Guess who no longer has credit card debt – THIS GIRL!!!!!
Last night I was in bed using the Mint.com app on my phone, and I noticed that my direct deposit hit early. I earned exactly enough from my second job ($305) to pay off my Dell card. So I jumped out of bed, ran to the computer, and scheduled the payment.
I got the Dell card in 2003. I remember thinking I would never max it out because the limit was $3500, and who spends that much on electronics? Well, apparently I do. Over the 4 years that I used the card, I bought a laptop, a desktop, a Dell Axim PDA (anyone remember those things?), a camcorder, two flat screen TVs…. Yeah, I maxed it out. Sadly, I don’t even own any of those things anymore.
At one point, Dell thought I was trying to steal my own identity (long story) and locked me out of my account. I couldn’t make payments or even talk to customer service. Finally, I found email addresses for some important people at Dell on Consumerist, which I used to plead my case and get the missed payments removed from my credit report.
Looking back over my payment history, it cost me around $6200 to pay off that $3500 in debt over 8 years. That’s ridiculous, especially since I don’t even have anything to show for it. My slight obsession with shiny new techy things did nothing but cause me throw money down the toilet. And while I still love gadgets (like my iPad), I save up for them now instead of relying on credit. And it feels awesome to get something new and know that it’s paid for.
So now I have to figure out what to do with the $130 a month I’m no longer sending to Merrick, Orchard, Dell, or Target (or some combination thereof). For now, I’m going to save the money as backup for starting my new job. After that, though, I’m thinking I need to put it toward my car payment. I’d be making a $500 car payment instead of the minimum $300 (I pay $360 now), so my car would be paid off in September 2013, 18 months ahead of schedule. That money could then be rolled onto my student loans, paying them off before I hit my 40s, which is definitely the goal.
For right now, though, I’m just going to take some time to be excited!