How much debt?Posted: October 13, 2011
Well, currently I have about $100,000 (give or take) that I have to pay back. (My guy’s debt is about $6000 and this will also be paid back) Do I plan on paying it back? Absolutely. Will it take me forever? I hope not—nor do I want plan it to. It’s a mixture of consumer debt, student loans, and some medical bills. How bad is it (besides that glaring number obviously)? I can’t even have a bank account. Yup, I over drafted my last bank so bad that they wrote me off. Can I blame anyone other than myself? Of course not but I certainly have tried to give myself excuses. “But the check cleared, so I took the money out”—well it did, but I was sure shocked that it did. Did I keep any records? No—and that should have been a sign as I normally would have. I was lying to myself.
A few weeks ago, I was talking with someone and they asked me why I don’t just have my paycheck direct deposited—I wouldn’t have to pay $6 a month to cash it. The utterly embarrassing fact that I can’t have a bank account is one of the reasons that shocked me into looking at my finances and planning.
It hasn’t been easy—I cringed as I looked at my credit report and asked, “Self, WHAT were you thinking?” I then took a double look at it. Some of it, sad to say, I’m happy that it was created and wouldn’t change a thing. Before you start judging me through the computer and wondering at that statement: a lot of the consumer debt was created when my mom got sick a few years ago and passed away. I blew through my savings as I then only lived 4 hours away and didn’t care about taking off work. I knew she had only a few months to live and my money (and time) was spent seeing her as much as I could and helping make her final days as nice as I could. So no, I really don’t see myself doing anything different for that part of it.
Then I lost my job and couldn’t pay anything. After I changed my living situation around a few times, I kept looking for work—would find it and it would be enough to live paycheck to paycheck. I actually lived with my guy for a month and a half with us spending less than $80 every two weeks on groceries and other items (shampoo, toilet paper, etc). Not nearly as bad as other people’s situations but still it was bad for us. Why didn’t this start us on THE PLAN? Well it did—sort of. I started looking for a better job. Found one after nearly a year—in that time, we managed to buy a car (it’s a clunker but it’s ours outright).
Tomorrow: THE PLAN (I really like it in all caps as I see it as looking all official and super important—silly but it works for me!)