Friday, October 26, 2007

How Did I Get Here? – Part II: The Back Story

So, now that you know what my damage is, I bet you’re wondering where all that money went. Believe me, so was I. I certainly didn’t feel like I’d spend over $100,000 more than I’d made in my lifetime, but as I looked at each entry on the list, I knew it was true.

About $10k of the student loans are from undergrad, $40k are from the one semester I spent in law school, about $48k is from my subsequent technical degree for the field I’m currently in, and the remaining $1k-ish is capitalized interest.

The loan from my parents is from the period after I dropped out of law school when I was only sporadically employed for about seven months. They gave me money to pay rent, buy groceries, etc. for much of that time.

The loan from my friends is actually money that belongs to a committee we’re on. I’m responsible for keeping up our web space, so I received a check to pay for it after we had a fundraiser. The money is supposed to be sitting in the bank, waiting till we need to renew our subscription, but I (stupidly) used it to pay down a credit card a couple years ago and I haven’t put it back yet.

I bought a brand new car with no money down about four years ago.

The credit cards are a result of many things, but there were three main causes.

  • A pyramid scheme that ate $1,000 during my period of sporadic employment after law school
  • My period of sporadic employment after law school
  • Spending too much on eating out, DVDs, acrylic nails, etc.

I used credit cards exclusively and always planned to pay it off at the end of the month, but because of the scheme, the unemployment, and the over spending, the bills were perpetually too high to pay off, and they gradually got higher and higher. To make matters worse, I never really noticed that they were steadily rising.

I hope this post doesn’t make me sound too stupid. I’ve done some really boneheaded things when it comes to finances, but I’m on a new course now.

This post is part of my Financial Revolution Series, which is my personal financial story. Each post gives a piece of the story, detailing how I got into debt and how I turned things around.

Next time on TVG&M: Budgeting Is Not a Four Letter Word


Matt and Carol said...

I know you're not stupid!!! Hey, even the smartest folks do stupid things sometimes!

cough I did cough!

So proud of you!

Bethy said...

I don't think your post makes you look stupid. I do, however, think it reflects the stupid ideas regarding finances that have become common in our culture. They are so pervasive that most of us just follow them without much thought, only afterwards realizing that different choices would've brought different results.

TV Girl said...

Thanks for confirming that I'm not stupid, you guys. :)

I don't generally think I am, but after typing out all of the stupid things I'd done with my money, it was hard not to think so.

I think Bethy has some really good points though. Stupid ideas regarding finances have become VERY prevalent, and hindsight is 20/20.