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I liken folding a large pile of laundry (in our house known as Mt. Mielitz) to a maxed out credit card with interest.

If you fold only a little at a time (or pay only the minimum every month) it’s going to take you nearly “forever” to get it all folded and put away (or paid off).

Before I wrote this post, I spent 45 minutes scouring the internet to come up with the best calculator to refer you to so that you could check your own credit card balances/payments.   The Card Act of 2009 REQUIRES the credit card companies to put on your statement how long it will take you to pay off your balance if you make only the minimum payment AND how much you’d have to pay if you wanted to pay it off in 3 years.  I wanted the calculator so that you could check the math and see, by your own hand, that yes, indeed, it could take as long as they say…and what your options are.  If you want to verify, you can go here to see how the Federal Reserve calculates it and breaks it down.

So, what if you want to pay it off by paying more than your minimum monthly payment every month?  Do you want to see what you COULD do, given the opportunity and a balanced budget?   A Debt Snowball Calculator, here, allows you to play with numbers.  This particular calculator gives you the option to pay down by interest rate or by balance.  Dave Ramsey is most famous for his use of the Debt Snowball to pay off debt.  Other really great reference points for calculators are Bankrate.com or PowerPay.org.

According to NerdWallet.com, the average American household carries over $7000 in credit card debt!  Whether you are below this amount, at the average or “above average” (which, in this case is not a good thing), what else could you be doing with the funds that you are currently using to repay your debt?  According to creditcards.com, the average interest rate on a personal credit card is 15.06%.  Holy cow!  That’s SIGNIFICANT!  If we take the $7000 as the balance and plug it into that Federal Reserve calculator, it shows us it will take 28 years to pay it off!!  I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of anything I’d like to pay on for 28 years, not even my house!

I may never learn my lesson on laundry.  There will ALWAYS be a gigantic pile of clothes to be folded and put away.  However, I refuse to have a mountain of debt that will take me years and years to payoff, when, if I take the time to add even just a few extra dollars per month, I can pay off years and years sooner.

Please let me know how I can help!