Paying off my first credit card was an amazing feeling and something I was proud to do on my own. Cutting the card and calling them up to cancel my account altogether was a gratifying feeling because I felt like I had broken the first link to the chain of bills I have felt strapped down by. This was all going to be possible. One day, these cards and loans were going to be all gone.
You know, credit cards are a funny thing, especially the store kind. When you think about it, I voluntarily signed up for more bills. Bills that weren’t essential to living like rent, electricity, and water. It was like I raised my hand eagerly saying, “Yes! Yes! Please give me more bills! I want to pay more!” Sigh
So my Discover card was done and gone. My sights were set on conquering my Victoria’s Secret card next. This was the gateway card to all the others. I kept getting denied for major credit cards so a friend of mine at the time suggested I get a store card because they are easier to get and then I could build up credit and be able to get those major credit cards I had so desired. What a weird game to play.
At my job at the time, I received a little bonus. Part of it went to savings (a good choice to make) and then the rest went to paying down my Victoria’s Secret credit card. Does anyone else feel sad about this? I had put in good hard work at my job and was being rewarded and instead of putting some in savings and maybe treating myself, I, instead was paying off stuff I had bought months ago, plus interest. I am looking forward to days in the future where I can use that reward for something better than bills.
My goal was to pay off my Victoria’s Secret credit card in May and I was able to achieve that. In my last VS credit card statement in May 2016, it listed the total interest I had been charged in 2016, which was $43.95. Let’s think about all the things I could buy with $43.95. That could be a whole new sweatshirt from VS or a bra. That could be a good chunk of groceries for a week or two. That’s two tanks of gas for me. And here I was forking over $43.95 for……..well……what feels like nothing. I am literally throwing my money away.
Next on my list was my Express credit card. The progress on this one got delayed a bit due to me leaving my job. There was about a two-week period after ending my job that I had completely no income coming in while still having bills to pay. Talk about scary. So my momentum came to a screeching halt as I tried to get some sort of job situation in order.
Jordan and I had made the decision to move in together and had the date set for July 29th for the big move in day. By the beginning of July, I got a waitress job. My original goal was to have my first three credit cards paid off before I moved in with Jordan. I thought I was going to come up short on my goal due to my job situation, but the waitress job gave me hope. In the first couple weeks, I was getting scheduled a lot and making good money. So I decided with all my might, I was going to pay off that card before I moved one way or another.
I was scheduled seven days in a row with a couple doubles thrown in there too. There was only a shift or two I gave away because by the end I was becoming sick from exhaustion between constantly working and packing for the move.
Over the weekend of that seven-day marathon, I had made the $300+ I needed to finally pay off the Express card for good. I remember having hundreds of dollars in cash at home and going to Target to get some groceries and allowing myself a $30 budget. That was the first time I actually thought toothpaste was a little expensive. That kind of self-control and determination is what happens when you want something really bad.
So literally days before the move, I was able to make my last payment on my Express card and achieve the big goal I had had for months. There is a special feeling that comes with clicking the option to pay off the whole amount rather than the minimum. I’ve gotten to do that three times now. Now I can’t wait to do the same with the last two credit cards. Then it will be my car and student loans, which I can already tell will be even sweeter.
If you want to achieve something really really bad, there will be some sacrifices and a whole lot of self-control that will need to happen. I have been working hard on my adventure to becoming debt free. This has come with a lot of sacrifices and self-control which have included missing out on alumni events I’ve gone to in the past, not buying new clothes (and there are some clothes with holes that I am still rocking!), not going out on the weekends, etc. Are there things you can dial back on in order to achieve some of your goals? Needing more motivation and self-control to kick yourself into gear? What are little steps and changes you can make to help cross off those goals?