{thinking out loud Thursday} How I got buried in debt and why I can’t pull myself out

Just taking my $17,000 Jeep off-road through some mud... smart...

Just taking my $17,000 Jeep off-road through some mud… smart…

I can’t recall the last time I didn’t stress about money.

Ever since I got my first credit card in my twenties, along with a $17,000 loan to buy a car (to this day I have no idea why my bank agreed to give a university student who worked in a coffee shop that large of a loan), I’ve struggled to get by. Before then I had no problem saving up to buy things I wanted, including a trip to Thailand. I never shopped or spent money on frivolous things. But once debt from my car and student loans piled up, several relationship break-ups requiring moves and all the household purchases involved with that occurred, plus a new-found love of running and triathlon (shoes and spandex isn’t cheap), I’ve never been able to dig myself out — despite several rescue attempts from the bank of mom and dad and consolidating everything at my bank a few times.

Last year I met with a financial planner and worked out a payment scheme where I’d be debt free by 2016. All I had to do was not use my credit card and put an extra $50 on my student loans. Of course, that was the same year when I decided to start Koru Personal Training, which would help me earn more money eventually, but at the same time probably cost me about $2,500 in start-up fees. Back to the red I went.

Things were looking good last fall after I consolidated my credit card and started to pay things down. With the majority of my business start-up costs out of the way, I finally started making a little extra. But then Christmas time came around and I bought all the things for everyone. Then there was a destination wedding, several concerts, destination stagettes, and too many nights out for various occasions. I didn’t want to be that person who said no because I couldn’t afford it, and I didn’t want to miss out on fun experiences with friends. Now here I am, back in the red.

As of right now the spending isn’t over. I have a few events coming up that I know I’m going to need to scrounge for, and I can feel that the weight of all my financial stress is now causing major anxiety. My one saving grace right now is three pay periods in July, so I know I’ll get by. But that doesn’t solve my debt problem in the long run.

So what’s a girl to do? I have a feeling my story may not be unique, so I’d love to hear from anyone who’s in a similar situation or from someone who was in that situation but was able to pull themselves out. I have a plan B, which I hope I don’t need to hatch, but will come fall if things aren’t working out.

Are you in a similar situation? Do you spend money you don’t have because of a major fear of missing out? How did you get buried in debt? Have you been able to pull yourself out, and if so, how?

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Thanks Amanda for the link-up 🙂