Friday, November 20, 2009

Feeling Lighter

Yes, my friends, I am feeling lighter this morning. Why, you ask? It's because I have finally finished shedding some dead weight that's been bringing us down. And I'm not talking about my weight...I'm talking about credit card debt! I made our very last credit card payment yesterday and I'm so excited I could nearly burst!!

I had been debating whether or not I would share this personal triumph or not, but after much consideration, I thought that on the off chance someone were to stumble onto to this little blog post, that might be in the same situation we were, maybe it would offer them some hope.

Nick I entered into marriage 3 years ago, each armed with our own debts. We both had (and still have) student loans and more credit card debt than any just out of college students should ever have. Through our first couple years of married life we continued to rack up debt. Granted, it was at a slower pace than before, but we were still using the credit cards. And by this point his car had died and we had the additional responsibility of a car payment that we had never had to deal with before. We decided to buy a house, and thanks to mortgage companies that were handing out loans willy-nilly back in 2007, we took on our biggest debt yet. Truth is, there is no way we should have been approved for a loan back then. They should have told us our debt to income ratio was too high, but they didn't.

What did all this mean for us? It meant that because of the car and house payment, there was very little left over at the end of the month to pay down credit card debt. Oh, and did I mention that one month after signing the contract to build our house we found out that we were pregnant? Yeah, that meant more money to be spent. It could have been a recipe for disaster. If we hadn't realized that we were slowly digging ourselves into a hole and hadn't made some changes, we would have been paying off credit card debt for the next twenty years!

But we decided to take charge. We got serious about our monthly budget. We made cuts everywhere we could. We ate out less, we shopped less, we skipped vacations, we spent less at Christmas...we were pouring every extra penny into the credit cards. And you know what? It paid off!!!

When we got serious about paying the cards off at the beginning of this year we had a little over $10,000 in credit card debt. Sickening, huh? Our goal was to have it all paid off by June of 2010, but we smashed our goal and are now credit card debt free!!!!! It sucked. It sucked big time. There were times when I would be so jealous of people that could just out and buy a new outfit whenever they wanted one, or new shoes, or purse or (fill in the blank). But now, I have no regrets. I'm so glad we did what we did. It feels so good!!!

Now we're able to move on and start saving some major bucks towards buying land, which is something we both really want for our family. A little more space for us and for Bailey and the next Maxwell kid to run around on. A nice place to build our next house.

So, yes, today I feel a little lighter. Actually, I feel a lot lighter. And tonight when I go out with my friends for an early birthday celebration, I will be lifting a toast to this lighter me!



Terri T said...

Willy and I don't have any debt other than his student loans from vet school but it weights VERY heavily on me. By the time he gets out, we will have OVER $150,000 in student debt. I don't even know where to start on that one :( SUCH a large number it makes me want to cry!!! So happy for you and Nick to have been so determined about this!

Colin's Mom said...

Congratulations! That is such a great accomplishment and you should be so proud of yourself. It's a great feeling!

Mama Smors said...

That is awesome!! Thanks for sharing your story :) I am sure you feel a million times lighter...

and 2 more things:
a. I love the conversation about favorite colors below :)
b. Bailey is the cutest bumblebee I've ever seen. Bailey, Brayden, and Ivy were all cute little bugs!