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How did I let this happen?

January 16th, 2009 at 08:08 pm

I still can't believe that I am struggling under a mountain of CC debt at my age, since I have a good job and I personally am pretty darn frugal. When I think back at what snowflakes make up those big snowballs of debt, it's too much stuff (I LOVE Delbert McClinton's song of that name). A particularly bad memory is American Girl dolls - my wife blew a TON of money on that junk. But I guess the bottom line is it's my fault for not laying down the law. The fact is it is darn hard to live the life we have lived on one salary. Other things in those snowballs are every vacation we ever took after kids, I suppose. Also in there are swim and dance classes for the girls. There's a lot of costly packaged food in there, as well as too much dining out. Definitely WAY too many clothes for the girls, one that REALLY irks me.

So the irony is that in trying not to be the bad guy, we are much worse off than if I had had a backbone and stopped the insanity. I'm not sure what my point here is, other than to think out loud on what is in those snowballs of debt. The immediate problem is I'm not even sure we have stopped digging, so like every governor in the country I am scrambling to cut costs to the bone. Oh well, what's life without a challenge?

12 Responses to “How did I let this happen?”

  1. frugaltexan75 Says:

    Just the fact that you are able to recognize what caused your snowflakes to turn into snowballs is half the battle. If you keep plugging the holes and chipping away, you will be in a much stronger position.

  2. Amber Says:

    I'm with you, most of my CC debt was dental work and tuition but I can kick myself for the clothes and other goodies.
    I agree with frugaltexan, first step in tackling this debt is accountability and I think you're moving in the right direction

  3. Petunia Says:

    Well, life's kind of boring without a challenge!

    I, too, have sometimes wondered how I ended up where I did. For myself I think it's included some denial and some wanting to believe the best in other people when evidence (in their behaviour) should have led me to think otherwise.

    There's no where to go but up from here, and we'll cheer you on. Just keep at it.

  4. creditcardfree Says:

    Is your wife involved in the payoff? If money is still being spent in the same way, it will be difficult to make a significant dent.

    It's great you are reflecting on this! Keep at it.

  5. mooshocker Says:

    First, owning it is great! Second, why only one income. Third, turn the faucet off NOW!!!!!!!! Stop the madness. You have too much life ahead of you to be worrying about these very controlable circumstances. Best of luck, set your goals and stick to them. God bless.

  6. homebody Says:

    I think I've said it before, if wife is not on board, this is going to be very tough! Having raised three daughters I feel your pain. But they do grow up and leave home. My YD had an American Girl Doll with a few accessories. They are now saved for her daughter along with Barbie gowns I was smart enough to save. (Still mad at DH for throwing out the Barbie house). And by the way, girls NEVER have enough clothes, they are just going to have to get used to it. You could do what I did, put them on an allowance and tell them their clothes have to come out of that, they suddenly start going straight to the sale racks, it's an amazing thing.

  7. crazyliblady Says:

    Hi, Ralph. Do you still have the American Girl dolls? I just checked Ebay and found one listed for around $170-$180 a piece.

  8. Amber Says:

    They are very expensive and I don't even think their cute

  9. homebody Says:

    They are too!

  10. ralph Says:

    Thanks very much for the words of encouragement, all. I promise I'll try to stop whining and start filling the hole now! As many of you have noted, involving my wife is key to this process. As you might expect, I've been stepping gingerly in that direction, but the situation is so serious now that I have to get more serious - I definitely can't do this alone, if I am eating beans and rice and she is living like nothing is wrong, that obviously won't work.

    So I suppose what I need to do is set a budget and repayment plan and involve her. She always accuses me of "spinning" the situation, I'm pretty sure as a form of denial, but numbers don't lie!

    What I am doing this weekend besides sweating out how to refinance the debt is listening to the "Maxed Out" audio book. It is pretty eye-opening and I highly recommend it.

    Oh, and as far as selling the dolls, I suppose that's possible, especially some of the excess accessories, but I think we'll just go the route of saving it for their children for now. But we can certainly start thinking about selling some of our excess junk, but most of it is pretty valueless I'm afraid. We did give a ot of thechild size clothes to family members, but maybe some of the teen clothes that they've outgrown we can sell now, although we have just been using clothing as our charitable donations.

  11. Amber Says:

    I saw maxed out...scary. Remember some one else junk is another treasure

  12. homebody Says:

    My daughters have done pretty well selling clothes on E-bay. A plain old garage sale might be a good idea. Spring is coming!

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