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Christina’s Day 38… Reducing Debt

Reducing debt has been a focus of mine for some time now… I did do Financial University with Dave Ramsey and learned a lot.  I never really took hold of the teachings on a whole because I did fall into that group where I was totally overwhelmed and felt like there was so much that there was NO HOPE in accomplishing it.We hit a point in our marriage that financially we were living WELL BEYOND OUR MEANS – and racked up 40+ thousand dollars in credit card debt alone.  Then got an equity loan paid off some stuff ONLY to rack the totals right back up and used the equity for everything except for what I had gotten it for – when the financial crisis hit the US and real estate went so far down in value they closed our equity line, I was not making the credit card payments and we were spiraling it was so devastating!

I listened to Dave and said that is it I am calling my credit card companies – and I did, I told them I would appreciate it if they could work with me on payments and that I really wanted to pay them back the money I owed them – one was like OK here you go 0% interest and here is your monthly – and I was so thankful – then I called the other one.  They put me through the ringer on questions about income, expenses, mortgage and then proceeded to tell me that I don’t have enough money to pay my monthly debts and they could not help me – I said “WHAT?”  I am asking for lower monthly payments to help out so I can make them and you are telling me NO I have to stay with a higher payment because I cannot already pay the payments that I have – Ummm That Makes NO sense!  With a lower payment I am more likely to be able to make the payments!!!  Then I told him he either works with me or their bill goes in the Denial Pile and won’t get paid!  I mean what could they really do to  me?  My credit was in the pot because I had been so late on payments, they closed the credit line because of being late – so they way I saw it if they wanted their money they would work with me and you know what… they did!  I ended up with 4% interest rate and a payment of $190 for 5 years!

This was a great win for me – two payments that were both over $400 every month now combined to be under $400!  It was the start to getting back on track!  I have as of today a balance on one that is under $2k and the other just at $3k – what an improvement!  I am feeling so great about the changes!

I completed my Assets vs Liabilities form from yesterday – now I kinda disagree on including my home on there as a Liability because when we worked with Dave Ramsey your home was not listed but here it goes:

Assets $62,375.07 and Liabilities $370,369.66  (with home)  Liabilities $17,426.31 (without home)

I am looking forward to actually making it to being debt free not counting our home investment but then tackling the paying of that OFF and being truly debt free!

I am making the list of the credit cards we have in the order of balances, then rates – and will be focusing on chipping away, doubling payments as others get paid off and then when that is done use that lump towards my car balance and get those paid off – my goal is by the end of next year… 2013!

Dear Lord I Pray…

Dear Jesus – thank you for giving me this direct birds eye view to where we stand!  Though we are not completely debt free I do see the road and I see that it is obtainable!  YIPPPEEE Jesus I want to be a great steward of all you have so graciously given me and my family with opportunities, talents, and experiences – may we continue to grow and expand in the areas YOU want us to be in, may we be in situations to assist others not only financially but through our compassion and loving support!  Jesus, I want all that you want for me and I am ready for it ALL! In Your Name Amen!