Measure twice, Cut once

Ok … so it’s time for the big reveal.  I’ve put together a list of all my debts (found a great excel spreadsheet that was free to download) and here are the grim statistics (wish I was more computer savvy and knew how to copy and paste the actual spreadsheet I’m using … something I’ll have to figure out):

Debt                             Balance                          APR                    Minimum Payment

Citibank                     $9628                              1.99%                  $200

Discover                    $227.23                         16%                      $20

Student Loan 1        $11744                                                          $265.26

Student Loan 2       $2098                                                            $58

Medical Bill              $1629                                                            $75

So I know what you’re saying … doesn’t look so bad, I thought this guy mentioned something about $30,000 + in debt.  Well a couple of things that I did last week and didn’t have time to mention.

1) I sold my 401K and cashed out a meager $13,000 and change, got hammered on the taxes and paid of a larger credit card debt no longer listed above.

2) I negotiated hard with Citibank to give me a balance transfer offer of 1.99% until 12/10 (seems like those 0% offers are getting harder to find) and transferred over the balance from two cards that I was previously paying higher interest on. 

Total Debt: $25,326

Which still isn’t a pretty number.  But a few weeks into this project and I’m still very motivated, haven’t used a credit card, and have even started to make a few lifestyle changes. 

I’m not sure what the experts say about the 401K move I made, but I’d like to think getting out of debt SOONER will allow me to play catch up on actual investments at a later date. 

What do you think about the 401K decision?  Has anybody explored debt consolidation? 

By the way, here’s a link  to the debt tracking worksheets I mentioned … very helpful stuff on this guy’s website –

http://www.mdmproofing.com/iym/excel.html

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