In December 2015, Alan and I decided we were going to get out of debt…again.
We loosely committed to becoming debt free before our first daughter was born in 2010. We became parents and our new found ability to handle money just up and walked out the door. Mainly because kids needs are expensive…but also because we “deserved” (i.e. wanted) nice things for our family.
And it just seemed too hard.
But, we had to make change for 2 reasons:
1) We did not want to live this way for the rest of our lives. We want to be able to have options and have fun with our money, instead of being stifled by money owed.
2) We realized that once all of our school loans became due, we would not be able to pay on all the debt and pay our bills. Absolutely terrifying.
Before we started throwing money to pay off this and that, we needed a plan. And, we needed to know exactly how much we owed.
Here’s how my mental calculations went:
- About $80K in school loans
- A couple thousand on the furniture
- About $13K on a credit
- And not much on the car, because it will be paid off in 2 years anyway
So, we owed about $80ish, plus a little bit more.
But, when we looked at what we actually owed, it went something more like this:
- $80K on school loans
- $30K on a school loan that is technically not in our name, but we are pesonally committed to paying because it was used for Alan’s education
- $13K in credit card debt
- $5K in financed furniture
- $6,600 on a car
- $2K on iphones/ ipad that we were paying on monthly through our cell phone bill (side note, this is how most of us are paying for our phones these days)
That adds up to more than $135,000! What in the world?!
It is scary to sit down and face your debt head on. It is terrifying to find out how much you owe. In fact, it made me feel a lot like the photo above does…and I’m scared of heights just to give you some context! You might cry and you might want to throw up.
But, if you want things to change – and I think you do, otherwise you wouldn’t be here reading this – you just have to do it. Being brave is hard. But, just because it is hard, doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing.
What is something you wish you were brave enough to do? And what’s holding you back?