First, I want to back up a bit and give a summary of last year.
We started the year out with around $236k worth of outstanding debt including our mortgage. Here was the breakdown:
- $181k mortgage
- $18k car loan
- $28k credit cards (Holy Hell!!!)
- $9500 student loans
The credit cards were an interesting build up of several years with a lot of small purchases and the occasional big ticket repair. I was always paying more than the minimum, but I had never put together a spreadsheet to track purchase + interest. I wasn’t even keeping up with the amount we were adding!
So, finally, in August I started putting together a nice sheet to track our overall debt and projected payoff for the year. Once I had it all laid out, I could clearly see what the interest was doing to us.
I was able to transfer around $13k to a combination 0% introductory offers from our bank and Chase Slate. These both expire at the end of 2015 which I projected to be achieveable.
Another $10k was moved into an unsecured loan from the bank with a low interest rate. Not ideal, but way better than the rates we were paying and predictable.
By the end of 2014, we had only reduced our overall debt by 2.8%. It was a step in the right direction, but I feel we can do better. I do NOT want to spend the next 20 years working on this!
(currently feeling angry about getting there yet determined not to let it happen again)