Which debt do you hate the most?
Our family finances get a lot of attention this time of year. I clean up the Christmas mess, every year we get better at handling Christmas expenses, but we are still not where we would like to be. I start to review my files to make sure I am ready to finish our taxes. Finally, January is “budget month”, the time of year that we review our budget. By the beginning of February, I have a really good grasp on all the numbers. Not so much meaning that I have control of the numbers, but that I can recite them at a moment’s notice.
Our budget is an Excel spreadsheet with the columns assigned to months and the rows assigned to budget items. I keep track of everything – health insurance premium, social security taxes, medicare, gasoline purchases, everything. I am a little obsessive compulsive at times and when I work with spreadsheets, that side of me comes out in full force. Every major category is color-coded:
- Income – Dark Green
- Giving – Purple
- Saving – Light Aqua
- Taxes – Pink
- Debt – Orange
- Insurance – Tan
- Living Expenses – Light Blue
- Mrs. Stew’s Budget – Light Green
I stare at the budget, I tweak stuff, I add and remove formulas, I play “what if”. It is all great fun.
Except for that Orange patch. Boy, do I hate that section. All the money that we owe. In many cases we spent that money years ago and the stuff we bought with that money . . . well, I cannot even remember what we bought with that money sometimes. What were we thinking?!
Do you know the debt that bothers me the most? It is our car loan. We still owe around $11,000 and we are paying right around 9% in interest. Every month, I send in a payment of $306.68, with a lot of muttering under my breath. We overpaid for that car, the interest rate is too high and when we finally pay it off in three years or so, it will probably quit the next day.
If it even makes it that long.
What is your worst debt? Which one irritates you the most? Or maybe you do not have any debt, in which case, you irritate me. But I am happy for you.
But you still kind of irritate me. ;)
Article by Stew
Photo by AlishaV