This is the final stretch! I hope to have a final complete update at the end of summer! Today’s post is a bit shorter than previous ones since I not much financially has changed since I wrote at the last update.
My eye-opening moment was the statement for January 2018, when the balance on my card reached its all time high of $9,943.70. Since then I’ve reduced my balance by $5,387.20. It’s now $4,556.57. I’ve not made any charges to the card and I’ve kept the card frozen the entire time. The total amount paid in 2019 was $4,600, but the total amount of reduction in 2019 was $3,379.10 because of interest. The interest amount has reduced since my last update, but its still a burden on this process! When I started payoff, I had three interest rates:
- Purchases made 4/12/17 and after, an interest rate of 18.49%
- Purchases made between 8/20/10 and 4/11/17, an interest rate of 20.24% (from the time I opened the card to 2017)
- Purchases made during a promo period of 12 months interest free, 20.24% (2016 maybe?)
In September 2019 I paid off the balance on the “promotional period” interest rate. While each monthly payment is divided among each balance under each interest rate, this is a significant marker of progress for me. The next interest rate that should be paid off is on “purchases made after 4/12/17.” I’m able to see in each statement how quickly I can make progress when my interest rate and balance reduce month to month.
Further to this, I mentioned in a previous post, that I opened another credit card. I thought that I could manage my money more effectively, but I just ended up using it as a crutch and for frivolous things. I was slipping into old habits! This was especially hard during this past holiday season where I made some impulse purchases. I made purchases like clothing and shoes on the new card when its purpose was not those things. I fully intended each month to pay them off, which I did, but when I started this journey I told myself I would rely on my debit card only for these types of things and I lost sight of that.
Within the past six months, I’ve at least made the self-imposed minimum payment at $300, but there were a couple of months I was able to ramp it up to $500-$600. However, as expected, travel and other purchases I made on the other card ate into my monthly payments toward this card. I was able to continually pay off the other card as I was making these purchases, but it was at the expense of a faster pay down for this card! It’s not ideal because every time I try the pay down calculator the payoff date keeps getting pushed back.
With that in mind, I think its time to push myself for the rest of this payoff period.
1. Stop all shopping on clothing, makeup, skincare. I can replace items in my routine, but I can’t buy anything new. No spend until this card is paid off.
Here are the rules for this: no new clothes or shoes, no book buying, no movies, no ticketed experiences (including Broadway). Exceptions include pre-planned travel and gifts for others (within reason).
2. Spend less on food. To save money and be healthier, I started on a vegan/ plant based diet this year as a New Years Resolution, I will continue to bring lunch every day (no treat days), and I will not order on Seamless (vegan options are limited anyway so that is in its own way a deterrent from eating out), and limit the number of times I go out for social events like happy hour.
Exceptions include: not sacrificing social time for the sake of the diet, but be mindful when choosing when/if to go out for a meal/drinks/social time.
3. Sell some of my things. I have a handful of items that are just in my home collecting dust. I need to resurrect my eBay account and sell them off! And use the money for card payments.
I’m very determined to pay off this card by September. If I can get it done within the year of 2020 I’ll be satisfied with that accomplishment. In order to meet this goal my monthly payment needs to increase to $500-$550 (an amount I can reasonably do on my current salary). I want to pay it off so I can put money toward wedding saving instead! I’ve got some overtime hours in the works, but the only way to meet my goals for paying off the card and also saving for a wedding is to get a higher paying job (or a second job), so that’s what I’m going to be focusing on for the foreseeable future.
I’m so close to the end of this journey and I’m so excited for the end. I’m proud of the progress I’ve made. It’s time to focus my energy on making good decisions and seeing this through.
Thanks for reading! ♥