Here we are – 2 months into the 2012 Debt Free Challenge – way to go! Last week I mentioned that you have the tools you will need to work your way out of debt. Keep up the hard work because it is worth it. Not only that – you are not alone. I have been there. I have decided to share my story with all of you. I made serious mistakes. Mistakes I do not want anyone to ever make themselves. Hopefully, you can learn from what I have done, or maybe, be inspired to change your own financial situation for the better. The hard work is worth it – trust me!
Back in 2001, I was living my life as a single woman (well – in a relationship with someone). I was in my twenties and just enjoying my life. I bought what I wanted. I didn’t worry about my budget. I continually robbed Peter to pay Paul. I lived paycheck to pay check. I was making a decent wage, but because I didn’t have control of my financial situation, my spending was out of control. I bought out of want rather than need. I used my credit cards for everything. I used them to pay for my gas, my groceries, my clothes and sadly — occasionally to even pay a bill.
When my relationship came to a screeching halt in December 2001, I realized how financially unstable I really was. I sat down for the first time and put a pencil to the paper and crunched the numbers. I was shocked (and very sad) at what I had done to myself. I could not believe I had accumulated such a huge amount of debt – and had absolutely nothing to show for it. It was an eye opener. I knew that something had to change, but being young (and still pretty stupid), I did what I thought was the only answer. I filed for bankruptcy.
In August 2002, I formally declared bankruptcy. It was one of the lowest moments of my life. However, at the same time, it was life changing. At that moment, I vowed to never allow myself to get into that situation again – no matter what curve ball life might throw my way. With that, I left the bankruptcy and my life behind me and moved to Kansas City. It was time for me to take complete control of my life and ensure that it was headed in a direction that I wanted.
…..continue onto Part 2 of my journey.