I want to do this!

Pay off all debt before the end of 2018

  • ExplorerSoul
    ExplorerSoul Doing 1 cheers 2017-10-15 23:40:49

    I was watching a video on debt and they made reference to the following: "the rapid growth in the cost of living has outpaced income growth in the past 13 years.” The person then said, "so cost of living goes up, you’re not making as much money so you have to cover that gap with debt." Things that have increased include food, medical expenses, etc.

    It makes you wonder if it is on purpose. Companies benefit from raising prices. Employers benefit from not increasing salaries. Banks benefit from consumer debt.

    But then you have people who have never found themselves in debt. Is it because they have chosen to live more simply? I think that is definitely part of it. Obviously, the more expenses you have, the tougher it will be, unless you have a really good salary. The video mentioned how we live in a credit-based society. I think those living without debt - especially credit card debt - either use their cards to their advantage and only spend what they can pay back every month, or they don't use credit cards at all.

    I was thinking about the second loan I requested and how they said I could try again in six months (after improving my credit). I wondered if by then whatever debt I would have left would be worth requesting another loan for, but I think it might be. I'm also wondering if I should look into a balance transfer (I haven't received those types of offers in a while) or ask about a lower rate (does this ever work?). Can't hurt to try.

    I think I have generally been feeling more hopeful lately but it's still a struggle and there are days when it feels tougher, like today for some reason. It is somehow worse when you are aware of how dependent you are on your income, how you may not be living the life you would like for yourself and how stuck you are until your debt is paid.

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  • ExplorerSoul
    ExplorerSoul Doing 0 cheers 2017-10-13 03:15:36

    I saw a job posting for a position with the same title I currently have, for less than half the hours I am currently working, but for 20-40K more per year.

    The catch is it is in a very remote location (I'm also not sure if it could be potentially dangerous), and there is a language component I am lacking.

    I see things like this and usually never apply, and I always say it's not all about the money. It really isn't, and I feel like I'm more on track now with my debt repayment (though it's still early in terms of the improvement), but when I start to think about how I still have a ways to go before the debt is paid, and how I will then still have to save for an emergency fund and maybe for an eventual home, I wonder how I am going to do it in a reasonable time frame. I feel tied to my current job until I am more stable financially, so sometimes, an offer like this is tempting. I think, it could help me reach my goals more quickly. But is it really worth it when considering all the other aspects? I'm not so sure.

    I was just about to place an order for three clothing/shoe items (which then turned into two), but I feel like I can't really afford it so the items are just sitting in the cart. I don't feel like I buy these types of items often, so it's disappointing to feel I can't. I'm also thinking about a few other things I would have liked to buy. I'm thinking about a pedicure. I'm thinking about the hair appointment I scheduled and am not sure I can keep.

    These aren't the most important things, I know, and I am grateful for what I do have. I was actually just reading what different people did or are doing to get by when completely broke and I know I haven't experienced the worst.

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  • ExplorerSoul
    ExplorerSoul Doing 1 cheers 2017-10-07 16:39:55

    This month's budget will look a little different (because of snowball method and having added in amounts for restaurants, entertainment, etc.) so we'll see how that goes. The goal is still to not add any new debt and to continue to lower the overall debt.

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  • katayah
    katayah Doing 1 cheers 2017-10-02 01:31:54

    Alright. Let's face the facts: I don't have a lot to pay off but I don't earn a lot either. I recently got a new (local) credit card so once I pay off the first one my plan is to cancel it. The new one has a smaller limit so I'm gonna be alright.
    I should have paid it all off in two months. As soon as that's done, I'm going to use the new card on getting my driving license (first) and then teeth whitening. There is a plan. But it doesn't really include a lot of savings! :/

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  • ExplorerSoul
    ExplorerSoul Doing 3 cheers 2017-09-30 22:13:16

    In December 2017, I hope to write a little update considering it will have been two years since my worst-ever debt figure was calculated.

    It looks like this September was one of my better months in terms of the difference from the previous month's total debt remaining. Considering this was also the month I lowered the amount I would dedicate to my credit card payments, I think this is a testament to lower spending and credit card usage this month.

    For my credit card payments specifically, I've been doing the 3/4 on the higher interest card and 1/4 on the other for a while. I'm thinking about changing things and trying the snowball method.

    The loan payments would remain the same but I would pay the minimum on the other three debts except credit card #1 (which has the smallest balance) and try to get that paid off, the move on to credit card #2 (next smallest balance).

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  • ExplorerSoul
    ExplorerSoul Doing 4 cheers 2017-09-30 17:26:09

    Update #7 (September 2017)

    Loan #1 (Royal Bank - interest rate: 10.33%)
    Last month's balance: $6,638.69
    Planned to pay: regular/minimum bi-weekly payments
    Actually paid: regular/minimum bi-weekly payment
    New balance: $6,207.91

    Loan #2 (Family - interest rate: 0%)
    Last month's balance: $4,600.00
    Planned to pay: regular/minimum monthly payment
    Actually paid: regular/minimum monthly payment
    New balance: $4,300.00

    Credit Card #1 (Royal Bank - interest rate: 11.99% for both purchases and cash advances)
    Last month's balance: $1,988.44
    Planned to pay: $93.75
    Actually paid: $93.76
    New balance: $1,815.02

    Credit Card #2 (CIBC - interest rate: 19.99% for purchases and 22.99% for cash advances)
    Last month's balance: $2,088.07
    Planned to pay: $281.25
    Actually paid: $281.46+?
    New balance: $1,902.16

    Credit Line (CIBC - interest rate: 10.20%)
    Last month’s balance: $4,925.05
    Planned to pay: $100
    Actually paid: $300 ($260 recent transfers paid back, and was going to cut $100 monthly payment to $50 for this month exceptionally because of this, but went with $40 in the end to have a round number)
    New balance: around $4,625.05 (TBC) Edit: $4,617.82

    Total debt remaining: $18,850.14 (TBC) Edit: 18,842.91

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  • ExplorerSoul
    ExplorerSoul Doing 2 cheers 2017-09-23 02:37:37

    I received a call from the bank yesterday to let me know I was eligible for a credit limit increase. The new limit would have been more than twice my current limit, which wasn't an interest for me. I was a little surprised because these offers usually come when you are making more payments and your balance starts to decrease.

    I would like to eventually lower my limits but because my balances have been higher recently (which was mentioned during the phone call), I felt it would be a good idea for the sole purpose of improving my debt to credit ratio, and ultimately my credit score. So I decided to go with the increase but at a lower amount.

    I was also told about a credit card that could replace the one I currently have but offer better cash back rewards. I could keep the same number and interest rate as well. What's the catch, I wondered. It would cost me about $100 per year, but the first year's fee would be waived based on my history, they said. I said I would like to think about it and would contact them if I decided to accept.

    I was told about a calculator that would allow me to enter my average spending in different categories to see what I would get back. I will check it out. It could be worth considering if I use the card to my advantage, for things like gas and groceries, which I would be paying for anyway. I'll look into this a bit more and decide.

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    • wordsncolor
      wordsncolor 2 cheers 2017-10-06 14:51:16

      If you can stop yourself from dipping into it, increased limit is a really good thing fir your credit. Ideally, you only want to be using 20ish% of your available credit each month.
      I personally don't recommend getting any credit cards with that high of an annual fee because one of the best things you can do for your credit score is have accounts in good standing that you intend to keep for a Long time. Like., 10+ years. Closed accounts bring your score down a bit

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    • Andia
      Andia 1 cheers 2017-10-07 21:25:43

      @ExplorerSoul this is good news! Things are going in the right direction and you just need to keep your momentum going.

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  • ExplorerSoul
    ExplorerSoul Doing 1 cheers 2017-09-17 19:46:06

    When I called about the secondary loan, I was nervous and a bit embarrassed as I was asked various questions that normally feel private, and I was especially trying not to cringe when they were about to review my credit. I knew it probably wasn't in the best shape at the moment.

    The person talked about being stuck in a sort of hamster wheel and how my overall debt hadn't decreased so much. I couldn't disagree with this, and that has been the most discouraging part about all this. That said, if I look at where I started - my original highest debt number - it has gone down, though not as much as I feel it should have.

    There was talk about paying the cards as aggressively as possible until I apply again, something I would ordinarily try to do but the reality is I can only dedicate so much towards this. There was also talk about improving cash flow, not using cards, etc.

    Most recently, I went from wanting to put $500 a month towards credit cards to actually being able to put about $375, which isn't very much.

    I still think about side employment, but I don't know if this would be healthy for me considering my current workload. I've sometimes thought about work in other parts of the country that would offer a higher salary. It has never been just about money to me, but the slow pace of my progress sometimes makes me consider it.

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  • ExplorerSoul
    ExplorerSoul Doing 4 cheers 2017-09-16 23:15:38

    Not very successful today on both fronts (phone and loan).

    Earlier today, before calling about transferring my plan over to a new provider, I realized this month's due date was coming up so I made the payment. Unfortunately, before that, I had a certain amount left over that I thought would last until my next pay, but after making the payment, I was left with almost nothing. It was a little discouraging, especially after telling myself I would try not to use credit.

    After calling the bank to see about a second loan, it wasn't approved based on my current credit check, which I knew could happen. I was told about some aspects working in my favor, but I needed to work at lowering my balances and savings would likely help, too. I can try to apply again at a later date, but there's no guarantee of course.

    I'll admit that I cried a little afterward (and earlier). But really, there's no point in crying. This is the reality, and I am still lucky in many ways. It could be worse. I will reach the goal eventually, even if it takes longer.

    For the phone, it would cost me $50 to unlock it, which seems to defeat the entire purpose. I tried other options with no luck and now I'm doing some research to see if there is a way around it. If not, I will have to decide what to do.

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    • Andia
      Andia 0 cheers 2017-09-16 23:44:38

      @ExplorerSoul aww I so feel for you. It's hard when you are in the hole trying to get back to see the light. Praying there is a break in this soon so that you can start heading in the direction you want to head.

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    • BeingBryn
      BeingBryn 2 cheers 2017-09-17 02:27:42

      @ExplorerSoul I'm sorry. I am sending good wishes your way for this goal!!

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    • cia007
      cia007 2 cheers 2017-09-17 02:57:13

      @ExplorerSoul so sorry to hear of your troubles. I know it feels like drowning but try and keep your head above water and keep gratitude in focus. Have you read any of Dave Ramsey's stuff? He's got some good ideas for identifying other money suckers and strategies. I've been told Money is just energy. I think to a degree that is true and what blows my mind is how quickly a broke millionaire can pick themselves up and regain their wealth. I'm determined to learn more of their secrets, but some of it is impacted by the false truths we hold on to, like living in lack....I'm working on that myself and so much is coming up...it's that stuff that is the source of the awful feelings you feel in response to your current situation. But others see the glass as half full even in adversity. Look for the light and keep swimming!

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    • garrin
      garrin 2 cheers 2017-09-17 14:19:05

      @ExplorerSoul You'll get through this, and just know that you're not alone. I think @cia007's suggestions were spot-on.

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  • ExplorerSoul
    ExplorerSoul Doing 1 cheers 2017-09-16 19:35:29

    I called a different cell phone provider recently to see if I could find something cheaper. I think I am going to transfer over. This will help me save $15 every month.

    I am also still debating over whether to call my bank to see about a second loan. I am afraid that if I call when things are not in the best shape, they might refuse the request, but I also don't want to wait if it could mean consolidating and saving on interest sooner.

    Unfortunately, I don't have any savings right now, so this might affect the request, too. But the good thing is I do have a good payment track record for my current loan and I've had the same employment for a while.

    Officially, I would need just under $9,000 and if this was possible, I would be cutting three payments down to one. I would be able to eliminate my line of credit, which I never wanted in the first place, and reduce my credit limits on my credit cards again.

    And I want to work on my spending habits.

    I'm just worried that if I am requesting another loan before the current one is paid off, it will reflect poor management of my finances, which is not completely untrue. But it's also just that the original loan didn't cover my total debt amount, and I was left having to make multiple payments at various interest rates.

    I might bite the bullet and call and see what happens.

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