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My Debt Free Journey

Updated on September 11, 2013

My Personal Journey to Pay It Off Completely

I've decided to write this lens because I've realized that in order to move to my next huge goal (purchase my first home), I need to get out of the hole I've dug for myself.

I'm not going to lie and say that I had no idea what I was getting into, in fact, I knew exactly what I was doing but decided to ignore it. I pretended that it was all "under control."

Now it's time to settle my cc debt forever and never let it happen again. I hope you get some inspiration from this lens and (if applicable) it helps to motivate you to get out of debt too! Let's do it together, one day at a time.

Ready? Let's go!

Photo Credit: 401(K) 2012 (CC)

Why Can't I Move Forward Financially?

Is it my debt?

I can't really say when exactly my debt started to spiral out of control because to be honest, it's always been a constant companion of mine, but I've realized (just recently) that it's probably the main thing that has held me back and kept me from moving up to the next tier.

In my quest for financial success, I've tried reading tons of self help books, financial books on building wealth, building businesses, how to make myself a better person, books on confidence, self esteem, time management and I've even tried hypnosis, if you can believe it. It seems that nothing really appeared to work for me because I didn't feel like I was advancing at all.

The only constant that I've had in my life (besides change itself) is the debt. So that must be the one thing that I need to get rid of so I can move forward to the success I've always craved.

And even if I don't achieve the financial success, at least I'll be out of debt and on my way to buying my first home, which is something to motivate me to pay off my cc debt even faster.

Photo Credit: Stuartpilbrow(CC)

What's Your Debt Number?

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My First Goal

By March 2013, I Am Free From Discover Card!

Goal Achieved on January 31, 2013!!!!

My Second Goal

By September 5, 2013, I Am Free from Chase Card!!

Helpful Reading

I've read all of the following books and they are quite helpful. They might help you too. I think the hypnosis CD from "I Can Make You Rich" is finally kicking in! Note: I just started listening roughly 3 weeks ago.

I Owe How Much?#$@!! - Look at that Whopping APR!

This is how much debt I'm carrying as of the date listed. It's a HUGE amount for me. I sometimes wonder why I've done this to myself? It appears that I have dug my own grave, but I will slowly climb out, no matter how painful.

Common sense tells me to target not just the lowest amount but the one with the highest APR which is Discover. Yikes! They sure are making money off me and I let them too (I even asked to spend more at one point!).

My Plan of Action

August 13, 2012

Task for Today: Stop using my credit cards. I have decided to put the culprits away in a drawer and never take them out until I am debt free. This is a revolution and I will never be the same after this! I am making a promise to myself to be better, and to start doing things differently, since what I've done thus far has not helped me one bit.

I will call Discover Card and ask them if they can lower my APR. I always pay on time so I hope they will oblige. This is a good way for me to save a little bit of money on those finance charges. I will post my results here and in the graph above.

I've also considered doing a balance transfer from one to the other, unfortunately for me, I'm maxed out on the other card (Chase). << Embarrassing >>>

Asking for a Lower APR - It's a little lower now!

As I had previously state, my next action would be to call Discover card and ask for a lower rate which I have done! Yay!

They lowered my APR by 4% (applies to my current balance) which I will gladly take considering that any little bit helps. They also transferred me to another department to see if it could be lowered even more and unfortunately they could not do it.

The nice woman I spoke to said the way it works is they only lower the APR based on what I had before, so apparently this was the lowest? I'm not too sure because my call was dropped ( I have a cheap phone) and I didn't get to finish the conversation, however, I documented everything in a spreadsheet for future reference in case anyone "forgets" that it is now supposed to be a lower APR.

It's also important to note if I'm ever late on payments again my APR will go back up!

Note to self: YOU'D BETTER PAY ON TIME EVERY TIME!

Please Lower My APR a Little More?
Please Lower My APR a Little More?

My Plan of Action- August 16, 2012

Discover Card

I am going to make a mental note to call back Discover card in a few weeks time to see if they can lower my APR a little more.

I have also listed things on Ebay to sell and any profits from those sales will apply to Discover Card.

My credit cards still remain (unused as of these past few days) in the drawer where I left them and where they'll stay!

Photo Credit: Kio (CC)

Extra Ways to Make Money to Pay Off My Debt Faster

Here are some things I will do to work on paying off my debt:

1. Sell some of my things on Ebay. (I have some jewelry I don't use anymore and a few other things too that might sell)

2. Get a part time job or freelance. ( I can do some article writing and a few other extras to apply toward my debt).

3. Any income I make from this lens on Squidoo I will apply to my credit card debt.

Ebay Auctions

Any proceeds from the sales below are going toward my credit card debt. That's if anyone bids! Here's hoping. ;-)

My New Debt Tally/ October 2012

It's going down! I'm pleased to report that I've made my first big payment to knock this debt out of the park forever. Above is the new tally for October.

Note: I have a recurring charge on the Chase card but it's nominal so I decided to leave it be. I'm making $200 payments a month on this one.

Note to self: Closing date on Discover is the 5th!

Closing date on Chase is the 13th.

My Big Picture of Debt Reduction - My Chart

If you're highly visual, like me, you might like to see this chart of how this debt is going down! Looking at the total is pretty embarrassing, but there it is!

My Debt for November 2012

The Big Picture/ November

Well, I'm really embarrassed here. I had a setback for this month and my debt on Chase went up. I had an unexpected visit from a relative and I pulled out my old Chase card. That's a bad excuse, I know. But not to worry, I will pay off what I spent in full this month.

UPDATE! My Debt for December 2013

My Debt Reduction as of December

I know what it looks like. It seems like I'm going backwards on Chase and I sort of am, but I'm going to focus hard on getting rid of that Discover payment by March. I hope to be rid of it before then. Wish me luck! I'm excited to start knocking out Chase as well!

I'm Throwing a Party and My Debt Is Not Invited! ;-)

Quick Updates on Paying the Debt Down

Deary Diary,

Today is January 19, 2013! I made a payment of $400 to Discover card. I can picture, in my mind, the debt crumbling to the ground, like a wall, and never, ever coming back. I'm excited, ecstatic, emotionally charged and ready to slay the beast forever!!

This payment should bring my Discover card total down to around $1,600!!! By the looks of it, I should be able to pay it off earlier than anticipated if I stick to my guns. I'm thinking it should be dead by March. It feels good.

January 24,2013

I made yet another payment to Discover of $250!!! This means I have a remaining balance of around $1,200!!! I'm so excited to be able to say I will most likely kill this beast by the end of this month. Wish me luck!

January 31, 2013

I have done it! I've paid off my Discover Card (for good this time!). This is an exciting day, I feel a sense of freedom and great relief right now. Things are only going to get better from here.

February 11, 2013

I have nothing new here to report but I'm feeling good so far. I am a debt tackling ninja warrior! This coming week (on around the 14th) I will make another payment to good ol' Chase. Victory will be mine!

March 1, 2013

I feel lighter and lighter as the months go by! I just made a large payment to Chase.

March 11, 2013

I'm feeling pretty good today. My plan is slowly working and I'm proud to say that I made another payment to old Chase. My debt is now down to $3,992.86.

My Debt Reduction Graph for January

Debt Reduction for January 2013

Debt Reduction for February 2013

February Debt Chart

March Debt

Please Say Hello! - Words of encouragement are highly appreciated

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    • tonyaalves3 profile image

      tonyaalves3 4 years ago

      Wow! very motivating. I have one credit card and two car payment totaling $29,956. You have to be totally committed in paying off your debt. I know I am. Thanks for the great lens

    • Coolboots profile image
      Author

      Coolboots 4 years ago

      @MissMalaprop: I used an Excel spreadsheet! Use the "insert" feature to make the graphs. It was super easy! Thank you for commenting! :)

    • profile image

      MissMalaprop 4 years ago

      What did you use to make the graphs with? I did one like that by hand with paper, but I'd love an easier program to make graphs like that!

    • KandDMarketing profile image

      KandDMarketing 5 years ago

      A very, very good goal! Stick to it! I'll be watching ...