I am embarrassed to say that I am so normal in some ways; I truly wish to be extraordinary in everything. But every time I look at my credit card bills I realize that I am a statistic. A horrible statistic, but a ridiculous statistic.
I actually have an MBA, and have spent time in my life in those corner offices with the title Chief Financial Officer, but still I look down at that debt and wonder if I lost my mind somewhere. Did I black out and go on multiple shopping sprees? It’s possible, even a symptom of mental diseases, but really? Me?
Here is the truth. The truth was there were simply three situations that I could neither get out of nor avoid. My sick mother-in-law came to visit after living on the streets; my two children were born and I literally had to buy everything from a new car to all the other crap (plus one got real sick as a child) and I lost my job for nine months. The problem I always have with credit is that I could honestly pay it off, but every time I give $500, only $200 is taken off the balance. It is frustrating and makes all the hard work I did to find that $500 almost meaningless.
But the truth can’t be avoided. I have debt. And while I don’t carry credit cards in my wallet, and I certainly don’t use the ones I have, the years have created crisis that must be paid off. And I can’t fully relax until I pay them off. Every time I think about the amount of money I send to credit card companies I literally feel sick.
So I do everything right…I put every bit of extra money I have each month towards the debt, I always pay more than a minimum, and I track it and watch it and know it more intimately than I know my dog. And one day I will get there (at least Dave Ramsey’s plan says I will). I am on a budget, and I don’t buy presents or anything else unless I have cash. That’s right I only use cash.
And I can’t wait for that day when instead of sending all my money out, I can send it all to a high interest money market account. My heart beats just thinking about it.
But in the meantime, as I plug along, I try to find inspiration, advice, anything to help. But what I have found is that all the advice is the same no matter what book or website you visit. I have found there is very little inspiration to make me feel good about the journey that I am on (and the fact that I am trying at all). Oh, there are success stories, but really that’s just bragging. I need moments were I can feel like at least I am trying and maybe not getting anywhere fast, but I am going forward.
I will not be paying on these cards until 2063; I simply refuse. And while I know that I can’t have instant success – lottery tickets don’t work for me – a little “good job” or a little advice that isn’t the norm would be nice. Just a little bit to energize me and remind me that while I have to do this, it doesn’t just have to be depressing.
Where’s my chocolate?
The truth is I know that I will make this. The truth is I know that I am doing the right thing, but the truth is I really, really, really wish there was a miracle solution that would just make it all go away.