Chester P. Dexter Posted January 7, 2009 Report Share Posted January 7, 2009 Is anyone else excited about the start of a new year and the opportunity to change ways and make large or even small steps toward a better financial situation?I already mentioned my newfound deep understanding of and appreciation for financial stability, and that includes the access to credit in my case, when I was able to get in to the dentist for an emergency root canal. I keep almost no cash on hand (checking, savings) and my credit availability was getting slim but I squeaked in. Despite heavy debt I don't even want to detail here (maybe at the end of the year I will) I do have some investments - too modest to want to detail here, either, at this point - and my mention of being possibly unable to pay for dental care without access to credit wasn't completely accurate. I could have liquidated investments but I didn't want to do that because it wasn't a good day to sell investments and I don't want to sell them at all, anyway. They are what could help rebuild my future. They're the goose that should, in time, lay the golden egg, so I don't want to go ransacking the stock account, no matter what else is going on, financially.My rambling point is that so far in the few days of this year, my poor, battered investments have made great strides toward recovering, and that's a great feeling. Even if it does not continue, I can live with it now, because we did put ourselves out on a limb with margin loan and as of today have essentially brought those loans down to nominal amounts that could be paid off on very short notice (thus "securing" my accounts from possible disaster at the whims of the market). And the husband and I have taken on a new attitude of "snowflaking" (I read somewhere that the classic snowballing approach to paying off debt can be broken down further into snowflaking, because snowflakes are what make up a snowball, right?)We just started "finding" money every day (I know it will be hard to keep this up) and using it to make payments or even pay off small debts. Each of us got the $25 checks we requested (by cashing in points) from our Hooters cards and there those went immediately to paying bills. A rebate check from insurance for $18 and an unexpected refund for $15 and the sale of some knick knack or other on Ebay and there's another $15 - you get the picture. It adds up, and all of this makes payment. Several combined pay off a small balance so the card can be sock-drawered.He even sold some pretty expensive music equipment yesterday and that sort of hurt but the trade-off of being free of bills is worth it to him. He can always buy an amp that does not weight 110 lbs. (!) later. I bought it for him without really thinking of the cost, wanting to make him happy, but he finally admitted it was too heavy, even if it was his dream amp, and even though we only got 2/3 the money out of it (that's what happens in the resale market) there's a bill or two we can knock out. So instead of looking back at what we paid and what we "should" have gotten out of it, we look at right now and what we can do to better ourselves at this exact moment in time.We could cry and feel sorry for ourselves about how the market has crushed us and we piled up debt simultaneously, but we're going on a financial "diet" instead, to scrape everything together that we can, cut out all unnecessary spending (I was shocked to find how fast it added up when I stopped buying things for $12.99 here and there that we don't actually, truly "need." I think both of us have had a nickel-and-dime shopping addiction that fools you into thinking you're not really spending too much - but we've suspended all that) and we feel like we're on our way to climbing out and finding ourselves in a better spot this time next year. At least I'm trying to keep up hope and keep a good attitude - not a "feel sorry for myself" helpless attitude, but rather an "I can do it, or at least I can try" attitude. I could use a little support group here. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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