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Bye Bye Lowes

February 2nd, 2010 at 07:10 pm

Yay for me....the balance on my Lowe's card should be paid off within in the next week...ahh...sweet relief. Thanks to Rick's year-end bonus, this is our 2nd credit card to be paid off. 3 more to go and 2 car loans- feels like it's taking so long but obviously we're making progress!

Would Dave approve???

January 6th, 2010 at 06:51 pm

Yes, I mean Dave Ramsey. If you're reading blogs about debt I'm going to assume you may have already heard of him. But for those who have not, Dave Ramsey is a financial author, tv host (his show is on Fox Business News channel) and motivational speaker of sorts.

Ok before you judge me too much, it's not a cult or some fad. I get it, he's an entertaining TV personality. However, as I've mentionned before, I have spent months researching debt reduction strategies, I've read every blog, watched every personal finance show on TV. What I like about him is that he went through financial ruin and came out alive. He knows what he speaks!

Dave's approach is mostly common sense, with some direction and strategy put to it. He doesn't believe in credit cards AT ALL and he gives a good, do-able approach to getting rid of the debt.

So hubby & I are taking his approach in our journey. Before getting our emergency savings started, or saving for a home, or retirement, we are getting rid of the debt first. It's not wrong to do all the above at once, but I agree with Dave in that if you try to spread your efforts around, the results maybe be weaker. When I look at the interest rate I'm paying for these dang credit cards...I don't want to spend a minute longer than I have to paying for them! What's the point of saving for retirement (at say, an estimated annual 8% stock market return), when I'm paying minimum payments on credit cards with a 22.99% interest rate? I'm still losing money.

Check out the "Credit Card Interest Calculator" at www.consumercredit.com. All you need is the basic info from your credit card statement (balance, APR, minimum payment amount). Plug in and voila! It gives you the staggering news of how long you will be paying that credit card and how much in interest you will pay. It's a sobering exercise.

Nickle and Diming

January 6th, 2010 at 06:49 pm

I know, how can nickles and dimes amount to a lot of debt? I don't know how, I just know it does. Hubby and I have no really expensive hobbies or vices, no smoking, no drinking, we don't really collect anything. Geez, we don't even travel! We should have debt from amazing adventures, but sadly not.... We have almost $20,000 of credit card debt from "stuff". Granted, a bunch of it is for hubby's small business-related expenses, but much of is just the pissings of family togetherness.

Mexican restaurants, lattes, energy drinks, snacks for the school parties, gas, groceries, blah, blah. All things that we should have BUDGETED for but never did. When you swipe the 'ol plastic devil, you've sold your soul to him. Everytime we'd think, oh it's only a couple dollars, or, I deserve it- I worked really hard this week! It's so easy to rationalize things.

For a good period of time last year, our job situations were changing and in peril. Depression & anxiety were an every day occurrance. As immature as it was, we got a case of the "f*** its". When you don't know where the next paycheck is coming from, you start to think, who cares what I buy now, I'll never get out of this debt! We were the loudest guests at our own self-pity party.