In the beginning

Here’s the thing that pushed me to post today:

On January 29th I looked at my Visa statement with a balance of $2,267.87. It may not look like much, but it’s been sitting around the $2k mark for months, likely years. Add that to:

MasterCard Balance      $5813

Line of Credit Balance   $8403.68

Auto loan Balance         $17,678.91

and I got the very sobering feeling that I’m wasting my money and working just to pay it off.

Shouldn’t my money be working for me, not against me?

So, you wake up one day and decide to change. And I did.

Today my Visa balance is $0; 3 pay periods later, I’ve paid it off. A little stumbly, with a $1000 payment in the middle that left me cash-strapped and needing to pull from my measly savings account to get by, but all good in the end. Debt repayment needs to be sustainable and not just full of short-term major sacrifices.

I hate the feeling that the debt is keeping me from a lifestyle I aspire too. One where I’m working because I love the work, not just to pay bills. One where I have more balance (read: more time) to do the things I love and with those that I love.

The next obvious step might be to tackle the Master Card balance, but the sad fact is that despite earning a decent salary I have very little savings or emergency fund. Like $200 little. So, I’m going to take a tip from Dave Ramsey’s baby steps and build the $1000 emergency fund of baby-step #1 by the end of March. It’s another $800, over two pay-periods. That will let me sleep a little easier! Once that emergency fund is in place, my focus will be on the Mastercard balance.

I have a game plan in the back of my head, but I can’t talk about it until the emergency plan is in place. If all goes well, I’ll be able to step up the debt repayment significantly, but I’ll tell you about that later.