October 17, 2012

Credit Cards

Last year, I wrote a post about chopping up all my credit cards.And I don't think I said this, but I had fully intended to have all our credit cards paid off within a year.  Snip, snip, no longer in debt. It would be difficult, but we could do it. That year is over now. And, surprise, surprise, we still are carrying balances.

The good news is that we have paid off a third of our credit card debt. This is embarrassing to even say. That we had so much debt that it has taken us a year to pay off a third of it. But that is the way of it. We were in a lot of debt. And now we aren't in so much debt.

This bothers me. Mostly because I am an all or nothing kind of person. If I diet, I want to lose, oh about fourteen pounds the first day. If I decide to keep my house clean, I want the junk drawer alphabetized. If I decide to pay off our credit cards, I want to pay it all off in a month. But realistically, you can't undue several years of bad financial decisions in one magic sweep of a year. I had decided to pay off our credit cards, but that didn't change the way my mind works. I still love shopping. I would suddenly decide I needed to buy this for the kids, that for Justin, and I simply had to have this. Being pregnant, with a limited wardrobe makes me crave clothes. So I had bouts of clothes buying. They weren't outrageous, but they weren't necessary.

It is a lot-tle bit discouraging. Fortunately, I have the sort of disposition that thrives on making plans. So I have a new one all cooked up. Guess what? It involves having credit cards paid off insanely quickly. I will fail at this plan. Just like I have failed at all my other break-even-quick schemes. But that doesn't matter quite so much, as long as we are making progress. I have plans aplenty up in that head of mine, so if one peters out, I am sure I will find another plan to replace it. And having a new plan motivates me. Hmm... maybe I should make a new plan each week.

I know none of you particularly care what we do with our own money, but I felt like after making such a big pronouncement about it last year, that I had to follow it up. This isn't the follow up story I wanted to have. But in the grand scheme of things, it's not that bad.

It was a pretty great year. We had a darling baby. Our kids are a year older. We bought a van. We have a guest room now. Justin started finding jobs and working for himself. And doing all that while paying off debt means that we are doing all right. Not fabulous, not perfect, but all right.

And this year is another year. Here's to frugality.


vera said...

You're starting earlier than some on the 'road to recovery'...Improvement not perfection is sustainable.

laura said...

1. Vera is very smart.

2. I applaud this. I, too, am working at the same thing. And I don't even have kids to spend money on! Just (apparently very materialistic) me! Ugh! It makes me ashamed. But forward ho! We can do this!

Verity Earl said...

It took me 5 years to pay off one of my credit cards. But it's paid off now, and the 5 years went a lot faster than I thought it would!