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Yet another nibble!

February 19th, 2009 at 01:19 pm

Well payday was yesterday and this is the pay period that includes the mortgage (ugh!) so I was only able to nibble off a small chunk of Card 2. The nice thing is I found out my wife's getting a $4500 bonus hopefully sometime before March 1st. I'm not sure when yet but it will hopefully be sooner rather than later.

Anyways here is where we stand. I can almost taste the end of Card 2 and then it will be one giant monster to go!

Debt Tracker (02/19/09)
Card 1: $40475.55 (8.99)
Card 2: $5498.00 (7.99)
Total: $45973.55

A little nibble

February 9th, 2009 at 04:25 am

Thanks to some small ebay sales I've been able to nibble Card 2 under $7000. The bills have been fast and furious but I've been lining them up and knocking them down! Here's the quick update:

Debt Tracker (02/09/09)
Card 1: $40475.55 (8.99)
Card 2: $6899.50 (7.99)
Total: $47375.05

I figure anytime you can nibble at a credit card balance it's a good time to nibble because the interest is a product of your average daily balance (at least that's what I've been led to believe) so it's better to pay it when you have it than wait and pay at one time. Of course some of these guys have limits on how many payments you can make online so it can be a catch 22. No problems for me at this point though. Smile

Knocking down more debt

February 5th, 2009 at 05:19 am

Well another two weeks gone by and more payroll thrown on top of the debt mountain! I ended up having to pay some sizable expenses like our propane gas bill ($1400 for about 6 months) but I was still able to wriggle out nearly $3000 to the debt load. I love the fact that Card 2 which 9 months ago was nearly $32000 is now around 7k. We really are making some headway and soon there will be just one to pay off! I'm so excited to see the progress but I really get antsy when a day goes by and I can't put more money on this thing. I guess I still need to learn patience is a virtue. Smile

Anyhow here we go:

Debt Tracker (02/05/09)
Card 1: $40475.55 (8.99)
Card 2: $7170.00 (7.99)
Total: $47645.55

For a frame of reference we started at $110,000 worth of credit card debt on May 1st, 2008. Nine months later and we've knocked out nearly $63,000 worth of the ugly thing! One small step for my family...one giant leap for getting out of debt!

Payday (and a another dent)

January 21st, 2009 at 04:37 am

Well I actually feel some sense of accomplishment today because for the first time in a LONG TIME Card 2 is under $10,000. I expect that once the statement closes next month that it will probably push it back over with the interest charge but for now I'm doing a happy dance (good thing no one can see that...it would be ugly!) So close to getting under $50k in total consumer debt and I can't tell you how excited I am to see the 40's (supposedly in temperature soon too!) Paid the mortgage (we have a $405k at a fixed 5.875 with about 400.7k left) this payday and I had about $500 in ebay money to help pay on Card 2. I've got carpet cleaners coming Friday for about $500 worth of work and I have to pay my ugly gas bill with the next check on 2/4 ($1450.00) but at least I only have to pay it twice a year and we will be cash flowing the whole thing (YAY!)

Debt Tracker (01/21/09)
Card 1: $40840.04 (8.99)
Card 2: $9959.69 (7.99)
Total: $50799.73

Just a reminder where we started:
$110,000 on NINE CC's. It's been a battle for the last 8.5 months but it's been worth it!

Cutting down debt and O Canada!

January 18th, 2009 at 12:47 pm

Well in the last 10 days we've managed to do some serious horror movie type slashing on some of our debt. Thanks to some bonus money and cutting back on plans to go from PA to AZ in March for my birthday we've made quite a little dent in Card 2 on the debt reduction planner.

As for why O Canada...I have been watching this show called "Til Debt Do Us Part" which is shown on the Canadian network Slice and it basically has these couples who are desperately buried in debt (a lot of consumer debt...but then a lot of total debt as well) and this woman comes and basically gives them a massive wakeup call and a plan they can move forward with to reign in their spending and excess. It's actually not that bad (and not dry at all...the challenges are not just based around $ but based on communication and working together in your relationship to get to the best result.) If they do all the challenges Gail sets forth for them they get $5000 to put towards their debt load. First step is always taking the credit cards AND debit cards away (and doing some Dave Ramsey Plasectomy-esque things to rid these people of their cc's) and then bringing back the debit cards back every week so they can refill the budget jars (glass jars with a category for each thing they would spend on discretionary wise...like food, clothing, transportation, etc.) If it's ever on here in the US I'd highly recommend it to people (though some of what she teaches is Canadian based most of the principles would work here for us.)

Just thought I'd share...now maybe if the Eagles could get their act together and win this game...! Here's the debt update:

Debt Tracker (01/18/09)
Card 1: $40840.04 (8.99)
Card 2: $10571.23 (7.99)
Total: $51411.27

A month later!

January 8th, 2009 at 04:33 am

Well that was some kind of crazy holiday madness we went through the last 30 days. I ended up having to go from PA to Chicago on Christmas Day and then down to Orlando through New Year's before coming back up. We got to Universal Studios in Orlando as well before going to relatives of mine on the east coast of Florida (north of West Palm Beach.) For the first time ever we budgeted and cash flowed all our gifts and we actually did really well. With all of this hectic moving and shaking and holiday meals and planning and gifts and decorations and everything we stuck to our guns and incurred NO NEW DEBT! It feels really good to know we have no payments on anything we bought for the holidays. We didn't get as much of a dent in our debt tracker as I would've liked but we are getting a bonus of over $6000 on Monday and a good chunk of that will go to Card 2. I think now that we're out of the most expensive holiday time of the year it's going to be all out war on the last two cards so we can be debt free for Xmas 2009!

Here is an updated tracker. When I last left it we were around $61k and change owed. We were able to nibble at them a bit and since 5/1/08 have knocked out over $51,000 off of the total owed. We feel really good about the prospects of getting out of this for good by the end of 2009. Here goes!

Debt Tracker (01/08/09)
Card 1: $40840.04 (8.99)
Card 2: $17494.31 (8.99)
Total: $58334.35

Quick update for the holidays

December 11th, 2008 at 11:22 am

We were able to set aside cash for all of our holiday shopping (including our anniversary, daughter's 18th birthday and Christmas) and pay off a small chunk on both cards with balances. It's nice to know that we're going to get through holiday shopping without racking up any new debt. I don't think we've paid off as much on the cards as I had hoped to this point but I can say we're teetering on the edge of getting under $60k (which in 7 months and starting at $110k is fine with me!)

Happy holidays...and here is the update:

Debt Tracker (12/11/08)
Card 1: $41231.69 (8.99)
Card 2: $20100.23 (8.99)
Total: $61331.92

Being $100.23 from under $20k on Card 2 and $1331.92 from under $60k altogether is driving me CRAZY! I've been trying to find things to sell in my head just as I type this so it does certainly help my motivation! Soon...and once we push through the holidays into January we should really be able to get back on track!

Punching back (and happy Thanksgiving!)

November 26th, 2008 at 05:04 am

Well it's the day before the turkey day and we got paid today (yay!) so I went and paid a slew of bills including the mortgage (which dropped a few bucks thanks to an escrow adjustment) and electric. We're in great shape now with the money set aside for the holidays, my son's volleyball program and our landscaper (we had a soil analysis done by Penn State and we need a lime application to our lawn) PLUS I was able to pay most of what Card 1 took yesterday in interest on Card 2. It would've been a lot more than it was but I had to buy a plane ticket to Arizona for this weekend to see my brother (long story, he's getting divorced...family meeting of sorts down there) so I paid what I budgeted for minus the ticket. My mother did say she'd pay me back for the ticket but I'm even debating if I want her to have to do that (it's not like I couldn't afford it and I sure as heck would never have gone into debt for it. I paid with my debit card of course!) If she does that will go right to where it was going to...CARD 2.

Here's the update:

Debt Tracker (11/26/08)
Card 1: $41931.69 (8.99)
Card 2: $20815.56 (8.99)
Total: $62747.25

It's back below $63k at least! $2747.26 would be nice to be able to throw at it. We don't have another bill due until 12/22 (whoo hoo!) so I'm really confident we can be below $60k before New Year's Day. We'll see though!

Happy Thanksgiving (a day early) to the Saving Advice clan and your families!

Yuck! More interest charges

November 25th, 2008 at 05:20 pm

Another statement closes and another finance charge slaps me upside the head. Ugh what a waste of money! I swear once we are done with these cards...we are done with these cards!

Card 1 collects $311.75 this month. Doh!

Debt Tracker (11/25/08)
Card 1: $41931.69 (8.99)
Card 2: $21076.69 (8.99)
Total: $63008.38

Back over $63k...Happy Thanksgiving Card 1 (grrrrrrr!) Can you tell I'm venting? Ha...gotta love it.

Another $2500 less owed

November 24th, 2008 at 04:39 am

Well it's time for another update! We were able to slash another $2500 off of our debt last week so I am just a basketcase in wanting to get Card 2 under $20,000 and get the total kit and kaboodle under $60,000 (it looks a lot more ugly with those zeroes than if I just used the letter k so I'm using zeroes for motivation. Ha ha!) I can't wait for Weds either (PAYDAY!) so I can make another dent in the numbers.

Oh and those people you hear about getting their limits reduced...I'm one of those people! I had one company reduce my limit on one card from $14,000 to $500! It had no balance and really gets no use so it's not bothering me that they cut it other than for my credit score (which I could care less about at this point. I just want to quit owing cc companies money...I'm fed up with it!) The sooner I get this paid off and I can start cash flowing my daughter's college education (it's on the horizon!) the better.

I'm just happy that our household hasn't felt the economic squeeze nearly as much as a lot of other people (especially in PA!) Though I still think the media drives a lot of the panic and fear and that if people got back to basics they would be a lot better off. OK off the soapbox...here's the skinny:

Debt Tracker (11/24/08)
Card 1: $41619.94 (8.99)
Card 2: $21076.69 (8.99)
Total: $62696.63

They always stick ya!

November 14th, 2008 at 02:41 pm

I posted yesterday about how we had gotten down to just above $65k on our road to getting all our debt out of our lives and this morning Card 2 reminded me it still owns us by posting a $187 finance charge. Darn you Card 2!

So here's today's updated numbers:

Debt Tracker (11/14/08)
Card 1: $41619.94 (8.99)
Card 2: $23568.74 (8.99)
Total: $65188.68

I can't wait for next week. We finally budgeted out all our holiday shopping so I know I'll be able to put at least $2500 on Card 2 by the end of next week. We're really trying to get under $20k on Card 2 before the end of the month but it's not an easy chore with the holiday season approaching!

It's always something!

Another small step

November 13th, 2008 at 06:15 am

Well I managed to pay down another $700 on Card 1 so we're sitting right at $65k left to pay off to have no debt but the house (I'm looking forward to it!) We had the garbage disposal quit on us so we had to replace it (ended up $589 for parts & labor...ugh) but we were able to cut a check for it without batting an eye (rather than charge it to a credit card and carry it...thus paying MORE than $588 for it!) I'll be doing a little wood chopping on Card 2 before the end of the month but the holidays are approaching so I need to budget for my anniversary, my daughter's 18th birthday, Thanksgiving AND Christmas. Yikes!

Here's where we sit:

Debt Tracker (11/13/08)
Card 1: $41619.94 (8.99)
Card 2: $23386.37 (8.99)
Total: $65006.31

A little nibble

October 29th, 2008 at 05:03 am

Well another little nibble off of Card 2 to put the total overall back under $66k. Payday was 2 day so we paid up expenses and are set for the next couple of weeks. Everything is budgeted so it all has a place to go. It's nice to have control over the $ instead of the $ controlling us!

Debt Tracker (10/29/08)
Card 1: $42319.94 (8.99)
Card 2: $23484.21 (8.99)
Total: $65804.15

$325.47 in interest!! Might as well burn it!

October 27th, 2008 at 03:00 pm

Well as happy as I've been about tearing down the cc debt monster the "big dog" bit back today with a $325.47 finance charge (ouch ouch ouch!) Here's the updated numbers (we're getting there though...darn it!)

Debt Tracker (10/27/08)
Card 1: $42319.94 (8.99)
Card 2: $23682.26 (8.99)
Total: $66002.20

Just over $66k...ugh! Anyone with ideas on saving for college apps as well let me know your thoughts. We've got to get her going on this and it seems they're always nickel and diming us...doh!

Plus it's $9.50 everytime we send official SAT scores. What a racket! OK I'm done ranting and raving like a loon. Smile

A nice chop on the ole CC debt!

October 22nd, 2008 at 12:27 pm

Well I did it! I deposited the $3334 over lunch and the good thing about banking at the same place for business and personal banking is the money comes in immediately (like depositing cash) so I can make the payment to Card 2 and watch it apply in the next 24 hours. I received another extra check for $207.50 that I was also able to deposit so after paying some volleyball dues for the son and giving the wife some extra cash I'm able to make a payment of $5514.70 on Card 2. Take that!

Now I can update that sucker!!!

Debt Tracker (10/21/08)
Card 1: $41994.47 (8.99)
Card 2: $23682.26 (8.99)
Total: $65676.73

Goodbye to the $70's...hello to the $60's! Man is it going to be sweet to see Card 2 drop like a rock. Smile We just have to stay focused over the holidays and with my family that can be a somewhat daunting task. Gotta keep the eyes on the prize and you guys certainly help with that so thank you!

Knocking down debt

October 21st, 2008 at 05:43 am

Well wouldn't you know I pay off a card and they end up being one of those nasty two cycle billing bums. Good thing is the interest that they charged me was $12.25 (compare that to 5 months ago and the same card's interest charge was $239.55! What's really funny is I look at the account in MS Money and I can see all 5 months since I stopped using the card in one screen and I can only see about 3 days prior to that (basically had the same amount of transactions in 5 months vs 3 days!) I paid the $12.25 immediately upon getting billed for it and now the card is back to ZERO so I don't have to add it back to my debt tracker.

Now it's on to Card 2 which will get the brunt of our attack. Tomorrow I get the $3334 check (which I've been highly advertising the last 30 days or so) to add to what we have left over from this pay and I'll be able to make a payment of (yep I have it budgeted to the penny!) $5447.20 (ta da!) I am going to wait until I officially make the payment (will be on Thursday) to update it so for now here's the ugly truth:

Debt Tracker (10/21/08)
Card 1: $41994.47 (8.99)
Card 2: $29196.96 (8.99)

Paid off since 05/01/08: $38170.29

Interest charged on Card 2

October 14th, 2008 at 05:36 am

I thought I'd check in and update where we're at with the debt tracker since payday is Wednesday (yee haw!) and the following week we'll be getting another check for $3334 so I plan on making a strong payment on Card 2 on the 23rd. They hit me with a wonderful finance charge (sarcasm alert) of $225.82! Ugh...the sooner I'm done with these cards the better. Here goes:

Debt tracker 10/14/08
Card 1: $42694.47 (8.99%)
Card 2: $29189.01 (8.99%)

At least there are only two remaining...but they're really a couple of thorns in the side. The sooner they go the better.

Another card bites the dust!

October 1st, 2008 at 10:47 am

Today was the final day for Card 3 to have a balance. We paid off the $1970.14 I owed on that card and now we only have two debts left! Here's the update:

Debt tracker 10/01/08
Card 1: $42694.47 (8.99%)
Card 2: $28963.19 (8.99%)

So that's it! In the last five months we've been able to pay off just under $39,000 worth of credit card debt. This one card went from $26412.89 to ZERO in that time. The mountain has gotten smaller!

The two that are left are a couple of monsters but they will soon be gone and then we can actually start keeping our money instead of giving it to the credit card companies (novel concept isn't it...!)

Thanks to everyone here for keeping us on the straight and narrow!

Some updated numbers and identity theft!

September 28th, 2008 at 09:24 am

Well I thought I'd update the debt tracker since I got an interest charge on Card 1 for $315.51 (ouch!) so the update looks like this:

Debt tracker 09/28/08
Card 1: $42694.47 (8.99%)
Card 2: $29891.21 (8.99%)
Card 3: $1970.14 (10.99%)

I also had a charge of $50 show up on Card 3 from Thrifty Car Rental in Chicago on Friday. I haven't rented a car from there since June of 2007 so I was needless to say a little concerned. I called the card issuer and they immediately froze the transaction and are investigating it. I was told I don't have to call the merchant (in this case Thrifty) because the issuer would handle it so I haven't pushed it any further. Anyone have thoughts on this? Thanks!

Another stab at the debt

September 25th, 2008 at 06:00 am

Well I received my quarterly bonus yesterday for $3334 and immediately threw it and some extra income I had been saving for this payment at Card 3 to knock it down just under $3900. I am a happy camper!

Here's the updated debt reduction tracker:

Debt tracker 07/28/08
Card 1: $42378.65 (8.99%)
Card 2: $29891.21 (8.99%)
Card 3: $1970.14 (10.99%)

I expect Card 3 to be zero by the beginning of October with the wife's additional income and with the way we've been budgeting (knowing where everything is going is more than half the battle IMO!)

Again just wanted to celebrate with the people who I know get why this is important. This month alone we've knocked off nearly $13,000 from our debt (this is all we have...yeah like it's not enough right!) so we're on Cloud 9.

Raises and bonuses

September 17th, 2008 at 12:58 pm

OK well I haven't updated this in a bit but I will now. My wife found out today she is getting a $20,000 raise from $60k to $80k. Obviously we're thrilled. Not only that but I found out I'll be getting $3334 in bonus money every four weeks starting in late September and going through November ($10,000 total) so we will be able to really kill the debt AND have some money for the holidays.

I wanted to update the tracker because I was able to put close to $10,000 on Card 3 while I was away. Here are the latest numbers hot off the press:

Debt tracker 07/28/08
Card 1: $42378.65 (8.99%)
Card 2: $29891.21 (8.99%)
Card 3: $5711.32 (10.99%)

Card 3 has a very short life to live! Adding her income boost and the bonus money I'll be able to pay off Card 3 and make a serious dent in Card 2 by the beginning of October. Not only that but we have THREE pay periods in October so I can pay the mortgage on the 29th and use the paydays from the 1st and the 15th AND the bonus money in October ALL on paying off these balances.

This is going to be one sweet 4th quarter! I thought I'd share the love since this place has been so good to me for so long. I'm glad we're finally getting a hold of this thing!

First day back and paid on a CC

August 21st, 2008 at 07:22 am

OK First things first! I'm back from Hawaii and the best thing about it is my debt tracker gets to DROP after this trip (NO NEW DEBT!) I paid minimum on Card 2 (you know my drill...hammer out Card 3 and pay minimum on 2 and 1 until 3 is gone...rinse and repeat!)

Card 3 hit me with its interest charge (thank you sir may I have another) of $145.25 this morning. So the number there has gone up a little bit. Card 3 will be getting a huge amount of money paid on it in the next month (I'll get into that in a later blog post) so for now they get to grow a little bit for nothing. Here come the new numbers:

Debt tracker 08/21/08
Card 1: $42750.68 (8.99%)
Card 2: $29662.67 (9.99%)
Card 3: $13888.36 (11.24%)

Bring it on!

Back from Hawaii

August 20th, 2008 at 05:51 am

Well we're back! What an amazing place to visit. We had a fantastic time and the best part about it was we were able to 100 percent cash flow the entire thing! Not only that but today (my first day back to work) is payday with my NEW paycheck! I'm excited to sit down today (or tonight) and budget the next couple of weeks out.

It's good to be back but I miss Hawaii already! Now we're even more motivated to get all our credit card debt obliterated to be able to take another trip like that. It was beautiful to say the least.

Whoo hoo! Good to be back.

Big day for me and the Mrs.

August 8th, 2008 at 10:20 am

I got a raise and promotion! I had proposed this to my bosses six months ago and after long, long, long deliberations (did I say long?!!) they have decided to bump my pay 20 percent and have me report directly to the CFO (I'm in IT.) This is a huge positive step for me one day before we are going out of town so I feel great about it. Look out debt reduction tracker!

The Mrs. also has a meeting today with her CEO about a raise so hopefully we both end up bumping up the income ladder. This will make getting out of debt even more fun!

Thanks to all who read my diatribe and post comments. It's really keeping me going in the right direction.

Airline fees are everywhere!

August 8th, 2008 at 05:21 am

Well I checked everyone in today for our flights to Hawaii tomorrow and took a look at the latest airline fee listings. Holy moly! They want $15 for the first checked bag under 50 lbs, if it's 50-70 lbs it's $65 and 71-100 is $115. Yikes. My wife and I are flying in first class because I was a dope and bought us first class tickets awhile back (when I was charging myself into submission.) The kids and my daughter's boyfriend are in coach and it's now $2 for all drinks on board, $7 for a meal and $5 for a snack box (US Airways.) Ugh! Well I did find a loophole since we're flying first class. We get to check up to two bags each under 50 lbs for no charge so we're both going to do that to save us on the fees. Of course we paid more for the flights so we didn't really save any money but at least we will not get hit again with more fees. Food and drinks are also free in first but who knows how much longer even that will be the case the way they are tacking everything on.


Aloha on the horizon

August 6th, 2008 at 07:42 am

Well it's finally here! We leave for Hawaii on Saturday and will be there a total of 10 days. We will be flying from Philadelphia to Phoenix to Kona and staying on the Kona coast on the big island. We have been working discounts (AAA is our friend) and coupons and booking everything in advance. Big tip for anyone going to Hawaii...book the big stuff in advance and reap the discounts!

We had budgeted $5500 for five people but thanks to some extra ebay/stubhub sales we've been able to sock away close to $7500 for this trip. The plan is to try to keep our expenses down to the $5500 we budgeted. I think it's definately doable and without sacrificing the fun factor. We have a condo with a nice sized kitchen so we'll be able to eat most breakfasts and lunches at the place (we'll be beaching it most of the time anyways.)

Gas will be on the company card (the company also paid for the car rental) and they're paying for car service to and from the airport in Philadelphia so we're in good shape there. We've also already paid for the condo and the airfare (obviously) so those expenses will not come out of this budget.

We found out as well that they have a Costco not too far from us and a Wal-Mart on the island as well (my wife is dead set against ever stepping foot in a Wal-Mart due to her opinion of their business practices so that probably would never happen but it's a thought.) We're bringing coupons for basic stuff and we're thinking buying some breakfast/lunch stuff there would be a good idea. We'll see when we get there though.

We're excited! I would so rather be out of credit card debt before going on this trip but the condo and airfare weren't refundable and this really is the last family vacation we'll be able to have before our daughter goes off to college so we're going to go and enjoy it as much as we can. The main thing is the debt will be right where it is when we get back (no credit cards will be travelling on this trip with us) and the best part is we don't have one payment due until 10 days after we get back (and we'll be getting a paycheck the day after we get back...yippie.)

Hawaii here we come.

Sold some more items

August 6th, 2008 at 07:30 am

Well August has brought some more ebay sales as I've sold computer parts and hockey jerseys and I have one item left listed to sell for now. Here are the totals for August:

5 items sold for $492.98

Not a bad start to the month!

Major stubhub sales!!

July 28th, 2008 at 04:26 pm

Sold two sets of tickets (2 rows behind home plate at Wrigley Field in Chicago) for $1200 and $1018.30! Jackpot! The money will take about a week to get here but I'm thrilled they sold.

Updating a now awesome July:


More money to throw at Card 3 when it's all said and done!

Another ebay item sold

July 28th, 2008 at 05:23 am

Sold an old, old PC for $61 so a little bit more of a bump before the month ends. Here's the number for July:


Not bad for a month of ebay!

More debt kicked to the curb

July 28th, 2008 at 05:18 am

Well not a huge dent but a small bite as I paid the minimum on Card 1 (I'm throwing excess at Card 3 until it's gone...makes sense as its the lowest balance and the highest interest rate.)

So they hit me with an interest charge of $332.86 but I hit back with the $700 payment. So here's the update:

Debt tracker 07/28/08
Card 1: $42750.68 (8.99%)
Card 2: $30038.25 (9.99%)
Card 3: $13763.11 (11.24%)

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