I just added up how much I have spent simply paying debts this year: car loan, credit cards, and student loans add up to nearly $7000 and it's not quite October. I am just floored! I knew I spend a lot on debt but never really thought of it in annual terms. My income increased quite a bit in August which helped me funnel some extra cash into debt repayment but looking at my take home pay so far for 2008, I spent right around a third of my money on paying debt. Just thinking what I could have done with an extra $7000 in mutual funds makes me a little bit sick to my stomach. Remember that every time you take on debt, you take on more monthly payments that can become never-ending until you break the cycle. I have not accrued much new debt in 2008 other than a couple random credit card purchases that got paid off right away, and I am very proud of myself because of that.