Friday, March 21, 2008

One year of keeping track of debt - where have we been, what have we learned

I just realized after posting my debt roundup that I have been keeping track of our debt on here for one year. My first post about the debt total was on March 4, 2007.

I thought it might be interesting to see where our debt started and where it is now. Of course, let us remember that I did not get super serious about the debt pay down until a few months ago. So I already know that it is not gonna look too great for us.

When I first posted about the debt, I was employed but my other half was not. So it was going to be working on one income to pay things down. This is how it looked in debt roundup #1:

Total debt as of 3/4/07:

  • Car loan = $12,897.43
  • Credit cards = $30,466.74
  • Student loans = $154,346.77
  • Total debt = $197,710.94

My intentions were to pay of the smallest balance card first and then attack a Chase card that had just had an interest rate increase to 29.99%.

The sad thing is - that was credit card #2 that I JUST paid off last month. I spent a whole freaking year with a $3,000-ish balance on a 29.99% rate. D'oh!

Now, let's look at the most recent total debt update. According to my debt roundup #13, here are the current numbers:

As of 2/29/08:

  • Car loan = $12,014.03
  • Credit cards = $22,187.75
  • School loans = $155,444.93
  • Total = $189,646.71

So that shows that a grand total of $8,064.23 was paid off in the span of one year. Except it wasn't. Most of it was paid off in the last few months. Oh, the agony. Look what could have been accomplished if it had been applied sooner!

And note how the student loan balance is higher than when it started. Wtf? I blame those high interest student loans that I got suckered into way back.

And look at the difference in the car loan balance. Considering my car payment is $351 a month (interest rate is 10%), I find the small difference between the balances highly disturbing. That is really depressing.

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