The Official ZS DEBTSQUAD: BODY COUNT thread.

Share a personal survival experience with us and explain what you learned from it. You might help someone.

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Re: The Official ZS DEBTSQUAD: BODY COUNT thread.

Post by MPMalloy » Tue Oct 22, 2013 10:07 am

Hey Everyone:

I just paid off my last three credit cards. I now have only $5k in student loans left and those are very manageable right now.

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Re: The Official ZS DEBTSQUAD: BODY COUNT thread.

Post by TDW586 » Thu Nov 14, 2013 6:23 pm

Okay, this seems like an appropriate thread to ask for advice on this. My financial situation has drastically improved recently, and I currently have very little debt in relation to my income. All credit cards are paid off, minus a $400 balance on an $8000 card, which I am not concerned about. My only remaining debt is an auto loan on a new car, on which I owe just under $7,500.

If I dedicate myself to paying it off, I can get it done within 6 months without stressing my finances. However, I also do not have sufficient cash in savings right now. Which makes more sense, focusing on paying the car loan off or focusing on building up my savings? Opinions.
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Re: The Official ZS DEBTSQUAD: BODY COUNT thread.

Post by Zxc » Thu Nov 14, 2013 6:42 pm

TDW586 wrote:Okay, this seems like an appropriate thread to ask for advice on this. My financial situation has drastically improved recently, and I currently have very little debt in relation to my income. All credit cards are paid off, minus a $400 balance on an $8000 card, which I am not concerned about. My only remaining debt is an auto loan on a new car, on which I owe just under $7,500.

If I dedicate myself to paying it off, I can get it done within 6 months without stressing my finances. However, I also do not have sufficient cash in savings right now. Which makes more sense, focusing on paying the car loan off or focusing on building up my savings? Opinions.
It depends... (Had to say it)

How secure do you feel in your job? How many months expenses do you have saved in cash? How likely is something expensive happening in your life?

We recently made a push to increase our savings while slaying debt.
My situation: zero credit cards, owe money on the car, wife has student loans.

We wanted the safety/security of cash savings, so we are saving 10% of our net income. But we are doubling the minimum payment on the car loan and will snowball the same dollar amount to the student debt when car is paid off.

If I were you, i would do a mixture of both. If you think you can spend $2,000 a month on savings and debt reduction, maybe do 75% debt reduction and 25% savings.

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Re: The Official ZS DEBTSQUAD: BODY COUNT thread.

Post by MPMalloy » Thu Nov 14, 2013 6:52 pm

TDW586 wrote:Which makes more sense, focusing on paying the car loan off or focusing on building up my savings? Opinions.
I just got a windfall from the VA and the first thing that I did was to build up my savings so that I now have a year's worth of bill money in the savings account. Then I focused on debt and then on preps. If I had to do over, I'd do the same thing. Having a emergency fund provides a lot of peace of mind for me. Good luck.

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Re: The Official ZS DEBTSQUAD: BODY COUNT thread.

Post by Jedi Mind Trick » Thu Nov 14, 2013 7:23 pm

TDW586 wrote: If I dedicate myself to paying it off, I can get it done within 6 months without stressing my finances. However, I also do not have sufficient cash in savings right now. Which makes more sense, focusing on paying the car loan off or focusing on building up my savings? Opinions.
Like others said, it depends... personally I would slay it ASAP and then add to saving, but putting some savings aside and slaying it more slowly might work for you. Job security, etc are important factors that we don't know about.

I'm wrestling with my own zombies, but looking like I might have reinforcements coming by way of a new job real soon... :awesome:

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Re: The Official ZS DEBTSQUAD: BODY COUNT thread.

Post by TDW586 » Thu Nov 14, 2013 8:20 pm

Good advice, thanks everyone. I'm pretty secure in my job for at least the next two years. I'm a contractor and that's how long my current project will run (at least). I anticipate no trouble finding a new position making a similar wage after that, although a month or two between projects is entirely possible. I've got paid leave saved up if that happens, and at the moment perhaps six months living expenses accessible in savings, though six full months would be pushing it. I think splitting it up and doing a little of each is probably the best solution. I can still pay the car off in short order and set a little more aside in savings.
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Re: The Official ZS DEBTSQUAD: BODY COUNT thread.

Post by Horatio_Tyllis » Sun Mar 16, 2014 10:47 am

Smashed down another credit card this week. Finally have enough budget to breathe and/or make double payments on the final one. Taken great steps to reducing my spending by close to $800 a month including (cringe) moving back in with my mom. If i can keep it up, 2 years to debt free, and 3 til I can buy a house with a 15-20% down payment.
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Re: The Official ZS DEBTSQUAD: BODY COUNT thread.

Post by Armor76 » Mon Jan 19, 2015 11:41 pm

This is a great thread. I hate to see it die. I like reading about peoples victories and it's good encouragement!

It seems the general economy is improving somewhat now. It's a long slow crawl back up but I get the feeling we are headed in the right direction.

Now is not the time to get complacent or fall back into old habits.

Keep paying those debts down. If the debts are gone, build up your cash reserves or spend some on sensible purchases that don't over extend your budget.

We have no credit card debt now.
My truck is paid for.
Her vehicle is getting double payments.
We are going after our student loans now. (and a loan forgiveness program for her)

We have cash reserves larger than we have ever had in our lives now.

Renovations on the house in the next few years start with a wood burning stove and a whole house generator.


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Re: The Official ZS DEBTSQUAD: BODY COUNT thread.

Post by ZombiexXxHunter » Mon Jan 26, 2015 4:38 pm

About a year ago after years of fighting the Debt Zeds I gathered up my weapons made a stand. I stared down the vicious horde of those vile beings and blasted away. After living paycheck to paycheck I was able to make a significant saving consolidating my loans and credit cards and have a better quality of life. :clap:

Never get into that position again.

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Re: The Official ZS DEBTSQUAD: BODY COUNT thread.

Post by silentpoet1 » Sun Mar 01, 2015 9:56 pm

Car got paid off yesterday. Big debt remaining is some medical debt, altogether maybe less than a 1000 I think, student loan of roughly 4-5000, a credit card of 800ish. Trying to figure out which should be my next focus. And I also want to reward myself for my progress thus far.
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Re: The Official ZS DEBTSQUAD: BODY COUNT thread.

Post by RoneKiln » Sun Aug 02, 2015 8:39 pm

Not sure how long it's been since I posted on here. Last week I wiped the last of my credit card. Only debt I have left is a fairly small mortgage. Car is piad off, worked full time through school so student debt was minimal, and I took my tike and found a great deal on a tiny cottage to fix up. As I buy remodel materials my credit card will creep up and down again, and I am ok with that to a point. My savings is strong again and the credit card will be used as a tool to build with instead of a crutch to limp along on.

Also in a position that 10% of income is going towards retirement. Finances are easier when you find an undervalued repo to buy and live in. It needs a lot of work, but it's livable.
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Re: The Official ZS DEBTSQUAD: BODY COUNT thread.

Post by ZombieGranny » Sun Aug 02, 2015 10:05 pm

Keep your receipts!
Home improvements are tax deductible.
You don't get it all back of course, but every little bit helps.
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Re: The Official ZS DEBTSQUAD: BODY COUNT thread.

Post by RoneKiln » Wed Aug 05, 2015 9:56 pm

Thanks for reminding me of that. I've been keeping them just to be able to go back and estimate costs later. And there are so many of them now....
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Re: The Official ZS DEBTSQUAD: BODY COUNT thread.

Post by MPMalloy » Fri Jun 30, 2017 10:52 am

Hey Everyone:

I just terminated with extreme prejudice the balance on my credit card. On the 3rd, interest will be calculated, I will crush that under my heel, & on the 4th, I will be free of credit card debt.

I have a debt consolidation loan & one last student loan. Both are very manageable.

Bit of a necro here.
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Re: The Official ZS DEBTSQUAD: BODY COUNT thread.

Post by Halfapint » Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:03 am

This is a great thread! So a few years ago I had only a few thousand in CC debt because I was stupid and young. For over 10 years I had no CC, no debt, nothing. Figured my credit score was in the tank, I applied for, and got a CC last year. Since then I went to go and get my credit checked before I got all the paperwork for buying a house ready. I apparently, some how, some way, Have a stellar credit score.

It may take a while, but getting rid of that debt, and waiting may be a great thing. I know it's not an option for everyone, just wanted to tell my story!
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Re: The Official ZS DEBTSQUAD: BODY COUNT thread.

Post by MPMalloy » Fri Jun 30, 2017 12:22 pm

Halfapint wrote:This is a great thread! So a few years ago I had only a few thousand in CC debt because I was stupid and young. For over 10 years I had no CC, no debt, nothing. Figured my credit score was in the tank, I applied for, and got a CC last year. Since then I went to go and get my credit checked before I got all the paperwork for buying a house ready. I apparently, some how, some way, Have a stellar credit score.

It may take a while, but getting rid of that debt, and waiting may be a great thing. I know it's not an option for everyone, just wanted to tell my story!
That's what I did. I locked down my credit, put the schnoz to the grindstone, & payed every bill on time. After about 7 years or so, all the bad credit dropped off. I don't know what my score is, but there are no negative entries on my credit reports. I mean, yeah, I should have been paying my bills on time to begin with, but, stuff happens. Water under the bridge.

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Re: The Official ZS DEBTSQUAD: BODY COUNT thread.

Post by woodsghost » Fri Jun 30, 2017 5:37 pm

Very cool thread.

I have about $4k in student loan debt left. Wife and I are talking about wiping it out. Especially before doctors bills for the baby happen. But working pretty minimal jobs we knocked out $19k in 2 years. About $3k of that progress was from wedding gifts. We have saved pretty carefully and live pretty simply. We can keep that up as baby bills occur and come due. Plus the new job I got will allow my wife to be home with the baby without any change in overall family income.

Family expenses will go up, but far less will be needed for debt reduction, so things should be about even.

It is great seeing on my student loan bill "no payments necessary till 2025." While we will knock out the last bit pretty soon, it is comforting to know we also have time till our next payment is due.
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Re: The Official ZS DEBTSQUAD: BODY COUNT thread.

Post by MPMalloy » Sun Jul 02, 2017 8:02 pm

Hey Everyone:

I came across an article from ABC (Australia) It's here.

I'm not quoting the article because it is using charts & graphs that are key to understanding the author's message. I urge everyone to click the link & read the article.

I just paid off the accrued interest on my credit card & IT IS DEAD! :mrgreen:

I calculated my debt to income ratio & it is 28.5%. (if i did the math right)

Anyone with a 0%?

Have a good 4th.
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Re: The Official ZS DEBTSQUAD: BODY COUNT thread.

Post by Zimmy » Sun Jul 02, 2017 10:43 pm

When my father AND my marriage died several years ago I discovered to my shock that they were both heavily infected with DEBT SQUAD MERCENARIES.

My marriage was 3 annual incomes in debt and my father's estate (the ancestral home for 5 generations) another 2. All due NOW. The soulless bastards were hounding me at every turn.

I sold the house on the 1 acre homestead for enough to pay the debt on it and pay off the rest of the farm. Then I sold myself to the highest bidder. Rain or Shine; Sleet or Heat. My new life was on a traveling crew of millwrights, pipe fitters, welders, and machinists.

10 years later I'm back off the road and debt free. I'm patiently waiting to get the homestead back and have first dibs with the current owner if he sells. I don't wish divorce on anyone but since he's in the middle of one for his own issues, things look good for getting it back again soonish.

I howled like a werewolf when my last debt was paid. I can promise you that.
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Re: The Official ZS DEBTSQUAD: BODY COUNT thread.

Post by echo83 » Tue Jul 04, 2017 11:05 am

Recently backed up a dump truck full of molten lead next to a $4,000 limit credit card. I took out the card because I never had one before, and it's hard to get approved for a mortgage when you have the credit history of a homeless ghost.

I'd been making more than the minimum payment forever, early and often. All the same, it felt amazing to throw the lever and finally bury that sucker for good beneath a piping hot deluge of smug fiscal responsibility.

One month later got a notice that my APR was going up 0.25%. Of nothing. I promptly did my best Billy Preston impression, because...

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Re: The Official ZS DEBTSQUAD: BODY COUNT thread.

Post by MPMalloy » Thu Aug 24, 2017 12:39 pm

I am currently prepping for a Gov't shutdown. I don't think their will be one, but there is a real wild card in this year's deck. I am ready to do a cash advance on a card that I previously paid off. I don't want to, but I have to keep a roof over my head. My income consists of SSDI (Social Security) & VACP (VA Disability).

A Gov't shutdown could leave me with $0.00 income & I can't have that. I have ID'd various things in the budget that I can live without. It will hurt a lot, but I will have a roof over my head & food on the table.

(fingers crossed) :D
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Re: The Official ZS DEBTSQUAD: BODY COUNT thread.

Post by zombieapocalypsegame » Thu Aug 24, 2017 4:35 pm

@MPMalloy
No doubt a government shutdown isn't a good thing in general, but you're right to be ready in case things go sideways on your income.

As for me, this year I've learned anew that even non-emergencies need to be prepared for.

We've been living the past 10 years or so without debt, other than the payment on our motorhome. We rent our house. But all our cars have been paid for now for quite a while. No credit card debt to speak of at the end of last year, which is a good thing since we've been on a single income while my wife was teaching home school. The reality is we haven't had any savings.

But, the times have been beginning to change for us with our kids more able to self-direct their studies etc. My wife hadn't worked professionally in roughly those same 10 years. She had been a public school teacher prior to that. But teachers make diddley here in Texas and she has zero interest in the public system any longer. So last year she took a paralegal program at UT to prep her for re-entry into the workforce in a new career. Quick program and effective (she was co-valedictorian) but that set us back $5k.

Now add two kids with a clear need for braces. $3600 each, and that's low since we went to an orthodontist who teaches other ortho's. Add a bit of oral surgery for one, now we've added another $4000 in debt zombies. Surgery for the other one isn't mandatory yet, but it still might be in the future.

Sprinkle in a little bit of back taxes, and tada we have a whole lotta zombies mostly from just this past year. Nothing avoidable here really. But the zombies can rear their ugly mugs even if you're doing things right.

So, to combat the zombs my wife is working part time in legal field. Son is now graduated HS, living at home & just started online courses for software engineering. But he's now on the hook to work & hit classes and needs to pay his own way. Daughter won't be out of HS for 3 years starting Monday.

Hopefully we'll knock all our debt zombies out by the end of the year. Couldn't make nearly that much progress without wife working, for sure. And my son's work efforts should be helping out a bit, even if it's just the intangibles for the time being.

And boy does it feel good not being the only rifleman on the wall any more. :) Good education was worth it, but I welcome the help any way it arrives.
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Re: The Official ZS DEBTSQUAD: BODY COUNT thread.

Post by MPMalloy » Thu Aug 24, 2017 4:49 pm

zombieapocalypsegame wrote:But the zombies can rear their ugly mugs even if you're doing things right.
Truer words were never spoken. Thank you ZAG. I have to make the phone call to let the cleaning lady go. This is going to be a hard call to make. :gonk:
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Re: The Official ZS DEBTSQUAD: BODY COUNT thread.

Post by Halfapint » Thu Aug 24, 2017 7:11 pm

got a little crazy on the spending myself this month. Forgot that I ordered most of the stuff for my new AR on the CC, just paid it off but now I'm a bit low on funding. The gf and I are getting a joint account that we can start to use as our savings it will also be the one that when we purchase a house will have the payments come out of.

Definitely trying to be better about spending
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