Saturday, May 5, 2007

I hate debt

Hi, my name is story, and I'm in debt.

Right now, between a car loan and two student loans, my husband and I are over $100,000 in debt. After our rent, our biggest expense is our car payment, and after that it's our student loan payment. Combined, we make less than $40,000 a year. When I think about it too quickly, I get a little bit out of breath.

We budget pretty carefully, and I'm well on my way to being a master penny pincher. I work an extra job. My husband's loan is on a grad student deferment. We don't take out any additional loans, and we don't carry balances on our credit cards. From month to month we do okay, but in the grand scheme of things we're still drowning.

Being in debt limits our options, our choices for the future. We can't buy a house. When we've moved from place to place in the past few years, I've never had the luxury of taking my time to find a job I really like; I've just needed to have a job. When we start trying to have children, I'm going to need to think really carefully about whether I'm financially able to stay home with them. Whether to work, where to work, where to live - these are decisions that I want to be able to make myself, not have made for me by my creditors.

Worst of all, though, I'm afraid that at any given moment, everything could come crashing down. A reduction in income, an increase in expenses, another move, an emergency, any of these things could turn our cash flow negative in about five seconds. I don't want to walk around terrified anymore.

So I'm kicking it into gear. I want to spend the next ten months working my butt off, scrounging for extra money, selling my stuff and taking my penny pinching to the next level. That's not to say I want to stop enjoying my life. Rather, it's to say I want to get my life back. I want my choices back.

I'm making a choice. We're going to pay down a huge chunk of this debt, and we're going to do it sooner than later. One day at a time, step by step, I'm going to make positive progress toward cleaning up this mess.

Keep me accountable, could you?

15 comments:

Toolman said...

down size your car! If it makes second on the list of expensive things, maybe you should choose a more budget oriented car.

story girl said...

Toolman-

I've considered it and am still considering it. The reason my monthly bill is so high is because it's only a 36 month loan, which will be paid off in less than a year even without any extra payments. It's actually not that expensive of a car, and I'd prefer not to downsize to a complete junker if I can just work extra and get this paid off. I will look at how things go over the next few months though.

Fabulously Broke in the City said...

Good luck with it... I really hope you and your Husband make it and I'll be reading :)

a concerned parent said...

"When we start trying to have children, I'm going to need to think really carefully about whether I'm financially able to stay home with them."

It really sounds like you need to think carefully about whether or not you can afford to have children, period. I'd be concerned about bringing a child into the world when you are so saddled with debt to begin with. Kids are incredibly expensive, and if you can't bring down your debt dramatically, having kids could be just the thing that may push you into bankruptcy.

It sounds like you need to think very carefully about this one.

Rose said...

I just discovered your blog through Frugal Hacks, and I don't even know if you're still reading comments on this post, but I just wanted to chime in regarding the last comment.

A Concerned Parent is incorrect in saying that kids are incredibly expensive. It would be more accurate to say that kids CAN be incredibly expensive, but given your ability to simplify your life and streamline expenses as demonstrated in the few posts I've already read, I'm certain that you would be able to approach parenting with a similarly efficient approach.

There are so many websites out there devoted to frugal parenting that it would be silly to go into detail here. It's simply not necessary to buy everything that the magazines insist you must, and you could save a tremendous amount by buying furniture second-hand, accepting hand-me-down clothes, etc.

Regardless of how you approach it, there is no reason that having kids should push you into bankruptcy. It may be wise to wait a few months/years until your financial situation is stabilized, but you already said that you were thinking about that. That is your decision and your business, and I hope you won't allow yourself to be discouraged by any naysayers who try to tell you that you can't do it. Best wishes as you strive for financial freedom!

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Taking risk in your financial career is a courageous task but sometimes we have to pay back for it. Whatever may be the reason your bad luck or some unwise decision in business you may find yourself struck by credit problems at anytime in your life. And believe it; a huge portion of UK population is suffering from this. But in the loan market, decision takers are well of aware of the prevailing situation and come forward to help them out and in this case specially to get them their own cars..To find Car loan, bad credit car loan, car title loan, used car loan, new car loan.for more information log on http://www.consumercarloan.com/

Rebis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tiffany said...

Hi~~
I'm Tiffany.I come from China.I have 20 year housing loans.I have no car,no most of things I want.But I'm contented,because there are some people envious of my house just like I am envious of your car.
After of all.Be happy and keep healthy.There is a proverb in China—— Health is the foundation to fight.The life is a fight.We must beat it .

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Jaden Allred said...

You hate debt? I'm sure you do! Who doesn't, eh? But hating it won't relieve you from the situation. The least you could do is plan how are you gonna pay up all of these in due time. So, you're right about working hard to earn money to pay it off. I hope by now you are relieved from this debt stress! Jaden @ TorontoBankruptcyAdvice.com

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