DH and I are on a two month journey to pay off $11,357.61 in credit card debt (at zero interest). DH took on a job as a project manager for 2 to 3 months with the intention that 90% of his take home salary is to be applied to this debt. We started the pay down by withdrawing $2500 first out of our savings to immediately pay off the airline credit cards before interest was charged. Most of this total debt was to pay for newish furniture for our recently purchased Florida condo AND for repairs and remodeling projects to make our primary New York home sale-ready.
June and July have a total of 9 weeks. Once I made the initial payment of $2,500, each and every week since then I’ve been paying $1,000 towards our debt. I started with the smallest debt first and every week I pay down the next debt in order. The last debt to pay off is a whopper at $5,719.90. But every pay-day, like clockwork, the debt is being paid off in $1,000 weekly increments till eventually it’s all gone.
Now, I know most people can’t pay off their debt as DH and I have been doing. They need their income to live day-to-day. Oftentimes, it will take an average person many months, perhaps years to pay down their debt. DH and I live a very basic life on $1500 a month which is fully covered by our passive income. That’s why and how we can use his weekly take-home pay to quickly pay off these debts.
But, I have to say one thing: paying off debt is hard! Granted yes, I have it a whole lot easier than most people BUT nonetheless, paying off your debt is hard work! You have to sacrifice, you have to be determined and as Dave Ramsey put it, you have to be gazelle-like in getting rid of your debt. Even if it is at zero percent! DH and I have stopped all expenditures. We’ve stopped going out. I’ve been cooking 3 meals a day 7 times a week (I’m exhausted). ALL our energy and resources have been re-directed to pay off this debt. Which makes the logical conclusion: why go into debt in the first place?
First off, the debt alloted us to furnish our new condo quickly. DH refused to transport our 11-year-old furniture from NY to Florida for a $3,500 moving fee. He said we could equally use that $3,500 to buy newish (consignment store) furniture. WRONG! It cost us $8,500. That was a big fail and a huge miscalculation. Second, because DH is currently working, we had to hire a contractor to do DH’s work PLUS mow the lawn. Ka-ching! Dual edged financial sword. So, sometimes debt in your life has a good purpose. Now, however, it’s time to pay it back.
In a way, I’m glad it’s been a bit difficult paying back our debt. It’s a lesson to be learned, a pain to be felt thus keeping oneself out of debt for the near and distant future. In the interim, I am continuing to be a frugal and as cost-effective as possible. This week I did extremely well in the budget department. A local supermarket was having a meat and poultry sale: buy one, get one free. Their chicken didn’t look great BUT their steaks, pork chops and sausages looked divine PLUS when combined with the buy one/get one sale, when I did the calculations, I was getting the meat at a very fair price. I bought $66.51 worth of meat BUT paid only $37.03 after discount. That’s a savings of $29.48!
Also, my doctor has prescribed a new statin to help keep my cholesterol in check. The last one made me nauseous. The last one had a value of $32 but with my Humana Part D Medicare supplement insurance, my cost was only $4. This new drug, however, has a whopping cost of $226.56 per month! but with my Humana insurance my cost is only $11.50. That’s a savings of $215.06 per month or/and $2,580.72 over the year! (since I need these meds monthly) NOW my medical insurance is starting to pay off since my Humana monthly insurance cost is only $17. That seventeen dollars is turning out to have been a very wise investment on my part.
Lastly, I grabbed a bag of my regular dog food at Aldi this past week BUT when I got home, the bag was really cat food! I swear, the two bags looked identical! Anyway, my dog was starving so I fed her the cat food regardless. (she liked it!) I immediately brought the bag back to Aldi, got a $6.47 refund AND a bag of real dog food for free! Their mistake. Not mine. The two items should not have been co-mingled together on the same self.
And that’s what keeps the money in my pocket and DH and I wealthy.