$17,516 down, $56,984 to go

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-02-2011
$17,516 down, $56,984 to go
Fri, 12-02-2011 - 8:48pm

Greetings everyone,

Just a canadian gal lookng for some support as I work on getting my family in a more financially stable place.

I'm very fortunate to be married to a man who is on board with our debt repayment plan. The problem is that we lack discipline at times and could be much further ahead in our debt repayment journey. I'm hoping that by joining this group, it will give me the extra level of accountability needed to be more focused on our goals. That goal is to be debt free within the next 3 years, which will put me at 36 years old.

We have a wonderful 6 year old daughter and another of my goals is to teach her to be financially fit. I don't want her repeating our mistakes.

At our highest, we were $74,500 in debt (consumer debt/student loans). Two years later, we've paid down $17,516. And while I am happy that we've made progress, I can't imagine another 6 years of this - which is what it would take at this rate.

Part of why we got in such a deep mess is that my husband has been dealing with medical issues for close to 5 years and hasn't been able to work. Without an emergency fund, we racked up quite a bit of debt in those first few years.

Avatar for poorboy2011
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-02-2011
Fri, 12-02-2011 - 8:55pm

Hang in there! It sounds like you're on the right track. There are many people floating about here ready to impart advice. To report our little victories, we do "snowflakes" every Friday (the amount you're able to pay down in addition to the minimum payment), and accountability every Monday (to keep our weekend spending in check). I myself use accountability also to report on my weekly spending.

Hope you reach your goal of freedom, freedom36.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-14-2008
Sat, 12-03-2011 - 10:15am

Hi welcome to the board,

$17,516 in two years is very very good. As you chip away at the debt it will get faster and faster. As you pay off one minimum payment and apply it to the next debt you will see what the dollar amounts add up to.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-20-2010
Sat, 12-03-2011 - 2:08pm

hi and welcome!

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-08-2006
Sat, 12-03-2011 - 11:59pm
Realizing hoe much you pay in interest is a good way to motivate yourself. You might have already done this, but if you haven't, I would list out the debt -the balance, the minimum payment, the annual fee, the interest rate. I would also look at your bank statement to see what fees you are paying and set out to eliminate them. Assuming you are not in collections, you can then call each credit card company and ask about lowering your rate. If you get offers for zero percent interest, tell the company you are thinking of moving your account - don't ask for it as a favor, expect it as a service. You can also think about accepting lower credit offers as long as you can pay whatever balance you transfer before the rate expires. Same with bank charges. If you are paying for anything, ask how you can avoid them. Many people use credit unions, but you can also sometimes use direct deposit or even linking the account to your mortgage to save money. Once you have an efund, you can raise the deductible on your insurance. This puts money in your pocket, not the insurance company. The biggest place to save money for most people is the grocery store and not eating out. There are probably 30 things you buy that don't have a short shelf life - detergent, paper goods, canned goods, and if you have a freezer, even more options. Make sure you know the best price for these items, and watch for coupons. Then when they are on sale, buy a reasonable amount of them. Dedicate maybe ten dollars a week to this and it will pay off. And of course - bring your lunch to work. Plan and make meals at home. Skip the coffee and the soda out. These little things can add up to help you tackle your debt faster. Best wishes SJ
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-02-2011
Sun, 12-04-2011 - 7:31pm
Poor Boy - Thanks for the words of encouragement. I've read your story and see that our debts amount are in the same range. It will take a lot of determination, but we can do it.

galstorelady - I've had an emergency fund in the past and am now starting over. Starting this month, I'll be putting $100 a month into it. I'll also be adding about 1k to it once income tax time rolls around and we receive our refund. As for my husband, he can't really work yet - but he should be able to return to work around September or so. As for our daughter, we giver her a dollar per year of age - so she gets $6 a week. Of that $6, she puts 0.50 cents to charity (accumulated in a piggy bank), $2.00 to savings and $3.50 for spending. I think she still has a difficult time understanding the cost/value of things, but hopefully as time goes on, it'll all start to make sense.

Pandi10 - Thanks for sharing some of your tips - I like the idea of breaking things down and then allowing for small rewards once a milestone has been reached.

Happysj56 - Great suggestions! Some of these things we are already doing, but others, I hadn't really thought of. That's why these groups are so great - a bunch of people with common goals supporting each other and trading tips.

Thanks everyone!!!!
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-20-2001
Thu, 12-08-2011 - 3:14pm

Congratulations on paying down $17,000+ on your debts.