Hi everyone,I was $10,000+ in debt with 4 credit cards a year ago. Now I'm passing $7,000 on the way down.Starting with the snowball method, I tackled my smallest card first and killed it a couple of months ago. Doing that, I gained momentum and confidence.Now down to 3 cards, I've decided to switch to paying off the highest-interest card. It has a significantly higher balance, too, and will take more effort than the last card to pay off. As a result, I've found places to cut my budget.I've cut nearly $1,500 off the high-rate card in the last two months(!), and although I wanted to send in $700 this month, It's looking like I'll only be able to scrape up $500. :-( Damn. Anyway, even when I send in the $500, my balance will still be at about $2,000. Double Damn.It's sort of depressing when you throw $2,000 at Visa and you still have a $2,000 balance. Seems like an uphill trudge at times, and looking at a "debt-free" date that is more than a year away can be still more depressing. But coming to this board always gets me re-energized to pay off the cards. Reading about peoples' happy dances, and about those who paid off debts even higher than mine (yikes) gives me hope and encouragement.So I hope this post helps some people out. There are lots like me, I'm sure, who are scraping together a few hundred at a time to throw at the credit monster that still towers in the many thousands of $. I measure my progress in smaller ways, too. Seeing a $100 minimum payment drop to $92, then $85, then $79 and so on is very nice. And, going back to look at old statements of the $4,000 variety also makes my new $2,000 balance look very good indeed. So take heart, everybody. If I can do this, anybody can.Thanks for all the help, advice and encouragement Fools! See you all at the next happy dance.dswing
"It's sort of depressing when you throw $2,000 at Visa and you still have a $2,000 balance. Seems like an uphill trudge at times, and looking at a "debt-free" date that is more than a year away can be still more depressing. "Dswing,If you ever get depressed, think of the encouragement your story gives to those deeper in the hole than you. You have much to be proud of, and are doing an excellent job!!!! Keep it up - YOU CAN DO IT!!! Can't wait for your happy dance! Remember, your BEST credit is your own cash!!!johnmoni
Congrats on sticking with it! I am also trying to pay down two large balances and at times I curse them when I throw hundreds at them and they only budge slightly. But this board and encouragement from the Fools have helped make me almost obsessive about sending every spare dime to get rid of those cards! Of course, I have to be snapped back into reality when my wife argues that eating Ramen noodles for a month isn't exactly what she had in mind when she married me.... But we're getting there! 5 months to CC freedom!!joe
Hi dswing,I know exactly how you feel. It's hard to keep pumped up between the Happy Dances. I like your idea about looking at the reduction in total, and the reduction in minimums to get a little charge to keep you going.I started with $15K in dreaded, evil cc debt, and know I'm down to $12,500. It's still so much that often I get depressed thinking it will be a year until it's gone, even putting $1000 a month on it. Imagine what I could do to my savings and investments with $1000 a month! But because of my past un-Foolish behavior, I am stealing from my future to pay for my past.I wish there were something I could do to speed up the process, but I just keep reminding myself that I didn't get into this mess quickly, so I can't expect to snap my fingers and be out of it. Oh well, the next year of payments will forever remind me of what I will never do again (get taken in by the buy now, pay later mentality pushed by the cc companies).As my mother always says. "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me!"Good luck, dswing. Fool On!-- iwannabeafool
You gave me encouragement...thx
To all that have the C C Monster eating at them. Take Heart! You can beat ti. I my self was $8,000.00 in over my head with 5 cards. I was one of the Can I pay off my Visa with my Mastercard. I finally said this is dumb. My wife and I decided to get rid of the cards.First we closed all the cards we had, this way we were not tempted to charge more. Of course we still owed the money, so we called the cards with the highest balance and asked to send in a predetermended ammount each month. Most said fine. We then put most of the payments into the smallest cards first.When those were paid off, we sent more into the next higest, and so o9n amd so on. Finally we were out. It took 5 years, but we were out. We also found that paying cash for what we needed was the way to live within our means. Now all we have ( except the house) is ours. Since then we have gotten a secured card with a $2,000.00 limit for emergency use, trips ect. We keep a close watch on it.It can be done, it isn't purdy, but it is doable. Hang in there.Free al last.
Good job...It can be done. My situation:August 1998-----> $19,000+- in credit card debtNovember 1999---> $ 5,000 exactlyAnticipate payoff by Feb/March 2000.BTW, I am saving also, this month put $700 into savings.So, keep it up, it can be done.Kirk
Hi! KirkJust think what your savings is going to do when the CC are paid off and you can put everything into savings. Good job and good luck!!Dale
Dswing,Each person's got to find his own way out of the woods, but for what it's worth, here's mine, which I've practiced when I was bringing home very thin slices of the monthly bacon, as well as when I was earning whole hogs. First, I don't own a credit card. Period. I have several debit cards for the convenience of plastic payment, but I never spend what isn't in the bank. Second, I calculate that absolute necessary amount that is spoken for before my paycheck even arrives: the rent, minimal groceries, average utilites, etc. Where possible (rent, etc), those unvavoidables get paid by automatic bank drafts so that I don't even have the choice, because, in fact, I don't. This leaves discretionary income, of which I aim to put into savings, i.e., investments, at least 50%. This gets automatically dumped either into a savings account or a brokerage account the day after my salary arrives. I don't even see it. Of course, I could get to it and blow it all on casinos and wild women if I really want to, but this just puts it a bit farther out of reach, especially if its sunk into cute little growth stocks. The way I figure it, I owe myself this money in the same way I owe the credit card companies or the landlord their pound of flesh. I don't see why I should sweat harder to put money into my landlord's brokerage account than into my own.Of the remaining discretionary income, I allow myself an entertainment or "extras" budget (otherwise you go nuts), which I do not exceed, particularly since it won't be there, and, without a credit card, I can't spend what isn't there. In the case of credit card debts, their reimbursement should probably come from this part of the budget, before calculating the "extras" budget. For me, the priority hold on my money is 1st, the unavoidable, 2nd, my savings/investments, 3rd, all the rest. The key is to get the savings out of reach first each month and never, ever, ever spend what you don't have except for capital investments (house, car, etc.).I don't pretend to have the final answer, but this has worked for me, and, adapted, could work for you.Cassanova
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