Come on in!
Posted by Christi | Filed under Christi
I know that at first glance, it looks like I’ve got it all together. I’m married, we own a house, and with the exception of a car loan and mortgage, we are debt free. I had a full-scholarship to university and I am in my dream career.
But if you really look closely, you’ll see all of the imperfections, scratches, dents, and holes.
After cruising through high school, I was given a full scholarship to university. I went from Advanced Placement to Academic Probation in one year. As a result, I lost my full scholarship; $20 000 vanished in front of my eyes. See, that’s where the debt began. I took out my first Slurpee, or rather, Student Line of Credit at the age of 18 and the debt spiral started.
I’ve lived on my own since the age of 20. I had no concept of money management. I actually remember saying to myself “I’m just going to live on credit cards for a whole month, live like a queen!” When I pulled my crown out of my rear end, I realized I messed up. It was time to fess up.
Would you like a drink? I sure would. Don’t mind if I pour myself a glass of wine…
Since I knew spending for the sake of spending wasn’t the best idea, I found a way to justify it; I had low-interest staff rates on loans and credit cards. That’s right, I had staff rates. You know why? During university I worked for financial institutions and credit card companies. AND I STILL MANAGED TO RACK UP OVER $50 000 OF CONSUMER DEBT.
Is it getting too hot in here? Let me turn down the heat a little.
Oh, have I introduced you to my husband, Alex? I’ll always remember the day I knew he loved me; it was the day we consolidated our debt together. We recently got married and sold our condo. You know how we had to buy that condo? On a 40 year amortization with 0% down. It was our little secret. He was just beginning his career in IT, and I had to work 3 part-time jobs while going to university just to keep all of the bills up-to-date. We were lucky that the market improved enough to sell our condo for a profit, which provided us most of the down payment for our new home on a much more reasonable amortization. But our new home requires some major renovations. You’ll have to excuse the mess.
Speaking of renovations, we recently renovated our financial situation. You remember that $50,000 of consumer debt that we had? For the last 2 years we worked our butts off and paid 25% of our net income towards our debt. We recently paid off all of our lines of credit, consolidation loans, and credit cards. Just the car loan left. I love the new look and feel!
Today, I look around and realize how drastically my life has changed. I am a wife. We own a house. We have emergency savings, home renovation savings, and retirement savings. But I’m not perfect, nor do I strive to be. I still have money struggles, temptations, and urges. I still want to go out for dinner instead of cooking on weeknights, I want shiny new gadgets, I want to buy books instead of going to the library and I want to constantly buy new things to make my house look nice.
Through these conversations I hope to offer you a unique perspective. In my career, I am someone that helps people create healthy money habits and I have to practice what I preach. But in my personal life, I am someone who still finds it tough to stick to a budget. Let’s face it; we’re all here for the same reason. I am learning just as much as the next guy. What you can look forward to in my blogs are real stories about living on a budget, and how I got myself back on track. I’ll share my journey with renovating a house without credit (is that even possible?), and anything else life decides to throw my way.
So I hope you’ll stay awhile. It would be nice to get to know you!
- Christi (@ChristiPosner)