Thursday, April 24, 2008

Where did all that debt come from?

I've decided to experiment and see if I can remember what we bought with our credit cards. These are the rough numbers that I can remember off the top of my head. This will be an exercise in finding out if I can recall the majority of the debt we have and whether it was spent on needed stuff or frivolous items.

2002: I met my husband this year and we started dating in March. I remember that on our first official date I was so excited because I had literally just paid off all my credit cards. I had been embarrassed by my whopping $800 in debt. Lol.

When I moved in with him there were things we "needed", of course. A bachelor living in a 425 sq. foot place with a dog and two cats needed far less than a couple. (We lived there for almost a year together. Yikes! That's true love.) I would guess $500.

Then my computer needed to be replaced. Enter approximately $1800 worth of debt.

Then we got married. Instead of spending lots on a wedding we went to the courthouse (I wore a pretty dress I already have; black if you can believe it!) and then on a cruise. I had already decided to go on the cruise for my birthday and had invited my boyfriend. We decided to get married the day before so that we'd have a honeymoon. $1700 plus about $400 in misc. wedding stuff. (Hey--that's a lot better than a lot of people; some spend tens of thousands on the wedding alone!)

We got into massage school this year as well. I am very proud to say that we did not get into debt. We both paid $300 a month faithfully.

2003: We moved to a beautiful house (rented) that did not have a washer and dryer. I had to purchase them. $800.

We graduated from massage school. Licenses were applied for which required a state fee and a national exam fee. We also purchased some equipment. Probably $700.

2004: I decided I needed a hand held organizer instead of trying to juggle a bunch of purse-size calendars for appointments. $400.

Took several CEU classes to the tune of $700.

I stopped doing computer consulting and worked full time as a therapist, which was great, but we did incur some expenses for marketing and such. $1200?

First year's CPA fee $500.

Splurged on random stuff at for some reason. $160.

Husband, later in the year, decided he also had to have a PDA. (I use mine every day; his gathers dust. *sighs*) $550

2005: Went back to school! This was all student loan debt (not counted in my credit card total but will eventually be dealt with.)

Car repairs: $600 or more.

My husband got laid off at one point and we incurred almost $2500 here just to get by. (Still living in beautiful house with $1200 rent--what were we thinking?--at $12/hour pay. Yikes.)

My father died in late 2005 and that created some stress mentally. I only took four days off work, but I know we spent a little bit as a direct effect of this. My guess is $400.


More car repairs: $600 or more plus $500 on my husband's.

I expanded my business. I took out student loans for most of the expense of skin care training but easily $1600 got charged.

Went to trade show, had car repairs (see above) on way, had to rent car, plus cost of tickets and items we bought for business expansion. $1300? That's probably a little high.

Spent at least $2000 for new equipment for skin care.

CEUs $600.

We may have put this year's CPA fees on the credit card. I'm sure we did it two years. I'm not sure which two.

2007: I think I put a total of $300 on my credit cards in 2007. Whoo hooo! This was to renew our licenses.

I was very proud of myself because in late 2006 and early 2007 I got to the point where I could buy retail product to replenish my stock out of the sales I had made, sometimes to the tune of an extra $600 a month. This was a really cool thing, in my opinion. Since our business expansion was complete there wasn't a whole lot I had to charge. In fact, if my husband hadn't gotten laid off again and I wasn't pregnant, I think we could have paid the $300 ourselves.

2008: Zero, baby, zero!

And the grand total... $21,110.


I am amazed. I really thought I'd have to scratch my head and go, "what did we spend all this money on?" And while I'm sure a lot of my above figures are not accurate I am happy that I wasn't really far off the mark. I'm a little over it, in fact.

Can you remember each purchase that got you into debt?

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