Thursday, February 21, 2013

On Marriage and Debt

When I met my husband I had some debt. Who am I kidding, I had a lot of debt! Not only did I have the regular college loan debt; somewhere in the range $50,000 but a lot of credit card debt. I got stuck in that college rut, barely making any cash and putting everything including text books on my card. Add 10 years, 28% interest and here we are. Brian never even had a credit card so the idea of all of this debt did scare him. He was able to rest his mind knowing I never missed a payment and pay as much as double whenever I was able.

As we built a life together both Brian and I were able to pay off both of our cars before the purchase of our home and over the past 4 years we cut our debt by thousands. When saving for our wedding we made a promise to one another that we wouldn't put a thing on a credit card. We cut up my Visa and never looked back. Our entire wedding was paid for with whatever we had saved. It was a fantastic feeling knowing we didn't owe anyone anything after our wedding. All of our wedding gifts were put right in a savings account and we were able to put the money towards our honeymoon, purchase new windows, a down payment for our new Jeep and just recently wrote a rather large check to pay off all of my old credit card debt. I love that we are able to spend that money and put it towards our savings, improving our home and our new car. 

Although the feeling of paying off that debt was pretty amazing I can't help but still feeling a little guilty that the debt was all mine. I regret being a stupid college kid and a stupid 20 something too. Being materialistic really got the best me. Don't get me wrong I still love pretty things. Shoes, clothes and housewares still get the best of me but only when I have the cash for them. Brian is the polar opposite. He could care less about buying anything. I think he still wears dress pants he had in high school. He keeps me on track too. He reminds me of what is important and what we really need in life. Most of the time he is right. The other times Home Goods gets the win! 

Have you had experience in credit card debt? Have you been able to pay it off and if so where were you able to put that extra cash?


Jayme and Mendi said...

Hey there! Please don't feel guilty for having some debt when you entered into your relationship. You know what, it happens. And it happens to all of us. I had some. My now husband had some. And we even accumulated some together. We were able to pay off our debt and it feels great. A lot of people will disagree with me but we took the smallest balance and attacked that first. Most would say to tackle the debt with the highest rate which makes since but I needed to really feel like we were doing something. So we knocked the small amounts out and then jumped to the larger debts. That worked for us and kept us motivated. We took the year after we got married and basically said no to everything. We were invited on vacations and we said no. I went shopping with friends and bought nothing. We ate in a lot. We saved and paid every dime possible. I told my husband that we got engaged in one year, married the next and then had the most boring year ever. HAHA! But that feeling of paying that last amount was so worth it. Now we put money into savings and its nice having more disposable income for emergencies (need a new water heater - pay cash and not on the card). Being debt free just gives you more freedom.

Sounds like you guys are doing awesome!!

Jayme @ Her Late Night Cravings

Kristin said...

I really wish they taught about credit card debt in high school!

Nichole said...

Hubby and I really work at this daily, but when we first got together we really had to sit down and discuss; and it was the best thing we ever did. Kudos to you guys for getting it done!

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