• Like a bad penny, debt always turns up…

    unless we change how we interact with money, of course!

    The Bad Penny is dedicated to two pursuits: getting out of debt and staying out of debt! It recognizes that frugality and caring for our planet go hand in hand, and that our unsatiated need for stuff is hurting us in so many ways.

    Easier said than done!


    I am not a finance professional. I write about the world as I know it, and my advice may not be the best course of action for you! Please seek qualified advice for your particular situation.

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The rundown. Are you squeamish? (aka getting down to business.)

Now that I’m at this point, I’m a little nervous. Am I doing the right thing, posting this here? Will this really work to motivate me to keep focused on paying off debt, or am I just providing fodder for the snarky internet lurkers out there?

I just have to be honest. I know that this is what is going to make the difference. So here’s the rundown:


Mortgage in current residence: $ 97, 524.70
Bridge Loan on former residence: approx. $180,000
My student loans: $20, 865.01
Citibank (personal): $2261.81 (min. payment is currently $89, interest is 14.9%)
Business Cards: Suntrust: $5375.25 (min payment is currently about $283.00, interest is 12.74%)
Chase: $6366.37 (min. payment is currently $127.00, interest is 4.99% until it’s paid off – we transferred this from another card for this promotional rate.
Citibank: $4951.43 (min.payment is currently $112.43, interest is 9.9%)

Total Credit Card Debt: $18, 954.86
Total debt: $137, 344.57

Yikes. So that was a little painful. As I’m sure you noticed, I didn’t include the bridge loan on our previous house. The reason is that we are currently selling that house, so I don’t expect it to be on my “debts” list for long. The sale of that house will also bring in some equity money, some of which we need to purchase and install a new septic system since ours is antiquated.

You might have also noticed that our interest rates are pretty low. Somehow we’ve managed to maintain a decent credit score despite racking up thousands of dollars in debt. We’ve been careful to pay on time, and with the exception of the business cards, we’ve always paid our bills in full. I can only attribute that fact to God’s provision, as the money always shows up just as we need it.

I wanted to explain something else, too. We’ve been using our personal card for all of our everyday expenses because they were giving us 5% cash back at grocery stores, gas stations, and restaurants, and 1% everywhere else. When we finally decided we really needed to get serious about getting rid of our debts, we decided to stop using credit cards altogether, including the personal card. What basically happens when you do that is that you end up not only having to pay the credit card bill for last month, but you also have to cover your expenses for this month, so we weren’t able to pay it off in full. Add the fact that we had several expensive things come up and no savings to depend on, and well, you saw what happened. It’s a great way to use credit cards if you can use them responsibly, but if you are faced with suddenly not using them anymore it may complicate things.

That’s a lot for anyone to ingest, especially me! I’m going to put the kiddo to bed and think on this a while before I start looking at our monthly budget.


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