For those that know me well, know I am really into the Oprah Winfrey Show. While I don’t catch every episode, and some just aren’t topics I’m interested in, most shows I watch get me pumped up about something. You can usually tell when I’ve been inspired by an episode because it results in a mass email to raise awareness about an issue or pull folks onto my bandwagon.
More than a year ago Oprah did a series of episodes of Debt in America and challenged everyone to go on a Debt Diet. My husband and I have always been budgeters, even from the very beginning of our relationship, but these shows brought the concept to a whole new level.
It was through Suze Orman and the other financial advisors and authors featured on Oprah that we learned about concepts such as:
If you don’t already know these concepts I challenge you to do a little bit of reading and get caught up. It is the year 2007 after all.
This week our household hit a milestone when we slid under the $20,000 bar of consumer debt. This brings our total debt (counting student loans but not counting the mortgage) to a grand total of $31,900.
For many, money is a very taboo topic. Past generations never spoke about how much income they made, how much their house cost, how much debt they had – definitely not to friends and neighbors and typically not to family or even their own spouse. Wives would hide purchases in closets to bring things out when the family wasn’t around, husbands would deposit portions of income in separate bank accounts where family couldn’t get to it. These type of actions create a cycle of deceit, shame and if nothing else leaves a big financial mess behind for others to clean up when you leave this Earth.
So today, in a semi–public forum we stand before you to say:
We’re excited we have paid down our cc debt to $17,579.
This number may sound like an enormous amount to some, it might be the minimum monthly payment on others’ credit cards, but to us this number is great. It means we’re making progress, bouncing back from our first big spending year in our first house. I know we have a long way to go and a lot of spending on the horizon. It only takes one roof replacement or giving in to the desire for an hdtv to creep that number back up. But we’re well on our way to financial freedom.
Join us wont you? Pay yourself first, watch that Latte Factor and share with us your tips for saving money and spending wisely.