Now that I’ve been married for 5 years. But in a lot of ways it is a major debt reduction milestone for me. Hurrah!
When we got married, we paid for about half of the wedding and honeymoon in cash but the rest we put on our MBNA credit card, thinking we would aggressively pay it off with money we got at the wedding and a few months of tightening our belts. Well… life happens. We did put the money we got as gifts from the wedding towards paying down our credit card, but we still had about $4000 to pay off. We had a plan to pay $1000 a month for 4 months plus whatever interest accrued and be done with it. It took us a few months to get started on the plan as I went through a job change after finishing grad school. And then just as I had actually wrote the first $1000 check and had it sitting on our dining room table with a stamp on the envelope…
My spouse was without warning laid off from his job (the company was heading quickly towards bankruptcy) and all of a sudden instead of having money to spare we were living nowhere near within our means. So things like paying extra on credit cards went completely out the window. Paying the minimums was all we could handle, and without an emergency fund, we charged more than we paid.
Once my spouse was again employed, we did a balance transfer in 2003 of the wedding spending from the MBNA card to our other card (Capital One), which was offering a 6.9% for the life of the transfer with no balance transfer fee offer. By this point the balance was pretty close to $5000 although I don’t remember exactly how close. Of course, this locked what we already had on the Capital One card (basically keeping us afloat while my spouse was unemployed) into getting paid later and it was at a higher interest rate (still lower than the MBNA card though). I don’t always think things completely through. I’ve learned a lot since then.
Well, as of our June 2007 statement, only $14.24 is left of that balance transfer. So this month it will get paid off and the real fun begins… I actually start to touch some of that 10.9% Capital One stuff I had locked in. Miscellaneous stuff we charged to keep our heads above water the 6 months my spouse was unemployed that has steadily been growing through the power of compound interest for the past 4 years. Someday I won’t still be paying on stuff that happened in 2002 and 2003. It is 2007 after all. If only that compound interest had been working for me instead of working against me. Heh.
Just in time to transfer it all (I hope) to a 0% for 12 months card. As long as we get approved and the limit is high enough. lol