I started Finance Fox around the same time I had enough with my current debt situation. Being $9,000 in debt is not something to laugh about. Despite that a lot of people in today’s society consider that amount of debt to be the norm. I did too, for years. Then I wanted change. I wanted to take my life in a new direction. Live debt free and change my own psychology on money forever. Living in any debt is not good and for those who tell you that “it’s okay” or “that’s normal” or “others have it worst” are the same people who need help. Seriously. We all make mistakes though and fortunately debt is fixable. I am living proof of that again. In 11 months and 13 days I defeated my $3,500 credit-card debt. I am proud to say I owe my $0 on my Visa, effective October 28,2011.
Just like gaining weight, most people don’t get into serious credit card debt overnight. Its a process. Things go wrong bit by bit. Mistakes are made slowly. And next thing we realize that we’ve got a problem. Some more serious than others. We look at others and asses their situation. We suggest ideas, thoughts and processes for them to defeat their problem. Unfortunately when we have our own problems, the answers are much more complicated. The process does not seem easy. Fortunately though, credit card debt is manageable. All you need is a plan and a lot of discipline. I got into my credit card debt through time. Few bigger purchases, combined with some bad choices, equals me being in credit card debt.
You can read my post about how I got into $9,000 debt , which clearly illustrates poor decision making and most importantly living beyond my means. I am the only one to blame. We can sit here all day and talk about how credit card companies pull stunts and have the tactics, that get people into debt. Yet, we are the ones who decide where and when to swipe that piece of plastic.
By the Numbers
I always paid my credit card on time. Most of the time it was the minimum payment + $100 on top. Despite being a regular payee, I could never pay off more than a few hundred dollars in a few months. I almost always carried a full balance on my credit card. The limit was $3,500 and I would have maybe at best a few hundred dollars paid off. I carried my $3,500 credit card balance roughly for 2 years, 6 months or 912 days. In total I paid roughly $1,178 in interest over the course of 2 years, 6 months. That works out to $390 in interest per year. Per month that works out to $32.50 in interest.
My debt became revolving. I was a hamster spinning in its cage on the wheel. Going round and round with no true goal. Eventually I grew sick and tired of seeing that ugly $3,500 balance on my credit card every time I logged into my online banking. Change had to be made and change happened in 8,328 hours.
After becoming finally disgusted with my credit card balance, it was time to make sacrifices to pay off my debt. And pay it off ASAP. It was costing me everyday for the balance I carried. I could not allow it continue to cost me anymore. I came to terms that there is no magic wand I can wave to make my credit card debt disappear. I set my priorities straight and paying off my credit card debt was high on my priority list. In fact I even included into my 2011 Goals.
The average interest rate on credit cards is a hefty 14 percent. I was paying 19.99 percent on my credit card. Atrociously high, I know. I knew wanted to aggressively pay of my $3,500 credit card debt for a few reasons other than the obvious of becoming credit card debt free.
When you take on revolving debt not only are you paying loads of high interest on the balance, but your credit score is suffering and that you become emotionally drained. You give in and become that hamster spinning on the wheel of nowhere.
In the end I defeated my credit card debt. It only took me 11 months, 13 days or 347 days or 8,328 hours of discipline, hard work and a lot of anger. Anger at my self on how stupid I was to take on get into this credit card debt. All the hard work, snowballing payments, anger and discipline paid off. Would I advise this grueling journey to anyone? Not particularly. Debt is avoidable. Unfortunately if you’ve gotten into credit card debt and are serious about defeating it, than what’s stopping you?
As for me; Next is the line of credit. Wish me luck?