When I was nineteen years old, my life hit a speed bump. I was going to school full-time, working part-time, and living at home. Family drama ensued and I found myself homeless in an instant and I was not financially prepared for such a change.
I can’t remember when I first got a credit card, but it was shortly after being kicked out. I was struggling to make ends meet and I just needed a little extra until my dad sorted his life out or I was able to pick up some more hours at work. Unfortunately for me, neither one of those things happened and the credit card continued to increase slowly.
My history with credit cards is really all a blur after this. I made a move to another state, struggled to find a job, and then when I did find a job it was for $6.15 an hour and almost an hour away. A series of life events unfolded over the next decade and a half that saw me divorced twice, in and out of different apartments, and a slew of unexpected bills. I never had a crazy spending habit, but I definitely could have been better with my money, especially in my early twenties. I also should not have taken all the debt after my first divorce, I just wanted out so badly at the time it didn’t really matter to me. But these were the choices that I made and that is what left me in the mess I’ve been fighting to get myself out of.
I’m trying to rack my brain to figure out the most damage the credit cards did, but I know at most I had three credit cards at once and I’d say somewhere around $10,000 in debt. That’s not to say I didn’t pay a lot more towards it over time, but I think at the max, my own personal debt amount was around $10k.
I hate owing people and I hate having to pay interest of previous purchases. If I had to do it all over again, I would have never taken out that credit card. I would have dropped out of school and got another a job. But I didn’t, so I’ve spent the last several years trying to fix my financial life.
I’m happy to say, that as of today, I am completely debt free. It’s taken me well over fifteen years, but I don’t owe anyone anything and I can’t tell you how happy that makes me. It’s been arguably the biggest goal of my life to be out of debt and that day has finally arrived. I know it wont last forever, I’m sure I’ll need to borrow to buy a new car when my current car dies and I know life has a funny way of sticking it to ya when you are down, but I’m gonna do my best to never have another credit card payment for the rest of my life. I’ve already paid them enough.