Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Maxed Out & Debt Management

If you are serious about getting out of debt, I highly recommend that you watch Maxed Out.  Like, right now.  I put this movie on our Netflix queue a looong time ago and we finally got around to watching it instantly tonight.  Whoa.  No wonder it got amazing reviews from so many reputable companies. Adam honestly wasn't thrilled about watching it & that's why it was put off for so long.  Within five minutes, he was sucked in and along for the ride.  I can officially say that we are in it to win it in the way against all types of debt now. 

We've already made our first steps and have paid off ALL consumer debt and are now working on car loan number two. All that's left after that is the mortgage. :]  That makes my heart smile.  All of our credit cards are under lock and key and we've started mental checklisting every single purchase we make.  I know that I am VERY guilty of making impulse purchases.  Granted, they are never very costly as I am far too cheap for that, but an impulse purchase is an impulse purchase, whether it's a new car, a computer, a vacation, or a bag of chips.  Or seventeen tubes of toothpaste because they're free.  Seriously?  Yes, seriously.  I am especially bad about that one.  Stockpiling things because they're "free" when they may not actually be free at all.  This week, Walgreens has an awesome deal on men's Right Guard deodorant.  It's BOGO and there were BOGO coupons in the paper this past week, which makes both of the deodorants free.  I ended up with ten copies of each insert this week, so I had ten BOGO coupons, which meant getting twenty deodorants for free.  I bought ten at the first Walgreens that I went to on Sunday, which was about 1/4 of their stock [shelf-clearing is not something I practice nor advocate].  I then went and bought another ten at another Walgreens.  Why did I do that?  Because it's free, of course!  But it's not!  Firstly, I was still responsible for tax on each product, which is about 30 cents each...  .30 * 20 = $6.00.  Whoa. Not cool, my friend.  Plus, I paid for gas to get to each store, and I paid $2 for all seven papers that I bought using Register Rewards from a previous purchase [the other three sets of inserts were given to me].  My car gets 18 miles to the gallon, and I drove about 7 miles round trip from our house, to the first Walgreens, second Walgreens, and home.  Gas is currently around $3.39/gallon here, which equates to about $1.32 spent in gas.  So, $6 [tax] + $2 [papers] + $1.32 [gas] = $9.32 spent to get twenty deodorants THAT WE DIDN'T EVEN NEED!  We seriously have enough deodorant to supply a sweaty football team already.  So WHY did I buy twenty deodorants?!  To donate to charity/friends/family members, of course!  That's all great and wonderful and fine, but I spent far more than I needed to on things that we already have.  I could've donated some of the ridiculous stockpile that we already have.  I could've just donated $10 to a charity.  I could've used that $10 to buy food for a local food cupboard [which is currently almost empty, btw].  Could've.  Would've.  Should've.  Sounds like a bunch of excuses to me.  Granted, this is still an awesome deal regardless -- awesome for someone just starting out that doesn't have a mini-drugstore in their laundry room.  Not someone that didn't need it to begin with.  So, here and now, I'm making a vow to NOT buy anything else that we don't need, whether it's "free" or not.  There, I put it out there.  Hold me to it. 

Anyway, back to the original subject of this post: Watch Maxed Out.  It will change your life.  Or at least make you seriously think about the ACTUAL cost of your debt.  Plus, it's got my homeboy Dave Ramsey in it as a guest speaker.  Score!  :] 

Also, on a completely random side note: My blog has reached almost 2,000 visitors in a little over a month!  I think that's amazing for very little marketing other than automatic Facebook feeds.  Thanks, guys!  You are all awesome. :]
"There's a lot of shame and a lot of guilt attached to the issue of money mismanagement...Everybody feels like the other couple has a perfect marriage and a perfect everything...Turns out, I've met Ken and Barbie and they're broke."
-Dave Ramsey

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