After reading several books on personal finance and goal-setting, I came to the conclusion that it was time for me to take my financial wellbeing (or lack thereof) into my own hands. For several years now, my credit card balances have been slowly expanding. Not greatly, mind you, but just enough to make me uncomfortable with the situation.
If all the consumer debt statistics are true − and I have no reason to believe they aren't − then Americans are essentially throwing away their futures in return for the fulfillment of present desires. I have determined to separate myself from that phenomenon.
Currently I carry two credit cards. The Visa has a credit limit of $5,000 and an interest rate of 5.9%; the Mastercard has a credit limit of $12,000 and a rate of 10.5%. My plan, if executed correctly, will by the end of this year leave the Mastercard card carrying a zero balance. Additionally, no further expansion will take place on the 5.9% card's balance.
I feel that my understanding in this arena has come a bit late. Nevertheless, now is the time for me to take control of my financial future. I am going to do just that. I completed payments on my '95 Nissan truck several months early; Lisa's Honda is also fully paid for. Both vehicles should provide us with years of reliable (and, more importantly, payment-free) service. This lack of vehicle payments should help us considerably.
Though it seems fairly inconsequential at times, I recently switched long distance carriers from MCI to OneSuite.com in order to save money. Previous to the change, my MCI long distance bills were typically in the $30 to $50 range per month. With OneSuite, our household long distance charges amounted to $16 for the month of February. Small savings? Yes. But still meaningful to me.