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The Debt Diet Challenge: Paying Off All Credit Cards, Budgeting for Holidays

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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 is the latest dispatch.

Well, I haven’t talked with Jean in a few weeks and I am really missing my support person. I have been paying additional on my bills as always and I am proud to say that I have all my credit cards paid off with the exception of my Walmart card. I use that one monthly for gas as it saves me 10 cents a gallon. I did purchase a few Christmas gifts on it after Thanksgiving though. This credit card gets paid off every month though so I am not too worried about it. I am sooo stoked that I can say I have ALL CREDIT CARDS PAID OFF!!! YEAH!!!

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I am looking ahead and will be happy to say that I should have a small loan paid off in April 2012 and then can work on my camper loan. That should be paid by the end of 2012! I have also been saving more money. Since I started working at Walmart, I noticed I need to control impulse buying. I see so many things coming through the checkout line and I think: I need to get that. That is where I need to really connect with Jean and get a grip on it. I mostly have increased grocery spending, but there has been little unnecessary spending. I am back on track as far as tracking and that is why I have noticed the “Walmart” receipts have doubled. Before working there, I normally didn’t go shopping at Walmart unless I needed to, but being there has changed that. In January, I will receive my discount card, which allows me and my husband to get 10% off of everything in the store except for meat and dry food products. That will help with any spending I do there, too.

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I will not be making it to Illinois to see my children and grandchildren until next month and I am sticking really well to my budget for Christmas gifts for them. My husband’s next payday we have very little bills to pay and so I plan on buying the remainder of gifts then. I won’t need to spend on wrapping paper, because I bought it at the end of the season last year and saved it to use for this Christmas. I don’t put up a tree any longer as it is only me and my husband and that saves on the electric bill. It has been small all year! Yeah!

Well, until next week, good luck in your financing challenges!


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