Home > Managing Debt > The Debt Diet Challenge Week #11: DIY Repairs, Still Focused on Paying Down Debt

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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 past week we struggled a little due to my forgetting about an auto payment coming out. I was down to $13.00 left in my account, hoping my closing was going to happen on the 15th. I ended up writing a check Wednesday night for gas and hoping to cover it with my closing on Thursday. I did have money to cover the check in my savings, but really hated the thought of transferring it. Anyway, it all worked out, thank goodness.

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Jean suggested that I save ½ of my commission check and apply the other half onto my highest credit card balance. I haven’t been able to do that due to no gas in either of our vehicles and no money coming in until next week. It was frustrating not to have any money available, and I didn’t like it. I am working on my emergency fund in my savings so I don’t consider that money available. We didn’t use any credit cards, either. I didn’t really like the feeling … I have had those feelings way too much. Anyway, this closing wasn’t my biggest of the three scheduled, and I used this money for gas for both vehicles and getting some necessary groceries (milk, bread, onions, etc.). I also purchased two new tops from Wal-Mart ($27.00 for both), which I needed but should have waited to buy. I really don’t buy new clothes for myself. I think I have jeans from 5 years ago that I still wear.

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I showed my co-worker a little more about how the program worked and she seemed very interested. She is looking at purchasing a newer car though, so not sure she gets it. It is sad to see someone who, like me, is one check away from losing everything, and doesn’t see it. I was the same way, when I did see it, I wasn’t making the money I used to and could not find my way to do anything about it. Now it is a different story, I am learning and am happy to say, heading in the right direction. I look forward to paying myself back when we get our next paycheck (½ in my savings) and paying the other on the credit card. That part is already scheduled through bill pay; I just hope I can pay the savings account, too.

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I also repaired a GFI plug in our camper myself. I had to purchase a new outlet for just under $30.00 and the salesman told me how to replace it. I am happy to say it worked and I felt great! All three outlets on the camper, which ran off of that GFI switch, work! Yeah, I was so happy and my husband was, too.

We just got back from being with our friends today. We went looking up by Ponca (Neb.) for elk. It was a full day of driving and I am exhausted, but happy to say we saw a herd of beautiful elk. There were young elk and mighty bulls with massive antlers and, of course, cows. It was an awesome sight to behold and a wonderfully blessed day. I hope you enjoy the picture.

Read Chris’ story »

Image courtesy Debt Diet Challenge blogger Penny

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