It's Saturday morning and Aaron is working all weekend so I stayed in bed a little longer listening to Dave Ramsey's podcast. I especially liked this quote from the show: "The quickest way to building wealth is having no payments." This is ringing especially true for me lately as I've had a couple older people "poo poo" me for having consumer debt. Of course, they think the mortgage is fine, but "they never use credit cards and if they did, they'd pay them off the very next month." Yeah, yeah. You're cooler than me.
I've learned that the very next question to ask when someone talks down to me because I have credit card debt is to ask about their savings. Guess what? I've yet to find anyone with a "pile of money" as Dave likes to call it.
I'm realizing that even though I thought this program was about getting out of debt, it's not. That's just one step along the way. You have to clean up your mess so the money you earn has your name on it, not Bank of America's, Chase, Discover, etc. Once the debt is clear, all of that money you were paying to them, you can now pay to yourself. (After giving, of course.)
Right now, my minimum payments on my credit cards and cars is almost a thousand dollars a month. $1,000! If I didn't have those payment going out, I could invest that money, and within very little time, have a BIG pile of money.
To those who don't have credit card debt, car payments, and even student loans (fortunately I don't have this one, but a lot of folks do)....kudos to you! I mean, really! I'm impressed. I wish I could say the same thing. But I've learned that's not the whole battle...by ANY means. The whole idea of paying off the debt is to get it out of the way so you can build wealth, live and give like no one else.
I'm no longer going to feel bad about my consumer debt. And I'm not going to let people poo poo me. When you know better, you do better. Now I know better and we are doing better.
I totalled up some nerdy figures and since November, we have paid off 5% of our TOTAL debt...mortgage included! We've also paid off over 15% of our credit card debt!
Our target debt right now is Lowe's Consumer Credit Card and we used this card last fall to buy materials to build a barn for Aaron. We started with a balance of $3,735.83 and we now owe a flat $2,300 - that's over 38% paid! I was hoping to have it paid off by Aaron's birthday (April 15th) but we've had some emergencies we've had to cash flow, so I'm not sure we'll be able to. I've been thinking of some things to sell to get the balance down quicker but the next round of cuts will hurt. ;)