Balance: $0.00

24 August 2011

When I started Peace of Mind Organizing in 2005, I wasn’t afraid of investing in it. Organizing is a fairly low-overhead business, but I was interested in getting lots of training and benefitting from attending educational conferences with my peers. A look at my credentials page can give you an idea of how I spent money on my business and professional development.

Trouble was, I didn’t really have the money to spend. So I accumulated credit card debt. Over the years, I ended up with three business credit cards. Once I stopped investing so heavily in the business, it was time to set my sights to paying off that debt.

I’ll never forget when my wise friend, Shannon Wilkinson advised me at the beginning of 2010 that the best way I could invest in my business (at that point in my business’s development) was to not spend money, but rather apply it to the credit card bills. That really resonated with me.

So I went to and I used their credit-card debt calculator to come up with a schedule for paying off my credit cards by September 2011. I started by paying off the card with the highest interest rate first. I knew exactly how much I had to pay to each credit card each month, on top of whatever I’d put on a card that month. According to the plan, I would pay off the card with the highest interest rate first, then the next and so on.

And, glory be, I was able to stick to the schedule! I even finished a little ahead of schedule. Last week, I paid off the third (and last) credit card. It’s an indescribable feeling of achievement and relief for me.

Now that I’ve paid off the cards, the next step is to accrue some savings.

I’ve had emotional money issues all my life, so this feels nothing short of a miracle to me. If you feel like you’re in debt and you’ll never get out, please know I felt that way too. And if I can do it, so can you!

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Thanks for sharing this amazing way to make a difference in your own life. It is a great achievement!

Ellen Delap 08/24/2011 09:38 PM

I completely get the relief you must now be feeling. I too have gotten myself into some debt issues and have only relatively recently tried to sort it all out. I am coming up to the end of the first year on a 5 year plan and am doing OK so far – things could be better and I am still mis-managing my general spending money occasionally, but I’ve made a start .. and I can’t wait until October 2015 when things should look a lot rosier for me! Fingers crossed I can get a lot better at dealing with personal things in those 5 years so that I don’t get back into trouble!

Emma 08/25/2011 02:50 AM

Thanks, Ellen!

Emma, congratulations to you! Hang in there and that debt will be a thing of the past. I’d love to hear about your progress!

Janine Adams 08/25/2011 06:24 AM

Congratulations. You must feel like, well, a million bucks. I’ve always been a hoarder and very frugal, which has its own problems, but I can imagine how proud you must feel.

Sheila Callahan 08/26/2011 04:21 AM

I dread getting into debt, even for a business (even if that is what everyone says – you have to spend to make money). Personally I’m more in the Dave Ramsey camp and try not to use my card for anything beyond the essentials. But that puts me in a bit of a bind… because I do want to get my Organizing Business started and everyone says that the certifications and joining the NAPO is the best way to do that. Yet it’s all really expensive.

Any advice for someone starting out that doesn’t want to go down the road of debt in the beginning? What would you have done differently if you could have?

Gil 08/26/2011 09:47 AM

Sheila, thank you for you supportive comment!

Gil, I have to admit I don’t think I would have done anything differently. There was one training opportunity that didn’t end up panning out in terms of recouping what I spent, but otherwise I have no regret about having invested in training and education. Being willing to go into debt allowed me to ramp up my business fairly quickly. If you’re willing to grow slowly, assuming you get some work, you can save toward the training and certifications. But I can say without a doubt that my business (and my professional reputation) would not have grown as it has without NAPO membership; NAPO St. Louis membership; ICD membership, education and certification; BCPO certification, and the conferences I attended. And it would have taken me a long time to save up that money.

Janine Adams 08/29/2011 09:07 AM

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About Janine

Hello! I’m Janine Adams — a certified professional organizer based in St. Louis, and the creator of Peace of Mind Organizing®.

I love order, harmony + beauty, but I believe that the way that you feel about yourself and your home is what truly matters.

If you’re ready to de­clutter with a purpose and add more ease to your life, you’ve found the right blog — and you’ve found the right gal.

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Recommended *

  • Getting to Good Enough podcast

  • NAPO Golden Circle