- Posted August 13, 2008 by
Greensboro, North Carolina
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Drowning in debt
Debt taking it's toll
My wife and I celebrated our 1 year anniversary last weekend. No, not in Tahiti, Bermuda, or Hawaii...instead we rented a small cabin in Jefferson, NC! It was a great little getaway, but not the tropical vacation we would have liked to take for our 1st anniversary. We are on a strict budget trying to pay off credit card debt. Pre-married life I worked in Social Services making around 25k a year. I owned my own condo, had a nice new car and a motorcycle. Living the bachelor life, there was nothing that I wanted that I couldn't buy, ON CREDIT of course. How in the world can a person who earns 25k per year get credit cards with 10k limits? It makes no sense. I never asked for increased limits either - they just appeared - it was great! Because I paid my credit card bill on time the limits simply kept going up and up. My advice to others now is pay your credit card bill late often so that you will not be given any credit limit increases - that way you are gauranteed to keep you debt low. Through my 20's my debt grew larger and larger and I just kept saying "i'll pay it off one day", "it's not that much". Then I woke up one day and realized that I had about 35k in revolving debt. The interest I was paying was starting to catch up and I realized that paying off the debt was going to take some serious change. I moved away from my great little small town in NC to NYC to find a job that would pay a bit more than the 25k I was earning. I loved my job and working with kids, but I had to pay off the debt. Not until I got married did I really start thinking about the debt. Now living in NC on a combined income of 98k per year, we should be living it up or saving like crazy for kids! Instead we pay close to $800 per month to credit cards. That's more than our mortgage payment! I know that many others are in far worse situations than us, but we are a job loss away from being in HUGE trouble! It wears on my wife and I every day. We live on a strict budget, so strict it makes us both feel like we work for pennies. We have chipped away two of her cards and one of mine, but still have a combined 32k to go! Because of financial irresponsibility in our 20's, my wife and I are missing out on doing many things we would like to do. As newlyweds who have worked hard since graduating college, we should be at a point where we can really enjoy life - instead we are stuck worrying about debt day in and day out.