Wednesday, April 28, 2010

what's in YOUR wallet?


i don't think anyone actually thinks this when they fall in love, but it happens to a lot of us. it "happened" to us also. it started off innocently enough. i got my first "real job" right out of college and it involved travel. the company asked me to get a credit card so i could charge my expenses and get reimbursed. i did this with no problem as i grew up thinking credit cards were just like debit cards but you paid them in one lump sum at the end of the month. the entire balance. of course. right? well, i quickly learned that there was such a thing as a "minimum" payment and that if i charged things on my credit card i got a "reward". rewards are good, right?
everything was o.k. until sonny graduated. and we had a baby. and i quit my job. and sonny couldn't find a job. my parents graciously let us stay with them and most of our expenses were covered, but we started charging a few things here and there. and not paying them off here and there. after a year of just charging a few things sonny got a fulltime job in california. we thought the pay would be plenty to cover costs, but turned out not to be. rather than making more money or spending less we just put some more on the credit card. until it became a habit. then we started not looking at the statements any more. we were officially in full on denial. and it was bad. over the next couple of years we racked up over $40,000 in credit card debt. yes. you read correctly. it could have been more...that's my guess. we had multiple cards and lines of credit and sadly tens of thousands of dollars more of available credit!

we finally looked at it in the face one day in the summer of 2007. we left our beautiful four-bedroom two bath two-story home and moved into a one-bedroom basement apartment. i got a part-time job. we quit our gym. we sold everything we could (besides the kids). i even stopped getting diet cokes. it was a dark time. but we felt good. we knew we were attacking this burden and that freedom was worth it. there have been many setbacks along the way. car troubles, relocation, dental disasters, but we kept on course. sonny and i have worked extra jobs for the past three years to hammer that debt and today. i am THRILLED to announce. it. is. GONE!!!! we still have student loan debt, van debt, and now house debt, but the credits cards all read zero. and boy does that. feel. good.

12 comments:

Bonnie Lock said...

Oh My Goodness, that is incredible!!!!!! A huge congrats to you both. I know you both have worked so hard for this day, it is well earned and well deserved. You should celebrate!!!!

Liz said...

Wow Wow Wow! That is amazing! Congrats!

C and G said...

WAY TO GO!!! Good for you guys. It's an incredible freedom. Keep working on the van and school loans!!! You can do it!

Kristal Sawyer said...

Praise God! That is so awesome Kristal!

Jeana said...

Congratulations! What an exciting and inspiring story!

darbishar said...

Woo Hoo!

lani said...

that's wonderful! hooray for you guys - what an accomplishment!!! :)

Tonya said...

WOO HOO!! Way to go! That is no easy feat, so congrats! You both deserve a big pat on the back!!

Jeannette said...

AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!! Go Varelas!!!! Thank you for sharing that. What an encouragement to so many who feal trapped by debt. Keep telling your story!

Carolyn said...

Wow! Way to go you guys. That is a huge accomplishment!

sonny said...

Ahhh, to be young and stupid again! But why did we buy a house?

Ronald said...

I am sure Dave Ramsey would be proud of you.
I know that I am. You guys are inspiration to all.
Love you