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.
One 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.
Do You Know Your Credit Score?
Even if you don’t plan on getting a loan, a good credit score can affect your ability to get a job, a place to live, and will save you money whenever you need to borrow. If you don’t know your credit score, you can get yours free at Credit Sesame. It’s 100% free with no credit card required to signup. I’ve been using it for years to monitor my credit score.