I paid off my credit card today.
It was a really good feeling to see that balance at zero.
But this isn’t the first time I have done this. I have paid off my credit cards three times.
The first time was before I got married. I paid off almost $10K in debt with more debt. I used my student loan money to pay off the credit card because I was in school at the time and they let me max out the amount I could borrow. It was much cheaper interest at the end, and I figured with my new degree, I would pay it off quickly. Only that didn’t happen. I am still paying on that student load 14 years later.
The second time was after I got married. We ran up a bunch of debt buying a house and furnishing it. So, there was another 10K to pay off. This time, I was a little smarter. We did a budget, and I moved the money from 0% interest card to 0% interest card until it was all paid off. It took years.
I swore that I was never going to have a credit card again. If I couldn’t afford it, I wouldn’t buy it.
I didn’t stick to it.
I look back at my past, and I always seem to be digging myself out of some sort of debt. Right now, I still have a car payment and student loans to pay off.
Sometimes, I want to blame circumstances for my debt. If my car hadn’t broken down, I wouldn’t need a ‘newer’ car. But the truth is, I could have bought a much cheaper car. One that would have left me with a lower payment. I would have less stress in my life if I had done this. I also like nice things. I definitely value quality in the things that I purchase. So, I got a car that fit me, my personality and my need for quality. I feel safe, and I feel secure that it will last a while.
I know that my debt is because of my own choices. I decided to buy these things. I made the choice I felt was right at the time, even if it doesn’t look like the right choice now.
So, I am trying to do better now.
I am paying off my debt, and I am not going to let myself accumulate more. I am making the sacrifices that need to be made to bring in more money. Living with a roommate is my most significant sacrifice since I value my alone time so much. But I am determined that this time, it will be different. I am not going to repeat this debt pattern. I am going to pay it off and be done.
I believe that now. I have made that decision. I am confident that it will stick.
What about you? Does any of this look familiar?
Let me know what you need to help you make that decision.
P.S. I know I promised tools this week, but it turns out that creating a tool for yourself is pretty easy. Making a tool that other people can use and change without messing up the automated formulas is challenging. So, I am still working on it. I hope it will be ready next week. In the meantime, I am using a different tool just for debt payoff. I got it from the blog Swimming in Debt. Just sign up for their free resource library. The debt sheet is what I have been using to decide on how and when I want to pay down my debt.