:::: MENU ::::

Life After Credit Card Debt – June was a Frustrating Month


Hi everyone! Tricia here. Two months after paying off our credit card debt, I feel like we are hemorrhaging money and it is frustrating.

One of the big things we did after paying off our debt was to get all of us into a good doctor. We got some of the bills last month, but we got the biggie bill this month. Beks just talked about health and finances. They are definitely related when you see the bill! I had mentally prepared myself for the moment I opened the envelope, but nothing really prepares you to see a bill approaching $1,000.

Thank goodness we do have the money and we get a 10% discount if we pay within 30 days. I’m also very glad we have been shelling out the money for an individual health insurance plan. That bill would have made me faint without it (it covered 70%).

It’s money well spent, though. We know that there is nothing seriously wrong with my husband (he had an expensive test done), our son is feeling better and I’m slowly starting to feel like myself again after taking supplements for vitamin deficiencies. While we were in debt reduction mode, we put a lot of that off. We shouldn’t have. I see now that we may have been too aggressive with paying off our debt by cutting spending that we shouldn’t have cut. But, you live and learn.

I discussed last month that our car was playing with us with the check engine light. Well, it wasn’t playing and I ended up jinxing myself. After shelling out almost $300 for what the mechanic thought was the problem – it still isn’t fixed. With all of the computers in cars, you’d think that if something was faulty the computer could tell you exactly where the problem lies. Instead, our car just notes that it is a general problem that could be a number of things. I have no idea how much this will cost to finally fix, since it’s a matter of fixing one thing and if it doesn’t correct the problem you fix the next thing on the list.

So money is flowing out freely right now. It’s frustrating. On the bright side, we haven’t had to put anything on our credit cards. So we still are credit card debt-free. Too many more months of financial hemorrhaging and that may not be the case.

I guess even though we achieved our goal of paying off our credit card debt, there will still be the bumps in the road that I talked about a few years ago. We’ll get through this rough patch and then be on our way again with increasing our financial health.

The road isn’t easy, but it will get easier. That’s what I’ve been saying to myself this month. Hopefully things will improve in July.


  • Reply Nancy |

    I miss your posts….you inspired me and my husband and now we’re feeling a little lost.

  • Reply brooklynchick |

    Tough month; it seems these things come in bunches, doesn’t it?

    But its AWESOME and AMAZING that you had savings to cover all that!! GREAT accomplishment that these unexpected things turn up and you don’t have to put them on a card!


  • Reply Rob in Madrid |

    Hey Welcome back. Over the last few months I’ve made a pet project of talking money with people I know who are debt free and generally frugal and what has surprised me is without an exception they all struggle to save money and secondly the only real difference between them and the old (in debt to the eyeballs me) was they pay for things cash where as I used to charge everything.

    Secondly very few people, frugal trenches being one of them, are able to transition out of the corporate rat race to a life of voluntary simplicity

  • Reply ConnieF |

    Did your mechanic mention that sometimes the “check engine” light is nothing more than needing a new gas cap? Or, in the case of my older Ford Explorer, it can be reset by some combination of turning on the lights, removing the ground from the battery for 30 seconds, turning off the lights & replacing the cable. Not sure I have the sequence exactly right, but it’s online & worked for me. Good work on your debt reduction!

  • Reply jolie |

    ditto the gas cap and the engine light. Can’t tell you how many folk I know the past year who have had that light come on and it was only the gas cap not properly put back on. Two of our mechanic friends confirmed it is a common problem.

  • Reply Jen |

    Eek! I hate months like that – where the money just flies out the door. I had one recently where my car needed a over $600 in repairs! And there were other expenses I had to pay for, like getting my wisdom tooth pulled 😛 I was disappinted I couldn’t put some money away – my goal is to pad my emergency fund this year. But, at least I broke even for the month, and it looks like this month I’ll be able to save money.

    It comes and goes, but it must have felt really great to be able to avoid putting anything on your credit cards!

  • Reply Rob in Madrid |

    While I updating my budget I happened upon my ‘savings plan’ for this year, needless to say it didn’t work out quite as planned, on the other hand we moved, bought a new car and paid off more debt, all cash!

  • Reply canadian kate |

    I was out car shopping today. This time the car will be shared with my son and we’ll borrow it if we need a second car. As our share of the purchase we planned to give him the 9 year old PT to sell or trade in and we’ll help by co-signing the loan (there is no way he’d qualify on his own.)

    Guess what? The cheapest we found (used or new within my parameters) was a Hyundai Accent for $14,400, all in. And they have 0% financing!!! Which makes it just under $400 a month over 36 months.

    So you see, fixing your car is way cheaper than buying the cheapest new car out there and that was cheaper then buying a 3 year old Toyota or 4 year old Mazda 3.

    It sounds cheap (base price was actually $9995) and I’ve spent $2200 on repairs to our second car in the past 12 months so it made sense to me to buy new.

    But today I realized that $200 month in repairs is a lot less than $400 a month in new car payments. (And the car we are fixing is way nicer than the new car, which doesn’t have air or electric windows or keyless entry or a sunroof…)

  • Reply stacey |

    Miss your entries, Tricia, but know new opportunities are out there for you and your family. Being a San Diegan like Beks, I thought I would relate to her posts more, but I think narrative is kind of addicting….she’s great, but please continue to visit your blog. You’re both inspiring. Best of luck getting through the month. June is a NIGHTMARE month for our family budget…so I understand. Keep at it!

  • Reply Tricia |

    Connie and Jolie – I have to chuckle about the gas cap. It was indeed the cap one time that we took our car to the mechanic. He was such a wonderful mechanic – he didn’t even charge us for that diagnosis. Alas, he retired – he knew our car the best and we miss him 🙁

    So the gas cap is the first culprit to check since we embarrassingly learned about it from our mechanic LOL.

    Stacey – To be honest, I miss blogging as well. I’ll still write on here at least monthly to give updates on how we are doing and whether we are still credit card debt free. I am currently talking to someone about writing on another blog on a different topic. We’ll see what comes of that.

  • Reply Tabitha |

    Hi Tricia! I miss reading your posts. Glad to hear that you’re still debt free. I’m super happy that you’re healthy, too! Let us know if the other blog comes through, I will definitely check it out. 🙂

  • Reply Margot |

    Many good reminders of the importance of remaining vigilant about finances, debt and budgeting.

    I hope that after such a long journey that you will swear off credit card debt forever, no matter what. If you don’t, you’ll end up back there given that the tone of your posting indicates this is a possibility. It’s easy to avoid the debt if you don’t give yourself the option. For example, if I was feeling like I was nearing the edge, I’d temporarily take a second or third job (or do whatever else it took) to bring me back to a financially safe place.

  • Reply Another Reader |

    You didn’t mention the income side of the equation. Did your income go up when you took the new job? Is your husband still working full time? How are things with the business? Growing the income helps absorb the deferred but necessary spending.

  • Reply Anone |

    The check engine light came on in my Honda and I just ignored it, eventually it went away, I would not worry about it, unless of course you drive an american car.

  • Reply kev |

    Hey Tricia – Good to hear from you again.

    I wouldn’t sweat a rough month. Life’s little surprises don’t end when the credit card balance hits zero – they just get a little easier to deal with.

    A 1,000.00 doctor bill sucks pretty hard, but it doesn’t suck as bad as a 1,000 dollar doctor bill on top of thousands of dollars worth of debt. You always have to keep that in mind.

  • Reply Nicole |

    Hey Margot, Is your cure for everything a 2nd or 3rd job? For a lot of people that’s not possible.

    Tricia, Way to stay on track even when things get hard. I was just talking to my husband about how amazing it is we have made it just fine without credit cards. Not using them is a big step, you’ll do just great!

  • Reply Jonathan |

    Actually, from reading it seems like things should be turning around, and you’ve survived another tough month. Once your family’s health is back, I expect everything else will fall into place!

  • Reply Danielle |

    Good to hear from you again Tricia. I think about you on and off. Don’t worry, in a short while, there won’t be so much out pouring of money. Good to know that you don’t slide back into cc debt though, when life does get that way.

  • Reply Mike |

    Glad you had all debts done. The going will be smoother from now on. Just remember to avoid treading that path again. Cheers!


    It was so good to hear from you again! You continue to be such an inspiration! I have been so busy and haven’t been faithful to my daily blogging entries. I really need to get back on track……..but slowly but surely I AM paying off debt and it feels great! Keep us posted on life after paying off the debt. Thanks for checking in!


  • Reply Denn's Debt Report |

    It’s always a good to hear of someone paying off credit cards. These kind of reports bring motivation and hope. I truly hope you guys are doing well. I also hope you find a new mechanic that you can trust.

So, what do you think ?