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I have a problem with this... (vent)

January 25th, 2010 at 09:06 pm

Here are our debt totals from July 2008, when I started the blog...

Credit cards: $27,583
Student Loans: $4,190
401K Loans: $5,348
Car Loan: $15,944

TOTAL DEBT: $53,065

Here are our debt totals from December 2009...

Credit cards & Overdraft: $35,635
Student Loans: $2,572
401K Loans: $2,363
Car Loan: $11,883

TOTAL DEBT: $52,453

See our credit card totals? Yeah, I have a BIG problem with that. I swear the little $20 here, $40 personal debt payments there have really added up and I am really getting tired of it. I just want to scream when I see that we are over $8k MORE in debt to credit cards/overdraft than we were when I started this blog! I am just so sick of living paycheck to paycheck, on the edge of financial disaster. Disclaimer: I know my husband is sick of all of it too and the stress of the situation (and his guilt) is making him physically sick, so it's hard for me to vent out loud.

Ok, I am going to calm down and try to see the "bright" side. I have started to make a very rough estimate of how much we have paid in his personal debts and we have paid at least $22,685 since May 2008. I guess, no, I KNOW that that's an accomplishment. If we can give the same gusto to our credit card debt, it could be gone in 2 1/2 years. Maybe I'll put our personal debt paid off in the sidebar, so I can see that we have paid off personal debt, even if it is at a disadvantage to our credit card balances. I cannot wait for the day that we see all the monthly balances going down. I really cannot wait. Sorry for the rant and negativity.

6 Responses to “I have a problem with this... (vent)”

  1. momcents Says:


    This may be simplistic, but can you just *stop* using the cards, put them away and pretend they don't exist.

    I, too, had the continual cycle of debt. I'd charge just for "points" and finally decided that it wasn't worth it for the daily stuff. The credit card does make it easy for all the stupid little stuff to add up.

    Since we've stopped using the cards all together, I've managed to pay off $600 this month alone. Sure, we have to plan our expenditures and it seems that we're always adding something as soon as something is taken care of. For example, the dishwasher died in late December and I'm still washing dishes by hand (and I've got a big family). My microwave died last week, and I'm borrowing my brother's old one. Not ideal: washing dishes by hand and using someone's old ugly microwave, but no new debt was acquired!

    Good luck, I think you can do it. For us it was just a matter of changing our behavior, because changing our thinking didn't yield anything sustainable.

  2. creditcardfree Says:

    momcents has good advice! In your last post you mentioned seperate accounts for you and your husband. How is that working?

  3. Personal Finance Student Says:

    momcents - I appreciate the simplicity of your comment and understand, unfortunately, we haven't used credit cards for much other than when my husband's surprise debts cause us to not have the money for gas, food, etc. I guess I really just need to look at it more and focus on cash only, when I think of it, there have been times I have rebelled and bought something intending to pay off the next payperiod, but of course, I should know better with our budgeting track record. I have thought of cutting the credit cards up and saying "oh well" if debts come again, but I'm too scared to do that. It is just scary for me since I have had to deal with all of this for so long and if the money's not there for my husband's debts, I seriously worry about his state of mind.

    creditcardfree - Yes, we started the separate accounts this payperiod (Jan 15) and I saw that it wasn't going to go well this payperiod just two days in. He has already paid nearly $500 in debts this payperiod and he only had $300 "extra" in his budget. I have had to take on the rest and don't really have it in my budget either. It's hard when things come down to paying the debt and dealing with one panic attack or not paying it and dealing with continual panic attacks until it is paid. The positive side is that we still have a little in a freedom account and he's still wanting to make this work. Also, I started one of those savings accounts attached to my checking account so it automatically saves for me, which helped me save some money that I am using to avoid overdrafting. Thanks for asking.

  4. debtfreeme Says:

    What is your system for tracking your budget for the year? Would you like a copy of my budget sheet to sit and plan with your husband for the year so there are no surprises in terms of when money is needed and for what? I would be happy to email it to you if it might help.

    I literally put everything I need to pay for the year into this spreadsheet with the paychecks I receive and figure out how to make it work with the money I have coming in. I also use it to track all the information on my paychecks at one location. It sure made it easier to catch the w2 mistake they made this year.
    drop me a note to kmmoffitt@yahoo.com with budget in the line and I'd be happy to send it over.

    Also, does your husband sit with you as the bills are paid? Does he write the checks to see where the money is going?

  5. A Concerned Lurker Says:

    I've followed your blog for a while now, and hope this doesn't offend you, but here it goes.

    I'm sorry, there is very little chance your husband borrowed over $22,000 from friends and coworkers in $20 or $40 increments. I don't know of enough people willing to lend me a total of $5000, let along $22,000.

    I know you have said that he borrowed to help out a homeless person some time ago, but are you certain that he spent over $20,000 on this homeless person?

    The fact that he acts the way he does (panic attacks) when he needs to pay a $20 or $40 "debt" screams out to me that it may be something other than a debt he needs that cash for.

    Does your husband have any history with drug use?

  6. Personal Finance Student Says:

    debtfreeme - Thank you for the offer. I use a freedom account to plan for the future, but it's often raided. My husband hasn't participated much in paying the bills in the past, although I have tried to tell him where we are every couple of days. We sat down to a "money meeting" last night to discuss the upcoming month. I hope that this will continue. He wants it to.

    Concerned Lurker - It doesn't offend me and I would be asking the same thing if I were in your position. I have asked my husband this and we have discussed it. I am satisfied that that is not something I need to worry about. Unfortunately, this was all due to gross mismanagement and judgment on his end. That money is from helping the homeless, eating out at lunch (which is does NOT do anymore) and then paying extra on his debts. Apparently, sometimes when he borrowed money from people, he told them he'd pay extra when he paid them back. For example, he'd borrow $20, but promise to pay $40 back. Also, I completely understand thinking that I'd never be able to borrow that much, even if I wanted to, but he borrowed from tons of different people which is one reason he's so confused. I don't have a count, but I'd venture to say that he's borrowed from at least 50 people on multiple/various occasions. I know, it's a big mess. After that venting and having time to think and talk to him, I am feeling more optimistic though, I always hope that the next payperiod is better. We are keeping separate accounts in the meantime though.

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