After about a year of living with my parents (which was productive since I paid off my student loan and bought a new car), I decided it was a better idea to move out on my own than to continue my incessant complaining about having to live under my parent’s roof again.
Since I wasn’t making much at the time, my “budget” was a little tight. Having a new car payment and living the post-college-young-single-lady-lifestyle made my funds even tighter. You know the lifestyle I mean – you have a new career, you go to happy hours every night, you go out of the weekends, you spend way too much money on going out clothes and events with friends. It’s a very expensive, yet very fun, lifestyle to lead!
I continued to make the minimum monthly payment on my car loan. It shrunk ever so slowly. However, at the same time, I was funding my post-college-young-single-lady-lifestyle with my credit cards since my paychecks weren’t quite covering the new lifestyle as well as rent.
Don’t forget: when a young girl moves into her very first apartment, she instinctively gets the urge to decorate and make it her “own” style. This urge is so powerful, it’s almost like the nesting instinct I hear about when women have babies (only kidding). But, it’s true, when a young lady gets her first apartment, she must decorate like a mad woman.
The new decorating instinct was funded by my credit card as well.
It was around this time that I met a guy you all may have heard of…he goes by the name of Lloyd. I was only out on my own for a mere 6 months before Lloyd and I started dating. Dating someone new has a direct relationship with your spending. It’s a well known fact that when you start dating, you generally always spends gobs and gobs of money during the “honeymoon phase”. When Lloyd and I were first dating, we would meet for lunch many weekdays, have dinner several nights a week and on weekends, and of course go out for breakfast many Saturdays and Sundays. Then there were the movie dates, the drinks with one another’s groups of friends, ice skating, miniature golf, and other gag-worthy – yet adorable – things to do that all couples do when they’re first dating.
Guess what I funded my new boyfriend with? My credit card.
Before I knew it, both of my credit cards were maxed out. My credit limits were low (Thank God!) and the credit companies never raised my limits when I maxed my cards out (I thought they usually did, but maybe I’m wrong). My credit card balance sat at $3,500 for a long time – about a year – before I got down to business. During that year that I couldn’t charge anymore on credit, I would just live paycheck to paycheck. My lifestyle had slowed down a bit – Lloyd and I were settling into a more comfortable relationship and I wasn’t decorating as much – so I was able to live that way for a whole year. I would pay off $100 here and there, but I would always charge it right back up.
Here I was with about $13,000 left in car loan debt and $3,500 in credit card debt that was raking up interest like nobody’s business.
How did I pay them both off over the next year and a half?
Stay tuned for my big debt payoff finale!