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My total debt to be owed...my current truth

February 3rd, 2011 at 08:09 pm

So, after lots of filtering of piles, files, and stacks here is my current "Truth" of where I am right now, it's pretty painful: Most are all very past due.

Student Loan: $54,069.63
Mortgage Payment (past due/working with bank): $6000
Mastercard: $16,751.56
American Express: $2,179.48
Discover Card: 1958.78
Orchard Card: $ 1000
Care Credit: $1000
Home Depot: $911.71
Skin Care: $45.89
Hospital: $ 884.99
Citi Card: $1,200
ADT: 130.30
Phone: $366
Electric: $494.52
Gas: $962.79

TOTAL:$ -81,589.65

I am sure there are a few left out, but this is what I confronted today and seeing it written down is shocking. This didn't happen overnight though. I just let it get out of hand. The mastercard and home depot cards went toward our house, which is still draining money from us due to lots of fixing that is still needed. I guess I'm like the house, lots of fixing needed, but no finances to back it up. However, I did read a mother's blog about how she was $-93,000 and got out in 3 years, which gives me hope. I want this to be gone in less than 5 years. I ordered a ramsey book (didn't pay, had some amazon dollars left)and heard that his snowball debt paying method works. So what I can do now is take action...I'll find a phone DA to call this week. I'll cut out any other extras that I haven't cut out, meal plan/cook in bulk, sell anything that I am not using or donate it for the tax credits at least. I'll keep tabs on everything that I buy. For the first time in my life I want to stop hiding, stop being frightened by my fears, stop using food and money to fill the void and to start healing. I don't want to blame my parents anymore for not teaching me about money. I will now have to learn what they failed to teach and pass it to my children. This will be the toughest financial journey I have ever faced, but the thought that one day I can experience not oweing anyone/credit and being financially free out weighs the current fears I've had. Wow, getting the truth out was somewhat painful, but relieving at the same time. I now get to focus on the actions that are needed now and not just the numbers getting higher.

18 Responses to “My total debt to be owed...my current truth”

  1. davera Says:

    Welcome, and congratulations for taking the first step in facing the whole truth honestly and courageously. You can do this. There are terrific folks and expert frugalistas on this site who will be very supportive.

    Many have been and still are in debt, and they are living proof that success does come from consistent small steps and knowing what your priorities are, financially and for your life. Good luck and stay the course!

  2. What the heck... Says:

    My husband and I have been following Dave Ramsey's teachings for a little over a year now. To date, we have paid $52,000 in credit card debt and working on paying off the mortgage. One car paid off and in two months, the other will be. It can be done and no matter how hopeless the situation seems right now looking up at a mound of debt, the rewards on the other side are fabulous! Keep your chin up and look for the light at the end of the tunnel...

  3. LuckyRobin Says:

    I can certainly vouch for meal planning and bulk cooking as a way of cutting the grocery budget way down. I don't tend to do the big once a month cooking, I just tend to make big batches of soups, chilis, stews, enchilada meat, etc., when I make them and freeze the extra and it helps a lot. Leftover management helps a lot, too.

    I think you've made a good start in trying to confront things. I know your debt seems insurmountable right now, but there really is a way out. Snowballing is as good a method as any.

  4. boomeyers Says:

    We are very much in the same boat! :-) We can journey together! I did not include my house in my total debt.

    One thing that really helped me was (if you read through some of my old posts) I posted EVERYDAY and listed EVERYTHING I spent that day. I kept all my receipts, categorized it and if I didn't get a receipt, I wrote it on a piece of paper so I would'nt forget to list it. At the end of each month I would total each category up and then try to beat the number the next month. Try it!

  5. whitestripe Says:

    You're ahead of a lot of people by taking the first step and admitting there is a problem and listing the amounts, it's a very brave thing to do, so kudos on that. boomeyers advice is good - posting every day DOES help, it holds you accountable. write down everything you spend and you will be amazed as well. good luck!

  6. CB in the City Says:

    At my worst point I was $26,000 in credit card debt, and I paid it off, and now I'm saving. It is so much more fun to save! If you stay with the blog, you will get lots of help. It really helps to "talk" to like-minded people.

  7. mamas debt time out Says:

    Wow CB in the city! You paid off $26,000 of credit cards! That's so awesome and it makes me even more motivated to get it together. Thanks again for your support!

  8. campfrugal Says:

    I believe one of the best things that will come out of this is showing your children that being in debt is not good. And, that you can teach them to do differently, so that this chain of spending and using credit cards is broken. Make sure you include them in your journey. You wouldn't want to see them in this kind of debt.

    And congratulations on taking the big step and facing your debt. I have some debt also, and hoping to be gone with it (other than my mortgage) within the next 12 to 18 months.

  9. Jerry Says:

    I agree with the above, you are changing a pattern that will lead to a better life for your kids, and that is the most important thing of all. It will feel so GREAT when you have some insurance of finally being debt free and being able to make progress toward your goals. Good luck, hang in there, and don't give up!
    Jerry

  10. laura Says:


    Looking forward to following the journey OUT of debt! It is good to know what your starting point is.

  11. Petunia 100 Says:

    Now you know where you stand. I suggest that next you make a budget. List what comes in and what must go out. In your first post you mentioned that you are married and keep separate finances. List the things which you must pay for. From there, you can start your "plan of attack". How much do you have to pay towards your debts each month?

    I like Mint.com for budgeting, but you can use some other software or pen and paper. Whatever works for you.

  12. Ima saver Says:

    Good luck, I know you can do it!

  13. ceejay74 Says:

    Welcome and good luck! I was in the same boat in 2007, and sometimes I go back and read those first fumbling posts and can't believe how far I've come. My family has paid off more than $100K in debt including all of our credit card debt (which was about $70K at its worst!). We still have a ton of debt, but now we're also saving extra for retirement and raising a kid (and hoping for a second one!), things we never could have contemplated a few years back.

  14. scottish girl Says:

    Good luck!

  15. Savings Queen Says:

    Congratulations on facing your situation. There is power in knowledge and you have taken the MOST important step. Step two is just as someone here said...to write down every expenditure you make. Also, don't charge anything more. Please know you are not alone. I am very much with you. I also have used food and spending to fill the emptiness I felt inside. Don't beat yourself up too much, though. I have done MUCH research on addiction and there truly is a genetic/biochemical component to this. I am not surprised your mother was also a shopaholic. I truly recommend that you do find a DA phone meeting. I often attend the one that's at 7AM Eastern Time 213-289-0555 code 61404#. After that meeting there is a sharing time for newcomers and it really helps you know how to start. I listen in on that one almost every morning.

    My name is Beth and during the number sharing time you can speak up and ask for my number and I will be glad to give it to you. I try to be there every morning as it helps me remember to keep my resolve not to spend just for that ONE day. It truly is amazing how things will improve in your life just with the simple act of carrying around a little notebook or scrap of paper and writing down everything you spend and also not charging anything. In just over a month of doing this, many different things about my life are straightening out...it's truly amazing how God starts giving us a helping hand (or whoever you choose to be your higher power). Bless you. You are so not alone.

  16. Savings Queen Says:

    Sorry for my wordiness, but I realized one more thing. I too used to go out to eat at the drop of a hat, but since coming to this blog I have learned to plan for eating out and I even wait for coupoons to do it. For example, this Sunday DH and I are going to IHOP with a 50% off coupon. Where in the past I never planned for anything and just went out to a restaurant whenever I felt like it, I have been looking forward to our Sunday AM treat for the past few days. I realize that in planning for purchases like that it really improves one's enjoyment of them. Also, in starting to figure out low cost fun outings for you and your family, you will start to treasure each one which will give you more of those important loving fun-filled moments you mentioned. For some reason watching your money more carefully ends up giving you a richer feeling life. It's really odd, but it seems to be true. Also, reading everyone else's blogs and seeing how they are treasuring their experiences will help you learn to treasure yours.

  17. mjrube94 Says:

    Not much to add beyond all of the great advice of the others. Just welcome, good luck, and stick with it. It gets easier every day!!

  18. Thrifty Ray Says:

    Well, if you have to fess up it might as well be to a family of caring folks that will offer you support and advise. Welcome. Looking forward to reading about your success as you chisel away at it. You can do it.

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