2.17.2011

Where did all this debt come from?

In trying to pay off our credit card debt, there are many times when I sit back and think about how we got ourselves into this position.  How did we let so much debt pile up on credit cards like this?

I get mad at myself for making poor decisions or wasting away our money.  Or for living beyond our means. Mostly I get disappointed with myself.

But ya know what?  I really try hard to knock those feelings down because our debt is not from spending too much on a daily basis, it's not from buying luxury items, it's not from going on vacations or anything like that. 

Most of our debt was from renovating the entire upper level of our home.  When we found out I was pregnant with my son, who is now 3, we needed another bedroom.  Our house has 1.5 levels, instead of 2 full levels.  And the upstairs, which is two bedrooms, was cheaply finished off, with no closets, no real flooring, hardly any insulation, no heat and no air conditioning. 

So it had to be completely gutted and renovated.  It was a huge project and we had no way to pay for it.  So we did the reasonable thing and put it all on credit cards.  Unfortunately we didn't really have any other options. 

In order to reduce the impact, we tried to be smart about our decisions and to cut costs where we could.  My Dad has alot of experience in renovating my parents' home so he did alot of the labor for us - for free.  That saved us an incredible amount of money.  We also were lucky to come across several coupons for Lowe's to save $10-$50 off certain purchases.  And we shopped around for prices, got lots of estimates, and put alot of thought into where our money was going.

So that's where most of our debt comes from.  I'm not sorry we did it.  I just wish we had been able to pay off more of that debt by now.  Unfortunately the economy took a hit and Hubby didn't receive his pay raises, he suffered pay cuts and furlough days, insurance copays and premiums went up... all while the cost of living skyrocketed.  It has been tough.

But I know we are stronger for having gone through all this.  And we survived, without paying a single bill late.  So now that things are looking up for us a little bit, we're committed to paying off our credit card debt and moving forward. 

- - Follow along with us and see our progress throughout the year.  I'll be posting monthly updates.  Check out my January Credit Card Debt Recap. - -