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How we got here

March 22nd, 2007 at 01:48 pm

I was thinking this morning about why we have been so stupid with money and what got us in the mess we're in now. I don't have a sad story to tell about losing a job or needing credit cards to pay medical bills and groceries. The truth of the matter is that we have been stupid, irresponsible and childish.

I grew up not having much money at all (public assistance including food stamps...might go into that one at a later date) and I really think I just wanted "stuff" when I grew up. Does that make a lick of sense? I don't think that I went wild by any means, but when I wanted something I bought it. I'm not a big clothing shopper but I like to have a nice looking house so I bought thinks like bedroom suites, living room furniture, etc. All on credit of course. I would tell myself that it was only a small payment per month and that I deserved it. Classic "I want it NOW and can't wait" attitude. Until recently I never realized how stupid that really is. Now I realize that paying with cash is the way to go.

My husband is not a big spender. He would just go along with whatever I wanted to buy. I mean, don't get me wrong. He's no angel about budgeting, but he's not one to blow $20.00 a day and have nothing to show for it.

The bulk of the credit card debt that we have now is from transferred balances from furniture accounts and an Exxon gas card that we used to use. That Exxon card was the first credit card I ever got and man did I think I was cool beans. No more going into the gas station to pay and I would pay the balance off every month. WRONG! Oh yeah, I started off great...but then the months got tighter and I would make a smaller payment. Pretty soon those snowballed and I was up to almost a $3000 balance. For gas! Stupid, I know.

Another thing that got the Visa up was my husband's tuition to school. Since I was being irresponsible about budgeting I wasn't prepared each time the tuition came due. Of course that was no problem because we could just swipe the plastic. We used the Visa for pretty much every school related expense he's had over the last couple of years...tuition, books and uniforms.

I guess it was when I first started listening to Dave Ramsey that I had my "Aha!" moment and realized that we are on a slippery slope with this. I thank the Lord that we both have excellent credit and have never missed or been late on a single payment on anything...but that could happen so easily. Listening to Dave I realized that we have got to get this debt paid off and change the way we think about money.

What we owe

March 22nd, 2007 at 01:19 pm

Thank y'all (yes, I'm a Texan) for the Welcome and Congratulations comments. I really appreciate it! I welcome your support and advice. This blog is going to be mainly about having a place to list my accomplishments as they come around, and to talk about the bumps along the road. So, the point of me saying that is to let you know that it might get boring at times so don't say I didn't warn you.

So, about my debt... Here is what I have:

Visa card - New balance before I paid $50.00 yesterday was $2,254.08. APR is 13.18%

Discover in my husband's name - (hereafter called Discover-D) New balance after I paid $103.00 yesterday is $5,040.00. APR is 0.00% for life.

Explaination of APR - Last year we got a credit card offer for a Discover Platinum Card where you could transfer balances and have a 0.00% APR for life. The "catch" is that after the introductory (12 month) period is over, you have to make two purchases (no minimum purchace amount) per billing cycle on the card.

Discover in my name - (hereafter called Discover-E) which I forgot to bring the statement for but the balance is around $7000. APR is 0.00% for life.

Same APR deal as the above mentioned Discover.

Bank of America car note - Principal balance is $6,972.79, payment is $311.55 per month.

So there you have it...my debt snowball items. The only other debt that we have is the house. The principal balance on the house is $131,127.75. We have a 30 year fixed rate mortgage at 6% and the payment is $1220.32 per month.

Total Money Makeover Live Event

March 21st, 2007 at 02:54 pm

Not sure if anybody is reading this here blog.

**hits the mic** "IS THIS THING ON?!?!?"

But if you are I was wondering if you follow Dave Ramsey's plan? He was here in Dallas back in February and I went to the live event. I had asked for the ticket for Christmas from my husband. At the time, he wasn't sure about his school schedule so we didn't buy a ticket for him then later when he found out that he was free that day tickets were sold out. Bummer! Anyway...I went to the event alone and it was still awesome. Totally pumped me up to get gazelle intense.

The night before the event Dave had a book signing at the Borders bookstore in North Dallas. They had announced it on the radio and I decided to go. Well, at the book signing they were gonna have a drawing for $1000 in debt reduction. There were soooo many people there that I thought it would be impossible to win but I did! It was so exciting! I've never won A THING before in my life. I just got the check from Dave's company last week and since my car was my smallest debt I used that $1000 plus another $600 and paid that off this week.

My next smallest debt is a visa card with a balance of $2,200. I have been making the minimum payment of $40 but now that I don't have my car payment ($312.65 per month) I am going to start attacking that one.

Introductions

March 21st, 2007 at 02:17 pm

Me: Hi. My name is Snoopy and I am in debt.
You: HI Snoopy!!

Glad that is out of the way! Smile

So, about me...My husband and I are working on getting out of debt and are following Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover plan. I stumbled across Dave on the radio several months ago (November of 2006, maybe) and have been hooked ever since. I am currently attending a Financial Peace University class and we're about half way through with the lessons. I just really started getting serious with the plan at the beginning of this year. I'm working the debt snowball and just paid off my smallest debt this week, which was my car. I am really excited about it! My husband's truck is further along in the snowball but at least now we only have one car payment instead of two. Woot!!

Anyway, I just found this site today and I thought it was pretty cool. I will try and update regularly.


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