Thursday, February 7, 2008

My Battle with Debt

Up until the past few months, my financial situation was not quite as nice as how it is now. At least, I think it's nice in comparison to the situation I was in two years ago.

I personally never ran up any debt, but my hubby came with a lot. 39k to be exactly. At the time we were both only making 35k. As you could imagine he was a bit overloaded. This was between 11k in credit cards, 15k in car loan and 19k in student loans. It took us two and a half years to get from that point to this point. My main concern was not wanting to get married with all this debt hanging over us.

First, I took a contracting job doing software development with TD AmeriTrade. It was in Omaha, but paid very well and made for excellent resume fodder (aka--direct result of my current job by being able to work on the projects I did there). I worked extra hard for the 7 months I had this contract and I paid down our debt, saved for our wedding, and started to put a little more away so that we could have enough for closing costs on a condo.

I hated being away from Pete for that long, but I knew that we needed the extra money to get to a better place. In the meantime, Pete and I decided that we wouldn't be able to get good paying jobs where we were so we decided to move to Chicago to find better jobs. I also supported both of us while he was job hunting. He then supported me after the contract while I was job hunting for something in Chicago. We also traded in the cars to get one cheaper car with better gas mileage (a Honda Fit, which I highly recommend to everyone because it's awesome).

Taking a less desirable job and missing my hubby (fiancee at the time) as well as deciding to move away from all our family and friends was very hard. But, it's why we are no longer overwhelmed by our debt. We actually now have a positive net asset situation. We owe a lot on our mortgage and still have a lot on the car, but for both, we owe much less than they are worth. Unlike the accord which Pete was $1000 upside down on. Pete still has a lot of student loans left, but it's much less than it was and is balanced out by the savings we have started to build.

There were lots of fights over the money situation since I had to work so hard to get him out of debt, debt that I didn't get to have the fun of bringing up. We do still argue about it from time to time, but I'm getting better at not brining it up. I did feel fairly resentful about the whole thing at the time, but we got through it.

I just wanted to mention this because many of the blogs I read and comment on are dealing with where I was two years ago. I know many of them couldn't take the lifestyle down grade, the time apart or the move to a better job opportunity city, but that was our journey from the bottom. I actually think sticking to a budget and being frugal was much easier when we were paying down all that debt. Verses now where we have extra money and just have to save it up. That's really the point I am at and why I am help me with this next phase of our financial lives and to help me stay on track.

1 comment:

SavingDiva said...

Great job giving us your background.