Tag Archives: Credit Card Debt

5 Simple Ways To Start Getting Out Of Debt Now

After years of drowning in credit card debt and student loan debt, this gal started a blog 2 years ago in the hopes of chronically her journey to becoming debt free.

2 years later…

Well, shit!!!   I am still in debt but at least my head is finally above water enough to breathe again.  Ahhhhh.

Even though there is still a loooooong way to go for me to becoming debt free, my debt is dwindling little by little each month.  If you can relate to being in debt (which according to an article published by nerdwallet.com most of you can) I would like to share some simple things that YOU can do NOW (God, don’t you just love the power of capping specific words) in order to get out of debt sooner rather than later.

1.  Get Honest.

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Though I am sure there is a more eloquent way of expressing this step, to put it simply this step sucks donkey balls.

Get honest with yourself.  Get honest with your partner if you share (or are planning to share) finances.  Find out how much you owe, to whom you owe it, and how much interest you are getting slapped with each month.

Yes, this means opening up that stack of mail you have been avoiding.

Yes, this means getting on the phone and trying to lower your interest rates.

Yes, this means being proactive about your money…or lack thereof.

2.  Put Those Credit Cards On Ice.

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Saw this trick in one of my fave guilty pleasure movies Confessions of a Shopaholic.  Any credit card you have in the house, freeze it.

Now.

If by chance you don’t heed my advice, think of it like this:  Credit cards are like the Kardashians.   Evil, vile things made of plastic that do more harm than good for the American public.

3.  Cut Off Your Cable.

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This step sucks too, but only initially.

Do I miss my DVR?  On Demand?  Bravo?  Yes, yes, and sweet Jesus, YES!

By shutting off the cable, am I saving money?  Am I still breathing?  Did life continue to go on?  Yes, yes, and YES!

My husband and I shut off our cable last spring and we ended up saving an additional $70.00 a month.  That is an additional $840 a year we can put towards our debt.

With options like Netflix, hulu and youtube do any of us really need cable?

4.  Staying In To Eat.

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It is amazing to me how much it costs to go out to eat.  I didn’t realize it was an issue for our household until my husband and I had an epiphany a few summers ago.  We could not figure out where our money was going each month.  When I went back a few months to review our bank records (step 1, getting honest) I was shocked to learn that we had been spending an average of $1,000 a month on eating at restaurants and going to bars with friends!  Shocking and also embarrassing.  Now we try to prepare breakfast, lunch and dinner ourselves 85% of the time.  That extra money we save goes to extra payments on our debt.  You live and you learn.

5.  Start Now.

dublin-marathon

When it comes to getting out of debt, it is a marathon, not a sprint.  Unless of course you win the lottery, then getting debt free is a sprint.  A beautiful sprint that ends up with beachfront property in Maui, and with a pool that comes with a pool boy named Fernando with washboard abs and an ass you can bounce a quarter off of…errr…sorry, got off topic.

Where were we?  Oh yes, start getting debt free by making small changes in your everyday life.

If you go to Starbucks twice a week, change it to once a week.  Then cut it down to just a monthly visit.

If you make it a habit to routinely go out to dinner with friends/family and order an appetizer, an entree and a couple of cocktails, cut it down.  Opt for just an appetizer or entree and a water (alcohol is waaaaay more expensive at bars/restaurants, and people won’t judge you as much when you down a few drinks in the privacy of your own home).  Not only are you cutting down on the price BUT you are cutting down on calories too.  Win-win.

Instead of going to an expensive salon, try out a beauty school instead.  This past fall, I got a great haircut for $10!

Prioritize what your “wants” are vs. your “needs”.

You will be feeling like a baller as your debt gets smaller.

Thanks for reading!  Now go get honest with your bad self!

Ang

Also, don’t hesitate to like my facebook page and follow me on instagram!

Back on ice

Just when I think P and I are making progress when it comes to our spending, the realization kicks in that old habits do, in fact, die hard.

For those of you who don’t know our sordid history with credit cards here is the condensed version:

on-phone-with-credit-cardBoy meets girl.

Boy and girl date on and off for 7 years before eventually marrying.

Boy and girl start using credit cards to pay for things they want but can’t actually afford.

After 3 years of marriage, boy and girl discover that they have racked up over $12,000.00 in credit card debt alone.

Boy and girl consolidate debt at a much lower interest rate and start to see their credit card debt go down as well as their blood pressure.

Well that is the story thus far which looked like it was on its way to having a happy ending, but we all know that looks can be deceiving.  The boy and girl in this story recently decided it would be a bright idea to have a credit card in each of their wallets in case of an emergency.  While paying bills this week, I (aka “the girl”) checked to see if we had a balance on our credit cards and we did:  We racked up charges in two months to the tune of OVER $900.00!!!!

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Some of the charges were on items we discussed putting on the credit card because we could justify taking it out of our savings/home fund(a few household expenses and P’s work clothes for his new job).  However, a majority of the bill was on a bunch of little things that we should not have been putting on a credit card (food, gas, nights out with friends, etc.).

tumblr_mh71i0wldt1rdld7ao1_r1_500We now have nearly a thousand dollars to deduct from our savings (money that was going to go to landscaping our front yard) to pay the credit card bill, because it will be a cold day in hell before I add another cent to our already existing credit card debt.

Needless to say, today we are putting all of our credit cards in a container of water and sticking it in the freezer.

frozen-debt

Ang

 

 

Cutting Back

51992529At the beginning of the year I promised you loyal readers that I would be out of over $10,000.00 worth of credit card debt by 2015.  I may have been overshooting…BUT let me explain.

Life happened.  Cars needed fixing, teeth needed fixing, medical “stuff” needed fixing.  Life.

BUT (I like big BUTs and I cannot lie) now that a majority of those bills are all caught up, it is time to refocus on my bad debt, that nasty credit card debt.

We have been paying more than the minimum each month on our monthly bill so our total credit card debt is down to around $8,600.00 (I should know this amount down to the penny BUT I don’t).  With only half the year left, I am not sure we will be completely credit card debt free in 2015 but P and I have decided to make three changes in this household to cut out some of our monthly expenses.

  1. Surprise discount on our phone bill.  P went down to our cellular phone company for work purposes and a super groovy employee mentioned to him that he actually gets a work discount for his personal account as well (though I wish we would have known it sooner).  Surprise monthly discount of $25.00.
  2. Jeeper by the dozen.  We decided to downgrade from an ’09 Jeep Rubicon to an ’06 Jeep of some kind (asked P what kind, then he started telling me how to word the “Jeep” portion of my blog and we ended up getting into a Jeep/blog fight which ended in silent treatment the rest of the night which means he won’t even “like” this blog on facebook now…damn). Anywho…monthly savings of over $130.00 in Jeep payments.
  3. Bye bye Bravo.  P went down to our cable provider (which I was going to give him special props for until he pissed me off when I was writing number 2 on this list) and cut the TV.  Sad day BUT this decision just saved us $70.00 a month!

That means our total monthly savings by cutting back on a few things is around $225.00!  Which means in the last half of 2014 we will be saving a total of $1,350.00!!  Sweet!

This credit card debt may not be gone in the next 6 months, BUT these small changes will definitely help..

See you tomorrow for an all new blog in my #93daysofblogging challenge, and hope this blog inspires you all to cut back on a few little things for the greater good!

Ang

P.S. If anyone knows any marriage counselors who specialize in fights of the Jeep and blogging variety, let me know…

Credit Card Debt Downdate

Hello All!  It is one hopping Friday night in this house.  It is 6:09 P.M. and I am dressed in my jammies.  Does this girl know how to party or what?!  Since my dance card is empty this Friday night, I thought to myself, “Ang, what better time to update your readers on what the heck is going on with your credit card debt.”  Then I thought, “If your credit card debt is going down, would it really be an update?  Or wouldn’t it be more of a downdate.  Oh Ang, you clever girl.”   So here it is:  My credit card downdate.  Enjoy.

At the beginning of this year my credit card debt was a little over $10,000.00.  I decided to shout from the rooftops (or rather post a blog) that by the end of this year I would be credit card debt free.  Here it is if you haven’t read it or if you just want to read it again because it is THAT awesome:

https://frugoal.wordpress.com/2014/01/18/my-big-proclamation/

Well this year is well over a third of the way over and I am sad to report that I am nowhere where I should be.  Mind you, the credit card debt is going down (hence the clever name of this post).  It is down by a $1,000.00.  Which is awesome, but if I keep going at this pace, it will be a couple of more years before I am out of this debt.

So why the slow pace.  Life.  My brakes needed to be fixed, the jeep needed new tires, P needed not one, not two, but three root canals.  Any extra money has gone to all of these little “surprises” life likes to throw at us.  Just paid the tires off…yeah!  Just need to get that damn dentist bill paid then I will get back on track again.

So how can we make those dollars streeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeech just a little bit more?  We actually traded in our jeep for an older jeep which cut down the payment per month by over $100.00.  Sweetness!

P and I have also discussed cutting off our cable (sniffle, sniffle).  We have gone without TV before (for 4 years) and survived.  I must admit, we have had TV for almost 2 years now and I am in love.  I love my mind numbing reality TV:  “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo”, “Real Housewives of Atlanta”, “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills”, etc.  I also love educational programs like “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant” and “Sister Wives”.  And I am unabashedly addicted to “The Walking Dead” and my main boo “Game of Thrones”.

I told P I needed some more time before we cut the life support on my little screen buddies.  Ultimately I think  pulling the plug is the best thing to do.  So “There Goes Honey Boo Boo”, bye bye Real Housewives and Sister Wives.  It was a fun ride while it lasted, but I guess it is time for me to tune in on a new reality show called “My Own Damn Life”.

Thanks so much for reading!  Wishing everyone who is a mother, or has a mother (which I guess would be pretty much everybody) a very happy Mother’s Day!

Ang