I’m in the Black, not just on Paper, but for Real!

I’m in the Black, not just on Paper, but for Real!

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Scion xA Series 2.0I did it.

I’d claimed that I was going to finish off the car loan on a slow and steady pace but, this morning, I fell back into my old ways: Red Zone Finances.

It has been driving me crazy for a few weeks now seeing a $1k balance just sitting there waiting to be wiped out.

As today was a pay day, and there are no remaining bills for the remainder of the month, I had the funds available to take action.

This was the first car I purchased where I’d actually made a sizeable down payment. It was also the first car purchase that I had a car to trade-in too.

Even still, back in July of 2005, I financed $15210.32.

Wow — thinking about that now — Scion xA’s were/are really expensive…

But it feels good, you know, now that it’s paid for.

But it’s not just the auto loan that I can put in my rear view mirror…

The original snowball plan that I started back in November 2007, which had a total balance of $23085, and included the auto loan, can now be put to rest. All of it. Done.

I’ve had the “schedule” taped to my desk under my keyboard at work so as to keep it fresh in my mind five days a week.

This morning, I peeled it off and replaced it with a picture of my wife. She costs me *way* less money… And less worry too.

The original end date on my debt plan was set for October 2008. Two thousand dollars per month was going to go towards debt. I thought that was being a little too optimistic when I started, but I stuck to it.

Then, after a few months, I didn’t exactly stick to the plan…

I paid a few of the credit cards out of order…

I “broke up with” my highest paying client that was essentially funding the whole debt payment plan in the first place.

I started putting money into savings instead of towards debt…

I increased my 401k contributions when I couldn’t really afford to…

I even blew through tons of cash on vacation — and that was just a couple of months ago…

And who could forget all of the money that I foolishly threw at the mortgage (which was never even part of the snowball plan)? Yeah — that worked out well… Not.

But even though I strayed way off course, the concept of a year long debt plan got me pointed in the right direction, and look, here we are in September 2008 and I’ve already hit the target. A whole month early.

Okay, fine. A whole week early if you want to be technical about it… Sheesh…

Right now, Thursday evening, the only non-mortgage debt I’m carrying is an $824 balance at 0% on a Chase credit card. Yeah, the remaining balance from that ill advised birthday check I wrote to myself to further initiate the elimination of PMI from my mortgage. (more on that here)

But still… It feels good.

It’s like I’m coming out of the water or something. My top half is dry and warming up in the sun. That pig up in the top left hand corner of the screen, yeah, his snout is dry. Oink!

It blows my mind that, on short notice, I can get my grubby hands on over $5000 (checking, savings, and i-bonds) and the only money I owe is $824 total to a credit card company.

I’m not sure I’ve been on this side of the zero line before. Definitely not in the past 11 years.

I mean, I’m in the black, not just on paper, but for real.

That feels awesome.

I’m not sure I thought this day was even possible when I was carrying $32k in high interest debt on January 1, 2007…

Looking forward to when that $824 balance is gone too…

(Declining markets and home values of late aren’t bothering me in the slightest — neither affect my day-to-day, month-to-month, or even year-to-year finances… Sure, my net worth might be dropping like a brick, but my finances are in better shape than they’ve ever been!)


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