Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Resolve to be Debt Free

It's that time of year when everyone seems to be making resolutions. A lot of those resolutions seem to revolve around losing weight, exercising, and getting in shape. That's a worthy goal, and I wish everyone success in achieving it. Another common resolution is to finally get out of debt - to get in good financial shape. That was always very important to me, and so often I just felt helpless and frustrated by the whole thing. It just bugs me to see that finance charge on a credit card bill. That's money down the drain - money I have nothing to show for. It especially bugged me when I felt that it wasn't my fault in the first place. It wasn't me who was spending the money in the first place! I finally got my husband to understand what I meant and why I hated credit card debt so much, and that it wasn't going to go away unless we actually did something about it. We used some balance transfers to lower our rates - several of them to 0% - and we started to concentrate on paying as much as we could and not buying anything we absolutely did not have to have. Unfortunately, life gets in the way and unexpected expenses come up, like car repairs or something like that, but at least we were working on it. Through it all, I don't think our credit was ever bad, and we didn't have to get any bad credit loans to help consolidate our debt, but I think getting out of debt is important enough that you should use whatever resources are available. It also would have taken us a lot longer than it did to pay everything off, if we hadn't gotten some money when Jeffrey's grandpa died. Now, the key is to stay out of debt. I keep telling the kids never to let themselves get into debt in the first place. They don't always listen, especially Beth, but this does seem to be something she understands.
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