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Jun 20

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1 down, 3 to go

Perhaps some of you remember my posts from last summer and fall about how challenging my finances were.  About how ashamed I felt.  About how much I wanted to change my situation.  About how impossible that felt, but I was willing to try.

Perhaps you remember the 40-Day Miracle Challenge when I focused exclusively on my money.  Perhaps you remember when things began turning around – I made a budget!  I made a plan!  I started making progress!  Or when I realized how I had been using money as a wedge to drive people I cared about away.

Well, I’m here to tell you that just six months later, I’ve reached the first HUGE milestone.

I started my budget in November.  At the time I had approximately $25,600 in credit card debt spread over four cards (each with between $6000 and $7000), plus I owed $3200 on my car and about $1500 to the IRS.  Grand total: a little over $30,000.  YIKES!  I don’t even like seeing that number now!

At the time, I was making totally haphazard payments on all of my debt, plus I was continuing to use my credit cards so I just kept falling further and further behind.

In November I determined that I’d make a change.  I’d stop using the credit cards entirely.  I’d live by a budget that was very structured, but also gave me a little wiggle room to do fun things.  And I’d start being really calculating and disciplined about how I paid off debt.  In the meantime, freelance writing jobs starting appearing for me.

Last month, thanks to a large tax refund from 2011, the IRS was fully paid off.

As of today, the first credit card was completely PAID OFF!!!

So here is my current status just SIX MONTHS after I started:

* Credit card #1 – $0 (paid off $6100)
* Credit card #2 – $5998 (paid off $600)
* Credit card #3 – $5904 (paid off $600)
* Credit card #4 – $6343 (paid off $600)
* Car loan – $2159 (paid off $1100)
* IRS – $0 (paid off $1500)

Prior debt total: $30,000
Current debt total: $20,404

TOTAL PAID OFF IN SIX MONTHS: almost $10,000!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(As bad as it felt writing my starting totals a couple paragraphs ago, this feels WAAAAAAAAAY better!)

And the amazing thing is that I didn’t change my lifestyle AT ALL.  In fact, my lifestyle is immeasurably better because I’m not stressed out about money all the time.  I know where my money goes and I know what my limits are.

Tonight I’m having a little party for me!!  :-)

1 credit card down, 3 more to go.  And I’m betting that those will go even FASTER!  :-)

Image found here.

About the author

Leah Carey

Leah Carey is the Chief Miracle Officer of The Miracle Journal, where she writes about the large and small miracles that happen in her life every day. She is a life coach, speaker, journalist, freelance writer, and lover of life. In all of those pursuits, she works with people to identify what’s already right in your life so you can build an even more joyful and fulfilling daily experience from that foundation. You can find her on Facebook, , Twitter, and YouTube.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.themiraclejournal.com/2012/06/20/1-down-3-to-go/

2 comments

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  1. Peggy Nolan

    Hi Leah!

    Good for you! Isn’t it freeing to tackle your debt and pay it off? Last year I paid off $25k in debt. Today, my husband and i have zero credit card debt. The new truck we bought in late 2009 will be paid in full either in July or August. Once his truck is PIF, the new Jeep I bought in January will be my only debt (besides my mortgage) and it will be PIF in 12 months.

    Congratulations and well done!! Keep doing what you’re doing!
    Peggy Nolan recently posted at their blog…How Does Your Garden Grow

  2. Anitra

    Oh Leah, that’s great! What I love most about this post is that you lay it all out there – NO SHAME! I love that you are so open about this, and that you’re making progress in being financially healthy. :) Hope and progress are beautiful, aren’t they?
    Anitra recently posted at their blog…Letting Go

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