Is that title dramatic enough? I’ve been mentally working on this post all week. I have been in debt for what feels like forever. I think I got my first credit card while I was still in university – so I would have been 20. And at multiple times my debt has prevented me from doing things I wanted to do – or forced me to work job I really didn’t want to work.
Right now, our debt seems ridiculously overwhelming. We have posted an ad to take a stranger into our home for the rental income. I’m posting more ads this weekend for other odd jobs. Once I return from Wisconsin in July, I’ll be looking to see if I can pick up a part time job. I’m willing to do this to knock out some of our debt, because right now, it’s holding us back.
I’m looking to change jobs, but I make a lot of money at my current employer. To manage our debt load and maintain our lifestyle, I need that income. Plus, honestly, I really don’t want to go back to accounting (which I’m qualified for); another casino job will be hard to get because most of them pay less than I earn now and are located in higher cost of living cities; and I’m a Canadian which makes it difficult to get work in an American casino where there are some good opportunities.
Yes, we could change our lifestyle significantly, but that is not (just) my decision to make. My husband is willing to make some changes, but would rather I try to find alternate employment before we execute any radical changes such as selling our house. We do not want to reduce our retirement contributions, because although our debt is high, his retirement creeps closer every day.
So I feel stuck. Twice last week I sent Bruce text messages telling him I was thisclose to quitting. He has already told me if it reaches that point, pull the plug and we’ll figure it out. But because I keep our family books, I know how much we don’t have in the bank, so I’m not willing to hurt us that bad – yet.
Feeling stuck. Feeling trapped. All because we have spent more than we earned, more than once. I’m trying to figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life. I’m trying to figure out how to create a side income that I can continue working no matter where I live, or how old I get. Starting over at this point seems impossible, because of the debt hanging over our heads.
I know it’s not impossible. Lots of people have paid off more debt than we have, and have taken risks to live their life the way they want to. For the time being, we are tackling our debt one bill at a time, trying to knock them off and make sure they never come back. Next week I’ll be posting about some of the things we’re doing, and some of the things I want to do. I’m also going to try to add a widget or two to help track our debt repayment progress.
Today is Day One.