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Changing focus

December 3rd, 2006 at 03:25 pm

Less than two weeks, and the last of the cc debt will be paid off! You might have noticed I changed the title of my blog--not quite true yet, but I had time to fiddle with it today so I did.

I'm getting really apprehensive about staying out of debt for good this time. I've dug out several times before, only to fall back into debt again, and I'm sick of it. Just like I've lost weight before and always gain it back. I'm not good at the maintenance phase!

I'm also sick of thinking about money all the time. But I know if I relax too much about it, bad things will happen. So I'm trying to come up with ideas that will keep me on track and not be a pain in the neck.

#1 - I have debit cards, I just have to remember to use them. It's been an ingrained habit to whip out a cc whenever possible, to earn rewards or because I'm not sure whether there's enough in checking to cover the purchase. Which leads to...

#2 - Get used to keeping more of a balance in our checking accounts, even if they're earning no interest. That way, I can write a check or use the debit card without worry, and then reimburse checking from savings at my leisure. In the past, I'd charge something like a vet visit, wait for the money to move from ING to checking, and then pay off the charge. Only sometimes the money went for other things before the charge got paid.

I'd be interested in any other tips on staying out of debt, once you're out.

3 Responses to “Changing focus”

  1. robex Says:

    Congratulations on getting out of debt!

    I don't know if this will help you, or not, but I would focus on what I was going to do with my money next. Save 3 months salary for an emergency fund, put money away for a much desired vacation, etc. With us, if we have a plan, we follow through. If we don't, we fritter!

  2. LuxLiving Says:

    Start doing anticipatory budgeting - look at Jesse's You Need A Budget (youneedabudget.com) or one of the envelope systems and you'll eventually get to where you're budgeted AHEAD OF TIME for most all of what life throws at you.

  3. StressLess Says:

    Thanks for the comments. We do have some goals, but it's going to be hard to stay psyched about them because they are big and will take awhile. We're going to try and put away $300 a month toward replacing the older car. We've upped DH's 401K contribution for January 1. And I want to build a cushion of $2500 in our main checking account.

    I should probably do more of the anticipatory budgeting. We do have quite a few accounts set up for occasional big bills, Christmas, etc., but it sure wouldn't hurt to do even more.

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