This is our weekly installment of The Debt Diet Challenge, in which we follow the progress of participants selected to take Jean Chatzky’s Debt Diet as they work to get themselves out of debt and on track to a better financial future. Every week, the participants blog about their experiences with the program. Here are their latest dispatches…
This week has been a pretty normal week. No unexpected bills popped up and I was actually able to pay extra on all the credit card bills and loans I had due. I increased a small amount to my high interest card and felt so good to go online and seen the balance after the payment was applied. I can’t believe I am seeing it go way down. I have had a balance on that for over 3 years. They closed the account shortly after I made my purchases, so I hate to think what I’m actually paying for those purchases. It is too painful to think about. I find it rather fun to make my payments and see my balances go down, down, down, while my enthusiasm goes up, up, up.
[Related Article: The Debt Diet Challenge Week #6: Debt Reduction by Snowball … or Avalanche?]
I am working on some other areas of my finances, too. I am a Realtor, and I haven’t really made any money at it. Actually, I think I spend more on it than I have ever brought in. I am tracking all my gas that I spend on real estate to see the numbers. I have an idea on what I spend, but have never actually monitored it. I am sure it will be an eye opener for me. I know it would be better if I just stayed home, but I do like to be out of the house. My friend suggested volunteering somewhere closer to home. I am thinking about that. I have applied at a few more companies in our area because I would like to get out of debt as fast as I can. I am hoping something pans out.
[Infographic: What to do if a Debt Collector Calls]
Camping cost a little more than I expected once I looked at all the receipts. Mostly the gas for the truck, that was probably due to going up and down hills pulling the camper. I did borrow from my savings and put gas purchases on a credit card. I was able to put the savings back; however the credit card I will need to pay in monthly installments plus the additional $10.00. I didn’t buy any souvenirs for myself, just for my grandson and his brother and sister. It was under $8.00 and what they wanted, so that was good. We visited parks that were free and I have lots of pictures and great memories. I don’t know why I always felt I had to buy something every time we went somewhere. I think about it now and it’s funny because it isn’t that important anymore. Maybe that is this program, my age, or both. I may be repeating myself here, but lessons learned should be shared.
I really like this program and how simple it is. I guess I looked at saving and getting out of debt as something I only read in books. Now, I think it is attainable if I stay focused and committed. I still talk to all my friends about my goals and they are all still very helpful and positive.
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