Talbot's sweater and linen pants, Kohl's zany necklace, fancy red Spring Step sandals:
REVERIE: Every year, around my birthday, I send for my annual free credit report (and the attendant $7.95 credit score). In recent years it has not been in the way of a birthday present, if you get my meaning. But this year, I opened it up and found my score had gone up 75 points! From crappy to marginally OK! (Those might not be the official terms.) Shortly after seeing this, I got the first credit card application that I've gotten in AGES in the mail: I'm credit-worthy. My hope is that next year I'll have gone up another 50 points, though I discovered that there are different "scorecards" for different levels, and I may slide back a bit before I go up again, or not improve at the previous rate. I also did not know that insurance companies consider your credit score when giving you a quote - and many companies won't even give you mortgage insurance if you are under 660.
That being said, I'm still very pleased at seeing a turnaround. I feel near the tipping point, where I will see individual smaller debts disappear, and those payments then applied to other accounts, which then shrink more quickly, until in two years I am debt free. I also have some breathing room now, so I can pay all of my bills and still go out to lunch once in a while, or at least without checking my bank account nervously. The two year goal is barring any major expense (illness, family emergency) of course, but I'm still better situated for that event than I have been in several years.
I wonder if I can do without a car for another two years?