Our Debt Story We Should Have Seen Coming (+ Our New Plan)

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Wow, this one is going to hurt -you may want to hide the children and tiny puppies. And anyone who gets nervous around numbers… 

This post will be like the ‘elephant in the room’, like the awkward, AWKWARD political discussion at the Thanksgiving table, and like (yes, AND, it’s all this uncomfortableness balled into one) the sinking feeling you get when you know something bad is coming based on the sound of the ring on the telephone… 

Our Debt Story and Our plan

We. Have. Debt

This is not a huge surprise to my new readers of course, but to those who know us personally, I’ll wait until you guys sit down to let that sink in before I continue. 3…2…1…Ok. Ready? 

Yup. Us. The Dave Ramsey following, pay cash for everything, buy used everything, Total Money Makeover devotees. We fell off the wagon. We’re flunkees. It’s a painful cross to bear. 

Related: Goals for 2018 (plus a habit I’m hoping to break!)

It was me. 

Ok, so it was more like *I* flunked us. I tipped the wagon. I, who chose to follow Dave in the first place way back in 2007 (when I had an amazing job with an amazing income and no debt but lost all of that in 2009), I, who went on the wild spending sprees with the shiny new preapproved plastic, and made educational decisions thinking I would have the income ‘someday’ to cover it. It was me.

Husband knows of course. I stay at home with the kids now and he works to pay the bills. And we’ve ‘managed’ fine for 4 years this way. But I have a blog now, so OBVIOUSLY, I must come clean. Because I’m one of two finance majors in the home. Again, yup. I should know better and I do know better. But whatever. Bring on the PAIN… 

The Moment of Truth (Ripping off the Band-Aid)

I played around with Excel the other day to clear my head (I’m a nerd that way). Entering all the numbers was a B.R.E.E.Z.E. At around line 15 however, something went seriously wrong. I couldn’t enter the SUM formula to get a total. I froze and conveniently FORGOT the formula like I forget where I put my keys… (for reference, it’s =SUM(Cell#:Cell#) ). 

I searched Google. Entered it via copy/paste and then held my breath. It couldn’t be that bad, right? 

Husband walked into the room and I told him what I was about to do. “Ohh-kay…” (I know that response, it’s the “I’m not sure we need to tell everyone that…” answer. Good thing he knows I don’t hold back…

$110.828.84

 

I just sat there stunned. I still shake when I type it, and it’s been three weeks!

The more I look at it, the more I start to reason it all out (like any good girl with her head in the sand).

1) “It’s not so bad, almost $55K of it is my student loans which are in deferment. It’s fine.” 

2) “Our cars take up about a third of that, but we pay extra on those almost every month, so the balances are going down kind of quick.”

Dave Ramsey would *destroy* me if I called him today. This is MASSIVE STUPID TAX, people. And we have to pay it. 

We Need a Plan

Where do you start when you see a number like that? Right where I am supposed to. At the beginning. I’ve already done the easy part (ripping off that duct tape make-shift bandage and looking at the mess underneath). We (Husband and I) are on the same page, it needs to GO.  But now is where we need to get creative. I stay at home with two kids under five and no one available to provide daycare for little-to-nothing. Husband works full time and makes good money, but most months are tight and it’s weighing on me emotionally. So the creativity is on me. 

That’s where this post comes in. This will be an ongoing series on my blog (gee, I hope you don’t mind 😉 ) about how we plan to get out of debt and our progress toward that goal. It won’t be easy- it’ll be downright EMBARRASSING, but I hope I won’t be alone in this.

A lot of selling, side hustles, side jobs, maybe a little freelancing, I’m going to be a BUSY GIRL. We will be starting with the little debt and using that trust Debt Snowball because IT WORKS. All while bouncing that baby on my hip 😉

This is not a New Years Resolution (even though I’m posting this less than 48 hours ahead of the big day). I have to be realistic. This will take us at least two years to clean up. If our income DOESN’T change. But IT WILL. And I’ll post about how we do it and our progress. Complete with real NUMBERS. Because now I have you to help keep us accountable!

 

Are you on a debt-free journey? Inspire me! Leave a comment below about what is working for you! Share your wins with us!  

 

 

 

 

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4 Comments

  1. Nathalie January 3, 2018 at 9:39 am

    Love your honesty! My husband and I just recently paid off my entire student loan debt of over 100K (ill be sharing how we did that over on my blog in the near future 🙂 ) So you go girl and you can do it!! I didn’t think it was possible until I made my last payment two weeks ago.. and boy did it feel GOOD!

    Nathalie
    http://apinchofaustria.com

    1. Tia January 3, 2018 at 10:15 am

      Thank you! I was so nervous posting it (I was raised not to talk about finances) but I know I’m not alone in this! Congratulations on that last payment! I’m aiming for 2021, but of course, I’ll do my best to kill it before then! I’ll sign up for your updates to find that post soon!

  2. Brittany Murphy January 3, 2018 at 12:05 pm

    I saw the Amazon Prime photo and I had to click. I hear this. Allll this. I was also a Dave stomper for awhile. Then I started a little Amazon business, lost track, and when I came up I owed them more than I was making. You’re not alone and high five for having a plan.

    1. Tia January 3, 2018 at 3:46 pm

      Thanks for telling your story! I’ve been nervous about starting an online Amazon business for that exact reason. I love finding good deals on things and turning them for a profit, but I’m always afraid I’ll get stuck with something that won’t sell. Dave’s plan saved me way back when, and for a few years after I ‘screwed up’ I didn’t think I could stick with it ever again. (I listened to the CD set at least a dozen times so I knew word for word what he would say- I also read the book half a dozen times in a month). I figured if I could fail that easy, I wouldn’t try again. But it’s always nagged at me, knowing the RIGHT way vs. MY way. My way doesn’t work. His did. Guess I need to find those CDs…

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