freedom (or, the $17,000 iPod)

On my lunch break today, I decided to check on something to see if I could FINALLY share my jubilation with the world.

I can.

For probably the first time since I was 17 or 18 years old, I have no credit card debt.

This doesn’t count the brief few months when I took a personal loan from my mom to get out from under my debt, and then… opened up more credit cards. To “rebuild my credit.” Except I bought things. Many things. Things I couldn’t afford, when you added them all up. 

Let me tell you. You might pay now, or you might pay later. But trust me, you will pay.

Make it easy on yourself and pay now. Don’t buy things that you can’t afford. Save up and pay cash when it makes sense.

It might be too much information, but I’m going to tell it: by the time I sought help through a credit counseling agency, my credit debt was over $13,000. I could not keep up with the monthly payments due to being laid off, moving, and subsequently being under-employed.

I have paid almost $17,000 in the past 25 months. I have sent in bonuses and windfalls. I have sent in $400 extra per month. I grew to loathe my monthly statement and viewed it as my personal enemy. Cash was the only weapon against it.

So, right now, I can say with pride – I defeated my monthly statement. It has been reduced to a giant line of zeros down the side of the page.

I am credit card debt-free.

The sad thing about all of that spending is that I have nothing to show for it that I remember buying. Except my iPod. I wanted a pink one when they first came out with the Nano, and, truth be told, that was the reason that I signed up for that first credit card (of NINE) in 2006.

The $17,000 iPod. Not quite worth it.


6 thoughts on “freedom (or, the $17,000 iPod)

  1. That’s awesome news! Congratulations!!! Getting out of debt is something to be really proud of. I’ve been in the same situation when it seemed so easy to pay it off later, and then later came and it wasn’t so easy! But at least you learned from the experience. Consider it a $17,000 education too! 🙂

    • thank you, ellen! it sure was an education… learned the hard way, and not likely to be forgotten. 😉

  2. Congratulations! I have one credit card, pay it off every month…it is through the credit union and they give these great bonus points that can be used for any facet of travel. I throw everything I can through that card…gas, food, cable, big purchases like washer and dryer, remodeling costs, utilities, etc…. and it adds up.
    I figure sales are only a bargain if you don’t have to pay interest on your purchase. Next chapter to this story is, “The wisdom of monthly savings.” Personally, I am saving for a new kitchen and screen room. I am however still working on the difference between need and want! LOL

  3. well you know i can relate!!! This really is a huge accomplishment.
    My story: i was in college walking buy Jimmy Johns. Citibank was camped outside offering free sandwiches if you signed up for a credit card. They told me I didn’t have to activate it–I didn’t listen. A $25000 sandwich. oy.

    • honestly… what kid is NOT going to activate a credit card?

      well, the good news is that lessons learned the hard way are not soon forgotten. right?

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