and successfully reducing my interest rate, my credit card raised it.

Ways I Save Money – My Husband and I Work Opposite Shifts – It’s not the easiest thing for a marriage, but working opposite shifts is working for us so far and saving us money.

The 10 Things We Did to Erase Almost $9000 in Credit Card Debt in Less than 6 Months – I sat down and wrote down everything we were doing to pay off our debt.

Welcome New Visitors – I was given the pleasure of speaking with Scott Burns of the Dallas Morning News and he interviewed me for an article.

Money and Marriage – Tightening of the Financial Belt to Fight Debt – As with many things in life, you have to seek a balance if you and your spouse do not see eye to eye in regards to your finances.

It’s Official – My Car is Now a Pure Asset, Baby! – I don’t talk about our non-credit card debt much, but paying off our car was a wonderful event.

My Ever Confusing FICO Score – This was back in September and my FICO score still confuses me LOL.

The Ways I Make Money With My Blog – My blog is making around a few hundred dollars a month now. If you are blogger and are interested in seeing what programs I use, this is a post for you.

Running the Numbers – What Sending Even More Money to Debt Can Do – I could be debt-free in November of 2007 if we paid $2,000 a month towards our debt. That is very unlikely, but neat to think about if we could increase our total income.

Tricia…Read the Darn Credit Card Statements – I made another boo-boo here and wasn’t paying attention to my statements.

Did You Hear That – It Was My Jaw Hitting the Floor – Make sure you read those “Change of Terms” notices that you get from your credit cards.

Am I Close to the Point Where I Just Need to Earn More – There is more that we could cut in terms of spending, but it would diminish our quality of life. The other solution is to earn more.

Do We Still Use Credit Cards – I believe that credit cards can be used for “good” and we still use our cards if we can turn around and pay it right off.

Thank You for Listening to My Problems – What can I say? I have awesome readers 🙂

I Finally Did It – I Gave My Notice to One of My Jobs – It wasn’t easy (and I’m still not “done” working this job yet because I have a few things to wrap up mid-January), but it was time to let go of one of my part-time jobs.

A Very Special Interview with My 4 Year-old Son – A short interview on my son’s thoughts about money. I loved his answers.

Why I’ve Been Quiet Lately – Another one of the times where I was feeling down during this journey.

Debt Does Drive Me Crazy Sometimes – The title on this one says it all.

When You Make More Money You Spend More Money – It’s tough. When you make more money, you spend more money on things that one may consider necessities. Before, when you were making less money getting those “necessities” wasn’t even an option.

Woo Hoo – We Officially Have Health Insurance – After 5 years without – we finally have health insurance again.

My Heart Broke Yesterday – I couldn’t go to an event at my son’s school because I had to work. It’s tough trying to juggle family and work, especially when I am working hard to pay off our debt.

Credit Card Debt – Under $25,000 – Another big milestone is reached in mid-December.

And, that’s a recap of 2006. It was fun going through all of my archives. I sure wrote a lot!

Here’s to 2007! 🙂

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14 Comments

  • Reply Liza |

    Tricia, I salute you! Your perseverance, tenacity and determination is impressive. May more blessings come to you in 2007!
    Liza

  • Reply CC |

    Tricia,

    I just love your blog – you speak honestly and are walking the same journey as so many of us. Your blog is one that has majorly motivated me to get a move on with this debt reduction. I love this summary and went to the debt planner site you provided and found out that it would take approximately 21 years and 7 months to pay off our credit card debt at the minimum payments – OUCH and YIKES. I plan to do it in 6 years and that should be easily done, especially with putting all extra funds (tax returns and company bonuses) towards debt reduction, so hopefully sooner. Within that time our HELOC should also be paid off and we will only be sitting on a mortgage and student loan debt as our vehicles will be paid off in 2-3 years also.

    I also need to comment that it is all about spending less than you make. We make a very good income, but 3 international adoptions and living above our means contributed to this heavy debt. I have recently laid out our financial goals for 2007 and I am EXCITED!

    Thanks for getting me more motivated!!!!

  • Reply In for a Penny |

    What a great collection of articles about your debt defeating processes 🙂 I’ve only been reading your blog since August or so, so there are many articles on there for me to check out. Thank you!

  • Reply tiredofbeingbroke |

    Wow you had an amazing year in 2006. Great job in paying down 13,000 in debt. My total credit card debt is around that amount if I can do that in a year I would feel so good.

  • Reply Tricia |

    CC – That is so great to hear! All the best to you!!

    In for a Penny, Sarah and tiredofbeingbroke – Thank you 🙂

  • Reply kim |

    Tricia, check out CRT TV’S. Our TV recently bit the dust. My husband took it to a fix-it shop with hopes and pulled some info out of the fix-it man. He said to stay away from plasmas and LCD’s. He said CRT’s are more easily fixable. He also said that the bigger name brands may not be necessarily better, but the parts are going to be more readily available. CRT’S are bulky, but we have been checking prices and they are a better financial possibility.

So, what do you think ?