It started out innocently enough. I saw an awesome t-shirt at a record store in New Orleans that I just had to have. Then I bought a pair of Toms at Urban Outfitters to replace my old ones that had holes in them. Then I paid the entry fee for my 10km race (which I won’t be running in), I went to the dentist, and I didn’t get reimbursed for the full amount of my massages, and BAM, I have $239 in credit card debt.
I Got Sloppy
Usually I’m really good at paying off my credit card at the end of every month, but this past month has been a little different. For starters, I had to decrease my personal spending money (Usually $125 that covers things like hair cuts, prescription medication, dentist appointments, and dinners out with friends) down to $100 per month. I did this when I was moving money around to start saving for Christmas, and I didn’t think I’d feel the pinch as much as I have. So instead of having my usual $125 to pay off my credit card at the end of this month, I only had $100.
On top of that, I had some unexpected expenses. I’d completely forgotten about my dentist appointment, and although most of it was covered by my health insurance, I still had to pay $29.76 out of pocket. I also get massages every month, which is covered by my health insurance, but this month it wasn’t totally covered because I’ve reached my yearly limit. That was another $35 that I’ll have to pay out of pocket.
I know it’s no excuse, but the bit of shopping I did on my credit card was purely a YOLO situation. I wanted a memento from my trip to New Orleans, and I took advantage of the opportunity to replace my Toms. Did I absolutely need to buy those things? Nope, but I wanted to.
My Plan to Pay It Back
I think another reason I’ve been bad at keeping track of my overspending on my credit card is because it actually has a very high balance right now. There’s a series of charges relating to work, some expenses for the blog, the car and our travelling expenses, and it’s a lot easier to ignore some outstanding charges on my credit card when there are a bunch of other charges on there driving the balance owing up. Does that make sense?
So part of my plan to pay it back is to make sure all of my blog expenses, travel expenses, work expenses and car expenses are paid off before the end of the month. That means the only money left remaining on the card will be my credit card debt. I should be able to pay it off by the end of the month using some freelance income I’m expecting, and I’ll keep you posted on my progress.
How Does It Feel to Be Back in Debt?
I haven’t been in debt for almost 12 months, and this credit card debt doesn’t feel like debt. It feels more like temporary overspending. Overcharging a credit card doesn’t carry the same weight as signing student loan documents or a car loan agreement, I suppose that’s why credit cards are so dangerous. I don’t have anxiety about this little bit of debt, and I don’t feel the need to throw every last penny at it like I did with my car loan and my student loan. That said, I’m not going to allow myself to be lulled into a false sense of security, I’m determined to pay it off soon, using whatever means necessary. I want to make sure I don’t slip back into overspending again. I’m going to have to take special care to track my credit card spending and avoid impulse buys at all costs.
Have you had credit card debt before? How much? I want to know!