As featured in The Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, and more!

Smithee Debt Update, Mid-May 2010

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

Happy Vacation-makes-finances-a-bit-messy Friday! It’s been about a month since my last credit card debt update. Since then, we managed to pull off something akin to a coup or a miracle. With help from my wife’s bonuses (which are only considered miraculous because mis-management at her company makes those difficult to realize), we were able to have a nice six-day vacation without putting anything on a credit card.

Well, not anything more. Sometime last Fall, I put the price of the ‘Con we went to on the Newer Credit Card, totaling about $1,300. It’s exciting for me to think that if we decide to go back again next year, the tickets can be paid for without credit card interest.

But since then, my wife saved up enough to spend a roughly equal amount for airfare, car rental, and lodging & meals for the days before and after the ‘Con. Well, some of the post-Con expenses were paid for jointly, and the pet sitter costs came out of the Joint Savings account. That’s what I meant earlier when I said vacation makes finances a bit messy. Looking at our purchases online, it’s intimidating to try to make sense of all the things we spent money on, but the real messy part is that I forgot to take out my usual $100 in cash on Saturday to use this week, so I’ve been using my debit card for the last couple of days.

But when I look at the credit card balances, I know I’ve been doing the right thing.

Debt Totals

Today is a payday, and including the credit card payment scheduled for tomorrow, here’s where things stand right now:

Credit Card Debt Totals Change
Legacy Debt $0.00 -496.81
Newer Debt $2,668.23 -1066.13

Since I started the debt updates on January 26th, the combined debt has gone down from $6,828 to $2,668.23.

The most recent credit card payment (just one card, not two!) was $659 instead of the planned $765, because my wife and I decided to be a little nice to ourselves and get an electric lawnmower. But I’m still on track to be free of credit card debt sometime in July. The annoying thing is that this card doesn’t let me make more than two payments in a month.

(Deep breath.)

At some point, when I think about our household debts, I’m going to have to start including car loans and the mortgage, but I can’t yet bring myself to do that, those totals are just too big.

P.S. The other miraculous part is that while we were gone for nearly a week, our mostly-not-smart dogs didn’t destroy any of the furniture. I think it helped that the evening pet sitter visit was an hour long instead of half an hour. Based on previous vacation experience, I was prepared (psychologically, not financially) to come home and immediately need to buy a new couch. The current one isn’t in good shape by any measure, but I think it can wait until we can buy a new one without using credit.

Published or updated May 14, 2010.

Email Email Print Print
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 1 Anonymous

That’s pretty good progress. And don’t sweat the mortgage debt, all things being equal.

Buy your next car cash though. Start saving now! :)

Reply to this comment

avatar 2 Anonymous

“At some point, when I think about our household debts, I’m going to have to start including car loans and the mortgage, but I can’t yet bring myself to do that, those totals are just too big.” <–Reminds me of yesterday, when I used Mint to track my Net Worth. I was doing great my NW untilI added the Student Loan debt. It killed the cat Net Worth. *sigh* But least I figured out what direction I need to go. :)

Electric mower… you like? The terms just doesn’t seem to carry enough power to cut the lawn properly. Curious to know your take.

Reply to this comment

avatar 3 Smithee

I do like the electric mower so far, but it’s a small area of the backyard that I’m using it on.

Reply to this comment

Leave a Comment

Note: Use your name or a unique handle, not the name of a website or business. No deep links or business URLs are allowed. Spam, including promotional linking to a company website, will be deleted. By submitting your comment you are agreeing to these terms and conditions.