You’re the best thing that ever happened to me! My life has been consumed by credit card for almost 6 years now. I was divorced in 1999 and went to one income of $35,000 and being a single mother. I agreed to settle for $40,000 in credit card debt and a car loan of $8,000 just to avoid further legal fees. Everyone told me to file bankruptcy since the cost of living in New Jersey is outrageous, but I’m happy to say that I didn’t. And very proud too. I spent 4 years trying to research financial books etc to find a way to get out of debt, learn about investing and saving, etc. I found it difficult to understand and frustrating since there was never enough left after making all my monthly minimum payments. But, I just kept persisting away. After I paid one card off, I would close it, cut it up and cheer. Then would send that payment to another card etc, but quite frankly, I wasn’t saving a penny. So, if a rainy day or emergency came, boom, back to the use of my credit cards. A lose-lose situation for me, win-win for the credit companies. I had a full time job and decided to work 4-5 nights also for 3 1/2 years for tips. I figured cash was quicker. With every penny I made I went to the department store and paid the credit card down. Every birthday check and income tax check also went directly to my credit cards. I felt like that was all I was living for and it was very depressing. Especially always saying no to my daughter for things. Well, when I saw you on Oprah I stopped in my tracks. Quite frankly, I just happened to get done work early that day for no apparent reason and flipped to her show. I just listened to you in awe. Especially the other folks you had on and I finally felt like I wasn’t the only one in debt. Nobody I know talks about money unless they have tons of it. When the show went off, I called my best friends and told them about you. I drove to the store and bought automatic millionaire. I only put it down to sleep a few hours that night. I finished it the next day. I felt so refreshed. I just knew I could do this. It was so easy to understand. I set up my latte factor sheet for the week, I set up a DOLP schedule and I called and lowered my interest rates too. Not everyone was nice so I closed their accounts. For once I felt good about working toward my goal of no credit card debt and I went at it with enthusiasm. I won! As of June 29, 2005 I officially made my last credit card payment and was thrilled to call the company and close my account. I cut the card up into as many pieces as I could and was dancing around crying in pure joy! It seemed like it took an eternity, but I did it! Yeah! I actually felt like I lost 100 pounds. I used to be up at night crying over my debt. Not any more and I go out of my way to make sure the one card I have left maintains no balance ever again. It stays at home strictly for emergency purposes. I’m also proud to say that I’ve set up an account with Ing Direct, which I never heard of till you, and am saving automatically a little each week from my paycheck. That’s awesome! And I have opened my 401K at work and was putting in 7%, but we got a raise last week of 3%, so I increased it to 10%! I love it! Now, I’ve read your start late finish rich book too, since I’m almost 30. I’m working on my next goal of buying a condo for my daughter and I. She loves your site and goes to every link you give for kids and cash. We’re still packing our lunches, eating at home, working overtime as much as I can, and always finding free, but fun activities to do at libraries and through our community too. I feel like I have a whole new outlook on life.
David, you’ve given me gifts I never knew I had. I’ve accomplished a huge goal, found happiness, control over my life again, power in myself, and determination again. Being a single mom with those great characteristics will only help my daughter to achieve much in her life too. So, you’ve touched us both.
Thanks again and God Bless you! You’re the best! And thanks for taking time to help others!