What made me say, “This is it, we can’t live like this anymore, we have to pull our heads out and get our finances straight!?”
Let’s go back, way back to when we first got married. We were both doing ok financially. I was in a little bit of debt but not a crazy amount and he didn’t have any debt. It was nice. We did live paycheck to paycheck and we weren’t saving anything but we were paying our bills and we were eating. At the time it was just us and my oldest son with his kids visiting every summer. Then at the end of my pregnancy with our first son we got the notice that the land we were renting was sold and we had to move. I’m ashamed to say we went into panic mode and made some horrible decisions that started us on a downhill slide into the black sea of debt that we have been trying to get out of ever since. (Kinda dramatic, much?) We bought a mobile home, we got and used credit cards ALOT, we bought a car, anything that could be done on credit, we did it. We were so far behind on everything that I didn’t know how we were going to make it.
We lived like that for about 16 years. Every day was a struggle because we didn’t have money to buy food or gas or pay the water bill. When I tell you I went to bed crying because I didn’t know if I would make it to work, it was sad. But as you can see we are slow learners because is took 16 years to reach the bottom.
Then 4 years ago we decided to buy a house. Huh? What were we thinking right? Our mobile home was falling down around us and we needed to find a better place and so we said, “Why not, let’s buy a house.” Well, our credit was horrible so we had to do some work to get it up enough to get a mortgage. I applied for and got a promotion at work and we got more credit cards to get our score up. It worked! We bought our house 4 years ago and continued to struggle. But our house is beautiful!
Since I’m a bus driver summer work isn’t always available. I remember that first summer it didn’t look like I would get any work and I went to my supervisor and cried. Real tears. I just bawled. She helped me find a way to work and the crisis was averted for a little while. But that was it for me. I said right then that I would not go through another year of scraping and scratching and barely making it.
I tried to get us on a budget for a while but, for some reason, I just couldn’t make it work. We got pulled into collections on a lot of stuff and even got sued by a credit card company. I just kept fighting and learning and finally found the right channels on YouTube to teach me what I needed to know and the rest is history.
So, there is the whole ugly story. I’m sharing just in case there is someone out there who is feeling hopeless. Don’t give up. It is hard but it is possible.
Anyone else have a similar experience? I’d love to talk about it with you.
Here is my first blog post about our goal to get out of debt https://livingwellgracefully.com/2019/05/05/money-mission/
Here is one about our sinking funds:
This is my most recent debt update: https://livingwellgracefully.com/2019/05/05/time-for-a-debt-update/