Two of my goals for this year are to pay off my credit card debt and reach a positive net worth. Well, as it turns out, both of these could potentially be achieved back-to-back. And in the next month.
Based on my mutual funds + savings + the value of my car, I only need to payoff another $600 of debt, before I will finally be worth something. That’s a credit card payment + a car payment + a personal loan payment.
And, in case you missed my freakout on Twitter or last week’s spending report, I got my 2011 tax return on Thursday and put the entire amount + more on my credit card debt. I only have $500 left to payoff that former $6,500 debt.
I will definitely reach a positive net worth by the end of this month and, if I balance my budget properly, think I’ll be able to wipe out my credit card debt too. While staying positive helped make both of those goals attainable, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little anxious.
I don’t think I’ve had a positive net worth since before I got my first credit card; that was 2004. Then I spent 7 years using my credit card like it was an extra bank account. Free money, if you will. And while you would think the last year had changed my personal habits and behaviours, I am not 100% confident I am “cured.”
A few friends have asked how I’m feeling, being so close to having my credit card debt paid off. I answer honestly by admitting that all I want to do is shop. You all know how little of that I’ve done, during the past 10 months. Heck, I’ve only had 2 haircuts (and no colour – not even out of a box) in the last 14 months!
So yes, I want to shop. I want some new clothes, shoes and sandals for summer. I want a few things to complete my apartment. And I need a new bed (mine is 10 years old and seriously sagging). But I can’t shop yet.
It’s time for me to truly learn what it means to save before buying. I have done this for a few small purchases but nothing big yet. The $5 workout savings plan will help me save for the new clothes I want (I already have $30 saved!) and I’m still putting aside $25 per paycheque for my trip to Toronto this fall. But the “old me” wants to swipe my card and do whatever I want right now.
What’s going to stop me? Will seeing a $0 balance on my credit card statement be enough? How about watching my soon-to-be positive net worth go up and up? Or am I going to have to remind myself everyday that it’s just not worth swiping for something I don’t have the cash for?
Have any of you paid off your credit card debt? Did you then become great savers or have you ever slipped? Please share whatever you’re comfortable with.