Now, before you can tackle a problem–debt or otherwise–you have to know exactly what you’re dealing with.
Come on, I can’t be the only girl guilty of looking only at the minimum payment and remaining credit balance and totally ignoring the bottom line, can I?
Frankly, listing out your balances on credit cards, cars, student loans and whatever other debt you may have can make even the strongest girl want to run for the hills. Or the ice cream hidden in the back of the freezer.
I know, I had to do it. And I’m ashamed to say the tally (not counting my student loans) was already in the 5 figures. Ouch! How did this happen?
Oh, right. Lots of dinners out, that cruise I was going to pay off in 3 months that I kept putting off. The shopping on said cruise. More dinners out. Clothes. Shoes. A new laptop, laser printer, Wii and Wii Fit. Throw a few parties and you’ve pretty much got it.
Frivolous? Maybe. Do I regret any of the purchases or experiences? Not really.
The important thing is to not beat ourselves up too much over this because self-loathing is counter productive. Instead, we can be grateful for the past and keep moving forward!
So, now that we know the problem, what’s the solution?
Ages ago (or at least it feels like it, I suppose it was more like 12 years ago) I had a friend involved with a certain multi-level financial services company and, for a while, so did I. While it was a great learning experience (wherein one of the biggest things I learned was that I’m NOT made to be a salesperson) it wasn’t the best fit for me so I walked away. But not without learning a lot!
Tomorrow I’m going to go into the details of the how-to. It’s not a huge secret or anything, and if you’re familiar with Dave Ramsey you may have already heard of it. (He calls it snowballing. We called it Debt Stacking. I didn’t know who Dave Ramsey was until a few months ago, so take what you will from it.)
I do want to point out that last year I paid off 1 store card and will be paying off a second store card next month. This year I’ll also be paying off my car and that, plus the funds that’d been put towards the 2 now-paid-off cards will make it possible to pay off the remaining 2 store cards and get started on one of my major credit cards by the end of this year.
And that I’m pretty doggone pleased about!
Have you ever sat down and totaled-up your debt?
Did it shock you or have you always kept up with the total?