It is a day for a nice celebration for me.  That’s right.  Yes, I understand that it is Monday and there are not too many celebrating when it is the beginning of the work week, but I am celebrating.  Do you want to know why?  Well, let me tell you.

no credit card debtOne Year Ago…..

One year ago today, I made the last large payment on my credit card debt.  I sucked up the pressure and dropped the last $1,600 on my debt that was fighting me for close to four years.  When I clicked that authorize button, I wouldn’t have realized that my life would change.  My fight with debt was long and difficult at times, but there was the light at the end of the tunnel.  I was at the end of the tunnel and basking in the light, finally!

My debt fight began when I used my first credit card in college.  While I would have never known that my issue would have multiplied to over $50,000 worth of overspending and overindulging, I am actually glad for the journey.  There are  not too many people that would say that they were happy to be in a debt journey.  I wasn’t happy that I was in debt or had to pay it all off, but I was happy of how I handled the situation.

Once I finally came to grips to my spending issues, I was able to make a plan of attack.  I knew I had a long uphill battle ahead of me, but I didn’t care.  I didn’t want to be owned by the credit card companies.  I wanted to enjoy the money that I worked hard for and wanted to start working on my hobbies.  I pushed each and every month to pay off as much money as I could along with making more money.  I took a side job to generate more income along with some online freelancing that brought some random money in.  In the four years I learned a lot about my money habits and how to change them.  If you want to learn more about my four years, then check out how I paid off my $50,000 worth of debt.  With my tactics, I was able to keep my credit score high.  I never missed one payment, because I didn’t want to damage my credit and pay high interest rates.  It would have been more of a struggle if I had to go through the credit repair process, which I know quite a few people that have gone through.  Keeping my credit clean was extremely helpful and one tip that I pass onto others whenever I can.

I wasn’t a saver before I got into debt.  I thought I was, but I was no where close to being a saver.  As I went through my debt journey, I realized what I was doing wrong and wanted to get into saving.  I know that savers usually get punished with poor interest rates, but it is more about the mentality than the amount of money I make.  I needed to get the saving mentality before I worried about making money with my money.  One step at a time.  I created my own saving and debt payoff percentage rule that worked very well for me.  It also set me up for success after I paid of my last credit card.

I started Debt Roundup about a month after I paid off my last credit card because I wanted to share my journey and results.  I knew that there were many other people going through the same thing that I did, so I wanted to help.  Debt can keep you down in the dumps and there is nothing fun about it.  I set out to provide tips and tricks along with life lessons.  I think I have done what I set out to do, but there is much more to do and I plan to keep rolling along.

The Next Year

There have been a lot of things that have happened since I paid off my last credit card.  I actually started only using credit cards for all of my purchases.  Yes, that is right.  I use my American Express blue cash preferred credit card for all of my purchases.  Why?  I know understand the power of rewards and using this one credit card has made my budgeting so much easier.  I can tell where everything is going along with having the security of a credit card.

My son was born in December and there is no doubt that has changed my life in a big way.  I know have to worry about him and my wife more than ever. I have to set them up for success.  I opened a 529 account for his college education.  I am looking into getting more life insurance and my wife and I are working on our will.

This next  year has a lot more in store.  We plan on moving to another home in the same city that is closer to our work and our family.  This is a big decision that has been in the works for a few years.  I want to invest my money in more things.  I want to learn more about dividends and investment accounts.  I am looking into more passive income strategies and I want to build my freelancing business some more.  I have had it for years, but now I have a fire under me to grow it.  We want to travel more, but responsibly and continue to maximize our rewards.  I also want to review all of our services and see if we can save money here and there.

I want to thank all of those that have given me advice over the past hear.  Your knowledge and simple advice has really changed my financial lifestyle.  I know feel confident that I will be better off in my future and will be able to provide for my family.  I hope those that are still in debt continue their fight and push through the troubling times.  There is a nice light at the end of the debt tunnel and there is no words that can explain what it feels like to be on the other side.

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