Tuesday, February 20, 2007

First Post

This is my first blog, so forgive me for my lack of knowledge of how this works...

I figure I should start at the beginning. As a child, I experienced times of want (asking where the meat was in our stew while my mom and step-dad were hiding from the landlord) and times of plenty (ordering out food every night before filing for bankruptcy). My parents divorced when I was 2 and was dragged between the two of them until I went to college.

When I turned 16, my dad took me out to the nearby strip mall and told me "Get a job before coming home." (in a joking way). I wanted to make my dad proud of me, so I went to every place I could and found one! And started working that night! After that point, I paid for my bus pass and my lunches at school out of my paycheck, along with other little things along the way.

My mom's method of teaching me how to manage my money was "Put half of it in the bank and then you can spend the other half." The problem I had with that was I was barely making anything as it was, but I listened and followed (for the most part...more on that later).

I went to college at the University of Illinois, where I learned about debt. Before then, I had little experience with finances but knew that I was going to need to pay for school somehow. Due to having enough saved up, I spent my first semester at college just focused on studying. As my pile of cash from high school started to dwindle and I had plenty of spare time, I started working again. That's when I started using credit cards.

I was a good kid with them in college, I knew if I didn't pay, I'd have to pay a lot more later on. I was pretty good at paying them off, occasionally I'd go a month but no more. During that time I was piling up student loans and saying to myself "I'll be making big $$$ out of college, no need to worry about them."

Out of college, career-wise things didn't go as planned. I piled up a small amount of credit card debt ($1K) due to preparing to start a job that was canceled the Friday before I started. A few years after college and I was able to save up $6K, but still kept paying the minimum on my student loans. That's when I met the woman of my dreams...

My problems with debt started there, it's hard to say "no" to the needs and wants of the woman of your dreams. First came a car, then came a condo, and furnishings, vacations, etc. I don't blame her for the mistakes we made, it's just hard to try to live the life your parents live when you make half the money they do. I'll probably talk more about that another time...

In the end, we are right now $192K in debt (including our 5 bedroom home for $110K) and it has caused me to be feel sick, scared, wake up in the middle of the night, everything you can imagine. This blog is going to be about my adventure to say goodbye to debt!


Sabrina said...

Hey don't feel bad. It's a lot of debt, but you own your own home. And that's more than half of your debt right there.

Plus you're a techie, give it a couple of years, and you'll be making the big bucks. Just make sure you take all of your certs. And check with your employer, my cousins job is paying for all of his.

Good luck.

TMAC said...

Good Luck man. I will be following your journey. Thanks for the advice on my credit card post! I appreciate it.