Friday, August 30, 2013

DEBT! How I loath thee...

Hi my name is Krista and I have a serious issue that most 20 somethings are also struggling with.  It's a massive four letter word that makes people around the world cringe... DEBT!

This isn't a new thing in America , but it seems the more the world progresses, the more and more you are hearing of massive debt.  Most especially for people in their 20's, due to student loans, new car purchases or just trying to keep up with the people around you (also known as peer pressure).  For me, it all started back when I was a naive 18 year old starting college.  It was almost too easy to get credit cards, but the problem, was, I came from a family that had massive debt and I really didn't understand that I had to "pay back with interest."  Soon I was sinking...  At the age of 20, I started a debt consolidation program, but all they did was destroy my credit.  It took  five years for me to able to obtain a credit card again and soon the terrible cycle repeated itself of multiple revolving accounts with high interest and CATASTROPHIC debt including payday loans.  I have become one of those people I hate, claiming they never have any money, but the truth is, I really have NO money.

I am 27 years old with a well paying job and I have $24,000.00 worth of debt and NONE of it is student loans.  $14,000 is my car so really it is $10,000.00 and I am dying inside.  I feel like I am absolutely out of control and I have to remedy this NOW!  I know for sure I will NOT be using another debt consolidation company.  I have read many blogs and articles about people in the same boat as me and on one hand it is refreshing to hear they are in the same boat, but on the other hand I think to myself, "How the heck did we all get here?  Isn't school supposed to teach us about the real world?  There was never a class on income tax, debt ratios and credit scores!"  To me, this is a real issue, but then I realize we have to educate ourselves.

I have decided to commit to a payment budget and "no spend days" which will hopefully turn into "no spend weeks" and further into "no spend months".  A "no spend" is when a person vows to not spend money on anything other than necessities, which would include gas, groceries, doctor visits and bills.  No more money being spent on Starbucks or mani/pedis (both of which I love wholeheartedly).  For instance a Starbucks habit of $4.00 a day 5 days a week every week sets a person back $1,040.00 a year.  Do you know what I could do with that money?!?!?!  That is two months of car payments for me!  Holy cow!

So here I am vowing to myself, to start paying off debt and saving money and fixing that credit score.