It's true. I have successfully achieved a zero balance on a credit card that has never had a zero balance since the mid-90s. This is the credit card that I used throughout grad school, the credit card that made life on a 9K/year stipend in Boston possible. This is the credit card that took me to London, to Trieste, to Dublin, and to Budapest, when seriously, I had no business taking any of those trips in terms of my money situation at the time. At its highest, I believe the balance hovered someplace around 13K. And over the course of the past 17 months, I have taken it from that horrifying level down to $0. And this was my card with the highest interest rate.
I've still got two credit cards to pay off. They, too, relatively painlessly, will be at zero by August. I can't tell you how empowered I feel by having committed myself to this project and by succeeding at it. Sure, it's meant teaching in summer. Sure, it's meant being more conscious of my money, and I am not really a person who likes to think about money very much. I'm not really motivated by money, when it comes down to it, and historically it's stressed me out to pay much attention to it. (Though, of course, this could be because I've been in a wicked amount of debt.)
Now sure, I've still got student loan debt, and I've got my car loan, but for the first time in my life, once the credit cards are paid off, I will have the freedom to save money in a real way and to actually look toward living a life where I'm not just making ends meet. I kind of can't believe it!
In a weird way, this feels like as much of an accomplishment - if not more of an accomplishment - than tenure. Seriously.
2 years ago