Months before my husband and I got married, we decided to buy a house due to the high cost of renting in South Florida. I was finishing up my degree in another state and my husband was house hunting.
We put in an offer for a two-story house but it was rejected. Shortly after we found another house that we liked more than the first and made a full price offer. It was accepted and inspected. During the appraisal process, the house was worth much lower than what they listed it for. So the seller re-appraised it again and the results did not change. Score! We instantly got a $22,000 reduction off the price of the home. My husband got things ready in the house while I lived with my mom until the big day. After the wedding, we got settled in.
We told ourselves that we would still live on a college budget. This meant that we would not be going out to eat all the time, buy things on sale if possible, and see where we can reduce costs to simplify our lives.
We knew right away that we wanted to tackle our debts, the first being our credit cards. The reason was that they were the lowest of all our debts. We had three credit cards, one was $1500 for a car repair, the other was $600 for moving expenses and the last was a whopping $8500 that was used to pay off a car loan. We knew we had to be on the same page so we decided to tackle the following:
- We decided not to add another cent to the balances. No purchases at all.
- We cut the cards
- We agreed not to touch the small savings we had accumulated to pay any of the balances
- We promised to tackle the smallest balance first
- We couldn’t buy furniture until the first two cards were paid off
In 2 months’ time, we eliminated the $600 debt. It wasn’t so bad. A combination of wedding money and budgeting really helped. Now our second highest debt, the $1500, was trying for me. I really wanted a dining room set. We were sitting on folding chairs that we inherited from my husband’s college dorm. As we were paying this card down, unexpectedly we got a check from the bank. We were refunded some money from the closing cost of the house. About $1807.45 to be exact. Score! We immediately paid off that balance and used some of the leftovers to pay for my new dining set in cash.
Finally, we got to the last credit card. By the time we paid off the first two, the remaining balance of over 6k. Every month we would pay a bit extra, but it seemed like the balance wasn’t going down fast enough in my eyes. At times I wanted to put all the savings we had accumulated into this particular debt but I knew that wouldn’t be wise. Then something happened that we were not expecting. During the Christmas season, my husband got a bonus check from his employer and we both got a raise. We gave all glory to God. The bonus money took care of that last credit card and it was literally the exact amount needed.
This was our experience, but yours may be different. Did you pay off your credit cards? If so, how did you do it?