Monday, 5 June 2017
Just when progress seems good, you get a surprise that warns you that you are not quite where you think you are. It is humbling, and forces you to re-think what you have been doing. This is what happened when I decided to do a bit of research on our debt reduction since I started this blog.
The bad news is that we have maintained even ground on one of our credit cards . . . the one connected to Amazon. As a result, it has not really seen a shift in its balance for the past year. This was the shocker. I have been paying the bills, focusing on saving, but never really paid that much attention to the actuality of what was happening there. To save money, our mobile bill is also on the same credit card, and that has added to our maintaining a balance rather than reducing our balance. I had not given thought to this automatic debit to our credit card!
The good news is that we have paid off $41,414.28 in debt since January 2016. This includes everything – house, student loan, credit cards, car.
Preparing for retirement has been the carrot for our financial focus, as well as changing habits with regard to how we manage our money. It’s been hard work. It also requires daily assessment of our financial situation if we want to reach our goal in a couple of years with everything but a small student loan and house payment remaining. Looking ahead, unless something bizarro happens, my retirement income will be similar to what I make now, and I do think we will be comfortable. I could pick up something part time if I wanted and still get full social security benefits and benefits from my pension, without penalty.
Looking ahead, that credit card will now include the payment for the phone and other routine debits on top of the regular payment while I continue to focus on reducing the other one . . .