Wednesday, June 10, 2009

How Much and How Long?

Monday's post was a trip down financial memory lane and boy did I get a lot of great feedback (hello to everyone who chooses to e-mail rather than leave a comment;-). My blogpal JP Kittie left this comment, "wow - that sounds like what I have just thought about --- but now working towards paying off --- if you don't mind me asking - how much did you pay off total & how long did it take you?"

Well Mrs. Kittie, the truth is this, I really don't know. That's the one thing I wish I had done differently; I wish I had written down all of the debt at a point in time and tracked the entire payoff. Have you ever heard of the sayings "the way you eat an elephant is one bite at a time," or "Rome wasn't built in a day?" Well those are two adages that I live by. When I wrote my goals, I focused on one debt at a time. I didn't learn about the snowball method until 2002, that's when I put all of the debts down on paper. With that, I'll try to answer JPK's questions to the best of my ability.

How Much?
When it was all said and done, I paid the following:
  • Car loan $15,000
  • Visa $10,000
  • Student loan $7,000
  • Store credit cards $2,000
  • MasterCard $5,000
  • Discover $2,500
  • American Express $2,500
  • 401K loans (approx) $4,000
  • I'm certain that I'm forgetting something ....
How Long?
I got my first credit card in 1994 and my first debt consolidation loan was sometime around 1997 or 1998. This was the loan from my local bank. I can't quite remember the payoff but the loan payments were $193.93 per month. My final debt payoff was in April 2006. Based on those dates it looks like I was in the debt circle for at least 10 years. It wasn't until I stopped trying the debt consolidation stuff and really just got my buttocks in gear and paid off the debt slow and steady, which happened around 2003. If I had to guess how much debt I had at that time, I'd say approximately $25,000. I went backwards for so long.


jpkittie said...

Thanks for sharing - It is just really nice to know that someone out there had a pretty decent size amount of debt & was able to do it. When I am reading the "I am now debt free" posts - it is usually for someone who has $3k - $8k tops of debt... When you are in the $20s & above - it just seems hopeless... But that is an inspriration to me that you had $20k & got rid of it... it does give me hope for sure that I can do this with my finances! Thanks again!!!!

Shtinkykat said...

The primary reason why I blog about my finances is that it's kind of my financial diary. Eventually I hope to shut down my current blog when I pay off all of my debts!

MoneyFunk said...

That is a sizeable chunk of money.

I would like to pay this much down, too. I am not in dire worry of my extra $30K in student loans since they are at a such low interest rate. But, the other stuff... definitely needs to go now!

I've never heard the first adage. LOL. Thanks for sharing your debt history. Nice to see you really can get out of it!