Due to some bad luck, (house and car repairs), and some "high living", (a trip to Callaway Gardens), our AMEX credit card balance was skyrocketing to the moon! Applying some of the $7,000.00 Grump took out of "retirement savings", (NOT a tax qualified account!), to this debt helped knock it back a bit, as does the money Grump earns pounding away at Clickworker. (Some of that $7,000.00 will go towards rebuilding our short-term emergency fund.)
At the moment, our official AMEX card balance is about $1,200.00 . However, we went to Atlanta this weekend, and ......
Our first (and supposedly ONLY) stop was the Atlanta Botanical Garden, where we had a great time. We have memberships there, and all our admissions would have been free, except Old Grump forgot to bring a guess pass for Lola, so it cost $20.00 for her to get in. (We paid for this expense with cash!)
After walking around the Gardens for hours, we were super-duper hungry. Sweetie wanted to go to The Cheesecake Factory at Lennox Square, so off we went. Our late lunch/early dinner was very good and very filling, but it did cost nearly $90.00, (including tip), and that went straight to the AMEX card. After eating Sweetie wanted to go shopping; specifically, she wanted to buy some shorts for Kuya at Brooks Brothers. The shorts weren't cheap - being over $40.00! - and of course that expense also went on the AMEX. If you add in a pizza night and some grocery shopping earlier in the week, we easily added over $200.00 to the card.
Including pending expenses from this weekend, I estimate our credit card balance to be about $1,500.00 . Not horrible, but certainly not good.
I've been trying to limit the AMEX card to just car stuff, (gasoline, maintenance, and repairs), but life, and, quite frankly, our own choices, keeps throwing other expenses our way. Will we ever knock our balance down to zero, and STOP paying the ridiculous 17.5% interest on our unpaid balance?
I can control my own spending, more-or-less, but there are five people in this family, including two who are just young children. We do what we can, but short of draconian measures it's hard to live on the salary of just one job. This isn't a plea for sympathy, just a statement of fact. As it is, we live better than 90% of the rest of the people on this planet, so we really have no complaints about our lifestyle. It would just be nice to eliminate that nagging last bit of credit card debt, and get that irritant out of our lives.
P.S. - 11/June/2015 update. Just this past Tuesday Grump broke a tooth whilest chewing on a cough drop. He went to the dentist today, and was told the tooth needed a crown, (cap). The total cost to us after insurance, which went right to our AMEX card, was $780.00 . Phooey!!