Monday, March 26, 2012

Potland couple shares their journey to debt freedom

I meant to post a link the other day to an Oregonian article about a couple that paid off nearly $70,000 in debt.

It was pretty easy to tell by the phases used in the article, and the title of their blog, Beans & Rice, Rice and Beans, that the couple followed the Dave Ramsey plan to get out of debt. The story didn't actually credit Ramsey, but the writer of the article did confirm that Ramsey was an "influence."

I wish I was doing so well at documenting my process of getting out of debt. One complaint, though, about the blog, is that the blog cannot be sorted by date, only by topic.

It is good to hear, and read, the stories of people who have reached their debt-free goal. It make the journey more bearable and serves as inspiration.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Sticking to the plan must be its own reward -- for now

I got my tax refunds back. As I mentioned in my last post, I had been dreaming of buying some toys. It was tempting to reward myself for the progress I have made on paying down my debt.

I knew that would not be the right thing to do, but I was still tempted to spend a chunk of the cash on the thing I've been denying myself. Many of them are practical things, like some new shoes.

So it was awfully hard to send off an extra payment on one of the credit cards. But I knew I had to do it. The risk was getting too great that I would just piss the money away. Oh, sure, I would have used it on stuff I needed. I would have used it to replace stuff that was worn out and broken down. But it's also stuff I've lived without for months and can live without a while longer.

I am so tired of pushing this debt snowball. But I also don't want to do anything that keeps me pushing it any longer than absolutely necessary.

The debt I am working on now is the one that I hate the most. It's the Chase credit card that has been charging me more than 27 percent interest for years. It's the one that has pissed me off and continues to piss me off every time I look at my budget and my debt status. But now, I will can see the light at the end of that particular tunnel. And with the extra money from the tax refund, I should be able to pay off that card in August, if my calculations are correct.

I want to be done with that sucker. I need to be done with it. They've gotten more than enough money out of me for my stupidity.

I like to think I can keep up this pace until the end. I've done it for almost two years now. I've got a little less than 2 years left if I can keep this up. But I have to admit, the routine is wearing thin. I'm tired of living like a hermit to avoid spending money that's not in the budget. So close and yet so, so far to go.

At least on of my creditors may be getting tired of me not using my credit account too. The folks at Discover keep sending me special offers every time I turn around. And now,  I got a new Discover card in the mail this month, which was odd, because the old one had not expired and this is the third time I have got new cards on this account in the last 10 months.

So, when I called to activate this card I asked why I keep getting new cards so often. The customer service rep told me that since there hadn't been any activity on the card in a while, they just wanted to make sure I hadn't lost my card or something. I assured her, I had not lost my card (although I have shredded several of them, now). I said that I'm just trying to pay down all my accounts. She said she could put a note on my account not to send any more cards until this newest one expired.

If I had kept to the standard debt snowball method, the Discover card would be the one I would be paying on now. But, once I'm done with the Chase card, three of the card accounts I have left to pay all have within a few hundred dollars of the same balance. So, I'm tackling the highest interest accounts first. The Discover card has the lowest rate, so it may end up being the last, or next to last one I'll pay off. I can live with that. For a while anyway. Just, hopefully, not too much longer.

The End Debt Daily