Really cool stuff…

…Well, to me, anyhow!!!  If I continue paying down my credit cards at the rate I am going now, I will be 100% free of them by October 2010. That’s exactly ONE year from now.

Possible? Yes. Probable? Not really. After all, I DO still use them, but I use them far more carefully and much more as a convenience than I did in the past, when they were actually part of my budgeting.

That’s the nasty truth of being a single parent who received little to no child support for 18 years in a city with the expenses of New York.

Nowadays, I make a bit more, live in a less expense location, and have my husband’s income as well, which obviously makes a difference in the headway of my finances.

I have always had a good credit rating, and that is mine and mine alone. Which explains how even in this day and age, I am able to still manipulate my balances and move them around to get the lowest interest rates possible. It’s a bit like a shell game, but I am finally on the right side of the overturned cardboard box!

As I DO use the cards still, I fully expect to have a balance next year at this time. And I am ok with that, really. I pay something along the lines of 5-7 times my minimum each month. I can cut back to the bare minimums on the cards and try to live entirely cash, (and some have an interest rate) or I can continue to move balances to 0% cards I already own and have $0 balances on (Somehow the CC companies haven’t noticed—Shhhh!)

I am interested in how it all falls out as the regulations supposedly change in favor of us, the consumer, over the next 6-8 months.  None of my cards have told me my rates were going up, (except one, and it was a date nine months from the receipt, and I currently owe them $270, so by next month that threat is useless to me) and none have cut my limits back. (Which totals somewhere over twice my annual salary! Craziness, indeed.)

I know there are things I could be doing differently at this very moment in order to speed up the process. I could look more seriously into Dave Ramsey, I could re-read some Tightwad Gazettes, or Your Money or Your Life. Sell more of my photographs.

Shop yard sales, or just stop shopping, quit vacations, no more dinners out (that’s on Timmy’s card, however)… there are a gazillion things we together could cut back on…. but his cards, his bills are separate. And I can not make those decisions alone.

But, once I have eliminated these beasts of burden from my back, I can begin to assist him more fully in the pursuit of his own freedom.

One step at a time. Beginning with Christmas.

Christmas is going to be spare, it’s going to be sparse, and it’s going to be about people. Not about things, but about emotion, connection, and loving thoughts. (I hope. That’s my plan. 🙂 )

I can’t be Scrooge, however!! How do YOU plan to make Christmas a less ‘object driven’ pursuit this year? I’m interested in hearing about all sorts of ideas!! (successful ones, especially!!!)