Post # 1
Anyone else feeling this way?
We’re both in our mid-20s, and living in a high COL area (renting). We bring in about $48K a year between the two of us, and it just seems like we have mountains of debt that we need to get through:
60K in student loans
18K in credit card debt (DH was unemployed for a year and we had lots of car problems)
Not much in savings.
It depresses me how much we have to pay back and I feel like our life is on hold until we get out. 🙁
Post # 3
@Miss Gamma: Everyone has to start somewhere. Just keep on keeping on and some day, hopefully sooner rather than later things will start to improve.
Judging by the student loans and ages I would guess that you are recent college grads? Fairly recent? New to the professional marketplace and trying to find that career path that suits you and leads to financial success. Just remember that it takes time and often the first or even second job out of school isn’t the one you will have for a lifetime.
My DH and I were incredibly broke when I graduated. We had okay jobs but weren’t where we wanted to be and were living on a meager combined income and paycheck to paycheck. We decided on a five year plan and headed down the road to where we are today. It has been six years since those difficult times and we are quite successful and financially secure. It took time, a lot of sacrificing, hard work and determination but anything is possible.
Put your heads together and make decisions on where you want to be in five years. Keep looking ahead, stop focusing on the debt!
Post # 4
Imho you need to get your credit card debt figured out first. Given what you make, either (or both) of you may be eligible for deferring your repayments for lack of income. I don’t know the details of it, but I do know that a friend making 35,000 was able to enter deferment given COL in a mid-size city (approx 600,000 residents). Make that happen and then put all of your extra money on that credit debt while making sure that you don’t add to it.
Also…see what you can downgrade from your life. Could you move to a cheaper apartment? Get rid of a car and rely on transit/car shares? Eat less meat? None of these will seem really “fun”, but they’re much better than remaining drowning in debt.
Post # 5
@Treejewel19: Thanks Treejewel. Yes, he graduated in 2008, I graduated in 2009. So it’s been almost 5 years…but in those 5 years we worked at very low paying jobs, then worked our way up to save to move across the country, then dealt with him being unemployed for a year, and are now just finally able to pay our bills. We both have Fine Art degrees, but don’t know what profession we want to go into!!
To be honest, sometimes I think it would be easier for us to move back to the Midwest where COL is so much lower, but DH argues it cost us so much to move out here it would be a waste to move back. Sigh.
Post # 6
@Miss Gamma: Curious where in California you live? Ballpark estimate is fine for privacy.
California is expensive without a doubt but it is also a better area to utilize your fine art degrees. So you have to take the pros with the cons. Depending on where you live can you move to a slightly lower COL area and take public transporation or commute to work? That might be worth the savings.
Post # 7
@lawyerbride15: See, I never know if I should defer and rack up interest, or continue to pay down. There seems to be opposing opinions on it.
We live in Los Angeles, so COL is very high. When DH lost his job, we moved into a cheaper apartment, saving us $200 a month (kept us in a good neighborhood). Our expenses are actually quite low, but because we make so little any emergency that comes up (doctor’s bills, vet bills, etc.) eats up our extra money.
Post # 8
@Treejewel19: No worries, I’m an open book haha! We live in LA.
Post # 9
@Miss Gamma: Just hang in there! Keep trucking and hopefully you will see improvement sooner than later. HUGS
Post # 10
My husband and I felt this way too and we took Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University class and have paid off over $25,000 of debt since February. It was an awesome class!!
Post # 11
@megan52088: Thanks, I’ll check it out. 🙂
Post # 12
@megan52088: Yes to the Dave Ramsey class! I listen to the podcast everyday and have paid off so much debt since beginning his class
Post # 13
@Miss Gamma: Another vote for Dave Ramsey! My friend/coworker paid off $80,000 worth of debt in four years as a single mother. You can do it!
Post # 14
@jbh13: I’ve heard a good number of stories like this
OP, def give Dave Ramsey a try. A ton of people sing his praises. I’ve never done FPU (I HATE dealing in cash & I’ve heard Dave Ramsey says to always use cash because you’ll spend less) but I just got into budgeting on my own & I love doing it. Do you set up a budget?
Post # 15
We’ll all get through this! We have about 70k in student loans and right now are only bringing in maybe a little less than 40k together, in a reasonably costly area (not Cali but not the Midwest either). It sucks.
ETA: I highly recommend Mint. I’ve been using it for the past year and have been able to save a ton (or at least, be able to see my savings grow through their “goal” functions)
Post # 16
I third(fourth?) Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover or Financial Peace University. My Fiance and I read The Total Money Makeover and we’ve been trying/mostly living it since we’ve graduated. In fact, we’re hoping to relocate out of California as soon as we can because we have hopes to retire early (like in our 30s) and the cost of living is just too obscene here.
Read The Total Money Makeover and it’ll change your perspective on money. Best of luck! Just remember, there are people in worse financial situations and jobs that have turned their lives around!