The Last 5 is the Hardest to Lose: Hitting a Debt Payoff Plateau

debt plateau

I’m getting more and more frustrated about getting out of credit card debt. I feel like I’ve been holding at 6k remaining in CC debt forever. If you’ve ever sought to lose weight, you know the saying that the last 5 lbs is the hardest to lose. I feel that the last 6k is becoming the hardest to kill.

I’ve spent more money than intended on shoes lately. I started with buying two pairs because the ones I wore before were about 5+ years old, uncomfortable and worn out – literally with holes opening up in them. One of the new pairs (casual) is still ok, but the other pair (for work) turned out not to be very comfortable for long distances. I bought another pair only to suffer the same fate. I bought a third pair and had the same thing happen. They felt great at first but couldn’t hold up after a lot of walking during a typical workday. I’ve burned money in pursuit of comfortable work shoes, yet I’m still hobbling home in pain after work because my feet hurt.

I had some overdue dental work done last week and got slammed with a $1085 bill. That’s not a typo. I’m hoping that my dental insurance will cover some of it at least. It was dental work that had to be done otherwise the consequences would have been bad and even more costly. Plus, my dentist is one of the best in the business, so I know the work will last. Actually, I don’t have any regrets about it. What’s done is done. It’s just that these things are not helping me make any traction on this stupid debt. I work two long stressful weeks at a time, waiting for my paycheck, and when I finally, fiiiinnnaaalllyy get it, something takes it before I can put it toward this debt. I just feel like I’m never going to pay this card off. Arrggghh!!

Two years ago today (11/27/2012) I made my first post on this blog. I was $30,000+ in credit card debt and resolved. I’m thankful for having the opportunities that I’ve had to shave my expenses and earn enough to pay down my debt to $6,500+. However I know how much further ahead I could and should be at this point. Enough. It’s time to practice patience.

“Debtor’s prison is real, and opportunity cost is a bitch.” (DDSW)

It’s Over 9,000! My Credit Card Debt Breaks the 4-Digit Barrier!

Over 9000

I’ve been waiting to write this post for a while. It will be short, but sweet…

WooHoo!  My balance is under $10,000 for the first time in over 8 years!!! Yes. That’s not a typo. I can’t believe it either.  I don’t even want to think about all the interest I’ve been paying out all this time. Ugh! Ugh! Uggghhhh! (Cries) 😥 .  I only want to think about how great it feels to break this barrier. Now I feel like the end of the tunnel is in sight. And this train has no return trip.

Forgive this anime (Dragonball Z) meme reference but, if  ‘Over 9,000’ refers to a feat of strength or an off-the-chart feeling of power, then this applies to me.  I like to think of this animated gif as my credit card company getting the news that I’m about to pay it off way sooner than they thought.  Ha!

what 9000

Oh yes, it’s right, credit card company. Oh so very right. Muahaha!

.

I’m killing this debt, Kill Bill style.  This is the countdown…

$30, 000’s  – Elle Driver (California Mountain Snake)

california mountain snake1

$20, 000’s – Vernita Green (Copperhead)

copperhead1

$10,000’s – Oren-Ishii (Cottonmouth)

cottonmouth

One more to go…

$1,000 – Bill (Snake Charmer)

Bill snake charmer

And now, I’m going to kill Bill.  He represents the last $1,000 of this credit card debt. And he’s goin’ down! You can run, but you can’t hide!

.

“Debtor’s prison is real, and opportunity cost is a bitch.” (DDSW)

Renting a New Room and Writing a New Budget

rent-room

(This is not a picture of my new room. My room will not be as nice as this, but it’s somewhat similar.)

As you may know from my past posts, I have been sharing (one roommate) an overpriced apartment for the past year. One of my goals for 2014 was to find a cheaper and cleaner place to live once my lease ended.  Well, the good news is that I have! I found a room on Craigslist a week or so ago that I went to see.

It was not love at first sight.  The picture in the ad left much to be desired, but the rent was affordable so I had to at least check it out. It is  a few towns over from where I live now.  I decided to walk there from the public transit station along the busy main street. It was unusually hot that day and there were a couple of  points where I thought I’d miscalculated the distance on the map and wanted to turn around and go back home, but I didn’t and eventually found the place.

There are three roommates, all women in 40s/50s, pleasant, so that may be a positive change. The room, like the house, was small, old, and a little dark, but neat. At first I didn’t like it at all, but the more I kept thinking about it, the more it made sense to rent the room.

purple-flowers
Image credit: photographymad.com

I went back a few days later to drop off the deposit, sign the lease and see the room again. Talk about a big difference! I took a different route to get there by walking along a green walking and biking path that I’d learned about thanks to Google Maps. It was cool, breezy, and calm. I got there before I knew it, and realized that the house is within a few blocks of a small public library (win!), a popular local natural grocery store (big win!) and a small gym.

One of my long-standing goals is to find a way to get in shape. For the first time in my life I have developed the dreaded muffin top. My skin, which was never clear to begin with, has gone completely to crap, and I have the ironically named ‘laugh lines’ exploding all over my face.  Why? It’s not from laughing, I assure you. I’ve been stressed out to the point of burnout over the past year.

I’m hoping that being near a good grocery store and a running path will make it easier for me to make some much needed health improvements.  I don’t know if I’ll spend money to go to a gym, but if I can at least start running that’s half of the first battle. Anyway, as I said, what a difference a few days made. I’m glad that I didn’t pass this place by because of the Craigslist picture. I’m glad I didn’t turn around on my way to see it that first day. I can make this room work. As long as its  safe, clean, and bug free, I’ll be fine.

stack-of-money
Image credit: stackthatmoney

I’m mostly excited about the rent. Did I say it was affordable? It is only $500 /month INCLUDING all utilities and wi-fi!!

Depending on where you live, $500 per month may not seem special, but where I live now, rent that low is RARE to find. So my housing costs will drop from $1500 /mo. to  $500/ mo. for a $1000 savings each month! I can’t wait to start throwing all of it towards this credit card debt. With this housing shift, I will be back on track to kill this credit card debt entirely this year!

I won’t be living high on the hog, or even low on the hog. You all know I’d MUCH rather have my own place, but by doing this I’ll have less and less debt to stress out over. I hope to be in the room as little as possible and spend more time outside for once, so that’s another goal.

After this credit card debt is gone, I’ll reformulate my basic budget

 MY AUG – DEC. 2014 BASIC BUDGET

Q4 2014 Budget

Yeah, that phone charge is out of control. I felt like I had to go unlimited because I currently work from home 2 days per week and with all the conference call meetings i’m on everyday – I kept running out of minutes and getting slammed with extra charges.  (I don’t get a company phone.) I will be looking into how to reduce this.

I really hope this new room works out for me and I can stay for a while. This may be the best shot that I have for while to cut down this debt.  I’m finally getting back on track to follow my own advice.

Cutting down on housing and transportation expenses are the quickest ways to save the most money. If you’re thinking about taking the leap yourself…

Do it  credit - thetaline dot org
Image Credit: thetaline.org

“Debtor’s prison is real, and opportunity cost is a bitch.” (DDSW)