Hi, nice to meet you.
If you’ve been here before then you already know a little about me. You’re about to learn some of my darkest not-so-secrets.
If you’ve never been here before then I’m about to make a GREAT first impression.
So these secrets – I call them not-so-secret because these aren’t things that people who know me DON’T know about me. But these are things that people who know me don’t know all the details. These are things that keep me up at night, that worry me through out the day. These are things affect me today, and tomorrow, and for years to come, and they’ve been weighing me down for a couple of months already.
So what are these things?
My finances – or better yet, my lack thereof. My debts.
So let’s start with the obvious debts – the kinds that everyone has, no big deal, we’ll pay em off eventually: student loans and my auto loan. I graduated with negative 22k and in October last year my credit union financed 11k for my 2012 sentra. So 33k in the hole, but I’m alright.
Then let’s go to the consumer debts – the kinds that came from buying things I didn’t necessarily need. Like that 1.3k table I bought at Omnia for my 25th birthday and the hotel stay and the spa day. Like those festivals and concerts. Like my brand new couch and sofa, my 3 piece bedroom, my 2nd 16pc dinnerware set.
And like laser hair removal.
WTF is wrong with me.
Consumer debt up the butt, like 15k deep or something like that. Specific numbers in the next post. So yeah I have debt.
And it got to the point where one night, when I was supposed to have bought groceries to cook dinner for my gentleman and myself, I was instead working late and dropped the ball.
So I told him to phone order some food and I’d pick it up on the way to his place. I had $30 to my name, and that was all.
The bill for dinner? $40 something.
Now, he knows that I’m broke. But until that night he did not know how much exactly “broke” meant.
Picture me walking into a tiny restaurant, giving my name to the tall guy with short hair standing behind the cash register. I’ve been here before and he knows my face, but he can’t remember my name. Imagine me knowing to the cent how much my checking account is in the red. Imagine me knowing to the cent my available balance on my credit card. Imagine me when the tall guy with short hair tells me the phone order costs more than that. Imagine now me imagining that the tall guy with the short hair will probably forget my name but remember my face and remember that I couldn’t pay.
I have to call my gentleman and tell him dinner can’t be on me.
I take out my phone, unlock it. I have a text message. It says: and can you pick up a malbec or a pinot or a cab? i’ll pay you back.
So I text back: haha no, i can’t even afford dinner.
I follow up: and now you know how broke I am.
I call him, mortified. He laughs it off and says just come to the apartment first and I’ll give you some cash.
He buys dinner. I buy wine.
He asks me how I plan to get by while I’m broke. I tell him I probably won’t spend that much money. And how am I going to do that?, he wants to know. Well, you see, I tell him, it gets really difficult to spend money when you don’t have any of it.
And a few days after that he drops me 2 bens to float me by.
Fast forward to payday.
I pay rent, I pay bills. I pay the minimum balance on all my open credit lines.
I’m out of money before the rest of my coworkers receive their direct deposit.
So last weekend, after a night of spending too much money playing bar pool and drinking beer, my gentleman point blank asks where did all my money go.
And I tell him I can’t remember but does it matter because I’m not spending like that anymore. Thankfully, he understands me, and I don’t have to hate myself all over again for how irresponsible I used to be. When we get back to the house he calls me over to sit down. He’s got a pen and the backs of two blank envelopes at the ready: What are your debts, he says.
I walk away.
Where are you going?
To my laptop. I’ve got a spreadsheet.
That night I laid it all out.
And he helped me make a plan. It’s gonna be rough, but it’s gonna bail me out.
Stay tuned to see how fucked I am and how we plan to fix it.