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personal debt

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I was just going through some receipts that I have in my office at work. I know that this is going to sound like gloating and maybe it is but I want to mention this slightly off topic detail because it's important to me.

In March of 2018, (3 1/2) years ago, we, Mrs. fatboy and little old me, had $35,000 in credit card debt, a $21,000 student loan balance for my daughter, one more year on a 15 year mortgage and thankfully, we had just finished (in Dec 2017) making car payments. That's a lot of debt and I should be ashamed to admit it because that's over $55,000 in consumer debt. Even the student loan was 7.9%, this was a government loan.

It was in that month (March 2018) that we said enough is enough and just stopped using cards, started getting serious about getting this under control. I remember thinking for years that there was no way we would ever be debt free so a little or a lot makes little difference but it really bugged both of us.

Just on my own I made the decision to pay off our mortgage first. So that is what we did, made double principle payments on that and minimum on everything else. Without realizing it I came close to emulating Dave Ramsey's debt snowball method. I knew about Ramsey but was unwilling to peek into his book because I was too depressed, too emotional about it to admit that we had gotten ourselves into this mess in the first place. He says pay off CC debt first leaving a mortgage for last but we were within a year of owning our house.

Once past that objective, we hit the CC with the smallest balance first very hard, with no mortgage payment left, that one was paid in 2 months. Then hit the next higher CC till paid off and so forth. One of our cards had $18K on it that one took a little bit but after bring that one to it's knees, we targeted the student loan. Made the last payment on that Oct 28th. What seemed impossible 3 years ago has happened, all of our CC and student loans are paid, we have a good emergency fund in the bank and we have fixed a few major problems with our home. The only consumer debt we have is a car payment and we are after that one with purpose.

On January 1 we will commence a strict budget with every dollar accounted for. Mrs fatboy and me have our hobbies, while not giving them up, we are, and in particular me, have reduced our hobby commitment, in particular my involvement in competitive handgun shooting, which is expensive.

One of the things we got rid of was cable tv. We use our service provider for internet and phone but that's all. I remember handing in the digital box, the lady at the cable company was sort of surprised someone would do such a thing but I cannot imagine we are the only ones doing this.

I don't consider myself a budding "prepper" but, we have started a humble emergency supply bunker. Little by little we are putting together a reasonably well stocked SHTF supply. Better late than never I guess. I find it upsetting that everything is costing more money these days but, and not to sound like a jerk, but I'm in general way more positive now that we have our personal finances somewhat under control. I have vowed to never use a CC again unless I'm stranded in some far off land and that is the only way home. If we use it, it gets paid off first billing cycle.

We do have a few additional challenges to take care of though. My main point that I would like to make is that our monthly balance sheet was bleak and depressing to look at but we made a plan out and stuck to it. I think that if you need to cut down a large oak tree and the only tool you have is a pocket knife, by whittling away a slice at a time it will at some point fall. May take a while but eventually it will fall.

There is not much we as individuals and family's can do about the way our government and society is sliding into the open pit but we can do a lot to get ourselves prepared to meet the challenges i think are coming. Do I think I have it all under control? No, but I have a lot more control today than I did in March of 2018. I want to be positive but I think we are headed for some hard times.

Drafe Hoblin:
Sounds like your mindset is ready... for 'an eventuality' beyond your control.

Things like gold will only be as valuable as the party you're dealing-with says it is, etc. 


--- Quote from: Drafe Hoblin on November 12, 2021, 10:13:14 AM ---Sounds like your mindset is ready... for 'an eventuality' beyond your control.

Things like gold will only be as valuable as the party you're dealing-with says it is, etc.

--- End quote ---

I think it best to avoid putting large amounts of money into things I don't understand and I don't understand investing in gold. I mean I understand gold as a currency i just don't know how to buy smart and redeem smart. I think the same about crypto which I think could be like money in the bank if someone/some entity wants to devalue your bank account there isn't much we can do about it.

Congratulations!  That is tough to do and quite an accomplishment. You should be proud of yourselves.

My wife and I only owe on our house and we could actually pay cash for the balance today, but that interest rate is lower than the interest our money is earning.

It’s a great feeling.


Mr Mannn:
 :cheersmate: Hi Five! I got out of debt myself. There is just a 1000 bucks left on one card, after that I am free!
without debt I am amazed as to how much money I have to spend.


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