While I am not proud of it, I managed to rack up more than $ 50,000 in credit card debt. The saddest thing about it is that, for the most part, I did not even end up with anything that that great for all the debt I accumulated.
There is not a fancy television in my living room, some great sound system, or a wardrobe that would make you jealous. Nope. I mostly just had a series of bills from post-work happy hour tabs I picked up, dinner dates I paid for, and a lot of small bills that were a little bigger than they should have been. I did not ever stop to think about it at the time, but super-sizing my fast food meal, better seats at the ballgame, and every little charge like that started to add up. What was $ 1 here or 50 cents there ever turned into thousands of dollars.
Having having graduated first in my class from college, since graduating an MBA from a top program in just one year, and since holding a nice job at a big company that pays me more than $ 100,000 each year, I managed to rack up more than $ 50,000 in credit card debt in seven years.
I am not proud of that. But I am proud of myself for getting out of it.
How did I do it?
I set my mind to it. I set a budget. I stuck to it.
Obviously, it was somewhat easier for me because I had a lot of income coming in. I just needed to start managing it right. That alone made a significant impact.
I also started to cut my expenses. I moved into a less expensive place. I stopped eating out for dinner and I started bringing my lunch to work. I sold my near new SUV with all the options and bought a used Honda Civic that gets twice the gas mileage. I started working another job. I stopped using plastic; I pay cash for everything now.
More than anything, I changed my lifestyle . Now I think before I spend. I have a plan for every dollar before I receive my paycheck. I stopped spending on things I did not need.
It only took me a year to get out of debt. Now I'm not in debt and I do not plan to be ever again. I have money put away and I live the life I've always dreamed of.
You can too. You can get out of debt, no matter how desperate your situation seems to be. Set a budget, stick to it, and stop overspending. Seek out resources (free ones!) And take advantage of them. Find financial freedom.