Whether good or bad, planned or unplanned, I can confidently say there are very few amongst us who do not have a relationship with debt. We've got it, our parents have it, and before you know our kids will too. Debt and discussions of debt are everywhere... on Oprah, and NPR, in the newspapers, and on the news. People are making good money and yet they just aren't making it. They are losing their homes at record rates. It's a scary world out there... financially speaking.
We've got our own debt story but ours is maybe a bit unusual, as it was completely preventable, had pride and wishful thinking not gotten in the way. Mr F has a good heart but poor time management and possibly even worse financial management skills. We learned this the hard way. Had there been an open dialogue about money in our relationship it would never have needed to get to the point it did. Three years later we are (outside of our mortgage) completely debt free. That's saying something.
While we aren't sinking in a pool of debt we aren't exactly saving any money either. In fact with the housing market the way it is here in Michigan what should have been our biggest asset has lost over $100,000 in value in the last few years. If the market doesn't change soon we may find ourselves owing more on our house than it is worth! And until we start spending less than we earn... or earning more than we spend... we can't ensure that we'll stay debt free for long.
I'm going to be spending the next few months trying to reorganize our spending and find ways to take more control over our finances. Like many of you I feel very overwhelmed and completely uninformed about money. I'm hoping to post weekly about our progress and what I've been learning along the way. Please feel free to share your debt story (post anonymously if you'd like) and tips... your triumphs and your short comings in the comments as we go along. You are surely not alone and we can all learn from one another's mistakes and successes.