My birthday is coming up in one month from today. As I turn 25, I can't help but recall that last year I made a goal to pay off my credit card debt and keep my shopping habits in check. Well I'm here to tell you that by May 24th, 2011, my credit card debt should be a thing of the past!
After 12 long months, my credit card bill is finally under control. In one month, I will have the entire thing paid off. This is a big deal for me as I can't remember the last time I did not have a credit card payment. Once I started my new job, shopping became rare as I felt like I had less time and less interest in spending money on things I didn't necessarily need. I've made due with all the work clothes I have in my closet. The most I've purchased was a few basic 'going-out' pieces and a few work jackets from Nordstrom Rack - yep, I bargain-shopped, and lived to tell the tale. Best of all, my Nordstrom bill was $41, which will be paid in full when it comes. This may seem to be a small feat for some, but for this shopping snob, this was a huge step for me. I even turned down a $35 designer shirt because it cost more than everything else combined that I'd picked. I'll pat myself on the back for that one, thank you!
One thing that made a huge impact for me was saving up for a move. I saved every penny I could over the last 6 weeks or so, and put my credit card on the back burner. I wanted to make sure I had enough money for a deposit and any other moving expenses, as well as any other expenses that might come up this summer. Last week I realized that my living expenses will not change much initially, so the money I'd saved wasn't necessary anymore. Had I not had my credit card to pay off, I would have just kept saving. Instead, I chose to take the huge chunk I'd saved and put it towards my credit card. This credit card payment was the biggest I've ever paid. The biggest lesson I learned over the last 6 weeks is that I am in control of my finances - if I want to save for something, I can do it. If I want to pay off my credit card, I can do it. And, I finally feel like I can start saving for big things (once the credit card is done). Paying off that huge chunk of my card was scary, don't get me wrong. But knowing that by June I can restart my nest egg made it worth it. Instead of feeling like it would take me all summer to pay off my credit card, I now look forward to paying for a vacation in August in cash AND having money set aside for whatever else might come along. That's a great feeling.
I'm happy that I feel like my finances are stabilizing. I thought I'd be at a certain place in my life by the time I turned 25 (which I think I mentioned for my birthday last year). I'm happy to say that I think that place has been found. I feel in control of my finances, and therefore my life. What an awesome feeling. :)