No. of Recommendations: 3
I didn't post in the beginning. I have only posted a couple of times on this board. I am not sure why I am so shy in print when I am quite chatty in person.

Spoiler long post, I actually answer the question at the end.
Back Story

DH and I moved a lot from 97 to 2003. We moved from Sacramento to Brooklyn back to Sacramento to Morgan Hill to San Jose. First for my job, then grad school, and then his job. Both of us come from families dysfunctional credit, so our lives were based on credit. During this time period I paid off my credit cards twice, but something always came up, another move or tuition, something. DH and I also keep our finances separate. He paid the rent and I paid the rest.

Note 1: Since 98 I have fully funded my retirement accounts.

Note 2: the figures for the ccs are just my credit cards, DH owed about the same amount or a little more and still owes about $3500. He has enough money in his savings to pay the ccs. He just isn't comfortable not having the cash.

In November 2002 I decided that I had to make a permanent change in how I handled money, but as you will see actually changing my behavior took a long time. January 2003 DH's car died and mine was leaking badly, a 1988 98 that had been stolen and crashed. Neither car would have been in good shape after repairs, so within 2 weeks we both had purchased new to us vehicles. I owe around $20K on my student loans.

It took until June or July of 2003 when we got serious about buying a house that I stopped the up and down movement on the ccs, but it didn't seem to last. In August 2003 we bought our dream home, cough cough. This is San Jose. It was a 1964 1600 ft 3 bed 2 bath ranch home that was well maintained, but it had never been remodeled. However, we got a steal at $460K. We took out a heloc to avoid the PMI payments, but the main mortgage is at 5.5% fixed. An upbeat note is even though our place needs remodeling desperately (43 year old kitchens and baths that were originally inexpensive housing suck)houses in our neighborhood are going for $650K or more.

DH now pays the mortgage, the heloc, and insurance. I am paying the cars, property taxes, utilities, anything the house needs, entertainment, sundries, and travel expenses. Our closest family is 3 hours away. The next nearest is 4 hours in the opposite direction. We spend every other weekend traveling to someones house.

Well moving into the house I realized we had no furniture. Trust me we did not even own a couch. Just two tiny chairs that fit our apartment. A 0% offer later and we had a couch and a couple of chairs, and a new washing machine after the old one became a small pond.

September 2003 we found out that we were pregnant. Ok just me, but I was so sick I wished it on DH. I don't remember much of it, I pretty much blocked it out. I do remember 8 months of morning and evening sickness, then 5 weeks of bed rest.

2004 BabyBoo has daycare. $175 a week is cheap. Daycare is paid no matter what. A couple more 0% offers and we had an exercise bike and more furniture. I was feeling a bit lumpy thus the exercise bike.The house needs work done so my house fund is up and down (which is why I didn't count it earlier. I keep anywhere from 3 to 10K in it, but it could be depleted tomorrow, happened before). I pay my student loans and larger bills every two weeks, and I up my payment on the student loans.

We don't have family in the area and all the kids are in their 20s, so it took me a while to find out where to get hand me downs. Ebay. DH is a software engineer and has his own money. We have some great computers.

2005 I quit paying interest and the credit cards are going down a bit quicker. I paid off DH's car a year early and started on my truck. I got a raise and I up the payment on the student loan.

August 2006 I paid off my cards. I didn't feel ready. I had been in this place before. Then I received some 0% offers and transferred the balance of my truck loan. I put money in my savings account every month to cover the amount that would be due when the 0& is up. I retired about $4K last week.

Note 3: We each also have stock accounts, mine will put Baby boo through college. I didn't count it, but I don't think of it as liquid.

Answer: As promised your actual answer is at the end. I could have paid off the card quickly, and I actually paid a lot more debt than just those three cards. However, I would have been in debt again the next month. I think that I am ready now to move forward, and that's why my coworkers think I went crazy today as I did my happy dance....Sadly, I have no rhythm.

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