No. of Recommendations: 2
This is long.

OK, the big news is that I did what I was dreading, went through the bill pile, got organized, and added up the CC debt. I can't even think about the student loans, I'm not going to worry about them for a little while yet.

My iMac Quicken has now crashed, and is dead, the shock of our debt sent it over the edge.

We have approx $25,000 in credit card debt.

This is not the horror-inspiring part. My lowest interest rate is 19%, the highest, 29%, is a freaking gas card with like $250 on it, that I can't believe we even *have*. This is what comes of letting dh pay bills.

The other big step is that I got dh to cut-up all his cc (save 1)I had no idea how hard this would be for him. Since he declared bankruptcy, and for so long had no credit, he has a lot of his self-esteem wrapped up in those credit cards..I hadn't realized that before.

With the souped-up interest, a few of the cards are now over the limit, so I have frightening "minimum" payment of $300 on some. This meant that I couldn't just pay off and close the evil gas card. But everything is now current. We want to buy a house sooner than later, so every month we are current is one step towards that. How many months should I wait before I've accumulated enough brownie points to call the cc companies and ask for lower rates?

An actual budget has to wait. The company that recruited and wooed my husband has now eliminated the new graduate program after 6 months, so he is now also facing unemployment. Depending on what he finds and when, well... it's going to be interesting.

I also made him hand over the Blockbuster card, and I froze it. With the amount of $$ we spend on movies each year, between going to them, renting, netflix, and HBO, we could make a movie!! I've instituted an emergency plan, we get to go to 2 movies a month, they must be matinees, we keep netflix, stop renting, and HBO is next to go if real employment is not forthcoming. Plus, since we live in LA, we should be able to see 1-2 extra movies each month for free by aggressively looking for test screenings.

I have a book habit, but I vow not to pay full price for any more books. I'd hit the library, but our branch has the most pitiful selection of popular fiction I've ever encountered. So I'm now a half.com junkie. (but am showing restraint until we are in better shape) I also listed for sale anything that wasn't a favorite book, and a few CD's that I have but never really got into. I might try to turn that into a second job, especially since we have a scale and meter at work, and I can write them a check once a week for postage, and it's no fuss.

Also, I will ask for my salary review. I was supposed to get one at 3 months, and its been 4.

These are the steps we've taken toward being debt-free.

~artemis
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