A step backward

Our focus is now on our last personal credit card debt. Currently, it has about $10,000. This card has been like gum on our shoes for the better part of a decade. The minimum payment a month is close to $300.

This month, I made our first extra payment on this card. In addition to the usual $300 minimum payment, I made another payment of a cautious $200. (We’re adjusting to yet another revised budget, so holding back a little feels safer right now.)

This should have been a moment of debt-slaying jubilation, but when I checked my running tab of debt totals, my chin jerked back. What in the holy hell? We owed more on it now than we did at the beginning of March.

It was a combination of two things: two bills were being automatically charged to this card, and, of course, the giant, steaming pile of interest.

As for the two bills, one was our monthly $12 Netflix bill. This one was just plain stupid. We thought it was being paid out of our checking account, and it wasn’t. So, we fixed that issue in about two minutes.

The next bill made me cringe. It was a once-a-year charge of $100 for a long-forgotten subscription. Goodbye! Have a great trip down the drain, $100 Bucks.

And, then, even more stomach-twisting: $170 of interest. Bleck! Yuck! Gross!

So, mystery solved, in the course of a month, we racked up $300 in debt, thanks to both long-term and recent carelessness.

I stewed for a grand total of five minutes, which is super long for me. Then, I reminded myself that we’re new to this lifestyle of being hyper alert for needless spending that creeps into everyday life. This is all a part of getting our finances in order. We found two mistakes that have been costing us money, and we fixed them. And that whopping interest rate is exactly why we’re motivated to banish this card from our lives forever.

As the credit card’s minimum payment warning so grimly points out: if we pay only the minimum each month, it’ll take us 25 years to pay off this card. And almost $30,000 extra in interest.


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