I figured I needed to start somewhere so why not lay it on the line for the readers of this blog, while keeping myself accountable in the months and years to come.
Just recently married (a little over six weeks ago) and the wife and I decided to get serious about what we are going to do with debt and our money in general. We are attempting to combine finances (that is a ridiculously long post in of itself) while getting into our first goal, the subject of this post:
LET’S ACTIVELY GET RID OF DEBT
Like most people, I am not a naturally frugal person (lucky for me my wife is – but more on her in a later post); unlike some extreme PF Bloggers, I am not looking to live off rice and beans until I amass a cool million in my qualified money that I can’t touch until 59 1/2. Maybe because I am relatively young (26), I just don’t want to live that way. With that being said I am participating in my employer’s 401(k) up to the match, and I don’t go spending $500 on a single night out.
Regardless of my “feelings” on debt and spending, it comes down to the numbers – and these numbers HURT JUST TO WRITE.
- Approximately $16,800 in Credit Card Debt!
- Approximately $250,000 in Secured Debt (House Mortgage and my car – wife leases)
- $60,000 – $70,000 Law School Loans
With that being said we have over $20,000 in non-qualified savings (high yield accounts – I will write a post on my love of ING Direct later on). Additionally, Wife has $10,000 or so in mutual funds, a grand or so in my TradeKing brokerage account, and lastly, I have a couple grand in retirement accounts.
First thing I did was transfer as much as possible to 0% credit cards. So 80% or so of that $16,800 is at 0% which is huge! Second thing I am in the middle of is creating a modified debt snowball. J.D. from Get Rich Slowly has a great introductory article on The Debt Snowball.
I say modified because, I KNOW the math on this debt snowball is wrong. I apply my extra money used towards debt (approximately $1,000) towards the highest aprs left that didn’t get onto a 0% card, then I will start applying that money towards the card I will lose my 0% on, then attach the rest debt snowball style.
When I create the excel sheet I will post it!