May 26, 2009

Dave Ramsey, that is, for today we mailed our last credit card payment. Once the check clears Friday we are credit card debt free!

It’s been such a long haul – almost two years, in fact. I remember the moment well: It was a hot Friday night in August 2007, and I was floating around the pool, tossing numbers around in my head. I guess you could say I then had what they call a “revelatory moment”. I had just finished paying the bills for that month and was amazed at having to pay 14 bills that day, the majority of them credit cards – three Chase, two Bank of America, Firestone, Shop NBC, Victoria’s Secret, Kohl’s, Citibank – you name ’em, we had ’em. After totalling up the numbers – I figured we owed somewhere around 60K or more – I think I finally just got tired of living life behind the 8-ball.

So what did I do? What any normal red-blooded American would do, of course: I asked my congressman to rail against those evil credit card banks on C-SPAN, then introduce a bill the President could sign to bail me out courtesy of the responsible credit card owners of America.

I’m kidding, of course.

But I remember distinctly trying to figure out our debt and how much we’d have to sacrifice in order to pay them off in two years’ time. To tell you the truth, I didn’t think we could do it. But we started hammering away – I remember distinctly writing down on paper a strategy to get our highest three cards totalling 42K all under 10K so we could at least lay out a plan – and God was good to us in keeping both of us employed and seeing Tracey’s income rise a bit through a couple of promotions. Eating out was terminated completely (except Friday night takeout from the local pizza joint), as well as mall and jewelry shopping on the cable channels. And not having a car payment made it a whole lot easier.

The final kicker was discovering Ramsey’s show on the Fox Business Network. He spoke a language we both now understood, and a message we embraced. We didn’t follow his methodology 100% – we never bothered with a formal budget, and we still gave abundantly to charities and the money pit called my sister-in-law (a topic for another time) – but otherwise we were disciplined and stuck to our plan. A white board on the wall in my office listed all the cards and the balances, and at the end of every month we logged our progress and slowly began to see the credit cards with balances listed in blue turn to green as they were paid off.

Once we got our three big cards down to below 10K, we started attacking the lower fruit and got what Dave calls a “snowball” going – you start with your smallest balance and work your way up; soon you really start having money to toss at the big kahunas. Seeing the light at the end of the tunnel these past few months just made us all the hungrier to get things done.

And we’ve done it, almost three months ahead of time. Now it’s on to the next step: getting our savings account up to $5K, then attacking the last non-mortgage debt – a once-$40K loan we took out against a 403-B to purchase our house, now down to $28K. If all goes well, we’ll have that paid off as a Christmas present.

Folks, if once-reckless spenders and vacationers like us can do it, anyone can do it! And President Obama can find some other shills to help pay for every other irresponsible credit card owner out there, because the credit cards are out of our wallets and out of our lives, for good.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 21:29 | Comments (4)
  1. Woooo Hoooo and congratulations. I have been to Dave’s presentations and have known about him for years. His method truly works. I am getting letters from my credit card companies…Advanta is closing all it’s accounts as its “trust” is no longer going to fund them. Go figure…it’s my business card and they have lowered the limit to my balance plus 500.00. Even Fed Express is lowering limits on accounts. It’s a mess all over this country with credit card debt. Mine is manageable and used mostly for online purchases for tickets for performances, on line purchases. I had 2 cards hacked into for a grand total of 4G…took months for my bank to reverse those charges. Now I have a security fee of 8.00 a month to watch activity. I would prefer to use my debit card for on line purchases but that just feels too vulnerable.
    I am so proud of you and Tracey…amazing comittment…just damn amazing. Time for a celebratory martini. Wish I were able to celebrate with you. I am growing mint for my Mojitos. I need to send photos of the latest garden project and redo. I have another baby pineapple growing this year…should be ready by Sept to be enjoyed..ahh, freshly picked pineapple.

    Comment by Jana — May 27, 2009 @ 5:09 am

  2. Thanks, Jana – good to hear from you and thanks for the update!

    Comment by The Great White Shank — May 27, 2009 @ 10:43 am

  3. Congratulations, GWS and Tracey. You’re in an envious position these days.

    Comment by Rob — May 28, 2009 @ 3:43 am

  4. Thanks Rob – we hope to treat ourselves to a long weekend in New Orleans (on the debit card, of course!) the last week in June. If you’re around we might just have to get together!

    Comment by The Great White Shank — May 28, 2009 @ 7:09 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.


Search The Site

Recent Items


September 2021
April 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006



4 Goodboys Only

Site Info