I must admit that I am among the statistics. One of the countless Americans who have dug themselves into debt with really nothing to show for it. Thankfully, we can afford to pay our bills each month, but it is just so sad to look at the amount of money I am throwing at paying off credit card balances. Money that bought things that we once had to have and now, I can't even remember what it was. There are so many things that I want to do with my home right now (the dream list) that need to wait until those nasty cards can be paid off. I won't make the same mistake though. The remodeled bath, kitchen, finished basement, new siding, deck, etc. etc. will be paid for in cash...when it is free'd up from the outstanding debt of 12 Christmases, birthdays (you name it), past.
Tomorrow, when the banks open, the last payment for the first card will post. Personally, I am doing a little happy dance. One down, six (yes six) to go. There is an end in sight. Some will take a few months to pay off, a few will take about a year. I have a plan and it is working. I am seeing results and I am feeling good. We don't use credit cards anymore. If we can't pay for it out of pocket...we don't buy it.
It doesn't matter how you got there, it matters how you get back. Back to financial freedom. What works for one person, might not work for another. In my search for the best way to get out of debt, I have read many stories of people who have sold everything, lived in a trailor, small apartment, parent's house, etc., took 3 extra jobs, lived on hand me down clothes, no heat, bargain groceries, the list goes on and on. While I applaud their efforts and am amazed at the results, that is not me. That is not my family. I need to do what works for us.
Awhile back I posted my themes for each day. I haven't really stuck to them, I have tried, but life comes first. I had intended for Thursdays to be thrifty thursdays. My intention was (and still is) to post my thrift store remakes, how I used what I have, bargains I scored, etc. That will still happen, but, I also want to share with you my plan for getting out of debt, living within your means, and still being able to have and enjoy things.
This isn't financial boot camp and I am by no means an expert. Sure, we could get out of debt faster if we went down to one car, I went back to work, we went to basic cable, dial up, etc. But we are not willing to do that, this is our life, this is how we live, and I want it to be comfortable as I pay (literally) for past mistakes and bad financial decisions. I will share with you what works for me, for our family, through trial and error and what will get us to debt free by February 2013.
I will tell you that we owe somewhere between $20k and $80K...the numbers are not important, but I just want you to know that we do have a good deal of debt, not an easy peasy payoff amount.
So I hope you come back each Thursday for my financial tidbits...real life solutions to a real life problem. If I can help just one person out of the same situation...my job will be done.