No, its not my birthday, an anniversary, my son did not reach any huge developmental milestone today, and on the surface, all appears to be normal around here.
But just between us....ahem... WE HAVE NO MORE CREDIT CARD DEBT!!!!
We have worked extremely hard and deliberated extensively over personal finance decisions and made sacrifices to get to this point. And, we've had a lot of help from some key family members who have given much of their time to help us do what we needed to do.
I just want to say to anyone who is facing a lot of debt, and feeling overwhelmed by it all, that it CAN be overcome! There are some fantastic web tools and personal finance blogs that offer services and approachable, easy to understand advice to help you get on your feet.
One of the best things we ever did was to set up a personal budgeting account with Mint.com and I can't say enough about how great it is to have all my expenditures funneled into this secure website where I can categorize each purchase by "groceries" and "clothing" and "auto payment" and "childcare" etc, etc. It has been a HUGE eye opener over the past year or so that we've been using it. We know exactly how much money we have left to spend on groceries for the month, if we've been out to eat too many times, and its easy to see which bills we still need to pay. Try it! You won't be sorry. (And no, no one is paying me to say all this).
Once you do all this, you may "find" money that you can re-purpose toward paying off your debts. Perhaps you had no idea you were spending $800 on groceries for your family of 3. Maybe you can cut your budget down for clothing by 10%, 25% or more.
There are a million blogs to check out with great money-saving tips and smart ways to think about how you use your money. Check out a whole list of them here.
Now, I'm off to work hard just a little more... celebrating will come with the long weekend ahead!