I went with what seemed like everyone was suggesting on Friday and paid off the Target card. My credit card debt is now down to $2501.34. I can hardly believe it.
My student loans are at $3,645.73. What I don’t know is how much is left on the new to me car. I have to get that from my parents. And the interest rate which, given my dad’s fantastic credit history might actually end up less than the student loans.
Without that information I am in a better place than I was in September 2010 when my credit card and student loan debt came to $11,727.56. Now, those two line items come to $6147.07, despite all the setbacks I’ve had since 2010.
My car loan was $9203.91 back then, and I do expect that to be a bit higher now, but I’m not sure it’d be significantly higher to bridge the gap. I’m pleasantly surprised at this discovery. I did not think I had progressed that much. It makes me feel good the sacrifices I have had to make over and over again have not been in vain.
So, what’s the plan moving forward? Snowball method.
I send $360 to student loans and credit cards every month. Before, $34 was the “extra” and everything else was minimum payments. Now my minimum payments add up to $231 leaving me $129 to throw at what’s left. Going along with the Snowball plan, Macy’s is next on the chopping block, then Express, then Dell, then Student Loans, then the car.
This is of course until the next wrench gets thrown at the system.
However, since I have less to pay off now than I did then, I think this also means I have a better chance of getting farther along with my payments before any wrenches come soaring into view. Plus, I’m going to keep putting money into savings.
You know, I hear so much about finding your reasons to be debt-free and how those reasons can really make or break someone’s chance of actually reaching that state of awesome. And for me, what it comes to is wanting a simpler and less stressful life. Which to me means, being more independent.
It is hard to diversify your income sources when you’re too tied up with getting by day to day. And you’re getting by day to day because your income is too low. And your income is too low because it’s not diversified. And around and around it goes. It’s a hamster wheel of stressful doom and I hate it but it’s hard to get off.
So I’m trying to cause little chinks in it. I’m trying to chip away at it and break it up enough so I can jump off.
I don’t want a lavish lifestyle. I want a comfortable lifestyle. I want to be in a place where I don’t have to think about money, and I don’t think it takes a million a year or anything spectacular to get there. I think it takes getting used to a particular lifestyle and sticking with it. I think it takes accepting limits. I think it means letting go of everyone else and being comfortable in your own skin. In other words, money has very little to do with it but there is a certain point you have to get to financially.
So, let’s see. Let’s see where I get to this year. Let’s see what I can accomplish. Let’s see what I can build. Let’s see what I can eliminate. Let’s see what wrenches are out there.
Sandy recently posted about how she kept herself going while she was in “gazelle mode” and I have to say, I really do believe in rewards. So what kind of rewards should I set up? What milestones do you think are worthy of a reward and what kind of reward do you think is a good one? Do you budget for rewards?