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Smithee Debt Update, Mid-June 2010

This article was written by in Debt Reduction. 3 comments.


Happy Friday. It’s been about a month since my last credit card debt update, and I’m pleased to report that I’m still committed, and the plan continues to work. The weather is getting annoyingly warm, which is usually the time I start engaging in (metaphorically) self-destructive behavior, but I’m in the home stretch now, and aside from the iPhone 4, I can’t even think of something expensive that I’d want to buy for myself.

Between my wife and myself, we’ve got a long mental list of improvements we’d like to make to the house, and I’ll probably be taking a hard look at our household budget soon to see what improvements I can make to that in the absence of credit card debt. In the last month, we bought a $300 grill for the backyard. We hadn’t planned ahead to do that, and I was a little worried that day, but it turns out we could afford it without any trouble. It’s counter-intuitive, but it’s actually less painful to spend a few minutes outside grilling some meat than to heat up the kitchen for hours to cook the same thing.

We still don’t have any real savings to speak of, but I’ll be talking more about that later. For the moment, and maybe for the last month ever, this isn’t about my household, it’s about me.

Debt Totals

Here’s where things stand right now:

Credit Card Debt Totals Change
Legacy Debt $0.00 0.00
Newer Debt $1,392.73 -1,275.50

Since I started the debt updates on January 26th, the combined debt has gone down from $6,828 to $1,392.73.

Looking at the numbers in that last paragraph, roughly $6,800 compared with roughly $1,400, it doesn’t look like such a big difference. We live in a world where newspeople casually toss around millions and billions of dollars, but the process I’ve been going through, when it’s done, will mean a huge difference in the way I live my life. If I don’t change anything else about how things are budgeted, I will end up with extra money. That’s a foreign concept to me; I understand a lot about saving and growing money in theory, but not in practice.

Anyway, I’m happy with this. $1,400 seems manageable, but $6,800 seemed like a mountain I’d never be able to climb. My friends, I’ve had credit card debt since 1997, right after I got out of college and started working in the world. In retrospect, I know exactly where I went wrong, but now I see the light at the end of the longest tunnel of my life, and in a very real way, I have Flexo and you guys to thank, not just for the income of a second job, but for inspiration as well.

Next time you see a debt update from me, credit cards should be little more than a footnote.

Published or updated June 18, 2010. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Smithee formerly lived primarily on credit cards and the good will of his friends. He is a newbie to personal finance but quickly learning from his past mistakes. You can follow him on Twitter, where his user name is @SmitheeConsumer. View all articles by .

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Eric

Well here’s more inspiration…keep up the great work!

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avatar MarliO

Good for you — this is an exciting time!

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avatar lynn ♦155 (Cent)

You should be proud of your accomplishments. Good job!

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