Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 23

Thread: Paying Off Big Debt - April 2018

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    876

    Paying Off Big Debt - April 2018

    Hi All - I've been on this site for almost 20 years, and about 14 years ago, this site was instrumental in me getting myself to live below my means, get out of debt, and begin saving for retirement. Then I had a baby, and for the last 7 years or so, I've been slowly sliding back into credit card debt. I was in denial for quite a long time, but the amount I owed just kept growing and growing, so I'm trying to really face it and deal with it.

    I'm realizing that one thing that has helped me in many areas of my life is a little bit of structure and accountability, and this site has helped me with that in other areas (decluttering and other personal goals). So I think I'm going to start posting here regularly about the ups and downs of getting rid of this debt.

    I'm too embarrassed to name the full amount, but I will say it's in the mid-low 5 figures (!!!). I've moved some of the debt to 0% credit cards which has helped a little. In the last several years, as I stayed in denial, the debt was growing every year little by little. The good news is that this year, as I've started to face the reality of it, it has decreased by 10% in the last seven months. It's a start.

    I've written down some benchmarks for decreasing the debt month by month. If I more or less hit the benchmarks, I *could* pay off the full amount by April 2019, but I'm not sure how realistic that is. Nevertheless, I'm going to set it as a tentative goal and report here every month how I'm doing.

    So today I paid all my bills, and paid down the debt a little more, so that it went down 4.4% from last month. I'd like to make a bigger dent in it, but for now, I am just going to take the attitude that a decrease is a decrease and that's something.

    Anybody else out there trying to pay off big debt and wanting to share their progress here? I would love it if others were on this journey with me!
    Last edited by ejchase; 3-31-18 at 11:29pm.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    2,360
    I'm not on the journey now but have been in the past. Anything extra you can throw at it like an income tax refund?

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    876
    Quote Originally Posted by Yppej View Post
    I'm not on the journey now but have been in the past. Anything extra you can throw at it like an income tax refund?
    Possibly on the tax refund. Have to see what my tax guy says.

    And also, I've been doing some extra work at my job so will get a little extra income from that.

    Mostly, though, this is not an income issue. It's one of overspending, so I've been cutting back, especially on eating out and childcare. I've also cut back on magazine and newspaper subscriptions. One day at a time!

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    3,471
    We are carrying a home equity loan and I have a car loan. Dh pays the regular bills, my income covers regular farm expenses, pottery expenses, my cc and other discretionary spending (things we can just choose not to buy because there isn’t any money) I only get paychecks 9 months of the year, so those 9 months I put an extra 500 toward the principal on the home equity loan. I keep a 4 month cushion in my account in the spring, and then draw it down one month at a time over the summer and build it back up in the fall. The interest on my car loan is higher than the interest on the home equity, so after I pay my bills for the month anything above my cushion goes toward the car. It’s a 4 year loan, but I am trying to see how fast I can pay it off. Do you want to race? (Or just help each other make spending decisions. )

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Price County, WI
    Posts
    784
    ejchase,

    Kudos on the big dent you put in your indebtedness.

    Consider the guy in the UK who ate an entire MGB roadster. He may have been misguided about nutrition, but he knew how to take things a little bit at a time!

    Realistically there are huge numbers of folks who haven't seen their incomes increase over the past decade in proportion to the increases in their spending. I believe it is a minority who recognize that running up the credit card balance is only going to aggravate their budget problems.

    Onward! Courage! ... and Good Luck!

  6. #6
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    VT/NJ
    Posts
    8,545
    Quote Originally Posted by ejchase View Post
    I'm too embarrassed to name the full amount, but I will say it's in the mid-low 5 figures (!!!).
    Hey, you're a lightweight! I had debt in the SIX figures! I still maintain it wasn't entirely my fault--it was the fates that conspired, plus my naive willingness to co-sign stuff that I shouldn't have was a major contributor. I can point to the recession, but I have to accept responsibility myself

    I still have debt, but I'm working on it. I am a believer in the Dave Ramsey way--keeping it simple: 7 steps. NO credit cards. Assigning each dollar a job, eating beans and rice while working on a debt snowball. Using cash for everyday purposes. It's pretty much common sense. Some people (a LOT of the people here) are able to just go along and live beneath their means without thinking about it, but I'm not one of those at this point.

    While I believe in DR, I'm also like the person on a diet who indulges in cake. I probably never should have bought that house in VT with debt, but I did. My rationale was: I'll live up there for a year and then sell my house, pay off the VT mortgage and all other debt, and THEN live simply.

    I have to think about what my actions are saying about my values. I SAY I want to be a simple liver, but sometimes my actions don't align. The trick is to bring it all together and realize that debt is the most un-simple-living thing you can take on. As Mr. Money Mustache says, if you have debt you should pay it off as if your hair is on fire (something like that--a bad paraphrase). My problem I'm STILL a little too laissez-faire about it. My hair is not on fire.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    2,360
    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post

    While I believe in DR, I'm also like the person on a diet who indulges in cake. I probably never should have bought that house in VT with debt, but I did. My rationale was: I'll live up there for a year and then sell my house, pay off the VT mortgage and all other debt, and THEN live simply.
    This reminds me of the lyrics from Baker Street:

    "Another year and then you'd be happy,
    Just one more year and then you'd be happy"

    And

    "And then he'll settle down
    In some quiet little town
    And forget about everything."

  8. #8
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Saint Paul, Minnesota
    Posts
    5,117
    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post
    I have to think about what my actions are saying about my values. I SAY I want to be a simple liver, but sometimes my actions don't align. The trick is to bring it all together and realize that debt is the most un-simple-living thing you can take on. As Mr. Money Mustache says, if you have debt you should pay it off as if your hair is on fire (something like that--a bad paraphrase). My problem I'm STILL a little too laissez-faire about it. My hair is not on fire.
    I'm not entirely convinced that debt is a fire-starter -- at least not for big-ticket items which are purchased with some prudence. I can see wanting to avoid a balance on the ol' Target CC (especially if someone has a couple of cards for expenses like that). But I truly don't have an issue with a (one!) mortgage on a house which was purchased responsibly (i.e., not overpriced for the area, purchased well within one's predictive means) or some other five-figure item (car, camper, etc.) when the purchase is not impulsive, is reasonably priced for its kind, and the terms are not usurious. Well-structured debt does not preclude paying it off early and it can free up cash for other things.

    But, ej, congratulations on knocking down the debt you have, and I wish you the best of quickly getting rid of the rest of it!
    Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. - Booker T. Washington

  9. #9
    Moderator Float On's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    By a lake in MO
    Posts
    4,521
    I should have the truck paid off in June. had hoped to do that next month with a little tax return but instead we had to go into savings to pay off a big tax bill. I hope to have two cc's paid by Dec. Then I'll attack the larger one.
    Float On: My "Happy Place" is on my little kayak in the coves of Table Rock Lake.

  10. #10
    Senior Member rosarugosa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Eastern Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,764
    I am thankful to have no debt at this point in my life, but certainly have had some in the past and will gladly cheer you all on from the sidelines. Go team!
    Off topic, but I love your new profile picture, Float On!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •