Saturday, December 09, 2006

Keep Saving after Credit Card Debt is paid

I've paid off all of our Credit Card debt. So now, what do I do with that extra $185 (plus the $200+ from Kim's part-time job) that I was sending the credit card companies every month?

Yep, you guessed it, I'm going to save it. Or, most of it anyway.

The money from Kim's part-time job is nice hunk of change, but it's not something I am counting on. Part of the agreement Kim and I made about her getting another job was that it was temporary and she would quit at the first sign of feeling over-worked. (While the job lasts, it will all be saved in the New House fund.)

But, the extra $185 a month that went to pay off our credit card debt gets to be redistributed in the budget. And, that's going to be fun!

A small portion will go back into our food budget to add a little variety, and provide us with occasional treats.

Things like herbal tea, Ruffles potato chips (a rare treat, but the best brand of chips out there), roasts, lasagna (high cost for the cheese and sausage), and steak were cut from our food budget. They can come back in now - on an occasional basis.

Another small portion of money will go back toward paying down our mortgage. Paying just a small additional principal payment can shave years off your mortgage, and save you money in interest payments.

By paying an extra $30 a month for 2 years, I've cut the mortgage back 3 years and 1 month. That saved me $3720 in interest payments.

The biggest chunk will go into our New House fund and be saved for a down payment and closing costs on a new home in the sticks. (I enjoy other people, their guests, friends, music, and pets the most when it's from a distance :-).

So, most of the money I freed up by not having debt gets saved.

Saving money is a permanent goal for me, and will always be a part of my budget. It's a truly satisfying feeling knowing I will have that money tucked away - ready for what we decided is most important to us.