Monday, February 29, 2016

Debt Free For Seven Years. . . Now Paying Off Credit Cards

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I was debt free for seven years until the day I got married.  No, I didn't marry a man with debt, but most of it was because I got sick on my wedding night.  I
didn't have insurance, and my husband's insurance didn't kick in for another week.

I had done everything right.  I had saved a $10,000 emergency fund like Dave Ramsey suggests in The Total Money Makeover.  That went out the window when we were doing what we thought was a small update to my house, and discovered an electrical problem.  It was something we didn't feel safe putting off until we had saved up the money, so the emergency fund was depleted.

After the wedding reception was over, my husband and I picked up pizza and spent time with family we rarely get to see.  When we left, I was feeling a little queasy, but just figured it was a combination of excitement, nerves, and lack of sleep.  Soon, I was having severe stomach pains.  I looked up the symptoms of appendicitis and I had every single one of them.  So the first place my husband and I went as a couple was to the hospital.  Thankfully it turned out to be a stomach bug, but I was hit with a $2,000.  This was on top of our wedding going $500 over budget, and our wedding gifts being minimal.

Then we had a lot of car expenses last year.  My husband's car was purchased, unknown to him, with a wrong voltage of battery in it, and there were repairs from that.  The air conditioning went out in my car.  (While I admit this is a "luxury" I'm at that age where I can be hot in the middle of winter, so I wanted it fixed.)

The end result of going over budget on the wedding, getting sick without insurance, and car expenses is nine months after the wedding, we are $1,300 in debt.  This is extremely embarrassing to me as I have always been very proud over the last few years that I haven't had any debt.

But it's also motivating.  I know getting out of debt is possible.  I have my sights set on that day I can log into my bank account and see I have more money in my checking account than I owe on my credit cards.

I am reminded of the days when I had debt.  I spent time pinching every penny, selling whatever I could, and making do with what I had.  I'm back to that, and I admit I had become kind of lax in the last few years.  My husband works at a convenience store, and I love my soda.  For under $1, I can have a huge mug refilled with soda.  I know it's not good for me, but I love it, and it's fun to have him bring me home a treat.  But just two months of that soda habit could pay one of our utility bills.  So I have to really think if I want that soda.  I have learned the water where he works is filtered and tastes much better than that in our town, and so as my treat when he arrives home, he brings me my mug filled with water.  (There is a water bottling plant not far from where he works, so it really is excellent water.)

I have come up with creative ways to pay bills in the past, and I'm doing it again.  I am planning on listing more on eBay.  I know I can get out of debt, and then I'll be working towards that emergency fund we had to deplete because of faulty wiring in our house.  That way hopefully the unexpected won't put me back in debt!

1 comment:

  1. Im working on getting out of debt. I fear it will be forever.