Wednesday, October 24, 2012
In the beginning there was debt
In the immortal words of Maria von Trapp, “Let’s start at the very beginning. A very good place to start.” My start was school. I left college with $13,000 in student loan debt. I consolidated it as soon as I could and began making minimum payments of $85 per month. Next, I landed my first professional job and promptly bought furniture and housewares for my big girl apartment, racking up a solid grand on my credit card; the credit card I told myself I would only use for emergencies.
Life happened and I had to buy a new car, taking out an $8,000 auto loan to finance that. Not to mention the condo I purchased right before the housing bubble burst leaving me with a $85,000 mortgage that was triple the value of my new home. Trips, auto repairs and the occasional splurge all went on the credit cards. I was a pro at balance transfers and only bounced one check. Thankfully, that infraction has finally left my credit report.
Fast forward a few more years and now, married, early thirties and saddled with my husband’s car loan and massive student loan debt we rolled up our sleeves and went to work. And we needed help. Seeking wise counsel is the best way to set yourself up for success. This blog is a chronicle of what works if and only if a person is willing to sacrifice and commit to getting out of debt and living within a realistic budget. Not all of us can marry a wealthy Austrian widower…