Hi! I'm $50,000 in Debt!
Updated: Nov 14, 2018
There, I said it. And I think it’s true, though I didn’t actually tally up my credit card balances before writing this, which is, admittedly, part of the problem. A problem I haven’t wanted to look at until now.
Looking at debt is scary when you know it’s just growing and growing and you can’t seem to do anything about it. There’s something else going on here, too. Being in debt feels like a comfortable bad habit. I’m used to being in debt and managing my stress around it. That I can do. Getting out of debt? That’s not in my comfort zone at all. I’ve never done it effectively before - you know, in a a permanent sense. I’ve never really considered being debt-free an attainable goal.
So what shifted?
Well, last January—like many years before—I set a goal that I would start paying off debt instead of just floating along paying minimums, which really have no effect at all. This time, however, my goal felt different in one significant way. With my kids both in school, it felt like I should be able to ramp up my career, reach my full earning potential. Oh, I knew it wouldn’t happen overnight, but it had to start soon, right? This change would start taking hold this year…
Except it didn’t. I was able to earn slightly more than I had in the past, but it wasn’t really significant (possibly because the above-mentioned shift didn’t actually take place until September). I looked ahead a few months and realized I was going to come up short on cash. Like many years before, I was probably going to need to rely on credit cards to cover this gap. Once again, my debt was going to grow.
Well, I thought, fuck that.