Have you paid off your debt? Managed to save for your dream home? Had an awesome investment pan out? Share your personal finance success stories here.
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- Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2007 1:55 pm
I came out of college in 2001 with a lot of stupid debt. I had around $7,000.00 in student loan debt, but an unknown amount of credit card debt. You read that right…I don’t even know how much. My first year or two out of college I added to the debt, but not significantly, as I was already close to the credit limit on all of my cards. My first 2 jobs out of college did not pay well and though I was still living at home, I didn’t save a dime. Whatever wasn’t spent on bills was just spent. I would pay down a balance by a couple of hundred and just run it back up. I was ordering clothes and such from catalogs, going out three to four nights a week, and doing whatever I wanted. I moved in 2003 and had to buckle down more. I made plenty more money and was able to live on my own and keep up with my payments. I realized that I could never get ahead though because my interest rates were so high that I never really paid down much of the principle. I had nearly $12,000.00 in credit card debt. The worst thing is that the purchases made with these were probably 90% unnecessary. I finally decided to enter into credit counseling to get my interest rates stabilized and they are all under 9%. I didn’t include all of my cards on the payment plan, as my advisor suggested I pay them off myself because the balances (and limits) were rather small and I could pay them off faster on my own. Within the next year and a half, I paid those few cards off. I didn’t really think much about living frugally and saving until about a year ago, once I’d paid the small balances off. I think that I started thinking that way because I met the man I plan to spend my life with and decided that I need to live and think more like and adult. He has some debt too that he is working to pay off. I started reading about and practicing frugality and a few months ago I started an on-line savings account with HSBC to get a higher interest rate than my credit union. I will have $1000.00 saved by the end of the year, plus several hundred in two other savings accounts. At the beginning of the new year, I’m going to start sending extra payments to my debt repayment to eliminate it even faster. I wanted my emergency fund to be $1,000.00 first, and it will be at the beginning of 2008. Now I’ve been reading more about investing and I’m excited to pay off my debt and have money to invest for the future. I expect to have my debt paid off in about 2 years and I’m so excited to live without that hanging over my head. If I have children, I will be sure to teach them all of the financial lessons that I wish I’d learned before so that they don’t make the same mistakes that I have.
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