Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Debt is Normal! Be Weird! ~ Volume 2

Here are a couple more of my previous entries about our debt reduction journey. I've been surprised at two things as I've read back through the journal at MySpace. One thing is how much stuff I actually wrote down (now you're scared, right? Wondering exactly how much I'm going to bore you with? Hee hee!) and the second thing is just exactly how far we've come! It's so exciting to me!

Monday, September 17, 2007
Title: A Budget.....EEEEEEK!

"Well, this week is where the rubber begins to meet the road, I guess.

The B-U-D-G-E-T!

Just writing that gives me the heebie-jeebies a bit. I think we're going to be surprised at just how much we spend. Even though I do the bills each week, I think that looking at everything lined out on paper is going to be a wake up call. Especially the credit card part.I think that I'm mainly worried to see if what is going out is actually more than what is coming in. We've made too much of a habit of thinking, "What's another $25/$10/$50?" as we're getting ready to buy something on a credit card, so our balances are...well, balances. (I may share what they are later, just for the shock value!) Anyway, if the income is smaller than the outflow we've got some options. First, I'll probably call the companies and see if they can lower the payment. Troy and I have also talked about me getting a part time job. He already works probably of 55 hours a week, usually more, so I think that it's more feasible for me to work the extra job.

We'll see, though.

I leave you with some info from written by Dave Ramsey:

"The Forbes 400 is a list of the richest 400 people in America as rated by Forbes magazine. When surveyed, 75% of the Forbes 400 (rich people, not your broke brother-in-law with an opinion) said the best way to build wealth is to become and stay debt-free. Walgreen's, Cisco, Microsoft, and Harley-Davidson are run debt-free." (Total Money Makeover, pg. 23

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"MasterCard, Visa, American Express, and Discover will spend a combined $567 million this year alone in advertising. BAI Global says there were slightly more than 5 billion direct mail solicitations sent out for credit in 2001...Citibank, the largest issuer of Visa, will spend $10 million thie year just marketing credit cards to your high school and college student. Isn't that exciting? To add insult to injury, the college can earn $50,000 to $100,000 per year just to allow a credit card company to operate on campus." (Financial Peace Revisited, pg. 72, copyright 2003)
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OK, just one more...

"The Consumer Reports Money Book states that the typical household debt totals more than $38,000. In addition, Consumer Reports says we have over 1 billion pieces of plastic with one of the major cards in 74 percent of all households...On average, cardholders carry an $8,367 balance on their cards from month to month...paying an average 18.3 percent in interest." (Financial Peace Revisited, pg. 73 & 74)
I'm done!

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Title: Taking a Stand...Sort Of!

"I'm sick of credit cards.
I'm sick of paying on them.
I'm sick of hearing about them.
I'm sick of them being peddled to America like it's something that we should have or else we're nothing.
And I'm sick of getting offers in the mail.
I have a bad habit of just setting the credit offers on top of the shredder, waiting until I "get the time" to dispose of them properly. Because, of course, I'm paranoid about putting them in the trash whole...what if someone stole them? They could get my identity! I'm not sure how they would get my identity from a credit offer, really, but I feel the threat looming over me each time I consider just dropping one in the trash. (Heck, some days I think "TAKE my credit identity...PLEASE!) So the paper piles up and then, on days like today, I spent about an hour shredding.
And as I was shredding and, as I saw it, wasting my time, I decided that it's time to waste some of the credit company's time...and hopefully some of their money, too. As I opened the envelopes, I took the terms and conditions paper and any extra papers that were in the envelope and neatly seal them up in the little "Business Reply Mail" envelope that should contain my application for credit. They will be mailed back to the credit company. I guess it's just my way of standing on my tiny rock, shaking my tiny fist at the huge mountain that is American credit card companies." (Note: I still do this to this day!)

Tomorrow I'll post the entry where I share just exactly how much debt we started out with! It'll knock your socks off!

1 comment:

Flea said...

I used to send it all back as well.. I stopped paying attention after we moved, but will have to go back to that. Thank you.

After we sold our last house, we closed out our last credit card. Now it's just student loans and the house. But the student loans - oy!