This Is What Keeps Me Wealthy

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.

 

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11 thoughts on “This Is What Keeps Me Wealthy

  1. Very well done Cindi, DH and I just paid off about $5000 in CC debt after coming home from my 60th birthday cruise. It was low interest, but after getting into a discussion from a collection agency about a medical bill we DO NOT owe, I told DH that was it, no debt again. He agreed. Honestly we were on the phone over 45 minutes with this collection agency (who has called us before and about 2 weeks ago were told we did NOT owe this money, it was their error). Well, I just had had it. Collection agency now insists we DO owe this money (we don’t we paid it off 2 years ago and have proof). But it really made me so angry I told DH that we were going to pay off every single CC, no matter how low the interest was. I don’t want to deal with debt in retirement and it’s only been 6 weeks since I retired. So good for you, keep fighting the good fight.

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    • Thanks Terri. My own hubby has medical bills we just can’t seem to get rectified. Ggggrrrrr!
      Credit cards can be a help but realistically, in the end, they’re just a pain in that end. LOL!
      It’s just best to get rid of it and pay it off ASAP.
      Live and learn.
      Thanks for your comment and for sharing your experience.

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  2. Keeping fighting the good fight. We have vowed NEVER to use credit cards again. There is nothing that can entice me to do so. With every dollar we pay off, I feel a smidge closer to freedom. Glad you have the means to get your credit cards out of your life for good.

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  3. Hi Cindi, so happy you are knocking down your CC debt so aggressively and it is making you more content. I am curious if this is because the 0% offers are close to expiring besides DH wanting to stop working the special projects his great work reputation seems to bring his way.
    I always enjoy reading your blog because it gives me food for thought. My life is in redesign mode too. So much I need to change and that’s sooner not later. Like yesterday when it comes to healthy habits, relationships, and relooking at financial choices as I am turning sixty next year.
    The bogo on meat were probably much better price then full retail. But having heart disease myself none of the meats would have past my cardiologist’s nutritionist list of what will keep your heart healthy. She read me the riot act on a food journal she had me keep and highlighted all of these things in RED as well as bacon and cheese that I love. She also highlighted in green my better choices and suggested some books to read ASAP. Sincerely, Lara 🤗

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    • Hi Lara. My husband and I have one steak per month. I think its very important to do that. We like NY Strip Steak. I have about 3 or 4 bites. DH has a steak the size of his palm. I do believe we should have red meat every once in a while. Especially if you physically work very hard, as DH does. He feels so much better after he has his one steak.
      Normally we eat, turkey (ground…a lot!), skinless chicken and fish (salmon, flounder and haddock). Throw in a few vegan meals and that’s about it. Every once in a while we’ll have pork loin (which is what I just recently bought, cut into steaks)
      There are two reasons why we are paying off the zero based credit card debt ASAP. #1 the deadline to pay them off in full without interest is November 2017. #2. We’re replacing the $11K of debt with $14K of debt for a 10 year loan for the RV. But that too, we will also be paying down and off. We just got the loan now to tide us over. DH is confidant he can pay off everything before the end of fall. In any event, if not, the credit card debt I can guarantee will be paid off and if worse comes to worse the RV loan is $140 a month. NOT a deal breaker.
      Would I recommend such actions to anyone else? that depends. As you know, both DH and myself have been diagnosed with heart conditions. DH’s is very severe. His meds are the only thing keeping him alive.We have a Bucket List we want to accomplish and after much thought and planning, this was our only solution to accomplish our goals. We don’t want to touch our savings because we may need it for medical treatments. The $140 monthly payment is easily carried under our passive income without doing us any harm. And as I said before, should DH decide to finally sell his car (we don’t need two) that income will pay off the RV in full with some cash left over.
      At this stage of our lives, with medical problems potentially looming, we want to enjoy whatever good years we have left.

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  4. Thanks for clarifying. My DH didn’t have any chance to fulfill anything like a bucket list, I hope you can enjoy completing your bucket lists. Quite frankly after providing the care to my parents and DH and then grieving their loss I became way too sedentary in my activity choices and along with too much cheap, fast and easy junk food choices I created a big a – – trunk! It also wasn’t smart for a healthy heart. So it is so so overdue to prioritize giving myself the best loving care and healthiest food immediately and cost be irrelevant. My only wish is for you to do the same and extend your time together.
    The beef with its added steroids and hormones probably does make your husband feel more like his younger self spiking his testosterone, but it’s also very inflammatory. Personally, Cheap beef that is loaded with the hormones and steroids give me very painful arthritis symptoms which is inflammation of the joints and also arteries.The nutritionist said If you crave the beef-Splurge! get the hormone, steroid free, low fat or remove all visible fat before cooking. Sadly my local butcher told me -They are also adding hormones and steroids in raising pigs quicker now too.

    I agree $140 is definitely not a monthly deal breaker but obviously that is only one part of your travel cost-gasoline,Durango maintenance, insurance, fees, repairs, campsite fees, depreciation, and different cost of food on the road, and entertainment. Lots of unplanned temptations await! Where I live there is also property tax on RVs. I am sure you also have checked what your medical insurances covers when you are traveling as most insurances have different copay in network and when you are out of network. I seem to remember you had problems in Florida with medical emergency that you ended up putting on your credit card.
    Lara

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    • Yes, DH had back problems and instead of going to the ER where he would have had full medical coverage, he went to a care center and he wound up paying the WHOLE bill out of pocket. Live and learn.
      DH always craves those free range bison burgers. He loves them. I say ‘yuck!’
      Insurance on the RV is $234 for the entire year. The new RV is made for boondocking, which means we can camp anywhere without hookups. For free. It has solar power and large water storage tanks. The RV comes with a 2 year warranty and our new insurance includes roadside assistance. The Durango has a lifetime warranty. All we are responsible for are oil changes, tires and windshield wipers. We paid a lot of money up front for this extra safety cushion.
      What will be, will be. At this point, money is not going to be an issue. All within reason, of course.
      Wish us luck. Fingers crossed we can follow through on our plan. DH is being super careful and taking it easy. He does more project management than actual labor, so that’s a very good thing.
      Thanks, as always for sharing your own journey with me and for your comments.

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