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Let the Madness Begin

Posted on Monday, November 18th, 2019

Dave!I do not carry balances on my credit cards.

The "why" is something I have talked about before (credit card debt is hell, y'all), and I've done a fairly good job of sticking to this goal. If I want or need something, I save for it. If it's an emergency, I clear out my savings to pay for it. The only reason I will carry a credit card balance is if it is the absolute last resort because my mission is to have $0 in interest charges at the end of the year.

There are exceptions, of course.

My Australia trip ended up being much, much, much more expensive than I has saved for. It took seven months to pay it off.

My Antarctica trip was totally saved for... until I was put on a keto diet and lost so much weight I had to buy new winter clothes... five months to pay that off.

Last year I wanted a SONOS Sub (subwoofer) so badly that I could not pass up their Black Friday $100 savings. This dropped the cost to $600... but I only had $120 saved for it. This meant paying off a credit card balance of $480 over the next three months. I didn't care that I had to eat cheap pasta, not eat at restaurants or go out, not buy anything but absolute necessities, and cancel Netflix... getting my credit card balance to $0 is all that matters.

Thanks to SONOS Sub putting me behind in my savings for this year's Black Friday madness, I had to tighten my belt and set aside extra money each month to reach my goals. I'm a little behind in my clothing savings (which is bad because my boots are falling apart!) but a little ahead in my gadget savings (which is good because I have to replace some outdoor security cameras). Since I try to make it so that this is the only time of year I buy clothes, I may have to shift monies between accounts, but overall I'm happy with how much cash I've managed to save.

And tonight I made my Black Friday shopping list. I need henley shirts, long-sleeve dress shirts, underwear, and a pair boots. I would like two new outdoor security cameras and a couple pair of jeans (what I have are fine, but some occasions call for a newer, nicer pair). I want iTunes gift cards (assuming I can find them on discount, which is the only reason to buy iTunes gift cards... full-price cards get me nothing).

Assuming I can find deals like I've done in past years, I should be in good shape to get everything on my list.

And still have a $0 balance on my credit cards after it's all over.

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