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 Post subject: Countdown: 2 years to debt free
PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 2:25 pm 

Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2008 5:36 pm
Posts: 32
Location: Texas
I've been working on and off over the years to get out of debt with little success, so hopefully posting everything in a public place will help keep me more honest. I'm 25, single and frustrated with my debt, which is at $18,328 total.

I've been struggling for the past couple years and every time I get the debt down I raise it back up, but I finally had my Dave Ramsey "hingepin" moment a couple months ago, cut up the CC's for good and got a 2nd job.

Debts:
CC#1: $4,251.11 - 13.24% - min $85
CC#2: $3,162 - 0% through Sep '11, then 13.99% - min $35
CC#3: $183.42 - 0% through Oct '11, then 23.99% - min $65
CC#4: $57 - 17.24% - min $25
Personal Loan: $4,235 - 12.82% - min $135
Student Loan: $6,313 - 6.8% - min $102

Assets:
Efund: $1,300
Roth IRA & 401(k): $20k
Car: Paid off, 10 yrs old 100k miles

Income:
FT job - $2000/month (after health insurance & 3% 401(k) match)
PT job - anywhere from $400-700/month

Order of business for debt repayment: CC#4, CC#3, CC#2, CC#1, Personal Loan, Student Loan

I've struggled with my budget for years so switched to the balanced money formula with great success. Needs are $1,200/month (not including debt repayment), Savings are $180/month to Roth IRA, Wants no more than $300 (mostly cell phone, pet expenses, dr/meds, eating out) and everything else to debt (between $700-1000).

I tried to cut my living expenses by getting a roommate, but somehow that actually increased them... sigh. However, gas has gone down considerably since I live 6 miles or less from both my jobs. I'm also selling all the extra junk I can get my hands on and applying it straight to debt. I know that I probably should be putting the $180 from the Roth IRA toward debt, but psychologically I just can't bring myself to do that.

Only major future expenses I can see are vehicle & moving expenses. I plan to drive my car into the ground, but worry that I'll need a newer one in the next 2 years (if I stay put). There's also a potential cross country move in the next few months, which would be a great career move I don't want to pass up.

I know I can get myself out of this in under 2 years if I just stay at it, but I worry about staying motivated. The process is slow going (obviously) and once I knock the 2 smaller debts out (CC#3&4) then it's going to be awhile before anything else is paid down.

Anyone have advice on how you kept yourself engaged in the long, dull periods? Any suggestions or criticisms for how I'm handling things? I greatly appreciate any feedback!

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http://lorakathleen.wordpress.com/


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 Post subject: Re: Countdown: 2 years to debt free
PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:05 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2009 6:57 am
Posts: 368
When I was aiming to pay off my CC debt (about 9k), I kept an Excel spreadsheet and made a bar graph, so that every time I made another payment I got to see the line go down a bit further. I looked at it several times a week, too, just to keep reminding myself how far I still had to go (this kept me from spending more). I also took my CCs out of my wallet entirely and lived as much as possible on cash. It took just under two years, but I paid it off...good luck! You can do it!!! Celebrate every milestone, like paying off CC#4, which you will do very shortly.


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 Post subject: Re: Countdown: 2 years to debt free
PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 8:04 am 

Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2008 5:36 pm
Posts: 32
Location: Texas
Thanks Cecily! I do have an excel (or rather, google docs) spreadsheet but hadn't thought about a bar graph. I'll try that! I've also already cut up my credit cards, but with the extra income it's been much easier without them.


Now that it's the end of the month, here's the update:

- I paid off CC#4 after my paychecks on the 15th.
- Now I'm going to attack CC#1 just because of the baggage associated with that one. Once the payment I just made posts, it'll be under $4k!
- Overall I reduced debt to $17,844.59 (down 484.36 when it's all said & done) so I'm under $18k!

The potential move fell through and I'm working on bicycling more to save my car, so that knocks out at least one major expense I thought I was going to have and hopefully postpones the 2nd. I feel like that was 3 little victories pretty quickly, but hopefully I can create some in the long stretch ahead!

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http://lorakathleen.wordpress.com/


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 Post subject: Re: Countdown: 2 years to debt free
PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 12:27 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 7:35 am
Posts: 1148
Location: Maryland
Hi and welcome!
I was going to recommend you pay #4 and then #1 because of the interest rate. The others have a few months where you are not adding interest, so focus on #1 and get that down, pronto.


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 Post subject: Re: Countdown: 2 years to debt free
PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 8:48 pm 

Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2008 5:36 pm
Posts: 32
Location: Texas
So quick August update... I feel that I did really well this month. Total debt is $17,129.12 as of August 31, 2011, down over $1,200 since I started at the beginning of July. I now only have 2 credit cards with balances as well as the Personal and Student Loans.

Debts:
CC#1: $3,811.12 - 13.24% - min $85
CC#2: $3,085.86 - 0% through Sep '11, then 13.99% - min $35
Personal Loan: $4,031.36 - 12.82% - min $135
Student Loan: $6,181.44 - 6.8% - min $102


In August I paid off CC#3 even though it was 0% interest just to free up some cash to throw at my other cards AND I dropped under $7k total for my credit cards! At the end of September I will be under $17k total debt

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http://lorakathleen.wordpress.com/


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 Post subject: Re: Countdown: 2 years to debt free
PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:29 am 

Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:08 am
Posts: 113
Well done! :) Keep up the good work.


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 Post subject: Re: Countdown: 2 years to debt free
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 3:53 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2009 6:57 am
Posts: 368
Good for you! Progress feels good, doesn't it? Savor every small victory! :party:

CecilyC


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 Post subject: Re: Countdown: 2 years to debt free
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 8:09 am 

Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2008 5:36 pm
Posts: 32
Location: Texas
September was awesome! It's amazing how quickly I feel that I'm able to bring my debt down once I actually focused and started making it happen.

Total debt is now $14,293.04 as of September 30, 2011, down $2,836.08 since my August update.

Debts:
CC#1: $1,163 - 13.24% - min $60
CC#2: $3,052 - 0% through Sep '11, then 13.99% - min $35
Personal Loan: $3,896 - 12.82% - min $135
Student Loan: $6,079 - 6.8% - min $102

In September, I received an unexpected $1,800 bonus at my day job which all went to CC#1 and helped me get under $15k in over all debt and just above $4k in CC debt. I effectively knocked 6 months off my date to be debt free! My focus is still CC#1 and knocking that out because of the emotional baggage. My goal is to pay it off by December 2011.

It feels amazing that I've paid off over $4k of debt in 3 months and can't wait to get rid of more!

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http://lorakathleen.wordpress.com/


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 Post subject: Re: Countdown: 2 years to debt free
PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2011 8:00 am 

Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2008 5:36 pm
Posts: 32
Location: Texas
Another month here and gone... Total debt is now $13,654.00 as of October 31, 2011.

Debts:
CC#1: $624.67 - 13.24% - min $40
CC#2: $3,053.86 - 0% through Sep '11, then 13.99% - min $35
Personal Loan: $3,928.28 - 12.82% - min $135
Student Loan: $6,112.76 - 6.8% - min $102

This is the part that's going to get really hard... I am no longer employed full-time so I expect the coming months to be really rough on my debt. Oh well, keep on keepin' on.

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