I want to do this!

Pay off all debt before the end of 2018

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  • ExplorerSoul
    ExplorerSoul Doing 2 cheers 2018-01-20 03:27:02

    I don't expect my next update to show a big difference in my total debt remaining, but at least most of the debts are still going down.

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  • ExplorerSoul
    ExplorerSoul Doing 2 cheers 2018-01-16 03:25:13

    Was feeling a bit discouraged today about different things, including my finances. I was calculating my expenses for my next pay and in the end, was left with very little.

    I should be able to pay the minimum amounts on every debt this month, but probably not much more, so all those additional charges will go unpaid.

    I'm trying to reduce my spending and I'm trying to continue chipping away at it, but sometimes it doesn't feel like enough.

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  • ExplorerSoul
    ExplorerSoul Doing 2 cheers 2018-01-13 14:55:28

    Well, I won't be able to get credit card #2 back down to the December balance before the end of this month. I have to try to keep my spending low the next couple of months. I'm a little worried, too, that I will have to resort to my credit card before the month is over, which is what I am trying to avoid. The only other option is dipping into my little bit of savings. This always seems to happen. I have to break the cycle.

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  • ExplorerSoul
    ExplorerSoul Doing 3 cheers 2018-01-07 17:51:58

    I was thinking of some things I might like to do once I'm debt-free. Just some ideas (in no specific order).

    -Give more/help others
    -Save for a home
    -Go for therapy
    -Take dance lessons
    -Go for allergy testing
    -Get DNA testing
    -Build savings
    -Take horseback riding lessons

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  • ExplorerSoul
    ExplorerSoul Doing 2 cheers 2018-01-06 23:43:13

    Instead of looking at the total amount of the recent charges and worrying about how I will pay it off, I've decided to try to get credit card #2 back down to the balance it was in my last update, by the end of this month. This way I will be back to the $384.93 still left to pay off (before I added more charges).

    I may be able to do the balance transfer even before paying off the $384.93, but it would mean credit card #1 would be almost at its limit, which isn't the best. But hopefully making one main payment to that card every month will help to decrease the balance more quickly, but it might take me a good six months before getting it down to about 30% of my limit.

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  • ExplorerSoul
    ExplorerSoul Doing 5 cheers 2018-01-04 18:27:08

    Was looking at my budget again, trying to figure out if I should be altering my payments towards my debt.

    I consider three debts non-negotiable or not flexible, and the two others - my credit cards - could be adjusted.

    Using the site below, based on my last numbers (but they've changed...), if I were to pay just the minimum (which is not my plan), it would take me over five years.

    I adjusted the payment amount for one credit card (for now, still using the snowball method until I can do the transfer), giving myself eight months, and assuming there would be no new charges, and it would actually take me nine months to pay off the cards. This gives me hope, but the debt I'm pretty sure will be leftover is the line of credit. Right now I'm only able to pay the minimum so it's decreasing very slowly. By then though, the amount will be lower, and I'm hoping I will have some extra money I could put towards it to pay it off.

    This is all without factoring in the charges I still have to pay off on my credit card...

    https://www.credit.com/tools/credit-card-payoff-calculator/#

    Check Your Credit & Make Smarter Financial Decisions
    Get a Truly Free Credit Score & Personalized Advice From Our Credit Experts.
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    • taylor
      taylor 3 cheers 2018-01-04 18:38:12

      @ExplorerSoul I did the snowball many years ago, and it works!

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    • khryssizzle
      khryssizzle 3 cheers 2018-01-04 20:36:10

      @ExplorerSoul Have you checked out anything from Dave Ramsey? My husband and I took his course and were debt free within a few years. It really changed how we look at money. I also recommend YNAB software for budgeting.

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      • ExplorerSoul
        ExplorerSoul Doing 1 cheers 2018-01-04 21:28:13

        @khryssizzle A little bit. What helped me years ago was David Bach's book Smart Women Finish Rich, amongst other resources.

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        • khryssizzle
          khryssizzle 0 cheers 2018-01-05 02:31:02

          @ExplorerSoul Just hang in there and keep going. It might seem slow at times, but once you get one or two things paid off and are able to put that money towards other debt you will really start to see those numbers shrink. It's the best feeling in the world to make that last payment and I look forward to seeing you do it.

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          • ExplorerSoul
            ExplorerSoul Doing 2 cheers 2018-01-05 04:36:12

            @khryssizzle I really appreciate it. I did it once and know I can do it again but the total amount was higher this time around. I really want to change what led me back here so I don't have to experience this setback again.

            This is what I wrote on the old 43Things (in 2013) when I reached my goal (it's a little long and excuse the formatting. It's a little embarassing to read though because I felt so proud then):

            Body: "A long journey to a rewarding finish."
            How I did it: By persevering. Falling back, moving forward, learning, and making positive changes.It took me over four years of tracking on 43Things to reach this point but I think my financial journey probably started somewhere around 12 years ago. It was a lot of trial and error - getting close, then further away. Feeling discouraged then hopeful. Paying off debt only to find myself owing once again. It ultimately took determination and consistency, and a better management of my money. It's a continuous learning process but I feel I have reached a point where I am in control of my finances and not the other way around. The financial journey will continue through smaller goals but the major one of generally improving my finances feels achieved. Hopefully some of what I've learned can help you achieve your goals at a quicker rate than it took me!

            Lessons & tips: Know your numbers. How much you owe, your expenses (regular monthly ones as well as the occasional and/or annual expenses you may not automatically think of (e.g. your license and registration, credit card fee, holiday expenses, etc.), your credit score, etc.
            If you have debt:
            Make a plan that is realistic for you and try to remain consistent.
            Edit: something equally important (and inspired by an entry by Daniel Griffin): break it down to make it more manageable and less overwhelming. One day at a time, one month at a time, every small effort and productive step will lead you closer to your ultimate goal and success;
            Strive to keep your balances below 30% of your credit limit (debt to credit ratio). Being closer to your limit negatively impacts your credit score;
            Make a plan for your credit card usage (such as my NO DEBT motto);
            Think of what you really need. Get down to the basics. Live simply. Find things to enjoy that are free or cost very little. If possible, set aside a small percentage for fun things and once you've reached your limit, say no to outings or purchases that you cannot afford. Be responsible. Otherwise, only you and your finances will suffer in the end and you will prolong the process of reaching your goal;
            Discover your weak spots, and find ways to overcome them;
            Find a way to track your daily expenses for a while (the more expenses you incur throughout the day, the more challenging it may be). Try to take some time at the end of each day for this (I have found that letting a couple of days go by makes it harder to stay on top of) until it becomes a habit;
            Be upfront with loved ones about your plan to be wiser with your spending and your goal to pay off debt. This will help them understand if you are unable to partake in certain activities and you may be surprised by their help and support. It may even offer them inspiration to look at their own finances;
            Track your debt repayment. Be accountable.
            Invest in your future. Dedicate a percentage to savings/protection, particularly to:

            An emergency fund (to prevent you from incurring more debt in the event that an unexpected expense should arise, such as a repair, medical expense;
            A retirement account;
            Medical and disability insurances (very important);
            Occasions (birthdays, special events, holidays). Set a budget in advance and put aside a little bit every month so it is not a hard hit.

            No matter how far away the end may seem, don't give up and if needed, get help. We're often not taught how to manage money. Some people are naturally better at it or have been fortunate to learn good practices, while many others will struggle with this for a long time, giving in to spending and all that goes with it. In the end it's up to us to make a change, but we don't have to do it alone.

            Resources:

            Smart Women Finish Rich: 9 Steps to Achieving Financial Security and Funding Your Dreams, by David Bach - served as a great starting point in learning more about finances and taking productive steps towards a better financial future, for example by acquiring a disability insurance and starting a retirement account, which likely would have not occurred without it;

            Vertex42.com: great resource for budget (and many other useful) templates. The one I found most helpful was the Personal Budget Spreadsheet, which offered an annual overview and monthly breakdown. (http://www.vertex42.com/ExcelTemplates/personal-budget-spreadsheet.html);

            Tracking my debt repayment (as per my entries starting June 2011) - out of all my visuals, this helped me the most;

            Credit reports and scores;

            The Moneyless Man: A Year of Freeconomic Living, by Mark Boyle - a book whose impact has stayed with me. Has helped me reflect on money and my relationship to it;

            Research and other financial articles.

            It took me 4 years.

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  • ExplorerSoul
    ExplorerSoul Doing 2 cheers 2017-12-27 05:48:02

    Already a little worried about January. If I want to pay off all the recent charges (now a higher amount than what is shown in my last update, and I feel there may be more charges until my next pay), I won't be able to make much more than the minimum payments on my credit cards. I hadn't even calculated my LOC payment. It's going to be tight.

    I was thinking I might try a No Spend month and was considering February instead, but now I'm wondering if it should be January as I was considering before. January just seems to have additional expenses already and not be ideal and honestly, a No Spend wouldn't save me much but would probably just help to keep me on track.

    I wish I was starting the new year off on a better foot.

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  • ExplorerSoul
    ExplorerSoul Doing 5 cheers 2017-12-23 22:39:30

    General Update

    I had planned to write something this month because it has been two years since my worst-ever debt figure was calculated. Since then, I haven't made as much progress as I feel I should have but I am starting to see the reduction more. There is still a ways to go.

    In December 2015, my total debt was $28,045.00.

    In March 2017 (first update on the new 43things), my total debt remaining was around $23,124.98.

    This month, two years after my worst total debt amount, my balance is $16,492.77, which marks a difference of a little over $11,000 since the worst-ever figure, or a roughly 41% decrease.

    Once I pay off the remaining charges on Credit Card #2 in early January, I will look at transferring the balance to Credit Card #1 (which is a little bothersome considering I can visually see the dent in Credit Card #1 now!).

    The debt that feels slowest to progress is the line of credit. I don't know if I will try to reapply for a second loan at some point next year - I'm not sure if it would be worth it.

    Just keeping at it.

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  • ExplorerSoul
    ExplorerSoul Doing 2 cheers 2017-12-23 22:23:45

    Update #10 (December 2017)

    Loan #1 (Royal Bank - interest rate: 10.33%)
    Last month's balance: $5,336.38
    Planned to pay: regular/minimum bi-weekly payments
    Actually paid: half
    New balance: $5,136.55

    Loan #2 (Family - interest rate: 0%)
    Last month's balance: $3,700.00
    Planned to pay: regular/minimum monthly payment
    Actually paid: half (will repay second half in March)
    New balance: $3,550.00

    Credit Card #1 (Royal Bank - interest rate: 11.99% for both purchases and cash advances)
    Last month's balance: $1,425.12
    Planned to pay: $341.65
    Actually paid: $341.65
    New balance: $1,099.90

    Credit Card #2 (CIBC - interest rate: 19.99% for purchases and 22.99% for cash advances)
    Last month's balance: $2,305.04
    Planned to pay: $42.00
    Actually paid: $42.00 + $140.35 + towards charges
    New balance: $2,230.38
    $384.93 unpaid charges (will be paid in early Jan.)

    Credit Line (CIBC - interest rate: 10.20%)
    Last month’s balance: $4,525.28
    Planned to pay: $91.35
    Actually paid: $91.35
    New balance: $4,475.94

    Total debt remaining: $16,492.77

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  • ExplorerSoul
    ExplorerSoul Doing 4 cheers 2017-12-13 05:16:43

    I've recently tried at least a couple of times to skip my loan payment but couldn't because I had used up my skip for the year (last December I think).

    I was looking at the expenses for my next pay and was falling short so I checked again and luckily the skip option was available.

    I don't like the idea that this will extend my loan period and I was also looking forward to seeing the loan balance fall under the $5,000 mark, but I think this will help a bit. I didn't feel as comfortable trying to skip the family loan and it was for a lesser amount so it may not have helped as much anyway.

    I really feel that an additional income would be helpful in reaching this goal but monitoring my spending will help, too.

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