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Reflection: Four Years Ago Life Was Pretty Crazy


I’ve spent some time reflecting recently – I always do this in the springtime. Generally, I take a little time out of each day and journal some of my thoughts/feelings. I consider how far we’ve come (myself personally and us as a family).

Our lives as a married couple started four years ago. We got married on March 18, 2019, and promptly moved to Atlanta from Charlotte four days later. At the time, my husband had got what seemed like the job offer of a lifetime. So, we canceled our larger wedding plans, got hitched at the courthouse, and moved within two weeks’ time.

When we made the decision to move to Atlanta, we both thought it would be a positive change. However, when we arrived there, we discovered it was anything but that. Not only was my hubby’s dream job not what it seemed to be, but we were also close to being homeless again as soon as we got there. Here’s how it all unfolded…

Discovering The Scam

Before making the decision to move to Atlanta, my husband and I went down to scope out the area. Plus, he would be in charge of running a Porsche shop there. He had to sit down for an interview and get to know more about his responsibilities. Over the weekend that we visited, we both felt like this would be a great opportunity for him. Both of us were also excited to live in a new city too (we’ve always had the travel bug).

After getting back to Charlotte, we told our family and friends that we’d decided to make the move. We set a date for our quick wedding and made our plans to leave.

We were in Atlanta for less than a month when things started going wrong. It was clear that there was something amiss at the shop my husband had been put in charge of. His paychecks were irregular, if they came at all. Eventually, customers started coming to the store asking about the owner and accusing him of stealing their expensive cars.

As it turns out, that is exactly what happened. The owner stole these Porsches, put them on a boat, and sent them to Germany – where he was. He had no intention of coming back and things were going down hill quickly. On top of that, we were staying in his home (as part of my husband’s pay).

When the mail came, we were getting foreclosure notices, along with a lot of other worrisome details. So, I decided to do some background checks on the employer. He was an international criminal and we were stuck living in his home, my husband working for him. At the time, we didn’t have any connections in Atlanta. It was just the two of us. And it was beyond stressful.

One of my husband’s clients came in and they were talking. As it turned out, he had a studio apartment available to rent. We worked it out to at least get out of the owner’s house. However, we were paying $1,300 per month for a 450-square-foot apartment that had bed bugs, outdated appliances, and plumbing problems.

Better than being homeless though!

And Then COVID Happened

My husband found another job in the area and we started making a life for ourselves in Atlanta. We made a few friends and life was improving. As you know, about a year after we got married and moved there, COVID turned the world upside down.

COVID selfie

In Atlanta, COVID restrictions were difficult. Then, the summer of 2020 brought a number of riots to the city. My husband’s shop closed down, he was home with me throughout the day. Things were difficult. In fall of that year, my family in NC needed some help, which had us traveling back and forth to Charlotte a bit.

After some consideration, we both decided moving back closer to home would be a good decision. My mom offered to help with moving costs and that was that. We were back in North Carolina by December 1. Luckily, too, because we found out one month later that we were expecting our first child.

Four Years Later

Things have drastically changed in the last four years. My husband now works from home full-time. We work alongside each other for two very different companies – and I wouldn’t change a thing. It’s great having him home throughout the day and he has a much more fulfilling career. We don’t have to scrape change to buy the things we need and we are making progress towards our goals all the time. It took a lot of hard work to get here, but I couldn’t be happier with how far we’ve come.

All of this to say, if you are standing in the middle of the hellfire that can be life sometimes, hold on. Things can and will get better, especially if you put in the work.

6 Tips for Getting Out of Debt After a Medical Procedure


Dealing with debt after a medical procedure can be overwhelming, especially if you have significant medical bills to pay off. Medical bills can accumulate quickly, and you’re struggling to make ends meet before you know it. Fortunately, you can take steps to alleviate the financial burden and get out of debt.

1. Negotiate Your Medical Bills with Your Healthcare Provider

It’s essential to review your bills carefully. Make sure to read through all of your medical bills and check for any errors. These mistakes can add up, so addressing them immediately is important.

Additionally, check whether your insurance covers the medical expenses you’ve incurred. You can also reach out to your healthcare provider and request an itemized bill to understand better what you’re being charged for.

2. Seek Professional Guidance from a Debt Relief Program or Credit Counselor

Negotiate your bills with your healthcare provider. Don’t be afraid to ask for a payment plan or discount to pay your bill in full. Many providers understand the financial burden of medical bills and may be willing to work with you to reduce your debt. You can also research and compare prices by different providers to find the most affordable option.

Consider seeking help from a debt relief program or credit counselor. They can provide professional guidance and advice on managing your debt effectively. Some debt relief programs may negotiate on your behalf to reduce your debt and interest rates. However, do your research and choose a reputable program or counselor.

3. File a Division 1 for Debt Above $250,000

If your debt is above $250,000, you can file a Division 1. This legal process allows you to negotiate with your creditors to pay off your debt over time. However, if your Division 1 is rejected by your creditors, you may be automatically thrown into bankruptcy proceedings. Therefore, seeking legal advice is essential before filing a Division 1.

4. Raise Funds to Pay Off Medical Debt

You can also consider selling unused or unwanted items to raise funds to pay off your medical debt. This could include anything from clothes to furniture to electronics. You can sell these items online through platforms like eBay or Craigslist or a garage sale.

5. Understand the Cost of Medical Procedures and Researching Affordable Options

Lastly, taking steps to prevent future medical debt is crucial. Make sure to have a solid understanding of your insurance coverage and know what medical services are covered. Additionally, prioritize preventive care, such as regular check-ups and screenings, to avoid expensive medical bills.

Remember, medical procedures can vary in cost significantly. Approximately 1% to 2% of all U.S. births annually are via in vitro fertilization (IVF), and the procedure cost can range from $10,000 to $15,000 or more. Therefore, researching and comparing prices between providers can help you find the most affordable option.

6. Prevent Other Types of Debt

In addition to medical bills, other types of debt can also add up quickly. For example, electrical fires can lead to costly repairs. The leading areas of origin for electrical fires are the bedroom, attic, and kitchen. Therefore, it’s important to prevent electrical fires by ensuring that your electrical wiring and appliances are up to code and not overloaded.

Dealing with debt after a medical procedure can be challenging, but there are steps you can take to alleviate the financial burden. Reviewing your bills carefully, negotiating with your healthcare provider, seeking help from a debt relief program or credit counselor, selling unused items, and preventing future medical debt are all effective strategies to reduce your debt.