Managing $0.5 million in debt (Starting w/$35k credit cards)

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Mario
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Re: Managing $0.5 million in debt (Starting w/$35k credit ca

Postby Mario » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:18 am

In the meanwhile, I got another paycheck, and so made another $1000 payment toward paying down my debt. This brings me to $19,200 in higher-interest credit card debt, which means that I'm up to 8% of my 2013 goal!
http://debtblag.com

Track my fiscal fitness with $0.5 million in debt: http://getrichslowly.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=61052 Latest update: As of April 16, I've paid off $21,400 in credit card debt this year (after starting with $35k)

Mario
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Re: Managing $0.5 million in debt (Starting w/$35k credit ca

Postby Mario » Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:45 am

A small update: I shifted $14,500 using a Navy Federal no-fee balance transfer at 0% for a year, then 10% thereafter. Not a payment, but considering the rates I've got, this should save me about $200 over the year.

Another big payment coming at the end of this week :)
http://debtblag.com

Track my fiscal fitness with $0.5 million in debt: http://getrichslowly.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=61052 Latest update: As of April 16, I've paid off $21,400 in credit card debt this year (after starting with $35k)

Landslave
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Re: Managing $0.5 million in debt (Starting w/$35k credit ca

Postby Landslave » Tue Feb 05, 2013 4:30 am

Can you also increase your income until the CC is paid off? Maybe take a second job for a year?
Good for you to make these changes. There are two kinds of people in America--those who earn compound interest, and those who pay compound interest.

Mario
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Re: Managing $0.5 million in debt (Starting w/$35k credit ca

Postby Mario » Tue Feb 05, 2013 5:30 am

Landslave wrote:Can you also increase your income until the CC is paid off? Maybe take a second job for a year?
Good for you to make these changes. There are two kinds of people in America--those who earn compound interest, and those who pay compound interest.


Possibly, but I really just started my primary job.
http://debtblag.com

Track my fiscal fitness with $0.5 million in debt: http://getrichslowly.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=61052 Latest update: As of April 16, I've paid off $21,400 in credit card debt this year (after starting with $35k)

Mario
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Re: Managing $0.5 million in debt (Starting w/$35k credit ca

Postby Mario » Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:57 pm

Just reporting another small step toward freedom from debt.

I got another paycheck over the weekend and sent another $1000 toward paying down debt. This brings me to 13% of my goal of paying down $21,000 worth of credit card debt this year.

Yes!
http://debtblag.com

Track my fiscal fitness with $0.5 million in debt: http://getrichslowly.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=61052 Latest update: As of April 16, I've paid off $21,400 in credit card debt this year (after starting with $35k)

kombat
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Re: Managing $0.5 million in debt (Starting w/$35k credit ca

Postby kombat » Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:11 am

Landslave wrote:There are two kinds of people in America--those who earn compound interest, and those who pay compound interest.


Just a minor nitpick, but people grossly overuse the expression "compound interest."

The vast majority of the time, neither credit cards nor mortgages represent "compound interest." The only time a debt is an example of "compound interest" is when the minimum payment doesn't even cover the interest (that is, the debt is growing, even though you're making payments on it).

Likewise, compound interest is only earned on debt instruments (CDs and Treasury Bills that automatically roll over, or a high-interest savings account). By and large, the amount earned on those instruments is a pittance, and thus not a very compelling argument for earning compound interest. It would take decades just to double once in typical compound interest investment vehicles, at today's prevailing rates.

Many people use the phrase "compound interest" to refer to equity instruments, such as stocks or mutual funds. That's not "compound interest," that's just a simple capital gain or, in some cases, dividends. If the dividends are reinvested, then you could make a case that that constitutes a "compounding" of your dividends, but it's not "interest." Interest is strictly associated with debt.

Mario
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Re: Managing $0.5 million in debt (Starting w/$35k credit ca

Postby Mario » Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:54 pm

kombat wrote:
Landslave wrote:There are two kinds of people in America--those who earn compound interest, and those who pay compound interest.


Just a minor nitpick, but people grossly overuse the expression "compound interest."


Oh hey. I just noticed this. Thanks!
http://debtblag.com

Track my fiscal fitness with $0.5 million in debt: http://getrichslowly.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=61052 Latest update: As of April 16, I've paid off $21,400 in credit card debt this year (after starting with $35k)

Mario
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Re: Managing $0.5 million in debt (Starting w/$35k credit ca

Postby Mario » Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:04 pm

I made another payment toward my credit card debt and am now at 18% of my goal
http://debtblag.com

Track my fiscal fitness with $0.5 million in debt: http://getrichslowly.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=61052 Latest update: As of April 16, I've paid off $21,400 in credit card debt this year (after starting with $35k)

Mario
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Re: Managing $0.5 million in debt (Starting w/$35k credit ca

Postby Mario » Mon Mar 11, 2013 11:50 am

Maybe it's time to make a post on what I've been doing to save money. Obviously, I'm currently working to save big money through balance transfers and refinancing, but I'm also saving little bits of money through changing little bits about the way I live.

Here's what I've done this year to save money on food:

I've limited myself to eating out for dinner to five times per month. I allocate these to socializing and networking. To save money when eating out, I check out the menu online beforehand and bring the exact amount of cash as I'll need for the meal, tax, and 18% tip, so that I'm not tempted to order more, and to keep from getting shortchanged when splitting a group bill.

For breakfast, I've started buying Subscribe 'n' Save specials on Amazon. My current jam is Special K Fruit and Yogurt at $12.51 for four 17.5-ounce boxes. I also buy almond milk in bulk on Amazon at the unfortunate price of $15.34 for six 32-ounce containers.

For lunch on work days, there is a discount for employees in our cafeteria, which I cap daily at $5, post-discount. This is more than I'd spend bringing food, but the $5 buys enough to keep me satisfied through the rest of the workday and an afternoon workout. Still, I might revisit this.

For meals made at home, I've made a few big changes. (1) I don't buy meat, instead stocking up when tofu goes on sale. I also get garbanzo beans. Both of these have much longer shelflives too, so I don't really throw anything away. (2) Because there is no bulk discount on fruit and vegetables at the grocery store, I buy them in smaller portions but more frequently by getting off one subway stop earlier to pass the grocery store every day. (3) Except for bulk, raw foods, I gave up on Trader Joe's. (4) I quit dairy (for meals out too), instead getting my calcium and protein from almonds and broccoli, and legumes, respectively. I don't know how this saves money, but I'm less gassy...
http://debtblag.com

Track my fiscal fitness with $0.5 million in debt: http://getrichslowly.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=61052 Latest update: As of April 16, I've paid off $21,400 in credit card debt this year (after starting with $35k)

Mario
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Re: Managing $0.5 million in debt (Starting w/$35k credit ca

Postby Mario » Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:11 pm

So I've been moping, but then...

[q]The biggest problem with failure is that we let the past dictate our future.[/q]

I hit my first big hurdle on Saturday.

The day started out good enough; I ran 15 miles (fulfilling another of my new year’s resolutions) and settled into a lot of rice, tofu, and even a bit of fish for lunch. I met up with some friends for a dinner celebrating a friend’s birthday – no worries there; an infrequent dinner out is worked into my budget and I do my best to limit that by checking out the menu online and making sure I bring exact change for dinner, drink, tax, and tip, so that I don’t get tempted to order big and so that I’m not worried about overpaying in a group split.

But then we moved over to a fancy bar, where I convinced myself to have a drink and drink number one made it much easier to convince myself to have numbers two, three, and four, to get a drink for the birthday girl, and to get one for a friend who had just moved to town. It was not a rager by any means, but my bill with tip added up to over $50. It wasn’t until the next morning that it hit me – that money could buy food for more than a week, or could have repaired some shoes, or most importantly, paid down my debt.

I was kicking myself all day until this morning when I came across the (paraphrased) quote up top on Twitter

And so instead of dwelling on this mistake, I’m deciding to not let it dictate my future – I’m not going to drink through the end of June. It isn't that one at a time is terribly expensive; it's that it makes it that much easier to give into temptation and thus it doesn’t fit in with what I’m trying to accomplish financially.
http://debtblag.com

Track my fiscal fitness with $0.5 million in debt: http://getrichslowly.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=61052 Latest update: As of April 16, I've paid off $21,400 in credit card debt this year (after starting with $35k)

mrmiser
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Re: Managing $0.5 million in debt (Starting w/$35k credit ca

Postby mrmiser » Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:38 am

My wife and I fell into the same trap this past weekend. What started out as an innocent drink led to two, three, four...well, you get the point. We racked up over $100 between dinner, drinks, and more drinks.

One thing is for sure. We fail at times. And that's ok. It's what we do after we fail that matters....

Mario
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Re: Managing $0.5 million in debt (Starting w/$35k credit ca

Postby Mario » Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:55 pm

mrmiser wrote:My wife and I fell into the same trap this past weekend. What started out as an innocent drink led to two, three, four...well, you get the point. We racked up over $100 between dinner, drinks, and more drinks.

One thing is for sure. We fail at times. And that's ok. It's what we do after we fail that matters....


That's for sure. It's all about learning
http://debtblag.com

Track my fiscal fitness with $0.5 million in debt: http://getrichslowly.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=61052 Latest update: As of April 16, I've paid off $21,400 in credit card debt this year (after starting with $35k)

Mario
Posts: 95
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:21 am
Location: New York
Contact:

Re: Managing $0.5 million in debt (Starting w/$35k credit ca

Postby Mario » Mon Apr 01, 2013 12:33 pm

Just made an extra $700 payment on April 31 to get to a clean $10,000 in credit card debt paid off three months into the new year. This feels great
http://debtblag.com

Track my fiscal fitness with $0.5 million in debt: http://getrichslowly.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=61052 Latest update: As of April 16, I've paid off $21,400 in credit card debt this year (after starting with $35k)

RayinPenn
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Re: Managing $0.5 million in debt (Starting w/$35k credit ca

Postby RayinPenn » Sat Apr 13, 2013 4:31 am

Part of saving and living is to find the right balance; Dinner out once and a while might be a good thing - to let off a little steam. My wife and I try to have a drink before we go to dinner and or after at home. I find the cost of a glass of merlot at a resteraunt appalling - so I have a diet coke instead.

Keep up the good work.
RayinPenn

“If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.”
― Mark Twain

Mario
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Re: Managing $0.5 million in debt (Starting w/$35k credit ca

Postby Mario » Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:12 am

RayinPenn wrote:Part of saving and living is to find the right balance; Dinner out once and a while might be a good thing - to let off a little steam. My wife and I try to have a drink before we go to dinner and or after at home. I find the cost of a glass of merlot at a resteraunt appalling - so I have a diet coke instead.

Keep up the good work.


Thanks. I'm thinking I can give myself a pass from time to time; I just have to trust myself to maintain control if I do.

One way out might be that with the spring coming, more restaurants will have happy hours. I can research those, meet up with a friend for an early dinner with a half-priced drink and be done with it.
http://debtblag.com

Track my fiscal fitness with $0.5 million in debt: http://getrichslowly.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=61052 Latest update: As of April 16, I've paid off $21,400 in credit card debt this year (after starting with $35k)


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