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How much credit card debt do you have? - Page 3

Poll Results: How much credit card debt do you currently have? Check which ever one applies to you.

  • 23% (24)
  • 2% (3)
    $1000 - $2999 - SINGLE ACCOUNT HOLDER
  • 2% (3)
    $3000 - $4999 - SINGLE ACCOUNT HOLDER
  • 3% (4)
    $5000 - $7999 - SINGLE ACCOUNT HOLDER
  • 4% (5)
    $8000 - $12,000 - SINGLE ACCOUNT HOLDER
  • 0% (1)
  • 28% (29)
    $0 - $999 - JOINT CARD
  • 3% (4)
    $1000 - $2999 - JOINT CARD
  • 6% (7)
    $3000 - $4999 - JOINT CARD
  • 3% (4)
    $5000 - $7999 - JOINT CARD
  • 7% (8)
    $8000 - $12,000 JOINT CARD
  • 8% (9)
    $12,000+ JOINT CARD
101 Total Votes  
post #41 of 53
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

We also have some savings and a fair amount of equity in the house, so it is all good.  I know I should get rid of the saving and pay off the credit, but that would drive Dh insane.  I also know that if we used the savings to pay off the credit, we would not build the savings back up very quickly.  The debt, with its nasty interest rate, actually forces us to budget a bit to get it paid off.  



You lost me there! Sorry, it's that time of day, I need my second cup of coffee.  Why get rid of the saving(s)?  I agree, don't use the savings to pay off the credit.  That savings is your safety net, and any typical financial adviser (including Dave Ramsey) advises you to pay into your own account monthly. 

post #42 of 53

Huh.  I figured most people would advise using the savings to pay the debt - as savings only have an interest rate of  2-3% a year, while my visa costs me 13% or so in interest per year. 


From a straight dollars and cents perspective, it makes sense to use my savings to pay off the debt.

post #43 of 53

Once again, my literal mindedness strikes again.  You're entirely right, you should be paying down the debt as soon as possible, with as much money as you can spare.  However, 1) don't sink your whole savings into the credit debt, keep some for an emergency.  Depending on the size of your savings, keep as much as 3 months living expenses, or at least $1000 for car repairs or plumbing disaster or whatnot. And 2) even if paying off the credit cards is a multi-month or multi-year affair, continue socking away a portion of your income every month. Pay yourself like you are a creditor.


Pfh. Listen to me, pretending to give financial advice. bag.gif 


Anyway, Kathy, why would that drive your dh insane? 

post #44 of 53

We have about $6,000 in CC debt. Not from crazy purchases, just because there have been times when we didn't have enough money for a doctor co-pay or major house repair, and even some times when we didn't have enough for gas or groceries after paying all of our regular bills.  Being poor is no fun.

post #45 of 53
Originally Posted by journeymom View Post


Pfh. Listen to me, pretending to give financial advice.



That's Okay.  Experience is important. .  DH and I have agreed to keep 2000$ in saving for instant emergencies (car dies - that sort of thing). 


Anyway, Kathy, why would that drive your dh insane? 


It's emotional.  He has a fear of poverty (that includes a lack of savings in the bank) that I do not share.  Some of it is family of origin issues  - despite the fact we both come from relatively poor backgrounds, his parent craved money and felt its lack more than mine did .

Edited by kathymuggle - 1/29/13 at 5:30pm
post #46 of 53

I absolutely agree that having a grand or two in the bank while paying down debt is important. For me it is largely psychological, and fear like your husband's (which I totally understand and can relate to!) is debilitating and not empowering. I truly believe that when you feel empowered and free from insecurity/fear money tends to find its way into your life (and Suze Orman agrees!)


Another psychological aspect, and also a matter of habit--changing bad ones and creating better ones--involves not continuing to use credit as you are attempting to pay down debt. When you commit to not using credit, and have a savings account that can cover emergencies, I believe that the process of becoming debt-free is faster and easier.


I'm still sometimes tempted to give into the X-months Interest Free! marketing schemes, and dh is great about reeling me back in and reminding me that we can essentially get the same interest-free deal by saving up for the purchase and just using cash! So my own personal psychological paradigm shift is still a work in progress.

post #47 of 53

Credit card debt? Eh, it's about $800. Debt in general? I bet about $8k. $5k of that being student loans.


post #48 of 53

Even when I lived on $14,000/year I always had $3,000 in the bank. You never freaking know what will happen. Beyond that I didn't worry too hard unless I had a goal. These days I'm trying hard to get to where we have six months of take home in the bank. My husband makes a lot of money. We don't have that much going spare. 


At this point I start freaking out if my checking account gets below $6,000. I don't like to be at $5,???. It's too low. We have months where our credit card automatically takes its own payment and it's $12,000. Mostly I like to keep our checking account above $15,000. That's almost two months of income in checking. Right now savings is at $19,000. So we definitely have four months of income in the bank. I have asked my husband to stop working any extra jobs this year. I need him to spend more time with the kids while they are little. He comes from a long line of workaholics but his dad has basically not ever worked. My husband's family used to basically own a town in Texas. Here sits in the silicon valley as a programmer. He's very antsy to really make a go of making a project of his own. I find this terrifying. I know the odds of him succeeding are less than 7%. Realistically. But if I never let him try then he will carry that ghost for the rest of his life. 


I asked him to give me till the baby turns three. Be *here*. Don't have other things on your mind. Think about us. Learn your kids. I feel weird about having to demand it. If you want a relationship later when they are more your speed then you have to put in the work to be nice to them when they need you. Mostly he's a good dad. His explanations are a bit long-winded. :)


It is interesting to experience the difference between literally not being able to spend money and trying to choose not to. It's a different kind of self-discipline. I find that knowing that I could buy whatever random thing makes it really hard not to. When I was a kid if I found money on the street I had to spend it before I got home or someone would steal it. Now being impulsive with money is antithetical to me reaching my goals. I have little bits of splurge money. But I get $100/month. My friends with jobs and real money of their own don't understand why I choose to be so restricted. 


Now I'm supposed to know how to act like an upper class person. No one writes a forking rule book for this stuff. 


It's really weird how in some ways I act like my mother and I act like the polar opposite of my mother. (I have a very bad history with her.) But I act like her ancestors. I act like her story of who she is.


And now the kids want me. :)

post #49 of 53
We don't have CC debt (we do have revolving debt that we pay off each month, so that is partially why the $8k figure seems high IMO because that usually counts revolving debt), but we do have two car loans with low interest rates (0.9 & 1.9) and a mortgage. We mostly use CC for convenience and tracking, though the cash back is nice too. We are privileged to have good paying jobs and also live below our means and have quite a bit saved for retirement because of that. I would like to get to the point of no car loans, but it is one area DH likes to splurge on, so I think I will have to be satisfied with getting rid of mine. At least we can get excellent rates, so we aren't paying much interest.

And I agree that paying off high interest CC debt quickly is ideal, BUT definitely have a savings cushion so that an emergency doesn't put you more into debt.
post #50 of 53

No debt at all, here :) I chose the "0-$999, joint card" option.

post #51 of 53

I have never paid interest on my credit card.


We put $4,000 to $8,000 a month on our credit card.

post #52 of 53

If it gets paid in full every month, I don't think it can be considered to be debt. I mean, it's always possible that something bad can happen--job loss or illness or something else catastrophic--that could prevent the card from being paid in full before the billing period ends. But I think that the way around that is to never charge more than you have available  in liquid assets.

post #53 of 53

Between DP and myself, we have roughly 8 grand spread out over five different credit cards (that includes typical Visa, and in-store financing cards). We both just got into bad habits with our spending, and were never taught by our families how to handle money. Thankfully, we'll be paying most of our CC debt back with our tax refund this year.

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