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Hello, old friend(s)!

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Hi, BAD readers! I’m baaaaaaaaack!

For long-time readers, you may remember me. I started blogging here in February 2014, at which time I had nearly $150,000 in debt!

I blogged for about 4-years, during which time I cut my debt in half (boom!) I was very hopeful to be totally debt-free* by now (*except the mortgage). But, of course, life happens.

Best Laid Plans…

Smash/cut, my husband and life-partner of 16 years and I called it quits and got divorced in 2018. I tried to keep blogging for a hot minute during our separation and divorce proceedings, but ultimately I had to let blogging go for that season of time.

What has happened since? Well, a lot of life! Both good and bad.

Financial happenings

From a financial perspective, I’ve had to shell out a lot more money on lawyer fees than I care to imagine. Not just with the initial divorce, but with other family court proceedings since then. I won’t be talking much about this due to personal reasons, but I think it’s important for a debt-reduction blog to know that a lot of money has been dedicated to “legal fees” for one reason or another over the past few years.

I’ve also had a slew of health-related issues arise post-divorce. I was still blogging when the first such health concerns arose (e.g., I had a bad case of kidney stones that lead to severe infection and sepsis back in March 2019). Ultimately, I’ve been diagnosed with chronic kidney stones, which have damaged my kidneys, leading to a diagnosis of kidney disease. At the ripe old age of 38, y’all. Can’t make this stuff up. All of these medical issues obviously have financial implications.

On the positive side, I continue to thrive at work and have had a series of raises over the past few years. I feel extremely well compensated for what I do and I live in an area that has a relatively low cost of living. I also love what I do and find much fulfillment in it and a great work-life balance, so I’m truly blessed in this regard.

Life happenings

More on the personal front, I’m happy to report that I’ve found love again! My hubby and I are still in our newlywed phase. We got married during the pandemic in a tiny elopement-style outdoor wedding. The only people present were the chaplain, a friend who does photography as a hobby, and two witnesses. Plus us and my girls, of course. It was lovely and perfect in every way.

There’ve still been some tough things over the years – I’m sad to say that I’ve experienced a lot of death in our family. Some expected (e.g., my 92-year-old grandma passed peacefully in March of this year), others much more unexpected and tragic (e.g., my 39-year-old brother passed away almost exactly a year ago). These experiences have lead to additional travel costs, but have also changed, to some extent, the way I view money. When I was initially blogging back in 2014, I thought I’d be out of debt by now. I thought I could put lots of “LIFE” stuff on hold until then. Now, I’m craving much more balance. Life has shown me through a series of events that time is not promised. We can’t always count our time in years, and no one’s future is certain.

Future blogging schedule

I probably won’t be blogging with the same frequency that I used to back in 2014. But I’m so excited to be back and plan to pop in at least once every couple of weeks. I wanted to start with a general “what-I’ve-been-up-to” post, but I look forward to sharing more of the details of my current debt situation. No, I’m not debt-free. But I’m very hopeful about where I’m at and I feel good about the future. I’m happy to be back on this journey and look forward to your advice and support as I work toward that final “Debt Freedom” label!

What is your debt philosophy? Are you single-minded toward debt-freedom or looking for more balance between debt-reduction and still living life? Why?


13 Comments

  • Reply Laura |

    Ashley, I am so happy to see you back! Several things you said about your first husband raised some flags for me, I’m glad it sounds like you are in a healthier relationship now. Sorry to hear about the health and court issues too. I look forward to a debt update.

  • Reply Reece |

    Oh yay I’m so glad you’re back and appreciate the life catch up also. Congratulations!

  • Reply JP |

    Welcome back, and great update. Hopefully things will move forward financially and otherwise in a positive direction!

  • Reply Jennifer |

    I’ve been reading since Bek was just finishing her first writing stint. Lots and lots of people have come and gone since then. You journey was the one I missed the most. You were always so willing to do what it took to make progress. I was so excited when I saw your post today! Welcome back!

  • Reply Pam E-P |

    Welcome back! I’m sorry for your losses and happy for your good news! I lost my brother in December and it is a terrible loss. I’m sure the whole community is happy to have you back!

    • Reply Ashley |

      So sorry to share this particular loss. I hate that for you (for us)! Hugs!

  • Reply W |

    Aww, I’m so glad to see you! I’m sorry for everything you’ve gone through – you and your girls look absolutely beautiful in the wedding photo! And your husband’s back of the head is very nice as well (not to leave him out lol). I am beyond thrilled that you are happy, since you left the blog at such a rough time in your life. <3 <3

So, what do you think ?