First thing to getting rid of DEBT
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    Exclamation First thing to getting rid of DEBT

    The first thing you need to do to get rid of debt is to mark down everything you owe, including your mortgage. Shopgirl said it in another post and I totally agree with her. You sometimes thing you know what you owe until you write it down. Once it's written down, your usually in for a surprise.

    Get a journal book and keep track. If you want, you can even post it here, however that's not needed. As long as you know.

    Also, when keeping track remember a payment doesn't mean your amount owing will come down that amount, unless you have 0% interest (our van has 0%). You have to wait until your statement comes in to find out the amount left owing.

    Start now and make this a work in progress over the next few weeks.

    More to come to help you get rid of debt....

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    Registered User Mom23boys's Avatar
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    Great idea CJ. I have a journal that has never been used. What a great way to put it to use!

    I am going to work on that this week.
    ~*Michelle*~

    ~Wife to Rick~
    ~Mother to 3~
    ~Special Education and ESL Teacher~

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    Registered User thrifty gal's Avatar
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    Thanks.

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    homesteadmamma...thanks for sharing. i have read your posts often when lurking and have always come away with something to think about.


    rose

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    Registered User SHOPGIRL's Avatar
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    Writing down all your debt was a humbling experience for me. It was also depressing to see how much debt I really had. So, don't procrastinate, take the time, and write it all down. I bet you will be shocked! I sure was.

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    Registered User missmollymayhem's Avatar
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    I'm a bit obsessive about my debt... I have spreadsheets, payoff plans, and amounts owed AFTER interest and payments every month all calculated out from now until the end of time-uh, I mean debt. It really helps me to keep my spending in check!

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    TammyBob bamamomto4's Avatar
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    I do this. I wrote down every single debt and started by paying off the smallest first. I,like CJ,am trying to pay my van off early. My payment is $551/month and since buying it,in July,I've paid between $600-$700 a month.
    Some months are hard,with car Ins, house ins etc due,but in the long run,It'll be worth it.

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    Registered User Valerie in WA's Avatar
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    I have a form that I made up. There are two columns per page. Each debt goes in a single column. It's labeled with the months of the year, and a place to indicate the balance going into the month, the date & amount of payment, and the interest charged. The new balance goes into the begining of the next month. This form allows me to both see the 'big picture' and to see my progress. Hopefully, in May - for example - I can look and say "Wow, I've paid off $XXXX.xx already this year!"

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    Registered User mom2matty's Avatar
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    This is a great step towards really knowing what you owe and being able to get a plan in place and pay down the debt!!! I have a journal that I use and in all honesty the hardest thing for us was to write the debt down......that made it real but it also makes it possible for us to be smart about things and work at paying stuff off!!

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    How many have gotten this done? To get serious about debt, this has got to get done. It is scarey, yes. However you won't ever get your debt paid off if you don't do this. You'll find this VERY rewarding once you start making your payments and you mark them down along with your totals and see the difference a month, a couple months or 6 months makes.

    It was so eye opening for me and was the best thing I could have done when I started getting serious about our cc debt years ago. Scares the daylights out of me to see I had $18,000.00 in cc debt - however it helped me to get serious about debt!!!

    I'm off-line now until Monday. I'll be posting more come Mon. morning in regards to getting rid of our debt.

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    Registered User ACEHearts's Avatar
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    I've added our debt to my sig line. I really want to try and knock down the one CC as much as possible before March to reduce payments out after my maternity benefits end. I'm trying to do whatever I can to keep from having to find outside work. That also means getting my biz websites up and running better, and doing some promotion on those too.

    Cindy

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    All of my debt is in my sig line, but I'm going to use the journal approach as well. I think if I have something that I can refer to each month, something in writing, I'll feel more in control of it. And it will be good to see the payments progressively reducing the debt.

    Thanks for the suggestion!

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    Registered User Lucky Star's Avatar
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    I have to say that getting realistic about my debts and writing them all down was THE one most significant step to help us us getting serious about paying them off. It all started with me starting a thread, "Looking in the Mirror", and actually honestly writing all my debts down. I have these numbers in front of me all the time, even on our fridge - this never lets us forget about this priority of becoming debt-free.

    One "debt" that I haven't looked at yet is our mortgage. I know approximately how much it is, but I do not track it. We live in one of the most expensive parts of the country, so even though we don't have the biggest house and were able to put 20% down, the mortgage amount is still very large. For now, I'm only focusing on getting the other debts paid off, but once that's done, we'll have to come up with a plan for paying off the mortgage next.

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    Registered User rebecca's Avatar
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    At the beginning of the year I wrote down what I owed. I have decided to take my change and put it on my car note to keep the interest down. I figured since I have been paying on my used car since Nov. I have paid $160 in interest! I figured if I can pay my car payment and put extra on the car with my change I can keep the interest down. I just hate throwing money out the window. Keep my change in a savings acct. that is harding making any interest so I might as well put the change on the car to keep the interest down so more will go on principle. Hope I'm making sense, it 5:50 a.m. in the morning and I'm still half asleep.

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    I agree it is way more powerful to see it in black and white.

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