Debt Rally & Money Talk

It’s been awhile since I’ve talked about money. This is probably because I somehow spent $400 of my hard-earned eBay money on God-knows-what.

For shame.

The next 4 months are going to SUCK because I am aggressively paying back a 401K loan and I’ve received a pay cut, so my paychecks have shrunk considerably.

Following is a status of my debt:

Lending Club – $16,324.27

Citibank – $1,515.00

AMEX – $3,391.50

Total = $21,230.77

Note, the Lending Club total includes all future accrued interest and fees.

I’m going to be left with just $185 every two weeks for the next 8 paychecks.  I have $200 in my ING savings account, which is the seed of my emergency savings account.  During the next 4 months I will only be able to pay $400 toward my AMEX card and $120 toward my Citibank card.

As I’ve said, this is when things really start to get challenging.  No big windfalls, no large payments on cards, just trudging along, paying what I can.

I hope I do okay.


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9 Responses to “Debt Rally & Money Talk”

  1. panda Says:

    Hi Penny! I followed you from jezebel, I am in a similar situation regarding debt. What happened? I thought you were under 20K–was it the interest or did you fall off the wagon? Good luck!

  2. pennyplastic Says:

    Hi Panda,

    It’s just the added-on interest for the Lending Club loan. The loan was created for $14K, but it will take me 3 years to pay off. So, officially, I am under $20K, but not with the interest.

  3. katieb (in charge of the war on the poor) Says:

    Hey Penny, you can do it! Just keep counting down the paychecks.

    And one of the easiest ways to find some extra dough is with groceries. I’m all about scanning the circulars now for deals also, store brand foods ftw. On a good trip I can do two weeks worth of groceries for $40 without having to do a bunch of work, just a little preparation.

  4. John (aspex) Says:

    To be fair, the easiest way is cutting out the alcohol.

    But that would just be wrong.

  5. JDRegent Says:

    These are still my favorite posts on the blog. Remember the tortoise beats the hare in the end! So much money stuff feels like an addiction to me, which means impulse spending, and paying off debt is the OPPOSITE of impulse. It’s methodical and slow and completely predictable. It’s much more fun to make a bunch of money and pay a bunch off real quick — it almost gives the same rush as spending. I have a bad habit over over-saving. I’ll get a little extra money and decide to load like 2 grand into my savings, and then not be able to pay my bills the next day and end up with late fees anyway. So stupid. Anyway my rambling point is that you are doing more than paying off debt, you are developing a whole new relationship with money, it is really hard and slow and steady totally wins the race! Sending you strength!

  6. Melissa (Athertonmerriweather) Says:

    I needed this post today. I did horrible the last two weeks with saving. My mother had a heart attack and to cope I’ve been online shopping like it’s my job. Some people drink, I shop.
    This is a new week though and I’ve only spent money on groceries since Sunday. It might sound like a small thing, but for me that’s big.
    Also, the post you did awhile back about keeping track of your expenses through Excel has helped me SO MUCH. I’m not spending as much on things like coffee, going out to lunch, etc…since I’ve started forcing myself to keep track in a spreadsheet. So thanks for that and just keep focused on your goal :)

  7. JDRegent Says:

    oh my god melissa i am so sorry to hear about your mom! congrats on getting through the days since sunday with no major purchases, it is definitely a big deal. it’s better than spending money on drugs or something which makes you poor and in ill health. it’s interesting, i am so type B/ADD that the idea of budgeting or even learning to use excel gives me a panic attack. i just abide by the “save or invest 20%, live on the rest” budgetary plan and it seems to be working. but it’s definitely not a one size fits all plan.

  8. pennyplastic Says:

    So sorry to hear about your mother, Melissa. Don’t be too hard on yourself, we all have slip-ups, and even small steps ARE a big deal. Just keep on keeping on!


  9. Drew Says:

    The advantage in this battle belongs to you: You’ve planned it out, defined the variables. That’s more than many people accomplish.

    So get creative with your budget, shun Ebay, and pepper your environment with 3×5 cards emblazoned with weird, cryptic little messages, reminding your future-self about the goal(s) you set a month prior.


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