Logan: Or, at least, one specific problem, in the form of one specific debt. Paying off $20,000 in credit card debt seems impossibllleeeeee. But paying off my J.Crew card seems totally within my reach! We had this great idea that we should all keep track of one debt and check in every month with it.
Mike: Yes! We think it’s a good idea to check in every month, and show how much progress we’re all making. Making yourself publicly accountable for a debt is a good incentive to get you to pay it off.
Logan: So: If you have a debt that you would like to pay off, you are welcome and encouraged to play along! Psychologically, the way this is supposed to work is that every time we are about to spend money now, we think about what a dent that money could make in our balance, and then we don’t spend the money and instead come home and make a transfer to our cards/accounts/etc. Or we can just keep doing what we’re doing and maybe a little more and see the debt fall away like so many petals on a blown-out rose. (?)
Mike: I think the main incentive will be seeing that number go down when we check in again next month to see where our numbers stand. It’ll be on the honor system, so if you check in next month and say you’ve paid off $50 on a credit card, when you’ve actually charged an extra $100, we won’t know. But you will, and you won’t be doing yourself any favors! Just be honest about your number, and we’ll support you along the way. That’s why we’re here.
Logan: Care to play along? Pick a debt that you have and hate and want to pay off, and tell us about it in the comments section below. And then … start paying it off. Or just keep making your minimums and see how not-far that is getting you (it is getting me not-far). I’m picking my J.Crew card first because the APR is OOC.
Debt: JCREW CARD
Thanks for the memories: Several winter coats! Lots of stress shopping! Some great shoes! No regrets! (Okay, a few regrets.)
6/19 balance: $567.20
Minimum payment: $30
Years to pay off if I only make min payment: 2
Amount I’ll end up paying: $729
Mike: And I’m doing this too! If you don’t have credit card debt, maybe you have student loans, or a car or home loan, or you borrowed some money from a friend or relative. I’m going to start by putting one of my student loans on here—a Sallie Mae private loan I’ve been paying back very slowly for the past seven years.
Debt: Sallie Mae Private Student Loan
Interest Rate: 4.5%
Balance 6/19: $1,635
P.S. If you have no debts, one, good job. Two, we’ll start a separate thing for savings goals, so you can play too! Let’s throw money at this problem, and do this thing.