Which debt do you hate the most?

By Stew

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


14 Responses (including trackbacks) to “Which debt do you hate the most?”

  1. Christina Says:

    My credit card debt irritates me the most. We paid off our car payment this month – but that one didn’t bother me as much, since we had a low interest rate. Our credit card company skyrocketed our interest rate to almost 18% even though we were perfect customers (never late, excellent credit score, etc). Every time I think about that, it gets me so angry! So we are working on paying it down, hopefully it will be gone by the middle of the year!

  2. Whitney Says:

    Our credit card debt definitely bothers us the most. We knew better, yet somehow we still racked up $3,200 worth. I hate logging on and paying them each month, knowing that if I had just paid cash, I wouldn’t be still paying for those items.

  3. Jody Says:

    Well, except for my mortgage I don’t have any debt but it feels like I do. I’m in Canada and we’re allowed to put 18% of our gross income into an RRSP (like a 401K) and if you don’t put that full amount in you can carry the unused portion forward for 7 years after which you lose the amount forever.

    Although I have always contributed something to my RRSP I never managed 18% so I have accumulated $48,000 in this unused portion and it really bothers me. So, this year I upped my contribution to 18% and my company adds another 3% (soon they will add 5%), I am also putting in an addtional $1400/yr. I sort of think of the 3% match money and the $1400/yr as debt repayment (going toward the $48,000) and the 18% contribution as a fixed expense.

    We sometimes get profit sharing and going forward if we get it, I will put it towards this ‘debt’ as well. Still, at this pace it will be years before I am caught up; I sure wish I had put the 18% in from my very first job.

  4. Joseph Says:

    I love excel,
    We recently decided to create subcategory for our savings ie home, baby, investment, etc I am working to create an excel spreadsheet application that will grab the total monthly savings and distribute it to theese categories based on a defined amount and create a worksheet for each category…
    I hate our student loans they are so huge!! i can only say they are mortgage worth of debt… but we are kicking them off step by step and one day we will be debt-free

  5. gholmes Says:

    Stew sell the car, holy smokes.

  6. April J Says:

    I have many, and I hate them all. The most irritating is probably the child support debt my husband had before we were married. It’s huge because he didn’t understand how to get it adjusted. But so far, the minimum payment didn’t even touch the amount due plus interest, so despite how much I put it, it only increased. Finally this month, we will stop earning interest on it – I wish credit cards had that option. I have too many credit cards and am running into the ugliness of February credit “improvements” which mean, higher interest rates, and higher minimum payments. Someday I will be debt free!!!

  7. Christine Says:

    The car will be paid off March or April (two years early!), and the only one left is the mortgage. No hated debt here. :)

  8. Gypsie Says:

    Credit Card debt is the worst! I have paid off one of my DHs cards and now just have a few more but they are the largest.

  9. Gina Says:

    Stew, holy moly man, refi that car. See if a local credit union would help you with that. I did and have since moved all of my accounts to a credit union.

    Hated debt? CREDIT CARDS!!! Even though they have been very nice to me (jacked my rate but I called and they reversed it), I still feel so dumb for getting into credit card debt in the first place. I’m like Whitney, I hate paying them each month b/c I don’t see results. If I spend $1k on fixing up my home I can “see” a result. If I send $1k to credit cards, I see nothing. UGH!

    And I’m w/you Stew … people w/o debt irritate me too; I am very jealous of them.

  10. Ken Says:

    Credit card debt hands down. It’s a noose around my financial neck. One of my cards is 25%…currently looking for a lower rate to transfer to.

  11. Amy @ TheCircusMcGurkus.Blogspot.com Says:

    We only have the mortgage left and I really hate it. It kills me a the end of the year to realize we have spent $14k on it and we only reduced our priciple by $2k. Ugh! I have a hard time imagining the day our home will finally be paid for, the debt seems so great and the term so long. Only 28 years and 4 months to go.

  12. Stacey Says:

    I’m with Amy – the mortgage is all we have, but it bothers me SO much. We’ve paid off five years of principal in one year and can’t wait to pay the entire thing off!

  13. Michelle Says:

    I hate my 2nd mortgage (just broke under $13K) – it represents consolidating all the stupid CC’s and other misc. debt – all UNSeCURED debt might I add – a secured lien against my HOUSE> why did I do that?!

  14. Reb Says:

    My credit card debt. I had *just* gotten my debt down to the point where it’d be paid off in a couple months. Then…I got laid off. I ended up sadly unemployed for over a year. Instead of just budgeting and eat Ramen noodles for a year, I ended up using all of my savings, all of my unemployment, and increasing by credit card debt. Awesome. Now that I have been working for a year, I just want to get rid of it as quickly as possible. Fortunately, I don’t have much else in the way of loans or debts, so most of my paycheck goes straight to the credit card companies (I suppose the way I put it, that didn’t sound very “fortunate”).

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