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We finally did it...debt is all paid off!

August 16th, 2009 at 02:43 pm

Debt Tracker (08/14/09)

Well we did it! We received a bonus deposit of $5000 on Friday and cleared the last $3815.04 from our debt. We are now debt free minus our mortgage! It's been a long battle between us and our debt load (which ended up being $117.5k) but we have finally climbed to the top of the mountain.

It's really nice to know that all of our income will be ours to keep. We're going to be able to pay cash on Weds for our son to go to Spain with his class a full three months before the payment is actually due. We paid cash and bought a patio table for our back patio (we had lost three due to wind) and this one has a heavy custom stone top so it'll be plenty heavy for the hilltop winds. We'll also be able to cash flow our daughter's college education starting next fall AND our son's in a couple of years. We are so excited!

All I can say is to anyone who is frustrated with debt just get on a budget and keep the faith! You can do this. If we can do it anyone can. Trust me on that. Smile


This is the end of the debt reduction tracker! Not sorry to see it go at all.

Less than a month to debt freedom

August 5th, 2009 at 07:28 am

I can't believe we're less than one month away from having paid off ALL of our non-mortgage debts! $117k and change will FINALLY be gone after all this time (about 16 months of really cutting back and staying focused!)

We made a payment today of $2800+ on the last card and our total balance left to pay is now under $4k so we can really see that light shining at the end of the tunnel! It'll be bittersweet but I really can't wait to be rid of a debt reduction tracker category. Smile

Here's the update:

Debt Tracker (08/05/09)
Card 1: $3815.04 (8.99)

Woo hoo! September 2nd looks like the date!

Almost out of July!

July 23rd, 2009 at 05:52 am

Well we are just about through the end of July and we were able to cash flow the trip to the Outer Banks with family for around $1500 all tolled. The house and the car rental were taken care of by relatives so we just had to pay for activities and food during the week (when you have 10 people around it makes it that much more expensive.)

We're down to under $7000 now until ALL of our non-mortgage debt will be paid off and then we'll just have the mortgage to go! The timing is there for us to be totally out by mid-September so we're really looking forward to that.

We've cleared over $110,000 in credit card debt in just about 15 months (it'll be 15 months on July 30th.) We can't wait to see the rest of this go!

Here's the update:

Debt Tracker (07/23/09)
Card 1: $6552.56 (8.99)

Under $9k to go!

June 30th, 2009 at 04:47 am

Well you knew that Card 1 wasn't going quietly into the night so they did hit us with a $138.45 finance charge but we batted them back by selling some old computer stuff to a friend and now we're under $9k to go! Since July is going to be a slow month for us I'm doing what I can to generate a few extra bucks here and there and it starts with this $243 payment!

Debt Tracker (06/30/09)
Card 1: $8968.92 (8.99)

Soooooooooo close! July is going to be painful though. Normally I would make a $3000 payment (or so) on Card 1 with our first round of paychecks but I have to hold onto the majority of the money thanks to a preplanned vacation for the family to the Outer Banks. My mother rented the house and to cut down on costs we're driving the family down for the week. I'm going to keep as much of the $ as I can for the vacation and then once we get back throw everything left over that I can muster at the debt but I'm sure it'll be a lot less than $3000. SIGH...this is a battle I gave in on so I think I am doing the right thing. Everyone has been great about this whole process so I don't feel as badly about it and it doesn't change our debt free date of September (we will be getting a bonus check in Sept that will pretty much wipe out the remaining balance) but I still would have rather put it on this last card considering how close we really are.

Sometimes though you have to let off the reins a bit to keep the peace. I'd of course rather do no new debt than pay the card off and rack back up $2000 worth of expenses. That would really put a damper on the vacation. Smile

Thanks for letting me vent!

$9073.83 from being totally out of debt

June 24th, 2009 at 01:15 pm

Well other than the mortgage of course. Wink We made a payment of just under $1500 today to knock our last card down to just over $9000. So since 4/30/08 we've paid off $108,217 of credit card debt!!! So close to getting completely rid of all of our debt! It's a great feeling.

Here's the tally:

Debt Tracker (06/22/09)
Card 1: $9073.83 (8.99)

More damage to the final number

June 22nd, 2009 at 12:15 pm

I'm out of town all week for work after being out of town since last Weds for play (Father's Day, wife's birthday and more) but we received a $1600 bonus I was able to apply to this last card.

So a pleasant update to the reduction planner:

Debt Tracker (06/22/09)
Card 1: $10570.26 (8.99)

Almost under $10k! Smile

An extra $20 on the remaining balance

June 12th, 2009 at 05:07 am

What does an extra $20 do for me on a $12,190 balance? It makes the balance go to $12,170. Smile

There are a lot of people out there that would say that putting $20 on this last card is a waste of time. Well anytime a credit card balance's interest is calculated on the average daily balance ANYTHING you put towards your credit card debt is no waste of time at all!

So to update:

Debt Tracker (06/12/09)
Card 1: $12170.26 (8.99)

Take that credit card debt!

One month later...so close to being out of debt!

June 10th, 2009 at 07:38 am

Well I had hoped we would be under $20,000 in total debt left to pay off (minus the mortgage of course) and lo and behold we're there! As of today we have paid off over $105,000 worth of credit card debt in about 13.5 months. We are getting really close to being completely debt free and it's exciting to know how hard we worked is finally paying off.

So here is the updated total:

Debt Tracker (06/10/09)
Card 1: $12190.26 (8.99)

That's it! Only $12k to go...I feel really good about it all and I can't wait to be rid of the debt tracker once and for all! Smile

Slowly but surely...

May 14th, 2009 at 07:25 am

Well another payday goes by and another chunk comes off the last card in thd debt reduction game! We were able to fork over around $3300 onto Card 1 so here comes the new update:

Debt Tracker (05/14/09)
Card 1: $22222.70 (8.99)

We should be under $20k by this time next month. Woo hoo! Smile

Another little nick off the last card to payoff

April 29th, 2009 at 06:22 am

Well today is my favorite day (payday!) so even though evil CC1 decided to throw a $226 interest charge my way I fought back with a payment of $955 to knock it down a notch. Smile Still a ways to go with this one but I hope to be done with it soon enough!

Debt Tracker (04/29/09)
Card 1: $25475.94 (8.99)

This brings the payoff total after one complete year of really being serious about paying this down to $91,683.35.


Finally over $90,000 in cc debt paid off in less than one year!

April 15th, 2009 at 06:44 am

It's official...we're finally over the $90,000 paid level in our scramble to get rid of all of our non-mortgage debt asap.

Today is payday and we were able to throw an additional $3100+ at the last credit card. So here's the update:

Debt Tracker (04/15/09)
Card 1: $26204.24 (8.99)

Since April 30th, 2008 we've paid off $90,728.50 in credit card debt! It's the only debt we have/had other than our mortgage so the sooner we get to zero the better!

Just wanted to celebrate a little bit with everyone. Woo hoo!

New Update! Below $30,000 left from $110,000 start last April

April 10th, 2009 at 04:31 am

Today we got our tax return back and after paying our first estimates for 2009 to the IRS, PA and NJ we were able to knock Card 1 below $30,000! We're really excited knowing we've still got a couple of paychecks yet to come in April and we're really looking forward to making more of a dent in the 20's. We've paid off over $87,000 worth of credit card debt (including an additional $7k in accrued interest) since late April 2008! Woo hoo!

So close to the finish line!

Debt Tracker (04/10/09)
Card 1: $29367.62 (8.99)

Hooray for Payday

March 18th, 2009 at 05:01 am

Today is payday and we really didn't have a lot of bills to pay (yay!) Next month is really going to be fun with three checks on the 1st, 15th and 29th but for now I was able to take a big bite out of lonely Card 1. It's great that it is the ONLY card left to pay off because with the fewer number of bills coming in the easier it is to really track them (and once Card 1 is done then the only debt we will have to our names will be a mortgage. Yippie!)

I cash flowed my vehicle registration, took cash out for day-2-day expenses (we only use cash for food, entertainment, household stuff, etc.), put some money in the kids bank accounts (18 yo has checking and 15 yo has savings that will soon flip to checking) for work they did (they get $2 for every year of age per day), bought a programmable thermostat (checked consumer reports first to make sure it was a best buy and it was easy to program...looks like it) and some CFL bulbs from thebulb.com (they have pretty good prices and a portion of every bulb bought goes to help the environment...not to mention the bulbs themselves!)

Had $4600+ left over for Card 1. Yippie!

So since 4/30/08 we've paid off $76,271.80 in credit card debt and we have what's left below to go. It just feels like we're really starting to see the finish line.

Debt Tracker (03/18/09)
Card 1: $34090.02 (8.99)

One credit card left!

March 4th, 2009 at 09:32 am

Well I am happy to announce that Card 2 is officially paid off as of today. The card at its peak had a balance of nearly $32,000 on it but now it has a zero balance! The debt reduction tracker has ONE card left on it now and I was able to make a $2000+ dollar payment on it today as well (hooray for payday) as well as knock out the rest of the bills due.

So for the record 8 credit cards with a total balance of $72,700 has been paid off in 10 months (since 5/1/08) and we can now throw all our extra dough at this last card until it meets its final end (hopefully in under six months!)

We're thrilled! Woo hoo!

Debt Tracker (03/04/09)
Card 1: $38705.12 (8.99)

I don't even have to add them up anymore...yippie! Smile

Another nibble!

February 24th, 2009 at 12:12 pm

Well as predicted the check for $4500 was deposited and posted and I immediately took $4410 of that (had to put $90 to good use elsewhere) and hammererd it on Card 2! So now it's official...as of March 4th, 2009 (next payday!) we will be down to one account with one big, hefty balance (but it's only one...yay!)

Debt Tracker (02/24/09)
Card 1: $40475.55 (8.99)
Card 2: $1087.90 (7.99)
Total: $41563.45

It's going to be so sweet to see only Card 1 up there!

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!

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