Yesterday, I paid bills and was able to send my big contracting check off to the credit cards. All told, I sent $4533 to two cards. At one point, I had hoped that I could wipe out my debt completely this month. However, they took out more taxes that I had planned for, and I spent an unplanned $500 or so on our honeymoon. The good news is that I paid my Bank of America card in full. It is now sitting happily at a zero balance, and I didn’t pay interest on any charges I made last month for the wedding or the honeymoon. Now, the debt payments will all go to my one remaining card. This is the one that I negotiated the 0% interest for a transfer. So, my remaining $1600 of debt won’t accrue any interest for another three months or so.
I still plan to have that debt eliminated next month, one month ahead of my new goal of October 2008. Yipee! The only thing that may hold me back is that darned trip reimbursement. Loyal readers will remember that I’ve been trying to get paid for a conference I went to back in March. Cross your fingers that August will finally be the month when I see that $600 check!
I also plan to accumulate some snowflakes by selling most of the reception decorations and my wedding dress online. I toyed with keeping the dress, but it seems silly to me to pay to preserve it and haul it around forever. I suppose I’d feel differently if it were a true heirloom, but I know that I won’t wear it again, so off it goes! In my normal life, I’m fairly ruthless when it comes to weeding out old clothes, so this isn’t as shocking as it might be to other folks. We’ll have lots of great pictures of the dress; that’s enough for me!
I’m very excited because after this month, all of my energy will shift from debt repayment to savings accumulation. The husband and I have some serious long- and short-term savings goals. In the short term, we need to repair some stucco on our house, save for a new car for me, and save for vacations. Over the long haul, I want to save enough money so that we can each work part-time starting at age 55. By paying down the mortgage a little faster and investing wisely, I think we can achieve our goal.
What’s interesting is that the debt-reduction strategies I’ve learned, like spending wisely and looking for snowflakes, now seem like second nature. While I do get a great shopping spree as a reward for paying off all that debt, otherwise, I don’t plan to change much. Our new, more frugal lifestyle is actually nicer than my old cycle of careless spending and guilt over debt. So, I plan to keep myself accountable with the blog and share lots of frugal tips with all of you. Three cheers for one more month!