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Credit Card Debt Update = $22,192 / Savings Update = $1,122

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I made one last minimum payment towards our credit cards today and that brings our credit card debt total to $22,192 for the end of February. I will not be paying any extra towards our debt for a while because it was decided that we should start agressively saving for a few months.

I have been holding onto some money in our checking account for some home repair. I have been having a horrible time getting a hold of the handiman that agreed to do the work so I have given up until the weather warms up. This weekend I took that money and put it into a savings account. I also took what I could from our checking account and shifted that over. If the money isn’t in our checking account, we are less likely to use it. With moving funds around, that brings our savings total to $1,122.

Basically, my husband’s temporary job is the major reason we are still able to pay large amounts to our debt and savings. While the length of the job has been extended, I am not sure exactly how long it will last. As a result, I am feeling rushed. I feel like we have to pay off as much as we can and save as much as we can ASAP.

Living on borrowed time. That’s how I feel right now. I don’t like this feeling, and I look forward to the day where the worry is no longer there. I know we will be at that point sometime in our lives, but of course I am human and I’d like that point to be right now.

Then again, I’ve been thinking about it and I’m not sure if I will ever be to the point where I no longer worry about money. Does that point exist???


11 Comments

  • Reply Melinda |

    Hi Tricia, I discovered your blog through the NY times. My husband and I have been fairly dutiful about tracking all of our expenses for the last several years. The simple act of writing it all down has a tremendous effect on curbing your impulses for spending (the same principle works for dieting).

    I find your monthly spending really interesting. It is really nice to be able to compare my own spending with someone else. Compared to us, your dining/grocery expenses seem so tiny. You are inspiring me to re-asses the “wants” vs “needs” in my own spending.

    We also have credit card debt that we are chipping away at. My husband is in grad school (with substantial student loans). My goal is to pay off the cards over the next 18 months, before a wave of student debt hits us upon graduation.

    Thank you very much for starting this blog. I’ll keep checking back to follow your progress. Good luck to you and your family.

  • Reply D |

    Paying off debt is just the first step. Then there is:

    1. emergency savings
    2. annual expense savings
    3. vacation and extra savings
    4. college
    5. retirement

    I think the object is to understand that money is a part of our lives, for necessity. And that we must control it and not let it control us.

    I agree to hold off on the big paydown right now. Just in case hubby is without work for a while, you will have the cash in savings to maintain the minimums and protect your good credit rating and your peace of mind.

    Oh yeah, and congratulations! You are doing wonderful!

  • Reply Jen |

    Does the worrying about money ever stop? Hmm… No, not really. At least for me it hasn’t. But, the worries themselves have changed:
    1. Paying off my credit cards
    2. Saving enough for retirement
    3. Building an emergency fund
    4. Retirement (again)
    5. Down payment for a condo
    6. Rebuilding my emergency fund, building up a housing reserve (the other condo owners didn’t want to pay extra for a reserve so I’m making my own), re-doing my budget now that I have new housing costs, and retirement.

    So, the worries change, but I suppose some worries are better to have than others.

  • Reply Donna |

    Tricia,

    Congratulations on your savings!

    I understand the living on borrowed time concept. I’ve been working a nicely paid temporary job for a year now. They want to offer me permanent but they have to get corporate approval. To me it feels like any day could be the day they say “we can’t fit you in the budget” and there goes my desperately needed income.

  • Reply Tim |

    congrats on meeting some of your goals and setting new ones. that is the real key is to keep setting attainable goals. i don’t think there is really a point where you stop worrying about money; however, the key to it is balancing money with your life and how you want to live your life. Don’t forget to establish goals for living as well as repaying debt. Money isn’t everything.

  • Reply Debt Hater |

    I think the “Worrying” about money can stop. We always have to be mindful of it, careful with it, but there’s no reason to go through life worrying about it.

  • Reply Kim L. |

    I think the “staying awake at night worrying” about money does stop eventually but it’s always something we need to keep our eye on and think about, IMO. I was recently able to pay off our credit card and HELOC debt and although that was a lifted weight, I still feel like there are burdens. Like other people listed, now I have to think about building up the emergency fund, up’ing our 401(k)s, go back to adding to the 529’s, etc … I also need to think about having to pay for everything we want to do and have with cash .. no more using the credit card. So basically, it does get a little easier but there is still plenty of money stuff to think about. I have resigned myself to the fact that money will always be a concern to me.

  • Reply Greg |

    Could you do away with the flakey handyman (and save some money) by taking classes at Home Depot, Lowes, or the local community college?

  • Reply Tim |

    Tricia,

    When you’re ready to hire a handyman, you might try one of the online referral services. It’s a great way to have a couple of handymen contact you about your job, instead of searching at random for one in the phone book. It’s a free service. And, you’ll get several bids on your project. If you get several bids, you may be able to choose a lower bid and save some cash.

So, what do you think ?