I kept sliding…

Yesterday, I filled you on how I started the downward slope into debt. Up to this point there was no debt besides student loans so at least I had that going for me! And here is where the years start to…blur as it will be. I’ll list off the highlights of my mistakes.

Photo credit: cohdra from morguefile.com

  1. I decided I needed a cell phone as I didn’t want to pay the school any amount of money for the use of their landline. Had my roommate bring me down to the nearest Verizon store and signed up.  Only issue was that I didn’t have the $250 for the deposit. My roommate did and paid it for me. I did pay her back but it’s something that I don’t enjoy thinking about—one shouldn’t borrow from friends/family as I only knew too well.
  2.  I got my first credit card! And this was something I hunted for as I only wanted to “build” my credit up. And I also signed up for something that I never used but continued to pay on—the account protection if you lose your job. (Which I forgot about when I did lose my job) Not a terrible choice to get a credit card if I used it correctly, right? I went wrong with not paying it off in full every month and running up the balance.
  3. I swiped my debit card knowing I didn’t have the funds in my account and wouldn’t until the following week. I rationalized this by saying “it is for medicine for my mom.” This would have been at least okay IF I hadn’t gone out to eat right before, as I knew I needed to pick up this medication. Woops!
  4. I lived off campus in an apartment that was $900 a month in Upstate NY. I paid more money than a lot of people’s mortgages (in that area) to rent a crappy apartment and did this for two years. Oh and as I didn’t bother to question something in the agreement, I actually ended up paying extra as they had it broken down into a semester payment plan—but they calculated it wrong. Too bad I signed it and didn’t wonder about it until a few months later.
  5. I bought things for people because I wanted to be the person with MONEY. Didn’t matter to me that I couldn’t afford it because I knew I would just pay the minimum amount due. Oh and that one credit card turned into four credit cards that were run up to the limit.

Those above mistakes are what helped push me into deep debt. And I only tell you all these things in hopes that another person won’t make them. I don’t dwell on them too much because I’m moving past them and fixing them. But I also won’t hide from them! To do so would mean that I haven’t learned my lesson and I would most likely back slide.

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37 Comments on “I kept sliding…”

  1. Michelle says:

    Good that you learned from your mistakes! It’s so easy to spend money, saving is the hard part. I definitely learned that the hard way.

  2. I’m sure it helps you to have your mistakes on paper or on your blog now to really evaluate each one of them. Sometimes it’s important to write out information in order to learn from it. This is why I designed the grocery game challenge so people can post their weekly shop and learn from their habits and where they can change and save money. Same goes with any money mistakes like you have done. The most important thing as you point out is to not dwell on them, simply recognize them and move on. Make better choices and learn from past mistakes. Cheers Mr.CBB

    • bogofdebt says:

      I’ve found that it’s easy to turn a blind eye to mistakes (and thus repeat them) if I don’t write them down. That’s why I initally started to track my expenses. When I was seeing what I bought in my own handwriting, it was a huge wake up call. Same for my mistakes–seeing what I’ve done in black and white lets me see just how far I’ve come.

      • Well done, now if only I could convince some of my fans to do the same with the grocery game. Some say their grocery budget is over budget but not sure what to do. Post it! Write it out.. and review.. that’s the best way! Mr.CBB…

  3. I am glad you aren’t dwelling on the past but even more important is that you learned from your mistakes. If more people could learn to do this a lot of them would be much better off.

    • bogofdebt says:

      I agree–I can’t ignore the mistakes or I won’t learn from them. Not dwelling is just as important though–I don’t want to be afraid to live a little!

  4. Learning from mistakes is the first step. Time to move on, and work on those goals 🙂

    • bogofdebt says:

      It’s nice seeing my goals get closer with every paycheck. So much nicer than buying just random stuff that I don’t even own because I used a credit card to buy it without having the money to pay it off!

      • I agree! I dislike having loans. To me, if I own it, I won it completely. I don’t want to owe anybody for having my item. I am a strong believer in paying for cash for everything. And if it’s on a credit card, to pay it off every month.

  5. queenlbee says:

    I love the transparency of this article and that you own up to these mistakes. People appreciate this! Trust me!

  6. Even though it sucks to getting into debt, at least it’s a life experience that you learned from and eventually inspired you to write this blog. Everything happens for a reason!

  7. kathleen says:

    I bet this post was hard to write — good job owning your mistakes and moving on!

  8. We’re definitely on the same wavelength today! I just posted a budget confessions post today, lol! I think my first sign that something was wrong was when i was not paying my balance in full, and thus incurring interest charges on my credit card. Up until then, i was just overspending on everything and blowing all my money, but once I saw that interest charge, I felt used by my CC.

    And good call about reading everything before you sign. My wife hates reading legal mumbo-jumbo, but I honestly love it. Maybe why I enjoy tax law? But you cna cost yourself hundreds if you don’t read all the terms in any contract you sign before handing over money. Things like Cellphones, Cable, Rental Agreements, etc…

    • bogofdebt says:

      Apparently great minds think alike! And I had the best intentions to pay that first credit card statment in full (it was only $50) but “something” came up and I had to spend the money I had for that statement on something else.

      And oh yes! Read EVERYTHING. I ended up paying an extra $900 a year because of how they calucuated everything but if I would have just asked about it prior to signing the lease, I could have had that $1800 (for two years) in savings/debt repayment…okay I probably would have spent it.

  9. By your last point, it sounds like you were generous to a fault. I actually know someone like this. It’s so sad! We all tell her not to buy us things, but she keeps doing it! Since I’m trying to be super frugal, it’s getting harder to tell her no when she buys my kids clothes and toys, but I feel bad for her because I know she’s not made of money and has cc debt. 😦 What can you do? This is one of those things you have to figure out on your own. No one else is going to get through. Glad you’re on the right track now.
    -M

    • bogofdebt says:

      I know mine came from when I had no money and people were nice and did things for me, so I wanted to repay them. But I didn’t think about the fact that they only did it if they were able to–not all the time and not for everyone. I’ve gotten much better about this I think–kids are still a weak point of mine though! If I know I’m going over to a friend or family member’s house who has kids, I automatically look for presents. It’s one of the reasons I try so hard not to take money with me to a store!

  10. […] Two posts from Bog of Debt this go-around.  She talks about how she went from being a saver to a spender and what she did that made her slide further into debt. […]

  11. […] a Down Payment for a House. Bog Of Debt continues her story about her journey into debt in “I Kept Sliding“. Married With Debt talks about his Debt Payoff Progress – June. So excited, because they […]

  12. It’s so easy to start sliding down that slippery slope! A lot harder to get back out of it. So great that you’re learning from your mistakes and sharing them so that others don’t make the same ones. Seems to me like landlords in college towns can be shady…everywhere. Not just in upstate NY. I’m sorry you were a victim.

  13. SPBrunner says:

    I live in Canada and they now require the credit card companies to say how long it would take to pay off your credit card bill if you only pay the minimum. The last bill I had said it would take 24 years and 7 months. You would think that this would show people the light? However, it seems to have no effect on people I know with high credit card debt. This 24 year bit is only for that one bill!!

    I actually pay my bill each month, but the line of how long it would take to pay my bill by paying the minimum is just unreal.

    • bogofdebt says:

      I think seeing that would have either spurred me on to pay them off or it would have made me hide a lot faster. (I’m kidding on that last bit) Seeing how long it would take would really be an eye opener. It’s hard seeing how much I have to pay off now just because I did make the mistake of not paying them off every month.

  14. It’s good to acknowledge where you have been in the past, learn from it, but move on. Something it sounds like your’e doing a good job of. onward and upward!

  15. I just did a post on my reasons for getting into debt as well. I’m happy to see that you recognize the missteps that came along the way.

  16. […] I kept sliding… on Bog OF Debt – Read about how a series of financial mistakes can push someone into debt during her college years. It isn’t always just one bid mistake. Sometimes one thing can lead to another and before you know it, your debt is getting out of control. […]

  17. belowhermeans says:

    I can relate so much to the cell phone bit and the buying stuff for other people. I still struggle with not buying things for others. I’m an impulsive show-off.

    • bogofdebt says:

      It’s a really hard habit to break. I like being able to surprise people but at the same time I know I need to limit it. Doing nice things once in a while is great but doing it all the time can lead to trouble.

  18. […] while I was originally going to do another post in my journey into debt, instead, I’m going to do a mini rant about my house.   As yesterday’s post said, part of my […]

  19. […] started my slide into my debt lifestyle (here and here) and after college it just got worse.  I graduated in May 2008 and couldn’t find a job.  Part […]


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