Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Facing the ugly truth

I don't know what I expected when Jenny and I decided to embark on this blogging adventure, other than I hoped it would help keep me on track in my quest to get rid of the debt that is holding us back. What I didn't expect was the quick welcome from others in what I understand is affectionately known as the "PF blogging community." (I think PF stands for personal finance. If I'm wrong, somebody tell me what it is.)

Today I took the advice of Sarah, who suggested giving a more detailed breakdown of my debts under a separate tab so that anyone who stops by could keep us straight. It was a scary sight to see all the debts listed. Humbling too. I have a lot of work to do. As a disclaimer, I did not list the mortgage on our home or one student loan that is not in repayment yet. I did list the remaining debts, all of which we are actively working on. It's quite a list.

I guess it's a sign of how deep we were in that I had never made such a list, even for myself. In general, I am organized to the point of annoying. I'm an everything-has-a-place kind of gal and I can put my hand on anything in my house that anyone is looking for in a matter of seconds. But clearly I had buried my head in the sand when it came to the debt.

That ends today. It's out there for all to see, including me. I'll update it somewhere around the 15th of every month so I (and you) can see the progress, slow as it may seem. We quit using credit cards in November and four of the accounts are now closed anyway and in a BLP. At least the debt won't be going up.

Thanks for the support. I can tell I'm going to like it here.

Sarah


8 comments:

  1. hey Sarah!
    I checked out the tab it looks great! I agree it does feel overwhelming, when I first did my tally up I had UNDER estimated it by almost 10,000. And even after I had committed to getting my student debt down and was blogging about it I still wasn't being honest with my blog/ blogging friends or myself about my credit card debt. I thought I had it under control and it was 'no big deal' but I really just had my head in the sand! So now I have it posted on my blog... no more hiding.

    And yes PF does mean Personal Finance ;D

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  2. Thanks, Sarah! Well, if I couldn't be honest here - and with myself - I didn't figure I'd ever get out of this mess. It's been easy to convince myself that it wasn't this bad, but seeing it in black and white ... It actually feels like a weight lifted to admit to it.

    Sarah

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  3. I know that having those big numbers all together in one place where you and everyone else can see them is intimidating, but it will help you to stay honest about your debt, and also to inspire you.
    If it were me, I would list the mortgage and student loan debt as well, but put the disclaimer beside it. It's still debt, even if you are meeting your obligations on the mortgage, or, in the case of the other student loan, it isn't even time to repay yet.
    having it with the list will remind you that those debts are there too, again, keeping you honest with yourself. However, that's just my opinion. Not telling you what to do, just suggesting.
    Remember, it does get better.

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  4. Point taken, Antie. Maybe I will. I guess if we're going to put it all out there, we should put it ALL out there. And i will admit that seeing those numbers in one place has already made me think twice about anything I purchase - from food to gas. So I guess it's already guiding us in the right direction. Thanks for the encouragement.

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  5. Listing them is the first step towards making a plan. It allows you to be honest about your financial world. Every journey starts somewhere :-)

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  6. Well said, Jolie. It will definitely be a long and difficult journey, but at least I feel like I've taken the first step in the right direction. The finish line can only get closer, right? :)

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  7. The PF community is wonderful. There are lot of us out here with our own take on things. I am partial to those that are more like myself...in a mountain of debt and trying to get out....throw in some dry humor and sarcasm...and I am good.

    Just keep going!!!

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  8. @ Mysti - Thanks for the encouragement. Like you, I've been drawn to the blogs who are closer to where we are now. It feels good to find kindred spirits ;)

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