I have now spent quite a bit of time trying to get a real picture of where I stand financially, and let me tell you, it is not pretty. I want to say it is worse than I thought, but in reality, I didn’t think about it at all. With every single one of my accounts in one place to look at, I am faced with an even bigger challenge than I thought I was going into. I started to get a little more serious about paying off my debts over the last few months, but it is only now that I am truly declaring a war against my debt. I’ve listed each of my debts below. These are actually not the current balances for my credit cards, but they are the balances at the highest point, which was just a few months ago for each. I wanted to give myself a more accurate starting point to work from, plus it makes me feel a little better that I’ve already made some progress on paying it down.
I have 4 credit cards with balances, along with a car loan. My car is actually scheduled to be paid off the same month as my 30th birthday, so at least I have one thing going for me. When I went through several months of each of my credit cards, I had some realizations. I knew each of the individual balances was steadily growing, but I made big payments to them each month, so I just assumed eventually they would stop growing. The real problem was that I continued to use the cards regularly. I pretty much lived on my credit cards for everything, then at the end of the month, I took all the money in my bank account and made the payments. I just didn’t pay attention to what the difference between those amounts was.
So, here is the complete list of people to whom I owe a ridiculous amount of money:
Banana Republic - $597.70
American Express - $1880.42
Nordstrom Visa - $5197.32
Citibank - $25,339.16
Car Loan - $4,614.62
Total $38, 229.06