Wednesday, March 27, 2013

In which we pay off our credit card debt

Hello and HAPPY NEW YEAR to our friends, followers, fans and foes (what are you doing here, anyway?! This is our happy place, you weirdos.)

So. It’s 2013 now. So like, let’s just let that sink in for a minute because HOLY ISH! Where did the last year go and more importantly, why didn’t we blog about it more?! I’d love to regale you with all of the stock excuses at my disposal, but can it suffice to say that unexpected life turns did us dirty and we’re re-committed to bringing you a more frequent and superior blog-reading experience? Will you just accept that without too much explanation? Yes? Great. It’s a new year, let’s just move forward amirite?!  

Speaking of moving forward (btw, is this phrase totally cliche now that Obama capitalized on it in the last election? And speaking of the election, doesn’t that feel weirdly far away now? Almost like it never happened? Just me?), can we discuss how different our lives are now than they were even one year ago at the turn of the new year?! Last year, we welcomed 2012 by “christening” Bonnie’s new Harlem apartment with an all-out New Year’s Eve rager, complete with random and unknown foreigners, rooftop fireworks at midnight, and, thanks to our best friend Kristina’s sweet sweet bartending skills . . . not one, not two, but SIX pukers. VIVA LA VIDA and all that!

So this happened...
This year, we took it about six or seven thousand notches down, and spent the turn of the new year in the country of New Hampshire. I realize that the wording of this may insinuate that we were celebrating together, but in fact, we were in different areas of the state (myself, in the White Mountains and the wife in the Lakes Regions). This is because we were each with our boyfriends. Oh, did we mention we have serious boyfriends now? I know. It’s hard for us to believe too. And side note: for those of you (read: aforementioned haters) with secret suspicions that we are actually lesbians for each other... YAHTZEE!! I assure you we are AS gay for each other as two people could possibly be without being homosexual (“not that there’s anything wrong with that!”), all of which is evidenced by our PRACTICALLY IDENTICAL NEW YEARS VACATIONS WE KNOWINGLY PLANNED WITH OUR ACTUAL SIGNIFICANT OTHERS.

For my own amusement, on the ride up to New Hampshire I slid in a casual comment to Jeff to the effect of, “Hey, the wife and Dave are in NH for New Years too”, which to my expectation and not-so-secret glee, warranted a response of, “did you seriously book us a romantic getaway double-date with The Fuckin’ Wife”, and a look to match. I should mention that Chelsea and Jeff (heretofore known as “That No-Good Minister”) have an ongoing love-hate feud for my affections. Mostly love, though. Right, guys? RIGHT?!

Chelsea hiking in the White Mountains, NH
Anyway, we both had amazing and refreshing breaks. But we have not forgotten about or put aside our commitment to accomplishing everything on our collective Bucket List. We have been slowly and painstakingly focusing on paying off our credit card debt for months, which frankly, isn’t much to write about during the act. It’s like the blogging equivalent of watching paint dry (“and then I decided to eat leftovers rather than to order out!”). We wanted to focus on this item early to free us up to do the bulk of the other tasks on our list - many of which, you’ll notice, require spending money. We did not want to spend this money without first paying down our debts. The idea is to go into these exciting feats with financial confidence and a strong plan on how we are going to afford it all.

Yes, our moms are very proud.

I can’t think of a better way to kick off 2013 than in the sweet, blissful, self-accomplished glory of credit card debt freedom. For those of you who have been living in this magical, weightless land, we are overjoyed to be joining your ranks with our newly-acquired...we’ll call it temporary residence on the way to full citizenship. Granted, we weren’t dealing with insurmountable levels of debt. But it feels good nonetheless and like an important achievement in our lives.

Naturally, after making that final, heavenly payment to a zero balance, we took the logical next step and...applied for another credit card? Ok, I know what you’re thinking. Getting even more credit borrowing availability is NOT the next logical step to paying off all your credit card debt.

Allow me to explain.

Up until now, Chelsea and I have been been making vigorous payments on standing credit card balances with the goal of finally getting down to zero. Our primary goal was to get out of debt, not really take advantage of credit cards. This is an important distinction to make.

In scenario one, in which we just try to get out of debt, we were paying disgusting amounts of interest to two of the evil “Big Four” banks and getting nothing for it. BOO SCENARIO ONE.

In scenario two, in which we make our credit work for us, we are now the proud owners of Capital One Venture cards. Yes, matching credit cards. We went there. Told you we were still super gay. AND, our new cards give us travel rewards! Ahhhhh, it’s all clicking into place. We will use these credit cards for every purchase possible, pay them off in full every month (we promise!), and start raking up the points to use towards our future travel plans.

And that’s how it’s done, friends. Twenty-Something Finance 101.

4.   Get out of credit card debt

Next, and equally as exciting for you as readers, I’m sure, we will be starting retirement funds. I must say I am looking forward to this the least as far as “funness” goes, but I do think it will make me feel good and give me some peace of mind about my future. Like, hey, at least I have somewhat started to think about it, right? Yay..?..!

We hope you all had a joyous celebration of the new year and feel good about what 2013 has to offer. We sure did and do. You’ll be hearing from us SO SOON.

P.S. If you’ve found yourself a touch confused by our frequent mentions of the “new year” and with it being nearly April, you’re probably not alone. There is a possibility that we started writing this entry roughly two months ago and just got around to finishing it now. We ask you to refer back to Paragraph 1 and accept our commitment to do better in 2013.

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