What I Am Doing To Reduce Debt And Expenses Before 2009 Ends

I have to pay off the LASIK credit card  by the end of December 2009 or all that glorious interest free time comes crashing down on my head. If I am carrying a balance on the card when the promotion ends in January 2010 then I will have to pay all the interest retroactively from the time that I had my eye surgery up to now.

The balance on the card is currently $1113 and the minimum payment is $45. I have been making payments every two weeks on the card in the amounts of $60 and $58 as I am working on my debt snowflake and trying to become debt free. The $60 is the regular payment that I have been making…well above the minimum payment, and the $58 is my snowflake payment to the credit card.

To pay off the balance of $1113 in three months I need to pay $371 per month towards the card. I have been paying $118 per month, which means there is a shortfall of $253 per month. Where am I going to find an extra $253 per month for the next three months? It will not be easy but I am going to do a few things to get that money for the short time period.

I have some money budgeted that can go as extra payments to the card but between that and the regular payments and monthly snowflakes, I still have to find $584 to pay off the card in full by the end of December 2009. I have decided to make some adjustments for the next three months to help me to reach my goal.

  • 1. Snowflake entire Adsense payment.
  • 2. Reduce CVS shopping
  • 3. Cut back on spending

Adsense
I normally take a part of my Adsense income for the month and send it off towards debt, while putting the balance in savings. I will be sending the entire payment received in October, November and December over to the LASIK card.

CVS
I recently ordered a CVS gift card from my Discover cash back rewards so I will only be using the balance on that card to get things that I need from CVS. I will not be spending any money out of pocket for the next three months on CVS and whatever money is left over in my Personal Items category will be sent to the LASIK credit card.

Spending
I have noticed that sometimes I go ahead and use up the money in my spending categories when I am way under budget. For example, I normally only go to Subway on Sundays (and eat half a footlong and save the other half for work on Monday) but if I am way under my grocery budget then I might go during the week as well. I am going to carefully monitor my categories for the next three months and TRY to cut down on the ‘spending just because’ areas.

All extra money from these three activities in addition to the additional $70 from the paycheck should totally eliminate the balance left on the LASIK card by the end of the year.

Author: Lulu

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21 Comments

  1. Good plans. I plan to get rid of 2 of my 3 credit cards left by year end (Don’t ask how many there were – I don’t even know – LOL). Then I’ll have just one big one left. I am using a bonus check and my raise money to go strictly to debt payoff.

    I never heard the term snowflaking before. I will have to try that. Thanks!

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    • Hey as long as you are working on getting the balances down then more power to you. I know at one point I had at least 12 credit cards so no need to feel all flustered. I am sure that there are people with more than you did .

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  2. I think you’ve got a good plan to close the year strong.I’m a big fan of making a gameplan. It helps me stay accountable. Keep it up!

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  3. Good luck getting that card paid off! Smart idea with basically prepaying all of your CVS expenses and using only your gift card for the next 3 months. That will really force you to make the items you usually purchase from CVS go the extra mile!

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    • It is really hard for me…because I think I have become addicted to CVS and I find myself checking out the sale papers and seeing what I ‘could’ get right now…but since I am waiting for the CVS card to come I find myself itching!!!!! Ha ha.

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  4. Best of lucking paying off the Lasik Credit Card, I hope you do it, because I know that credit cards can be lethal if they get too out of hands 🙁 Hopefully your adsense income increases so you are able to achieve your goal! =D

    Till then,

    Jean

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  5. Hey Lulu – Good stuff! Did you get LASIK eye surgery? If so, how much did it cost?

    I’m thinking about doing it myself next year, or in two years.

    Your Adsense income must be pretty good yeah?

    Good luck in your 3 month plan!

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    • Actually I did a whole series of posts on my LASIK… click on the links where it says LASIK and you will be taken to them…it cost $3400.

      My adsense is not a lot…but snowflaking is taking small amounts and applying them so some months I don’t make enough to get the payout (and you know what the minimum is to get paid) but when the next month rolls around and I do get paid then I am applying the adsense money to debt.

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      • Very cool. I’m going to check out your series of LASIK posts. That’s awesome you chronicled it. The year I do decided to take the leap (I’m still a little scared to do so), I’ll put $4,000 in my flex spend account to save on taxes.

        I tried Adsense and every single advertisement platform out the for a while, and I didn’t like anything. Instead, I’m reaching out to specific companies who I’d be willing to sponsor. More consistent for me that way.

        Best

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        • I wish I had known about the FSA before I had my surgery but I did not …oh well. I got to pay it off over three years at zero percent interest so that was okay still.

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          • Ah, ohwell. Next time! The FSA just saves you your marginal tax rate basically.

            Paying it off with a 0% rate over 3 years is sweet!

            BTW, the guest poster replied to your comment over at my site on his topic of “why being debt free is a bad idea”.

            Best

  6. Well done… it is perfect that you have a debt free plan!
    You are making some really smart moves here too, keep up the good work 🙂 x

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  7. I actually won a free $250 gas card lately. It was the first time I ever won anything for that matter. I must say it helps quite a lot as to get my gas expenses are paid for the next few months.
    For those interested I’ve put the link in my name to the quick poll where I got it. Good luck !

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  8. Very good plan I also want to do something like you. you tell the right thing Thank you for sharing this Idea.

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  9. Great post! Thanks a lot for sharing, I appreciate this. I already bookmarked this article, it’s a must for anyone having trouble balancing their debts.

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  10. Some credit cards allow you to transfer a balance and give you a grace period before interest accrues. You might consider transferring the balance of your LASIK credit card to one of these credit cards to get more time to pay it off.

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    • I have thought about that…but there are a few things that are preventing me from making that decision.
      1. I do not have a card that I can do a 0% balance transfer right now.

      2. I have had almost three years at 0% to pay off this card…so I need to just get it over with now and not stay in the ‘credit’ mentality.

      3. My plan is to be free of all credit card debt and I have the money to pay for this now through the income streams that I have listed.

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  11. I’m just about to make the final payment on my credit card, it is such a great weight off your back knowing that you wont be wasting money in the form of interest etc. Paying much more than the minimum amount each month also gives you a good profile with the bank and it helps ensure your debt is paid quickly.

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  12. I think shifting your debt to interest free credit cards is smart. If that does not work for you, then a refinance or HELOC against your primary residence also makes the most sense because you can deduct the interest paid on your primary residence.

    EricJ –

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  13. I’m also struggling to pay off some of my credit cards by the end of the year. Debts have always been making me feel miserable… Good luck with your plans, I’m sure that with your sensible approach you will succeed.

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  14. I bet with a little work you could ramp up your online income to help pay off the LASIK charges.

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