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Money Is Energy, or How I Paid My $60,000 Credit Card Debt

By Leslie Brunker October 07, 2022 Managing Money

While we all have perspectives and beliefs and emotions tied up in our thoughts about money, bottom line (pun intended) is, money is just energy. It isn’t positive or negative, it isn’t good or bad, honorable or evil. It’s just energy.

That very idea was very freeing to me when I was staring at $60,000 in credit card debt. At the time, the interest rates were 18%-24%! So, if I paid $1500 a month on the debt, only about $200 went toward principle. At that rate, I thought I would never get out of debt, and I felt like a victim of my credit cards, even though I knew that I had made the choices that got me there.

Having Debt Made Me Feel Stuck in the Past

When I switched my view to seeing money as energy, something amazing started happening. I started to realize that having debt kept me energetically stuck in the past. This was so significant. Who wants to be stuck in the past? Some of my debt came to be during my divorce, and I realized that it kept me stuck in the past with my ex-husband. I knew I didn’t want that!

At one point, I saw a television ad talking about a debt service that I could go to and have a free consultation. I made the appointment and went. They told me that how they help me with this is that I would give them all my money every month and they would pay my bills for me, and they would negotiate on my behalf with the credit card companies.

For this service they would charge me $60 a month. My first thought was that I could put that $60 a month toward my debt instead of giving it to them to do what I could do myself.

Why Not Negotiate for Myself?

I’m an independent thinker, and I thought to myself, “If they can negotiate for me, why can’t I negotiate for myself?” Until then, I didn’t even know it was possible to negotiate with the credit card companies! This was a revelation. I went home and did exactly that.

I called each of my creditors and asked what they could do for me. Can they lower my interest rate, or could they forgive a portion of my balance? One of them lowered my interest rate from 22% to 14% right away.

Another lowered it from 18% to 10%. Another said they wouldn’t do anything. So, I opened a new account with a credit card that was offering zero percent for an introductory time, and I transferred the balance to them and closed that other account.

What to Pay First?

The next thing I did was to rank order the debt from the highest percentage interest rate to the lowest, regardless of the balance. I started making larger payments to the highest interest account, and when it was paid off, transferred those payments to the next highest account.

I did this with five accounts until they were all paid down to zero. It took time and perseverance, but when I dropped that last check into the mailbox that brought my debt to zero, I did a little dance right there on the street.

Next, I paid off my car. And then I paid off my mortgage by making double payments every month.

Being Debt-Free Means Freedom

By my 50th birthday, I was completely debt-free and have been ever since. It’s incredibly freeing. All my money is mine. I really wish this for everyone.

I use a credit card still, but I have a commitment with myself to pay off the balance every month so that I don’t pay interest on it. When I went back and added up all the money I had previously spent on interest, I was mortified. I could have traveled the world with that money! But now I know and now I make different choices in order to stay out of debt.

Lost Money vs. Freedom

Creditors want you to think about purchases in terms of whether you can afford the payment on the loan, not in terms of how much you end up paying in interest over the years of the loan. But can you really afford those thousands of dollars of interest that are just lost money?

If money is energy, what am I willing to put my energy into and for how long? How much of my work energy will this cost me? Think about purchases this way and the answer will be much more informed.

I hope my story is useful. Please use your energy for the life that you want, not for the things that you want.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

What is your credit card debt story? Have you been able to pay off a large amount of money to save on interest and be free of debt? What does money mean to you? Do you think it’s energy?

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Teresita Abad

Now I started thinking money as energy, after reading this. Thank you for sharing. By the way, I am debt-free. And I couldn’t agree any less with you. Take care.

Leslie

You’re so welcome. Any way I can be supportive of this process, just let me know.

Leslie

Oh wow, Peggy! I’m impressed. And so glad this article helped to motivate you. I recommend that you call your credit card companies and ask them to lower your interest rate. I found that they did it most of the time that I asked. Even 1% will make a difference in how long it takes you. The sense of freedom is so worth it! I’m with you and supportive. Go for it!

Connie Troupe

Thank you, and thank you again.

Peggy Bentley

I read this article with a keen interest because I’m beginning my journey to pay off credit card debt. My credit score is good, so I don’t want to do anything to hurt that (don’t know what future holds….)
But I want to seriously start taking steps to get rid of this debt. I notice on some of the cards that when I make a payment, maybe $10 goes to principle.
So I’m all in… this really helped me to go all in.

The Author

Leslie Brunker has been a cook and baker since childhood. Cooking is her art form and entertaining friends in her home is a passion. She retired her consulting business and now enjoys world travel (often done solo) and exploring her home city, Portland, OR.

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