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At one point or another, we've all gotten fed up with the bondage of credit card debt. We look at our total monthly payments, dreaming of what we could do with that $200, $500, or $1,000+ every month. Human nature being what it is, though, once we eliminate a credit card (or 2 or 3 or 10), we absorb that money into our regular budgets and it "disappears."
I determined I wouldn't let that happen to me, that I would make those CC payments to myself and see what I could do with the money I'd been sending those CC companies. My income has fluctuated a little bit, and my expenses have increased significantly since then. So I've had to adjust my budget accordingly.
But I'm pleased to say that I've stuck to my original plan as much as possible. I'm currently saving to buy my first car and I'm hoping to pay cash. (THAT will go a long way toward building wealth!) All former debt payments have gone toward my first-car fund.
I make a very modest income (less than $25,000/yr) and my original goal was $6,000. A year ago, just 6 months into a new job after more than 2 years of unemployment and newly debt free, that seemed like a HUGE amount of money.
I began saving in January 2004. Eight months later, I've stashed $5,400!!! That is a significant portion of my take-home pay. Even more amazing is that, just 8 months later, I'm within spitting distance of my original goal. Wow!!!
In the last 8 months, I've had to take on monthly rent payments as I now live on my own, so I can't save as much as I was originally able to. But that has been balanced with the blessing of significant overtime and even a couple of bonuses! :)
Because I work from home and live less than a mile from the office (I am required to show my face on occasion), I can't justify going into debt to pay for a car. And since everything is so convenient right now, I'm seriously considering waiting until I have $10,000. It will buy me a better car (I really want a Honda Civic) and allow me to remain stupid-debt free. :)
To me, the biggest benefit of having no CC debt is FREEDOM! I can now choose what to do with that money, to put it to work for my future. I LOVE having choices and options. :)
If you're still working on credit card debt, hang in there. We're all rooting for you! The rewards are so worth it. And be sure to post your successes here. We can't wait to celebrate at your victory dance! :)
P.S. And don't forget to have a plan in place for those payments once your debt is gone. You can do a lot for YOU with that money! ;)
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