We took a break from last week’s 5 for Friday due to someone WINNING IN COURT action (Booyah!), but we’re back today to learn some more about you guys. In particularly, your grody debt!
So dust off your credit card statements and loan details, and announce once and for all just how much debt you’re holding onto! Not only will this make you feel better (no more letting it fester in your head), but it’ll also shed some light on just how much your peers have accumulated as well. Some may have less than you, and others more, but at the end of the day we’re all on this site to do one thing: Motivate each other to DO BETTER :) And the first step to doing that is to admit it loud and proud and then get right into the dirty dirty (aka hard work).
You with me? Here we go…
- How much *total* debt do you have? (Not including mortgages. If you don’t have any other debt, answer the questions past tense.)
- How did you get it?
- How long has it been adding up for?
- What is your current plan for ridding it?
- Finish this sentence: “My debt makes me feel _____.”
- **Bonus** If there was one thing you could take back over the years (re: your debt), it would be?
They’re tough, I know, but it’s great to get it out there!! And what a perfect way to do it among such a supportive community, right? :) Here are my answers:
- Total Debt: None.
- How I got it: All of my *old* debt came from shopping. I was fortunate enough to have college paid for through my parents (and I hope to do the same for my kids one day), but the rest was all up to me. And at the time, I didn’t think much of it and just spent all my money on beer and other nonsense that really wasn’t important (actually, the beer
wasis, but not the rest – haha…).
- How long it built up: I probably had debt on and off for a good 10 years. Some months were better than others, fluctuating from $500 on my credit card bills, to $0.00 many months, but I was always hovering around break even point and not really saving anything at all.
- How I got rid of it: I finally got serious. Again, I wasn’t ever in too much trouble, but after I realized I wasn’t a college student any more (which literally took 5 years, no joke), I decided that I needed to start GROWING my money now and not SPENDING it anymore. I got tired of living paycheck to paycheck all the time, and finally owned up and started tracking where it was all going. The second I did that, it all became much clearer!
- “My debt (used to) make me feel…. stupid.“ There’s no better word for it. I felt like if I couldn’t manage my money like a “normal person” (hah!), there was something wrong with me. Looking back I know that’s not true anymore – we all struggle financially at some point, and a lot of times it’s even beyond our control – but back then I felt like I couldn’t be successful unless I had money in the bank. No matter how that happened. (except for illegal stuff, of course, haha…)
- **Bonus** Hmmm… that’s tricky… I guess for me, since I never got in TOO much trouble to begin with, I’d have to say I’d change nothing about the past. I wish I would have learned a lot FASTER, that’s for sure, but everything I did back then helped me to get to where I am now. And I wouldn’t change that for the world. (I learn by making mistakes. Lots of them :))
After writing some of these answers I actually came up with THREE new blog posts I wanna talk about soon :) I hadn’t thought about this stuff in quite some time, I enjoyed it. And I know we’re all in totally different situations here, but I do hope writing it all out helps you guys out too!
And don’t be afraid to ask questions, or try some of the methods people leave here! Some of the best advice I’ve gotten over the years is from others just like us who’ve gone through this nonsense, and have come out newer & shinier! We’re all on different levels here, but it doesn’t mean we can’t take shortcuts and get to our destination faster with a little help ;)
Your turn to answer the questions! Make sure to “copy” your comment just in case my spam filter eats it up too — it gets spam-happy when we talk about debt & paying off credit cards, etc :(
PS: HUGE shout out to Danielle Liss for getting rid of $13,000 of credit card debt this last year! And for making one kick-ass video about it (above).
PPS: Here are our previous 5 For Fridays. You get to learn a lot about everyone ;)
PS: Some of my favorite tools:
|Personal Capital (FREE) -- If you’re looking for a robust financial tracker, Personal Capital is the way to go! They’re like Mint, but on steroids and have much better tools for investment and net worth tracking. // Full review|
|Digit (FREE) -- A super easy (and automated) way to save. Every day Digit analyzes your income and expenses and will push money aside for you any time it sees extra sitting there. I've saved over $4,000 myself using them so far! // Full review|
|Acorns -- Having trouble finding money to invest? Check out Acorns – they round up all your transactions to the nearest $1.00 and drops the difference into an investment portfolio for you. Easy way to start investing! // Full review|