- 7 years ago
I’m a regular poster, but this is such a sensitive subject, I wanted to be 100% anonymous.
In short: DH and I are in debt, like, really really really in debt. as in, we are $140,000 in debt and only make combined salaries of $75,000 a year, before taxes.
How we got to this point: two people, 4 years of private college that we both paid for, and having parents in too high of an income bracket to allow us to receive significant financial aid (even though they weren’t paying for it, so annoying). That ccounts for a large sum of the debt in the form of a combination of federal student loans and private loans.
Now, it’s not really the student loan debt that I’m worried about. Yes it sucks to be in the hole so much, but student loans (on the debt scale) are not the worst kind of debt to have. Creditors often view it as, hey they made an investment in themselves, and as long as we keep making payments on time, they don’t see it as a big deal. Plus, I know tons and tons of people who took out student loans, it will take years to pay off, i know this, ok, moving on. . .
The credit card debt: oh boy, this part really sucks. Of the $140,000 total debt, $18,000 of that is on credit cards. DH has the one with the highest interest rate (20%! unbelievable) and I have two that I had to use in college to help fund my study abroad experience and then afterwards when I couldn’t find a job after graduation (yey for graduating in 2009!, NOT).
Here’s what we’ve done/are doing to help manage the debt:
DH closed the CC account that has the 20% interest rate so that making more charges on it is not an option, and he makes the minimum payment every month
I took my CC’s out of my wallet and put them in our desk at home so that I would not be tempted to use them when I am out. If I don’t have the money for lunch, well then I guess I’m just not eating (which has happened a couple of times)
I was able to work with one of my student loan providers to lower my monthly payments for the next 2 years and then it will go up again to a catch up amount. I didn’t really want to do this, because I end up paying more interest in the long run, but I simply couldn’t afford the payments otherwise. The other student loan provider won’t negotiate, which sucks, because my monthly payment for that is huge!
I am really getting into couponing to try to save us money on things that we need every month. No extreme couponing, just trying to save us a $ here and a $ there.
We have not purchased a single new item of clothing in almost a year, which sucks because we really need new clothes for work, but we just can’t afford extras.
We rarely indulge in “extras” – this includes starbucks runs, eating out, going to a movie, grabbing a beer with friends (I order water, cause it’s free 🙁 )
My car is 11 years old and paid for, and I don’t plan on purchasing a new one until the wheels fall off this one.
Despite all of our efforts, it still doesn’t seem to be enough. We barely have enough money for groceries, we couldn’t even afford to have a weekend getaway somewhere much less a vacation, we can’t afford new clothes, or trips with friends, or really, anything that isn’t a damn bill.
The math: My check is 2264 after tax each month. Of that 2264, appr 2204 goes to bills (rent, loans, credit cards, utilities) See the problem?
$60 freaking dollars! That’s supposed to get me through an entire month of food, gas, and anything else that may come up.
DH is in a similar situation, but as we are in the process of combining accounts, I don’t know exactly what his financial situation looks like. He is very guarded about sharing his financial information with me. Not because he doesn’t trust me, but because his parents combined finances when they got married, and it was a complete disaster because they didn’t communicate, they ended up divorced. So now he is gun shy and feels like he is giving up is independence by thinking of it as “our” money and not just his.
I honestly don’t know how we have survived these last few months, and I’m frustrated at DH that he doesn’t have more of a team mindset about this.
I would love to see a counselor with him about his reluctance to have joint finances, but we can’t afford the sessions.
I would love to pay off my credit card debt, cut them up, and never go into debt again, but with the interest charges on the cards every month, I feel like I’m not making any headway, especially since I can’t make more than the minimum.
I would love to start saving for a house! But if you’ve been a doll enough to read this far, you can see why that goal pretty much seems impossible.
I feel like I’ll be stuck in this endless cycle forever, and it’s completely making my life miserable. Are we ever going to get back on track and start building a life together?
Sad Bee in the hole