My Starting Point

My boyfriend Jay, bless his heart, has had a rough go at it so far. He hasn’t been able to find a job, so he lives with his mom. Besides GST checks, he has no income at this point. He also has no debt.

Jay’s net worth is $0.

He’s doing better than me, that’s for sure.

My debt level is INSANE to me- I never had it above $1000 before 2011. This is the breakdown:

Card 1 450.34
Card 2 2965.63
 DEBT: 3415.97

That might not seem so bad to any seasoned PF bloggers (Claire from Blogging Away Debt is starting with over $98000), but for just over a year and a half of credit and having almost no other expenses, it’s terrible. I’m still mentally kicking myself.

My net worth looks almost as bad:

Chequing 115.22
Savings 439.75
Debt 3415.97
Total NW -2861

I could continue going on and on about how I shouldn’t have let it get this bad, but I’ll spare you. On the bright side, I’m at least catching it before it becomes a deep-seated habit.

My plan thus far is simple: Stop accumulating debt, and pay it down as aggressively as possible. I’ve been paying my credit card companies $300 biweekly to try and keep up with my spending, so I’ll continue doing that WITHOUT using the cards. There are some monthly expenses on the cards, which are my Netflix (can’t live without) on card #2 and my donations to World Vision on card #1. Together they come to just over $40 a month, and I’m going to keep them automated on the accounts. My problem was never online or automated spending anyways- it’s physically having the cards in my possession that caused me to get this far in debt. Everything just seemed either insignificant or an emergency. My goal at the end of my debt is to use credit RESPONSIBLY- hopefully by never having a physical card in my hand again if I can help it.

My card with the lowest balance happens to be the one with the higher interest rate, so I will be starting to pay down that one first at $225 a paycheck. It’ll be gone completely within a month. My minimum payment on the biggest balance is only $30 though, so I’ll pay $75 every paycheck onto that. With interest included, I’ll have my debt paid off completely in 6 months, knock on wood.

Before when I’d try to pay down my cards, I’d look at the numbers and feel overwhelmed and hopeless. This time, I’m ecstatic. I feel like this will work for me this time. Honestly, I can’t wait to get paid again so I can begin!

For anyone that has paid off (or is currently paying off) their consumer debt, how did you feel when you started?


2 responses to “My Starting Point

  1. Having been in this position many times, I can say that it always feels overwhelming. I’m like you in that I want to pay off big chunks as soon as possible, but for me I have to be careful not to leave myself cash poor, meaning I can pay it off if i get a big chunk from a project, but then i might not get paid for another project for awhile and I don’t want to be in a position of having to put things like groceries back on a cc. Just pace yourself, and know you are moving in the right direction.

    • I’ve had that problem as well, where I end up pulling out of my savings or worse, using the cards again when I pay too much towards them. After some tinkering I found a magic formula with my paychecks, so I have an exact amount of which I can pay towards debt without taking away from how much money I need to get through the week.

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