Debt Reduction, Relationships, Where My Money Goes, work

When did you decide to get out of debt?

Thanks for the comments about garage-saling. 🙂 The best one I got from Twitter was a cast iron skillet for $2. 🙂

I can remember when I decided to enter my Debt Management Program (DMP). According to my program’s records, I would have started my program in July 2006 (I joined the day after Independence Day – yes, I see the irony) with over $10,000 in credit card debt.

I had maxed out credit cards, late charges that kept multiplying and phone calls to my cell phone, my home phone and on one embarrassing occassion – a voice mail to my old employer. (That was a fun email to receive: “Uh, Michelle – there was a message on my phone today for you from this credit card company. I thought you’d probably want to know.”)

I remember asking my buddy Deb who was working in the financial industry if she had heard anything about Debt Management Plans, what it would do (to my already suffering) credit score and if she thought it was a good idea. And sorry Deb, I don’t remember what you said but I know that I had a certain feeling of desperation – you know the kind, when you get a letter from the credit card company that demands immediate payment on your $6,000 outstanding balance and there’s no negotiation because you’ve already missed a payment (or two), but there’s also no way in hell that you can scratch up said $6,000.

So in with the Debt Management Plan. I blogged about that in depth a bit when I first started this blog – you can find that old piece here.

So my three-year anniversary’s coming up with my DMP and although I’m very happy with the progress I’ve made, I’ll be honest with you – I’m a little embarrassed that it’s taken me so long to get to my $3,500 mark, because I really didn’t start working in earnest towards reducing my debt until my husband and I bought the house and started living together. And I remember my thought process – here was my (then) boyfriend of the perfect credit score and what would happen to said credit score when we got hitched? It was bad enough that he had no debt whatsoever, what would happen when our credit histories merged?

It was enough to really shock me into reality. It wasn’t enough to let my DMP pay off my debt at a snail’s pace – I needed to bring my A game to the challenge and try to pay off my debt before we got hitched.

Well, as all of you dear readers know, I didn’t get that far, but I’m getting closer. Right now I have about $3,500 in debt. With the help and patience of my awesome husband, I’ve been able to pour the majority of my income to my debt and my goal is to be (bad) debt-free by the end of the year. After that, my money will be focused towards the Rattling Death Trap (RDT) and my college loan. And home repairs/upgrades. And hopefully future kids. 🙂

I don’t believe in regrets, but I have to be honest as I am heading into one more summer where I’m spending weekends at a desk job instead of fishing, I do wish that I would have started this journey sooner rather than later. But it will be done sooner rather than later, so that’s the focus that I need. 🙂

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1 thought on “When did you decide to get out of debt?

  1. Dear Michelle, That’s great news! Glad you were able to do this on your own. A lot of people wouldn’t have lasted this long. This should give everyone hope. Thanks for sharing.

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