Well, it all started with my parents.
It was August 2007 and I had just arrived home from a summer abroad in Europe. My parents sat down my sisters and me and told us they were in debt. I knew we always struggled with money, but I had no idea that we were in debt, much less serious debt. Try $300,000 in debt. This included a mortgage, credit card debt, and student loans.
I guess you could say my personal finance fascination (or desperation?) began at that moment. I decided to help pick up my student loans since it was, after all, my education. I withdrew from school for a semester to work full-time. In order not to incur any more debt, I paid for all of my rent, food, tuition and fees. The last semester of classes I needed a little help from my parents, but still maintained at least a 20 hour work week while taking 18 credit hours of classes.
I graduated from college May 2008 and moved June 1st to a new city (in the mid-atlantic region) for a new job (marketing-related), where I currently work today. I had $13,800 in debt, maybe $800 in savings… but as we all know security deposits and moving expenses deplete budgets and left me with nothing. When I finally received my first grown-up, big-girl paycheck in July 2008, I began whacking away debt.
My parents have been a huge inspiration to me in this process. Of course I was very hurt that they hid so many money issues under a facade of a comfortable and luxurious lifestyle, it is amazing where we’ve come today. They sold the home we had been living in for 18 years, moved into a rented home provided by a local church, and both got part-time jobs. A year and a half later, they are down to $20,000 left in debt (this includes $8000 I still owe them) and have moved into a foreclosure home in the country.
My hope is to never ever ever feel that hopeless, out-of-control feeling again. I began reading finance books and got entrenched in reading personal finance blogs. All of the other writers seem so natural, down-to-earth, and, well, nice! I figured I could use this blog as an outlet to communicate my personal journey of getting out of debt and on to a secure freedom. So enough about the past. Let’s get started!