by Matt B

There is absolutely NOTHING more satisfying than hard work and determination paying off. There is also nothing more motivating to push you further than achieving your goals and challenging yourself to attain a goal that is even more daring and difficult.

Over the past six months, I have amazed even myself and accomplished more than I thought I was capable of. Because of this, I am pushing for even loftier pursuits throughout the rest of 2009.

I opened my “emergency savings” account in April 2008. At first, I just wanted to stash away a couple hundred dollars I could forget about. Not very ambitious I realize, but once I was there, (it didn’t take long) I thought, “wow, that was easy”. My goals were about to explode. I had credit card debt (still do), and after saving such a small amount of money so easily, I decided that the days of frivolous spending were done. It was time to aggressively attack my credit card debt.

There was one thing to do before really chopping away at the credit cards. Increase the balance of the emergency savings to at least $500. Again, this was accomplished within a few months and without any noticeable inconvenience. Part of my paycheck twice a month went directly into my ING account , and I can honestly say that I didn’t notice the small loss in my take home pay. Out of sight, out of mind.

Now, the credit cards were in my sights. My first victim, Capital One . I have had this Capital One card for roughly four years now, and they have been very good to me (as good as credit cards can be). They have never arbitrarily raised or lowered my interest rate or my limit, and have never assessed any unfair charges to me. Not that I ever gave them any reason to. Unfortunately, for far too long (probably 3 years), my balance at any given time was over $1000. This kind of debt leaves a very uncomfortable feeling. It’s very cliche, but it is suffocating. You feel trapped. But it is your own fault if you find yourself in this position, and it is up to you to find a way out. After a battle that has lasted years, I am proud to say that I have proudly defeated Mr. Capital One. My final large chunk of payment was Feb 4, 2009 in the amount of $797.55, Much of which came from my tax return.

Washington Mutual is next…but by the time they fall to my hand, they will be Chase. So, Chase is next!!!

Goals give you something to work toward, but when accomplished there is not much that feels much better. Especially when you come in way ahead of schedule.

After achieving my $500 goal in the emergency account, I decided that every extra penny would be jammed in there, until I couldn’t possibly sacrifice anymore without discomfort at home. As you can see by my statement from Jan 7-Feb 3, I really took a lot of opportunities to increase the balance here. My original goal on January 1st was to get $1500 in this account by the end of 2009. I underestimated my own capabilities. My new goal is to have $2,500 in the emergency account, AND pay the remaining $2300 balance on my remaining card by the end of the year.

*Because of the extraordinary feeling of pride and accomplishment that I have experienced over the past 8 months or so, my self expectation is rising drastically. The best part is, there is no doubt in my mind that I will make these goals and then some. (Maybe I’ll end up slaughtering a good chunk of the truck payment too)!!


The sister February 8, 2009 at 10:33 pm

Awesome! What an inspiring message. I have a goal to have my Civic paid off by my birthday in June.

Heyagainlando February 9, 2009 at 10:14 pm

How close are you right now? And how early would that be?

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