Yay! Check out one of the prettiest pictures ever…
No bailouts or magic formulas here. I had racked up debt due to some overspending, a brief period of unemployment, and then a longer stint of not making enough money. Once I got a regular job again, I decided I was tired of paying interest, tired of being just like all those other over-strapped Americans. I had gotten into the mess myself, and was determined to get out of it by myself.
I listened to Dave Ramsey who advocates paying cash for everything, and watched my financially savvy bofyriend as he did that every day. I started a (mostly) cash-only diet, which has been much more successful than that other diet.
I geeked out with spreadsheets and budgets, read articles and blogs about frugal living, personal finance, and investing. I started putting as much as I possibly could toward my credit card every month. I enjoyed watching my balance go down, and the monthly interest rate decline with it. My goal was to pay off my credit card before the end of the year, and I accomplished that a whole month early. It feels really good. It’s been a looong journey.
Then, as if checking off my financial resolution for the year weren’t enough…on the very day I paid off my credit card, I walked into the Gap and bought a pair of jeans off the rack. In a regular store! Yay.
(OK, I have to admit that the dear boyfriend did more than act as a cash-only role model. He’s been a ridiculously generous gentleman who takes me out more often than I deserve. Thanks, D, if it weren’t for you, I’d have been eating beans and rice the whole time!)