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Author: bagginses One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 76238  
Subject: Re: contribute to IRA or pay debt? Date: 2/14/2002 1:40 PM
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Yes Joan, we did three things.

First, my wife and I talked it over and made a pact to quit spending money we did not yet have, i.e., quit using the credit cards! We have not used them since. We use a debit card from our checking account instead, which makes us think twice before spending money since it has to be in the account. Also, we try not to pull out so much money from the ATM. It seems as though whether you pull $100 or $40, it's gone within the week, so we pull $40 (now).

Second, we tried to live frugally, and we paid as much as absolutely possible each month to the credit cards (there were 3 to begin with, totalling approx. $22,000). I started with the one with the highest interest rate and paid as much as possible to it, while paying the minimums on the other two. Once it was paid for, I started paying as much as possible to the one with the next highest interest rate, while paying the minimum on the third and final one. Once the second one was paid for, we started paying on the third one, i.e., the one with the lowest rate (9.90%), and that is the debt we have remaining.

Third, as I mentioned in my earlier post, we make very good money (~$160,000/yr), particularly for our age (26/27). That factor is not as important as the first two, in my opinion, but I can't deny that it helped. Nonetheless, the same procedure could and should be followed by your son, though it might take a little longer to accomplish the goal. The key is setting a goal and sticking to it.

Looking back now, I see how foolish it was to have so much debt. (Bad debt, as opposed to our mortgage, with I consider to be "good debt.") I am thankful that we recognized our mistake and are (almost) over it. I hope your son will pay attention to this. I am so excited at the thought of being out from under the "weight" of the debt. Good luck. I would be glad to answer anything else if you have other questions.

Bagginses
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