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Dawn of a New Day

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Hello, I’m Marie. I’m here to get honest about my debt. Yes, I have a lot. So much, I am in denial about how much. That’s why I’m here. To be open, honest and get rid of this debt.

A little background about me. I am a 45 year old married mother of four and grandmother of four. Two of my children are grown, and I also have nine year old twins. My husband and I are coming up on our 11th wedding anniversary.

I grew up in New England, but I now live in the south. I moved here in the 90’s with my ex husband, and stayed after the divorce to raise my two children here. The cost of living where I grew up verses here is so much less and by then, my extended family was all over, that it made no sense to move back.

I grew up with a mother who was single most days, and struggled a lot. She would would work her tail off and then buy us with “stuff” when things got bad. To this day, she still likes to fill her space up with “stuff” and still struggles herself to make ends meet.

I have been at my current job for sixteen years. I am the Credit and Collections manager for a home heating fuel company. I handle not only the extending of credit to our customers, but the day to day collections of our accounts.I think that its ironic that I work as a bill collector, yet manage mine so poorly. I adore my job, yet wish I made more at it. Don’t we all?

My husband also works, he works for an automotive manufacturing business, He has been there about three years, after an eighteen month layoff from his previous job. He just was promoted and received a raise, yet his overtime has been cut in the last few months.

I handle 100% of our bills. My husband has no idea even how to handle a budget. We are scheduled to start Dave Ramsey’s class the middle of September. I think it will be a good tool for us, motivation for me, and a real eye opener for my husband. We our out of balance when it comes to money, I stretch it as far as I can, and he thinks as long as the debt card works, its ok. I won’t lie, I have gone through times that I have turned into my mother, and enjoyed my “stuff”. We have been through major medical expenses, a layoff and even bankruptcy. I’m not proud of that last thing, and I am determined never to go there again.

Like I said before, we have a ton of debt. I don’t have specific numbers yet, but around $20,000 in credit card debt, $10,000 in personal loans, two (just bought in the beginning of 2017 )vehicles (about $30,000 each), a $15,000 in student loans, and in February we bought a new house. So if I had to ballpark it, we are talking about $105,000 in debt, not including the house. The house is owner financed, and we have to re finance it through a bank no later than November 2018. That is a whole separate blog post in itself.

We have huge hurtles to overcome, but I have faith that we can do it all. Today is the dawn of a new day.

Marie

Married mother of 4, grandmother of 4, and just trying to dig her way out of debt. One dollar at a time.

Latest posts by Marie (see all)


21 Comments

  • Reply Kili |

    Hi Marie,
    Welcome aboard.
    Looking forward to reading your posts.

    I’m sure you’ll address this at some point, so no pressure:
    I’m curious: Do your grown kids rely on you financially?
    Before being married to you how did your husband Handle his finances?

    Have you tried to get out of debt previously?

    Best of luck

    • Reply Marie |

      Good Morning Kili,

      In answer to your questions, I do not support my grown children however I have in the past. Before I married my husband, he lived with his parents, and handed most of his paychecks over to them for “living expenses”.

      As have I tried before to get out of debt, yes and no. I signed up for Dave’s class many years ago but never went. We also filed for bankruptcy in 2008, and were discharged in 2013. Did not learn our lesson. We are determined NOT to go that route again.

  • Reply Maureen |

    The first step in tackling your debt, is to take accountability. Thank you for sharing your story. I look forward to reading your journey. I am a former bankruptcy attorney (now work in corporate law) that has filed hundreds of cases for clients. Based on the duration of your bankruptcy, you were likely in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which means you had to stick to a budget, etc. Try to think back to that time, when money was scarce because you had to make your plan payment each month. Bankruptcy served it’s purpose at the time, but you’ve got this! When you have income, it’s really about changing your mindset and culture from one of “entitled” to “action and responsibility.” I know this ins’t easy, but think about the alternative. You don’t want to go there. The past is the past. People will judge (I do not), but it’s what you do going forward that matters. Break. The. Cycle! You will be amazed as you pay down debt the positive effects it can have on your mind and physical health.

    • Reply Marie |

      Actually, we started in Chapter 13 however we had to convert to a 7 when my husband was laid off and our health insurance was costing us $650+ a month. I am writing a blog post explaining this.

  • Reply Joe |

    Welcome!

    And I will start the “constructive judging” — 2 brand new vehicles in 2017? Yikes!
    A good first step for you would be to mentally committing to driving those vehicles 10+ years each…

    But cheering for you to hopefully stick around and make a lot of progress!

      • Reply Maureen |

        The one good thing here is that, although you have a car payment, I assume they are both bumper to bumper warranties for the next X years? At least you shouldn’t have too much in car repairs outside regular maintenance.

  • Reply Jennifer |

    Dave Ramsey is going to have you drive those cars back to the dealership. i’ll put my money on that.

    • Reply Marie |

      I’m pretty sure we owe more than they are worth plus we don’t have the funds to buy Dave Cars. Honestly I don’t know what to do with them except pay them off asap

  • Reply Janie B. |

    Yep! The first thing that good, ol’ Dave would tell you is to get rid of those expensive “shiny” new cars and to buy a couple that cost around $2,000 each (at most!).

    He’d also tell you to “eat beans and rice; rice and beans” until you are out of debt!

    I’m amazed that you were able to buy a house with that kind of current debt and debt history.

    I respect you for your resolve to get out of debt, and I, too, look forward to following your journey.

  • Reply Angie |

    Welcome!

    I’d be interested in some of your thoughts on how you went from debt –> bankruptcy –> debt again in 9 short years. Although it may feel slightly embarassing to dig into. I think it would be key to addressing getting rid of the debt lifestyle once and for all. I think this is key to American’s always in debt cycles.

    Also, I’d like to hear through some of your thought process on buying new vehicles and a house so quickly after being cleared from bankruptcy. What came first the house/vehicles or personal loans/CC’s?

    • Reply Marie |

      I promise, I will get to that in my posts. I am willing to be an open book on here.

  • Reply debtor |

    Yay,

    I’m excited to have fresh blood. If you feel comfortable, i for one would like to have you sprinkle in some perspective about having children again later on in life. It’s a pretty unique perspective and i’d be interested in knowing if you are doing some things differently with you current “children” than the grown ones.

    Welcome to BAD and I really do hope you stick around. Looking forward to learning more about you and your story!

    PS. to the blog owners, i also might be interested in writing – much younger perspective and less responsible debt (cc’s from travel and grad school life, student loans etc) and no kids but it’s something we haven’t had here for a while…

  • Reply TPol |

    Hi Marie Welcome to BAD. Wish you the best of luck and I do hope, you will stick around, get rid of your debt while the readers cheer you all thru your debt elimination journey.

    To the owners of the blog:
    Please at least be kind enough to let us know why Ashley and Hope is no longer blogging if they are not coming back. I wish them the best of luck but as the avid followers of this blog for so many years, we deserve some sort of an explanation.

  • Reply Katie |

    Welcome Marie! Thank you for putting yourself out there. I really enjoy this blog and it’s always interesting to read the story of a new writer.

  • Reply Matt |

    Welcome aboard. My story is similar to yours – I was in denial – or not really denial but pretended my debt didn’t exist. I had what I call a “debt getting off the floor moment” where I got serious and really took a look at my money habits and debt. It was frustrating. Doing so inspired me to be more serious about my finances, however.

So, what do you think ?