In February 2002 I was completely debt-free. I was successful in paying off $6,000 in credit card debt in just under five years plus I paid back a loan of $9,900 from my step-grandparents. They were kind enough to loan me the money to buy my mobile home when we lived in the big city. I was a stay at home mom, living on welfare. We didn’t have a car for three years.
But then I got a job. We were sick of living in the mobile home park and wanted land of our own. We needed a car so that I could get to work. Some stressful events occurred and by 2007 we were in debt again. I consider our debt to be relatively small in comparison to what others are facing. Our credit card debt is at $14,711 and if I add in my husband’s business credit card debt that number increases to $20,517. Our mortgage is under $46,000.
Currently we are unable to make anything but minimum payments. It is extremely frustrating. Our mortgage recently went down about $50 and I have continued to pay the higher amount plus $1 more each month. It’s looking like I will need to reduce that and pay the minimum there as well. Let’s hope not, but at the moment it seems that is what I need to do.
I am the main breadwinner in our family. My husband has a business but it has been a struggle.
I tell myself to keep my chin up because here’s the thing… we can pay the bills, pay the minimums on the credit cards, buy food, gasoline and generally make ends meet. That’s important.
We’re not in a situation where the electricity is about to be turned off. We’re not behind on the mortgage. I have relatives and friends who are much worse off than we are. One relative and her husband (who lives in another state) were evicted just this past week due to not having enough money to pay their rent. They have nowhere to go. I have a cousin with three credit cards, all are maxed. One a regular basis, one bill or another is paid late so the family is constantly in danger of the utility company shutting something off. A friend of mine cannot make ends meet but has 10 credit cards that are maxed. Another friend’s husband was laid off and his unemployment just ran out so they are struggling to make ends meet. These are tough situations to be in and I’m grateful that we are not there.
I would dearly love to eliminate our credit card debt. It sickens me to see that we are paying $173.53 in finance charges each month. Of the $386 I’m paying on the minimums, only $212 is going toward the debt. Since my income is not enough to cover our expenses, unfortunately, some months I have had to use some of that $212 in order to make ends meet! Annoyed about that, but what can I do? I know, some of you are going to suggest that I look into doing some balance transfers, and you are right. Writing this post has made this a higher priority. Our current finance charges range from 8.99% (this one was a 0% balance transfer until just last month) all the way up to 13.99% (for my husband’s business credit card account).
In fact, I just looked at my business credit card, which hip-hip-hooray is at $0 and there is a balance transfer offer of 0% until December 2014 and 2% transfer fee. My husband’s business credit card interest is 13.99% and costing us $62.31 each month. The amount on the card is $5805.72 so it will cost $116 or roughly two months worth of finance charges. I’m going to follow through with this right now and hope in the next year we can make a nice dent in that card. Okay DONE. I moved over the balance minus the payment that is in the mail. The fee for transferring is $113. If we stay at the same payment ($120) we should be able to knock off $1320 and then it will be time for another balance transfer. Now I just need to look at some of my other credit cards to see if I can move anything else.
I’ve also just looked at our budget again and if I lower the mortgage to the minimum, we are still short $261 each month. Thankfully blogging income and my side hustles usually cover at least this amount. So far any extra goes toward buying items not covered in the budget.
Some days I feel like changing the banner on my blog to have a big line through the title and on top of that NEVER GONNA GET… but at least we are still sticking with it.
How is it going with your debt journey?