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How We Paid Off $30,000 in Credit Card Debt

credit card debt payoff

November was a truly happy month in our household. After a year and a half  of hard work, we paid off the last of our credit card debt. We learned some new things about ourselves and our needs and wants along the way. It isn’t rocket science, but here’s how we did it. Background The reason we ended up with this debt was pure and simple lifestyle inflation. We were doing pretty well until we built our house in 2004. It took most of our savings, and by itself, was not a toxic debt. The mortgage is affordable. We have good equity. You have to live somewhere. What got us was the need for stuff to fill it up. We left a couple of rooms unfinished, but filled the others up with new furniture, curtains, rugs, a new washer. I could go on and on. We also bought tons of lawn equipment, new bikes, and skis, whatever we wanted. Before our daughter was born, we decided to finish the spaces we had left, so that was a big bill on the Home Depot card. All the while, we were trading in cars every three or four years, which insured a ...

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Things I Could Have Bought with $30,000 Lost to Credit Card Debt

  As we’re coming into the homestretch of paying off our credit cards forever, it’s kind of horrific funny if you think about the things we could have done with that money instead. Just like building savings, wealth, or a retirement fund, our debt was years in the making. I’d say it was sort of an art form, albeit a very alternative style that doesn’t receive much critical praise. I honestly can’t name one tangible item we have ownership of because of that debt. I know there were a couple of fun trips and probably some nice sporting equipment. There were also lots of restaurant meals that have long been digested and disposed of. The biggest thing we have to show for our $30,000 in credit card debt is a new understanding of how wonderful being consumer debt free will feel in a few months.  I know it is not healthy to wonder what could have been, but if you are going to put that purchase you can’t afford right now on a credit card, think about these things we could have had without our debt. A Year Abroad-I have a friend who, with her husband and son, took a year sabbatical to ...

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Can Money Management Help In Any Way With Debt Consolidation?

The following is a guest post. If you would like to submit a guest post, please read the policy and contact me. Money management – how does it count with regards to your consolidation program? Debt management helps you with better management and better usage of the credit cards, and any other forms of credit. Thus, this is also supposed to help you with paying down your debts with ease. Now, in addition to managing your money wisely, you can also opt for debt consolidation, for this is going to help you with paying down your debts even more easily. Money management and debt consolidation Managing your money wisely In order to be able to manage your money more wisely, it is important for you to: Determine the total income– It is important for you to determine the total income which you can make. This may help you with better money management. Follow a budget– A very important step towards money management is following a budget. Budgeting helps you to keep proper tab on your total income and also the expenses. This is also supposed to help you with saving money on the expense. In addition, this is also supposed to ...

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Use Credit Cards to Get Free Clothes

There seem to always be numerous posts about credit cards with all sorts of varied opinions.  You can look at the facts posted by Kurt at Money Counselor. Some think all credit is evil, and we should burst into flames if we apply for a card. Some feel we should make all purchases with a credit card for ease of tracking finances and rewards. I fall somewhere in the middle. If you are smart and disciplined, you can make the best use of credit cards and take advantage of cash or merchandise rewards. I personally hate to spend money on clothes for myself. For the past couple of years, I have gotten almost all my clothes for free.  All I had to do was pay my bills on time. Back in the day, our household did not have a healthy credit card relationship. At our lowest (or highest) point, we owed over $30,000 to Visa, Mastercard, AmEx , and Discover. Since then, we have seen the error of our ways and do not use credit for things we don’t have the money to purchase. When we used to apply for any credit card that was available, I signed up for an Old Navy Visa card.  ...

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Sad/Happy Debt Story

Unless we are fortunate enough to be independently wealthy, most of us go into our first real jobs with the hopes of increased income. What I have to wonder is why do many of us also feel we have to increase our lifestyles? With regret and relief, I’ll share the story of two supposedly smart people who got caught up the trap of consumerism. When I met my husband, I was an optometry resident making around $22,000 per year.  He was a non-traditional college student, having gone back to school after working in a number of jobs over the years before finally realizing that he wanted to be a teacher.  He worked part time as a ski instructor in the winters and as landscaper in the summers and made much less than my $22K. Did we feel poor? Wow, no. We love the outdoors, and spent most of our free time mountain biking or hiking. We traveled to different ski areas in the winter. He usually knew someone who could get us cheap lift tickets, and we’d sleep in the floor at a friend of a friend’s house.  If I wanted something I didn’t have money for, I worked a Saturday at the local Walmart ...

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