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Posts tagged with: debt reduction

An Introduction to My Debt – Hope

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Note: This is the application post from Hope wanting to be the next blogger for BAD. Feel free to ask any questions, leave your opinion and express your feelings in the comments

I’ve been asked to introduce myself before and that was hard, but introducing my debt as a first assignment is like asking me to appear at an interview in the most horrific outfit I own, unshowered and without doing my hair and make up. Talk about intimidating!

The worst of it is the shame, trying to keep up appearances that everything is fine when I’m really just drowning in debt. Deciding who to pay, how much to pay and when to pay is really stressful. Juggling the payment dates to try to avoid a late penalty, a ding on my credit score and still have enough money to cover groceries and gas for the month. You are probably getting the gist of my overwhelming dilemma.

For the last three years or so, I have been trying to pay off debt. I have had some successes, but also some major backslides. But I am truly and thoroughly sick and tired of being so stressed about my overwhelming debt and I’ve recently added some serious motivation to 1) getting out of debt and on solid financial ground and 2) setting a good example as a steward of my financial well-being.

With that being said, I must tell you a little about myself. I am an entrepreneur, who has successfully run a home based business for the past 8 years. I have a Masters degree and market myself as a high tech virtual assistant which typically translates into either business system consulting jobs or technical customer service and project management for small businesses. I love what I do.

I am also a single mom, who gets sporadic financial support for two of my kids from their dad and an adoption subsidy for my other two. My kids are my joy, my reason for everything I do and the reason that I work from home rather than going out and getting a fabulous corporate job with a six figure income (at least that’s how it would work out in my head.)

This past fall I was blessed to fulfill a lifelong dream of adoption and welcomed twin teenage boys into our home on a permanent basis (they had been placed here two years earlier as foster kids and since going home did not work out…) They are my new motivation. You see, my other two children are younger and I anticipated having at least another 6 years to get right financially before I had to think about cars and college, etc. But now, that run is very short, the twins started high school this year and could possibly drive next year (it’s a privilege, not a right, of course.)

So I’ve GOT to get a handle on this. I’ve got to get on solid financial ground. I’ve got to be a good example. And I’ve GOT to do it now.

So now you’ve heard of my greatest shame and my greatest joy. My income comes solely from my business and some support for my children. Now, a drumroll please, my debt consists of:

– a student loan incurred during grad school
– a car loan (I had to get a bigger car with the addition of children, purchased early last summer)
– three revolving credit lines
– a personal loan from my dad (no interest)
– a maxed credit card
– a tax bill (that was due in Dec, 2013)
– a consumer loan.

The total owed is $77,792.80. Ugh, just makes me sick. But I am ready for a fight. I am ready to tackle this and frankly I can use all the help, advice and nudges to stay on track that I can get.


Debt Dips Below $30K!

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I crossed a significant milestone in the month of May.   My debt has fallen below $30,000.  That is certainly news to celebrate.  I do have these internal moments of jubilation but I think it is good too that I am never far from the thought of “dear Lord I still owe near $30,000!”  There was a time in the past that I would have celebrated a dent to debt by going out and spending money.  I’d use all sorts of rationalization techniques that would justify the spending.  I’m not talking about a huge dent like I made in May but instead if I somehow managed to scrape together an extra $500 I’d go spend near that amount all in the name of what I deserved.

So the relief I feel right now is not about the dollars I put toward debt but instead the relief of a changed thought process.  It is more empowering to have the spending part of my brain in check than it is to see that $4,000 went to debt this month.  Does that make sense?  That changed thinking is what will keep me out of debt (I pray) so that my “extra” $4K can go to long term goals instead of to making money for others.  That is the victory of this blog and this true metamorphosis I am undergoing.

This change in my life has been reinforced this weekend as TWO friends have confided in me their serious financial worries.  I hear their stress and know it all too well and do not want to go there again.  I share my story in the hope of it helping them but a person has to be ready to make the change in order for anything to stick.  Right now one of them is still in the spending to fill the void place and it’s strange to be on this side where it is so clear what is going on.  He doesn’t want to make major life changes and his situation cannot change without major life changes.  If you’ve been reading the blog for awhile you know I have done big things to find success on this journey.  As I shared them with him you could immediately tell that he isn’t ready.  The thought of downsizing his life is currently more intimidating than the debt load he carries.

You will notice in the debt column info I went ahead and added $500 to the emergency fund.  I did that for the “shot in the arm” impact I think I need.  In addition to seeing debt numbers go down it is nice to see savings dollars increase.  I dream of the months ahead that I pray I am able to sink $3,000 or more into my savings fund.

Final note–I intended to update my numbers over the weekend of course but it was DD’s dance recital weekend.  Her dance studio does a great show but it is a lot of work taking up the entire day on Saturday for the full dress rehearsal and then the show on Sunday evening.  It is all worth it in the end as she enjoys it and it is also an annual event for extended family to get together and celebrate.  I wake today completely exhausted but cannot ignore that my fatigue is not due to all of the recital run around.  Instead it is for this growing resentment toward my children’s father and NW.  They showed up for the show and he had the audacity to seek out my 83-year-old mother to introduce his fiancée to as we are all focused on celebrating a child’s accomplishments.  It isn’t about our daughter’s day for him and that angers me and I want to verbally shut him down.  That would be misplaced and I know in my logical brain that his behavior will take care of the situation in time but wow am I already worn out from holding my tongue.  I went to sleep angry and woke angry and that does NO good for anyone!  He certainly isn’t carrying the burden of negative emotion so I am only harming myself!  I get all of that in that logical brain!  The emotional brain continues to be louder at the moment and I want him to suffer.  I feel like I have the good angel on one shoulder and the little devil on the other.  Please pray the angel prevails!  Because that devil has some VERY enticing scenarios I could participate in and get some short term relief from this angst.

Have a great Monday!