I have a small confession; I’m in debt. It started with one credit card that I signed up for during my college campus tour, then student loans, then another credit card (because why not), then a computer loan, and since I loved Old Navy, why not an Old Navy credit card too. You can see the pattern that I started. At first, I would charge things on my credit card, reassuring myself that I’ll pay extra next month. Well of course next month rolled around and I didn’t have the extra money. Very quickly my debts began to add up and before long the “roof” caved in so to speak, and I had to face what I had done.
It’s easy to get into debt, but harder to pull yourself out of debt. Trust me I know. It took a long time for me to realize I had a problem. I would like to tell you that I just woke up one day and started turning myself around, but the truth is I needed people to use some tough love on me in order for me to see what I had done. It also took being served papers that stated I hadn’t been paying my credit card bill to jolt me. It also took having daily chest pains for me to realize that the mountain of debt was not going to go away.
I would also like to tell you that writing this blog on my debt is easy and refreshing, but the truth is I’m still embarrassed by what I did, and the shame I carry is still with me. I wish I could time travel and tell my young 20 something self not to sign up for a credit card and not to spend the left over student loan money on clothes. I wish I could tell my younger self that you don’t need another t-shirt or necklace, especially if you have to put it on your credit card. I would advise my young self not to pay rent on my credit card, but I can’t.
Spending is like an addiction, you convince yourself you have to have something. I still deal with this every day, and there are days I fail miserably. I purchase something that I know I shouldn’t, but I do it anyway. That’s why I would like to spend some time blogging about my struggle to get out of debt. I want to write about my successes and failures. I also want to encourage others to not get into the same situation that I did.
I’m not a financial expert; as Dave Ramsey once said on his Financial Peace Radio; “you don’t ask someone who’s been divorced for relationship advice and you don’t ask someone who’s in debt for financial advice.” I’m not writing these blog pieces to give you advice; warnings yes, but advice, well there are hundreds of places to go for that.
Some of these blogs will be pretty raw, and some of these blogs will be funny. I believe firmly that only God has helped me to work my way out of debt, and He will continue to do so if I trust in Him. I know that many of you do not believe the same way; I’m not trying to make you see the way that I see things, I’m only telling you what helped me. Being in debt is not pretty, but there is a way out of it and right now I’m starting to see the light shining indicating I’m almost out of my debt hole.
Written By: Kristy Trowbridge