Debt free! It’s ALMOST time to celebrate. One of my goals of 2012 is nearing completion. It’s been a long time coming but I am excited to say the day is finally in my eyesight. Although it seems like I just traded one form of debt for another, I am no longer a prisoner to credit card debt. And maybe publicly announcing exactly how much debt I was in is a bit much for me but I can say it was enough to buy a well equipped new car. I feel like I can breathe a little easier knowing that I’m not paying one or two hundred dollars of interest each month. Man did I learn my lesson about credit the hard way. I now know it’s not ok to furnish your apartment or lifestyle on credit. The way I look at it I just paid off my first bedroom set, and it was a LONG time ago when I first made a swipe for that purchase. Furniture, vacations, and retail therapy are not credit worthy purchases. Especially not at the 15% plus interest rate I was paying on them. Another lesson learned the hard way.
I have gotten my credit cards in order by making sacrifices. I moved back home for awhile and that helped tremendously! But even when I was living alone I was able to put extra money towards my debt. I skimped on my activities, less partying and less drinking. Cooking more and eating out less is a great way to save a few extra bucks. Don’t get me wrong I still like to have a good time, travel, eat and shop but I just don’t do so as recklessly as I used to. I can’t go on a vacation simply because I have the available credit. Instead put my vacation on my card only because it offers perks and protections that my debit card doesn’t, not out of necessity. And I can’t put anything on my card without a plan on how I’m going to pay it off.
I am not totally debt free; I’m still working on that. I have some personal debt and student loan debt that is still a work in progress. And hopefully I can get those down to a manageable amount so I can tackle the only type of debt I’ve been wanting for some years now— a mortgage! Man that would be amazing to be able to buy my first home soon. I thought this was the year that dream would become reality, but a few circumstances have changed and I’m not comfortable with such a huge life commitment. Definitely in my five-year plan, hopefully sooner.
I’m sorry to get off topic a bit today, I know my financial fitness isn’t the topic of my normal posts but it’s also a big part of my life. I have a lot of financial goals and reaching them does make it easier for me to focus on other aspects of my life. And this is a fitness and wellness blog so I’m just going to say it works. Actually, it’s the same concept as losing weight. Identify your goals, make necessary adjustments and then start trimming the fat! I can’t tell you how much I get teased for my Excel spreadsheet budgets. One time I gave $2 to a homeless lady and I entered it into my budget under charity. But I know plans and spreadsheets work for me. So I just have to make sure my physical fitness goals get as much attention and effort as this one did, and then all the fat will start rolling off.