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After having gotten out of debt at various points in our lives, we've been CC debt-free for a long time. Recently, due to DH taking a new job and having to rent and furnish an apartment in another city, buy new clothes, etc. we pushed our CC up to a level we haven't seen in 20 years--$15k.

This isn't a big scary deal, really. With his benefits payout and increased income, we can pay in down in a couple of months (we could pay it out of savings but psychologically that would feel worse).

It was interesting, though, that even though this isn't as critical as it would have been several years ago, carrying a balance like that is setting our nerves on edge. I guess we learned something from the time we spent carrying debt that felt like it would last forever. Having gotten out from under, it feels awful to see that figure. This at least gives me hope that we won't become permanently more spendy once things settle down and we don't have big expenses every time we turn around.

We're in an area with lots of temptations, but nothing is stronger than the desire to zero that out again.

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Interesting to see how much your approach and reactions change over time, isn't it? I have a similar reaction when I think about the refi I did on my house in December. I'm glad I did it... but oh, I dislike that new mortgage number.

Now that you're looking at that your credit card number -- and I'm really glad you can pay it off quickly -- what would you do differently if you could do it again?

ThyPeace, is glad I refinanced before finalizing the total amount on the remodel. It kept the project from ballooning into a nightmare twice the size of what I can afford. It also kept me very focused on the estimates I was getting from the contractors. We're currently $30,000 less than where we started, all from me going, "I don't think so..."
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Differently...I would have culled through all the household items and products to see what we really, really had, before buying duplicates. We did end up shopping our basement for stuff we could use, but not thoroughly enough. I gave up too easily when I was juggling too many tasks at once and it was just easier to buy new. If I had better organization of what I'd stored where, I wouldn't have needed to buy new linens and bedspread, for example. Too much stuff stored in containers not clearly marked and no master list.

I would have suggested DH get his new duds from a chain rather than a family-owned hometown men's clothing store. It had a great reputation...but I suspect any deals or extras are for long-time clientele. I thought he'd get a better fit, etc. there but the service wasn't anything special and they did a horrible job of hemming his pants (2 inches too short). So much for supporting our local businesses.

He probably could've gotten by with carrying over 2 weeks' vacation instead of 3, but that wasn't my call.

If he'd been more aggressive with his 401k, we would have owed less taxes, so he's making some changes there.

Some things (medical, dental expenses,) we couldn't have done much about, and we did use consignment stores as much as we could (and we did use a lot of stuff we already had) but it could have been trimmed if we'd gotten into better habits about knowing what we had and where it was a long time ago.

And we ate out much more than usual, from being around exciting new places and being tired. There's a huge novelty factor here that I'm trying to keep a close eye on. Now that the dust is settling I'm cooking a lot more, so that helps.

And I'm spending my weekends at our old place going through stuff, donating a lot, making notes about what is where.

I'm not complaining at all, I'll just be really, really glad to see it paid down again.

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Thanks, cabinsmama. That is very helpful information, and I appreciate it!

ThyPeace, going to be moving DH in another few years, but that won't require buying new stuff so much as it will require culling lots from both our houses. Combining is going to be ... interesting.
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