It really fucking does.
Getting into debt is super easy. A little here, a little there. Donesies. Getting out if debt, however, feels like this:
Point is, now matter how much we make, I never feel like we’re even making a dent in our credit card debt. We don’t have a lot, but it’s there. And if/when the hubbs goes to grad school, not having those payments would be super fantastic. So our goal is to have all of our credit cards paid off by May. There’s not much we can do about the student loans now, but those are next after the credit cards. Especially that bitch Sallie Mae. Fuck you Sallie Mae.
** Side note: it would be fucking fantastic if the hackers could erase student loan debt instead of posting Sony bullshit. I mean, come on Anonymous and unknown Sony hackers. Priorities!
So here are the steps we’re taking to expedite paying off our 2 remaining cards.
- Stop using them. We were paying some bills with them before then paying that off + extra, but that get’s confusing after a while. We stopped using them altogether to see where we are and see the balance come down every month.
- Analyze the budget and see what we’re spending and what we can cut. We have an excel spreadsheet to set the budget and Mint to keep track of it.
- Cut what we can. Audible, cable, CurlKit. None of these are necessities. We can cut them now and add them back later, or not.
- Reduce the bills we have. Making sure the lights are off when we leave. Called Comcast and asked if they could lower our bill (ended up with fewer channels and faster internet, weird). AT&T is next.
- Cook more. I make a batch of baked oatmeal in mason jars for breakfast, and cook lunch and dinner for the week. This saves on money and calories by eating homemade soup instead of Five Guys.
- Coupons. Something I was kinda doing before, but we’re getting serious about it. Checking the sales papers to see what deals are available for the week.
- Menu planning. Checking out what we have in the fridge & freezer and what meals we can make with the food in the pantry
Some of this is temporary, at least that’s what I tell myself. And some of these methods we hope to continue, like cooking more, using coupons, and cutting unnecessary spending. It hasn’t been horrible. I still have Netflix and Hulu, and we still allow ourselves date nights (with Groupons and AMC vouchers we got with Rewards Points). We’re still living, we’re just being conscious of what we’re spending and how.
This also doesn’t stop us from saving. Like my mom always us “pay yourself first.” She’s right (she always is), life doesn’t stop because of credit cards and you need some money stashed away just in case. Shit happens, and we want to be able to pay for that shit in cash when needed.
We just paid off about 20% on one card. It has the highest interest and balance, so we’re targeting that one first. Once that card is paid off, we’ll have 1 remaining, which shouldn’t take long to pay off. We’re hoping to have a 0 balance off by May 1st, which I think is a reasonable date. When that day comes I’ll be ready with a list of things to get once the shopping ban has been lifted. Things like photography classes, a new camera, and a new fancy toothbrush (mine died after 2.5yrs). If I still want these things when May comes, I’ll have the cash to pay for them and I hopefully wont see myself back in debt land for a while.
Baby steps are for babies, we’re knocking this debt out now.
***My husband would like you to know that this was not my idea, and that I have been bitching and whining throughout this entire process.