9/08/2009

I am credit card debt free!

...that's right, I am finallly

credit card debt free!
wow.

I'm not sure I believed this day would actually come! I feel like in some way or another I have owed money on my credit card for the last five years or so. I've come very close to paying it off a few times, and then promptly plummeted right back into debt. I even cashed out a few RRSP's a couple years ago to try to pay it off.

My CC debt has never felt insurmountable, and has always felt insurmountable all at the same time. At it's worst it always ranged from $3,500 - $5000. I think that the relatively small sum made me feel even worse that I couldn't get it paid off. I would often wind up criticizing myself because, come on?! What's wrong with me?! Why don't you just do it!

I could blame the length of time on any number of factors, but I'm not going to go down that route. Instead, I'll tell you what I did that worked.

1. I had to make the decision that eliminating this debt was important to me!

It had to be more important then a haircut (which I haven't had in probably a year and a half), more important then new shoes, new work clothes, or a new couch (to name a few).

2. I put myself on a budget, and stuck to it.

I used Gail Vaz-Oxlade's 'magic jars' to get me on track. Living on cash really worked for me, although at first made me very uncomfortable. I had only to remind myself of point number one before I got over it. I put $250/bi-weekly towards my credit card debt while continue to save in my RRSP's and emergency fund.

3. I built a $1000 emergency fund

Once my credit card debt was in reach, I used the majority of that emergency fund to pay of my debt. I was wayy over my head with it, and truly needed it to be gone. It was my emergency! I am now working to build that fund back up.

4. I cut up my credit card!

I tried leaving it at home, leaving it with Jordan - I even wrapped it in paper with awful messages to myself reminding me that I wanted my credit card debt paid off. The only thing that got me to break the habit of using it, was to remove it from the equation. I had used my emergency fund to pay off this debt, and the only way to not regret that decision was to cut it up the card.

Not using the credit card finally enabled me to be able to have my debt repayments do their job and - repay that debt!

Thank you for following me through this first step towards financial freedom. Going forward in the short term I plan to get my emergency fund back up to at least $1000 and have a debt free Christmas. Come January I plan to focus on eliminating my student loan debt. I look forward to continuing this journey with all of you.
Reactions:

15 comments:

  1. Way to go Jessie!!!! You have done amazing!!

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  2. Yay!! you have done a great job.

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  3. Great for you and maybe some others are still fighting against credit card debt. Just point your browser to our website http://www.nurido.at/news/ where we have many tips for your credit card debt elimination and where you will have the chance to find others that to share your opinion on the topic.

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  4. What an exciting day for you. There will still be battles to face,but the skills you have made tackling this challenge, will help you for sure. Congratulations!

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  5. Woot! I'm so happy for you!!!!

    I can't wait until I can say the same!

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  6. Way to go, Jessie! What a relief, eh? I hope you are as proud of yourself, as I am of you!

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  7. I'm so excited for you! That is amazing! GREAT JOB, JESSIE!

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  8. That's great -- now to keep yourself free of credit card debt! =)

    We'll have two of our four cards paid off this month, thank goodness. Plodding along!

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  9. Congratulations Jessie! What a great feeling!

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  10. No matter how much your debt is, it is still not too late for you to free yourself from your debt. Visit Total Services Debt today and be a debt free tomorrow. For more information, interested parties may visit on the site at: http://www.totaldebtservices.com

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  11. Hooray!! I'm so excited for you. :)

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  12. Wow thank you all so much for the support!!

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  13. Your fourth method was funny, but it made sense to me. Sometimes, it's the reason why most of us spend extravagantly. People bother not to think of their expenses because they use credit cards instead of cash. This prevents you from realizing how much you really have until you see the papers. And when that time comes, it's already too late. Thanks for sharing, Jessie!

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