A few months ago, my good friend Laura and I were talking about my debt and this blog. In passing, she asked me how great it would feel when I finally had less than $10,000 of debt. I agreed it would feel great but, the truth is, that was a fairly empty response. I couldn’t imagine how it would feel. Maybe because the last time I had less than $10,000 of debt was in 2008. Or 2007. It’s been so long, I can’t remember.
I accumulated some of my old debt very slowly. I paid for too many dinners out with my ex. I treated myself to new books, purses, etc. whenever I wanted. And I never felt bad about it, because the majority of my purchases were in the $20-40 range. But they added up. In April 2009, just a few weeks after I financed my brand new car, I consolidated more than $12,000 of debt into a 5-year loan.
You would think that consolidating your debt into a loan would teach you a lesson, but I hadn’t learned a thing. At the time, the only thing I had learned was that I couldn’t have very much fun making what I made while also trying to pay off all my debt. So, instead of lowering my credit limits, I racked up my cards again. To the tune of $6,500. Add that to my car loan and consolidation loan and I was in way over my head.
In June of last year, I had more than $28,000 of debt and, with my assets, was worth -$14,000. As of today, I’ve paid off 65.6% of that debt and am officially in the quadruple digits.
Ok, so pie graphs aren’t really my thing. I just love that the amount of debt I’ve paid off now closely resembles Pac-Man and he’s hungry for the remaining!
I still can’t say I know what it feels like to have less than $10,000 of debt, because it all feels the same at this point. Every penny of it is bad debt and I am sick of feeling weighed down by it all. While I’m now two-thirds of the way to a life without consumer debt, I know I am still months away from getting where I want to be: looking at the numbers on the sidebar menu and seeing “$0” beside “Current Debt.”
The one 4-digit number I am starting to feel positive about is my net worth. Even with a measly total of +$3,500, I feel proud. That number might sound small, even insignificant… but my goal for this year was to be worth +$1. That’s it. I think I’m moving in the right direction fast. Maybe being in the quadruple digits will push me to race towards the finish line even faster…