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Doin’ the Carlton


I am dancing around ya’ll, and just so you’ll have a visual, you can imagine how Carlton dances from Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Hey, that’s all the rhythm I’ve got! So, let me explain why my children are currently glad their friends can’t see me.

In one of my previous posts we got to talking in the comments about whether or not we should pay credit cards with crazy, stupid interest off first or our furniture loan which is interest free but due to possible trickery, could bite us in the end. Well, this is what happened…

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The card that had almost $600 on it and the card with a little over $1,000 ? PAID!! I. AM. SO. EXCITED!

Let’s talk about how this was possible, shall we?  My husband has a job that rarely gets overtime.  They have been swamped lately so, he has been working a few hours extra a week to help out. We knew that he would have enough overtime on one check to pay off a good chunk of that smaller balance.  What we did not know is that the weather in our area was gonna go nutso crazy and, fortunately for us, his work is greatly impacted by weather. They sent him out of town, which just so happened to fall on a weekend so, there was lots of overtime. They taxed the heck out of us but in the end it was enough to pay off both cards.

I’m not gonna lie ya’ll, there’s a part of me that really wanted to pay off the small card, put a little on the other card, and have fun with the rest. But, I know that sticking with this is going to benefit us so very much. I also have another confession that I’ll get more into this afternoon.  The crux of it is that we have not been sticking to our budget as strict as we were before.  I’m hoping that these two victories over our credit demons will help us get back on track.

So, what do ya’ll think, was it a good decision to pay these cards off? Or should we have put it towards the furniture loan?


  • Reply Theresa |

    When is your furniture loan due? The interest rates were over 20% on those cards! I would call it a victory! Why are you having trouble staying on track?

    • Reply Theresa |

      I saw your furniture Loan is due in Jan. Yeah, I think you made the right call. Congratulations again!

  • Reply debbie |

    Any time you can pay off a credit card in full and not carry a balance, it’s a good thing. Keep it going, you will obtain your goals sooner!!

  • Reply Meghan |


    Congratulations on paying off two cards! I think that if you are still on track to pay off the furniture before the interest comes due then you made the right choice, especially since you can now snowball those debt payments toward other things (such as your furniture loan). You could also use this win as an incentive to get back on track with your budget.

    At the same time, having trouble staying on budget could mean you are depriving yourselves a bit too much in your debt payoff plan. Perhaps with these cards paid off you can add a small amount (say $20-$30) to your monthly budget for a treat, whether taking the kids out for ice cream or buying a nicer cut of meat for a Sunday dinner. Sometimes, these small things can make a big difference in the mindset 🙂

    The image of you doing the Carlton totally brought a smile to my face this morning, so thanks for sharing!



    • Reply Stephannie |

      Thanks, Meghan! I think we are going to add a little “fun” money to the budget to see of that helps.

  • Reply Mysti |

    I think you made a great decision! I totally get the “having fun” part with overtime money, but in the end you will get more out of paying off the cards. Now you can take the payments from the cards and apply them toward the furniture.

    Great job!

  • Reply Walnut |

    Nice job! You’ll have to give us an update this week or next to with your new balances, payment amounts and where you’ll snowball these two payments you no longer have to make.

    Does the feeling of paying off these two cards light your fire to become even more intense in your journey to being debt free?

    As to the furniture loan, you still have quite a bit of time on that one, right? I think it’s always good to pay those off a solid 3-6 months early to avoid any surprises but any earlier than that isn’t as critical.

    • Reply Walnut |

      A couple more thoughts on the furniture loan versus credit card #1 – the interest is KILLING you on that first credit card. As much as the furniture loan is scary, you have until 2016 to pay it off. It’s worth your time to run the numbers and think carefully if you’re better off paying the minimum on the furniture loan for the rest of this year (112*15 =1680) brings that balance to about $850 next July. Since the 0% offer is up the January after that, then you can do whatever it takes to pay off that last $850. Maybe with one or two big lump payments to have to gone by September?

      What I’m getting at here is that your money is much better spent eating away the interest on that first credit card and not getting too excited about the furniture loan. The 0% offers only bite you if you don’t have the facts in hand to play their game. The the facts and make a plan to beat the game by 3-6 months. And in the meantime, focus all your energy on credit card #1 which is killing you in interest.

      • Reply Walnut |

        Typos galore, but hopefully the message came across there. I’ll proofread next time!

    • Reply Stephannie |

      I’ve got a while before the furniture has to be paid off but I’m really hoping to have it done by November.

      Paying off these two cards has gotten me excited again about this whole debt payoff thing!

      Next week I do plan on doing an update on our numbers, I’m so excited about the progress we are making!.

  • Reply Shoeaholicnomore |

    This must be the month to be off-track with ones budget… I’ve been “bad” this month. Now the only left is to move on and get back on track. No sense in beating yourself up over it, just do your best from now one. I second what one of the others said, use the majority from the 2 cards’ minimum payments as a snowball, but maybe put a few dollars back into your monthly budget so you can afford one more “treat” each month. It helps!

    • Reply Stephannie |

      I think the not beating yourself up part is very important. It’s just like when I’m trying to eat better but I mess up, my first thought is “eat all the cake!!” I’m trying to not do that when it comes to spending money. My husband and I are talking about adding “fun” money to the budget, maybe that will help. I’m sure next month will be better for both you and me, good luck!

  • Reply Heather |


    I remember when I paid off my credit card in January I just about cried of happiness!!! One thing that I learned though is that I still had a small bill in February of “residual interest”, only like 16 dollars or so but I was still frustrated! I just wanted to give you a heads up incase the same thing happens to you too.

    Overall, you are 1600 dollars less in debt and that is an AMAZING feeling, keep doing the dance cause this is a HUGE accomplishment!

    • Reply Ashley |

      This happened to me when I just paid off my Capital One credit card last month. The residual interest was about $3. I know the amount is menial, but it almost feels like a slap in the face when you’ve just celebrated a “zero-dollar balance.” I paid it off immediately and pretended like it never happened so I wasn’t robbed of my happiness : )

    • Reply Stephannie |

      Blech, yeah I will be glad when I know what that little bit will be and then it’ll be totally gone! Congrats on paying off yours, this feeling is pretty great!

  • Reply Alexandra |

    Congrats! That’s such a big boost, financially and psychologically. It should be a big help in keeping you (or getting you back) on track. Enjoy the satisfaction of those $0 balances!

  • Reply Ashley |

    Fantastic!!! Feels so good, doesn’t it!? I think you made the right call to get the high interest cards paid off. Now you have those payments freed up to apply toward the furniture loan. Great job!!

  • Reply Mary from SC |

    What a blessing!!! Isn’t that a wonderful feeling to pay off two debts right out of the gate? 🙂 You have gotten that snowball rolling now. Keep it going!

    • Reply Stephannie |

      It’s a wonderful feeling and that overtime was an awesome surprise!! It came at a perfect time, I’m needing some motivation!

  • Reply scarr |

    I think what you were able to pay off was the right decision! As long as you are able to stay on top of that furniture loan before it comes due, I think you are doing the right thing. For me, when I was paying off my debt, having those wins early on in the process pumped me up. Isn’t it nice to make a big payment and see that burden disappear?! Keep up the good work!

    • Reply Stephannie |

      Thanks,Scarr! It’s so great that they are gone. Sometimes, I log in to those accounts just to gaze adoringly at the zeros, lol. I’m aiming to have the furniture paid by at least November.

  • Reply Mary |

    Congrats Stephanie! I am proud of you! Paying those off has clearly given you some momentum and that’s great. You did a great job “disciplining” yourself to pay off both balances in full instead of keeping some “fun money”. That is the kind of action that will make you successful during this journey and after everything is paid off.

    I think you were o.k. paying this off instead of the furniture loan but like others said, pay that off as soon as you can.

    One thing that would be helpful with all of the bloggers would be to put a debt summary at the bottom of each post. That way, I don’t have to go back and check the detail on each blogger.

    • Reply Stephannie |

      You’re right, I thinks summary would be helpful. I’ll see what I can put together.
      And, thank you, I’m really excited about paying them off and I think that may have turned out to be more fun than spending that money elsewhere!

  • Reply Alexandra |

    I agree with Mary on having a debt summary for each blogger readily available. Could it be included in their “About” section that shows up at the bottom of each post?

    • Reply Stephannie |

      I also agree. I’ll get with the others and see what we can put together.

  • Reply Lynn |

    Congrats!!!! See you did take that money for fun. How much fun was it dancing around looking at those zero balances? Can you think of a movie or make up purchase that would have made you that happy? Way to go Stephanie!

    • Reply Stephannie |

      Lynn, you are so right! I don’t think anything else would have brought me as much pleasure as paying those off!

  • Reply Jocelyn |

    Great job! Well done for putting it towards your cards instead of spending it!

So, what do you think ?