Nearly two years ago my wife and daughter were involved in a slight fender bender which resulted in the totaling of our 2003 Toyota Corolla (something that I'm still lamenting to this day, even though I drive a newer Camry...). Last week we finally settled with our insurance company and we got a pretty good chunk of change back. We've got one card that has a pretty good interest rate, but the payment is a fairly substantial in size and it makes things hard to live on. The card would be paid off in 21 months, but today, I wrote a check and mailed it off to a certain bank of bailout proportions that will remove that payment from my monthly budget. Whew. Nice. We have some more credit card debt, but we can probably get that paid off in about the same amount of time as what we just paid off. But we have some more flexibility because I don't have to 100% commit to making that huge payment every month.
I really wish I would have known what I know today back when I got married nearly 20 years ago. And that is, credit cards can be harmful to your financial health and well-being. If we would have been smart and saved and paid as we went, we would be in a lot better position than we are right now. But then again, we wouldn't have as much crap in our house as we do right now. Which, in all reality, probably wouldn't be a bad thing.
We've been incredibly blessed financially. We are getting close to being out of the consumer debt arena. After that, need to work on the cars and then finally the house. I'd like to have the house paid off in 15 years. That would be sweet.