Monday, July 9, 2007

How Truthful are YOU About Debt? The $40,000 Question.

While putting together this week's carnival I saw that Blogging Away Debt had an interesting post about whether or not you should share your financial situation with your family. That is always a big decision for people. One of the readers commented that it depends on if you are doing it to request help, or just so that you can get moral support.

This got me thinking about my own finances. If you had asked me a few days ago how much debt I had, I would have said $4000. Period. That was my debt.

I didn't count my furniture because that is a fixed amount every month. (but it is on a Bassett credit card) I didn't count my student loans because technically that is good debt, right? Plus, I will be paying on that thing for like 10 years, so what can I do about it? And I didn't coun't my car loan because, hey, I could always sell the thing and get "some" of that money back (and I guess pedal my bicycle with my two kids on the back 30 miles to work each morning.)

Maybe it was helping me to only look at one little piece at a time. MAYBE if I had paid off the $4000, I would have turned to the next debt and started paying on it (I actually did plan to do that however....) But, more than likely as I got that 4 grand lower and lower it would have given me more reason to buy something else, or commit to another "monthly" payment for something I don't really need.

So, what is my grand total? My total debt, no more fooling myself, is $41,000. Wow, that is over ten times what I was "telling" myself. Surprising as it seems though, that number doesn't scare me. It pisses me off. Which is a good thing. It has revitalized my debt paying efforts, lol. Now I know for sure the credit card it going to be put away, (I am trying really hard to cut it up, but emergencies???), then on to paying off the furniture, then the car, and finally my student loans.

I added up all of my monthly payments and I am throwing $700 a month at my debt. Imagine how awesome it will be when I am saving that amount each month. That is my goal now. Pay off the debt then save the money!

I have been planning for a while to pay off my car and then keep it as long as I can so I don't have to worry about a car payment for a while. Then this next time I will actually SAVE up for the next car....

So how honest are you? Do you actually know how much debt you have? I had no idea until yesterday. It was truly a wake up call!

***** On the UP SIDE- my debt repayment efforts have RAISED my credit score 14 points in 4 months! Yea!

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