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Thread: Almost out of Debt with nickles and dimes

  1. #1
    make a difference lor1492's Avatar
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    I thought I'd share this here, it might help someone else. When I first started couponing 2 years ago, like a lot of people I was buried in debt, barely getting by, afraid to pick up the phone when it rang, kids to feed and laid up with a back injury. I had $13 in my pocket and 3 coupons my first trip to Shoppers Drug Mart, I didn't even have an opt card then. I had been running up credit cards for prescriptions and barely keeping up with min payments. Now after just 2 years, I'm about to make my last payment on my last card and it all started with Smart Canucks and nickels and dimes.

    I got an SDM opt card, spent hours and hours reading this site and started collecting coupons and figuring out how finances really worked. In the past I had consolidated twice but never got anywhere...I was making payments of $600 a month just on credit cards, something had to give. I added up all the interest I was paying year after year and thought, that amount could really change the quality of our lives! soooo I kept paying my min payments, but I took the card with the highest balance and highest interest and started adding tiny amounts saved from coupons. Every time I signed into my online banking, if there was an odd amount ie 153.13 balance, I rounded it and paid the $3.13 on my card. What's $3.13? It was a fraction of what I was saving. It didn't hurt a bit but at the end of each month it added up.

    I stockpiled enough to stop shopping between May and Sept, (except fresh produce) and directed every extra penny to that card. I told the kids that for one year they'd have to give up some of their activities so we could get out of debt and I increased our min payments on all the other cards. It took about 18 months and I paid that first card in full and closed it in early Jan. That really inspired me. Then I tackled the next card, it had a smaller balance so I made min payments, paid my tiny frequent payments AND added the money I was no longer putting on the first card. I Paid it off by mid Feb, then I tackled the next card, I took all the money I saved from the first 2 and paid off the 3rd card 3 weeks ago. My last card had a $1000 limit, I was able to take all $600 I was paying out on Credit cards 2 years ago and put it on one card. As of this Thursday it will be paid in full.
    I went into the bank last week and told them to start doubling up payments on my personal loan, when its paid in 10 months (if I don't pay it sooner) I will start doubling my mortgage payments.
    Not considering my mortgage I was putting out $820 a month on personal debt...with that gone I can double my $400 mortgage payment and STILL be ahead by $400. The quality of our lives hasn't just improved because I reduced our debt, its improved because of all I've learned here.....using reward programs to buy the kids nice gifts we couldn't imagine 2 years ago, not using plastic to buy what we need, having a stockpile that says I can take a couple of months off spending. Things like using the Tostitos rebates to get free stuff for birthday parties, airmiles to get movie passes. We wouldn't have dreamed of going to the movies 2 years ago AND getting popcorn and pop....this year we've already gone 3 times.
    I got tired of seeing the kids do without, watching my husband work 60 hours a week just to keep us afloat and feeling like we'd always be working to make financial institutions rich.
    The threatening calls stopped long ago, I'm even ahead of most of our bills, running a credit on the cable, phone, internet and water bills.
    We got new furniture and a flatscreen TV (traded for shoppers points) Renovated our kitchen using a Habitat for humanity store. I saved change in a jar and used it to buy an older camper on Kijiji. We were able to donate over $4000 worth of products to the needy...And it all started because I hurt my back, stuck on the couch and I stumbled upon this website. I thought it wasn't even possible to get out of debt, I never dreamed lives could change SO much in just 2 years. So thank you everyone! Thank you to those who post in this section....your advice makes a difference....and thank you to the posters of all sections....you help change lives.
    This thread is currently associated with: Air Miles, Pharmaprix, Shoppers Drug Mart
    Last edited by lor1492; Tue, Apr 9th, 2013 at 09:10 AM.


  2. #2
    Smart Canuck gwennad's Avatar
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    Inspiring, thanks for sharing I love reading success stories like yours, it makes me know that it's possible to have the life I want so thank you!

  3. #3
    make a difference lor1492's Avatar
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    if we can do it hon, with one income, a 16 room uninsulated monstrosity and a family of 10 to provide for....ANYONE can do it
    I did take one lesson away from the show 19 kids and counting. A big family CAN'T survive with all kinds of debt, so now, if we want something, we save, buy used or clearance and pay cash.....no more credit!
    buy winter stuff at spring clearances (our wood splitter), summer stuff at fall clearances...if I can't get at least 50% off (like my patio furniture) we don't buy
    Last edited by lor1492; Tue, Apr 9th, 2013 at 10:29 AM.

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    Wow! Good for you! There is nothing worse than credit debt, financially speaking. I personally know someone who is going through VERY tough times because of it, and you know the hardest part of it? There is not a thing I can do to get them out of the boat they are in. I see the pain, the loss of peace of mind CC debt can cause and believe me I shudder in my boots watching it.
    If nothing, your story can be an example to us all! Thank you very much for sharing, as we all know how money can be a private subject for most people.
    Last edited by maggiespice; Tue, Apr 9th, 2013 at 11:50 AM.

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    Smart Canuck lilo0003's Avatar
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    Thanks so much for sharing, I love these stories, you (and your whole family) should be so proud. Just paying attention to our money and watching where its going has been such an eye opener for me.
    Friends don't let real friends pay full price.

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    Smart Canuck
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    Good for you! You are very inspiring to others who are in your former position. Determination pays off. Literally.

  7. #7
    Smart Canuck saundyl's Avatar
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    That is so awesome! There is so much to learn from here and other PF blogs!

  8. #8
    Smart Canuck tobiwobi's Avatar
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    aww thank you for sharing. I'm so inspired by your story

  9. #9
    no more door to door! :) walkonby's Avatar
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    that was one very inspiring accomplishment! Take a deep bow at figuring this out on your own, and not running to another consolidation place. Your family has all learned a valuable lesson, and I'll bet the smiles are miles deep and wide right now!!

  10. #10
    Mastermind bargain_hunter_lola's Avatar
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    Kudos! Best brag I've seen!

    I'm sure this brag will inspire many

  11. #11
    ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ KelJo's Avatar
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    You should be very proud of yourself, thanks for sharing!

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    Mastermind Shwa Girl's Avatar
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    lor1492, love to read your brag.
    So many people say it can't be done, and are even doing pay day loans.
    I hope reading this brag will inspire others.
    I was sure inspired by it.
    And your kids will hopefully copy your example.
    WTG.

  13. #13
    CaLoonie Retiree's Avatar
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    Inspiring, lor1492! Thanks for sharing.

    I especially like the part about taking the odd bits of balance showing in your online banking and paying it ($3.13) on your credit card. That is definitely ingenious.

    So often people think that small amounts aren't worth doing but those small amounts add up, whether they go to paying down debt or going to increase savings.

  14. #14
    Smart Canuck smileyKT's Avatar
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    Great story, thank you for sharing!
    Search, watch videos, do daily activities for a few minutes each day to WIN free amazon giftcards! Give it a try Join Swagbucks today!!

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    One Awesome Domestic Diva MrsSunshine's Avatar
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    That is one heck of a brag. GVO would be SO proud of you. and yes this site is amazing! Keep up the great work!
    Be Strong
    Be True
    Be You.
    Simple as that!

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