I just checked my first post date. It was 7/31/08. That means I’ve been blogging for 4 1/3 years. Wow.
Frankly, I’m astonished/amused that it’s been so long. I started this blog fully expecting to give it up after a month or two, just like most of my hobbies.
I guess more than 50 months later, I can safely say it’s not a passing fancy.
I started this site because I got tired of reading blogs that really only spoke to “normal” people. People who didn’t struggle with severe, sometimes debilitating depression, chronic fatigue or other special conditions/circumstances that really limited their options.
Unlike a lot of people interested in debt reduction, we didn’t get into debt from careless consumerism. We had medical bills, as well as $20,000 in student loans. Of the $10,000 in credit card debt, $7,500 was from a single medical incident.
Meanwhile, we had $3,000 in monthly income from disability, unemployment and some part-time contract work. That had to cover rent ($700), insurance ($500), specialist co-pays ($150-200) and medications ($150-200). Plus, of course, credit card and student loan payments.
So we needed to be frugal. But we were never going to be shining examples of thriftdom.
One of my first posts was about how I’m not the Martha Stewart of frugality. (And that’s a good thing.)
About a year after I started the blog, we moved to Arizona for health reasons. That put another $3,000-ish on the card.
A few months later, in April 2010, a job found me. My mom happened to be talking to someone who happened to be making a new position at his company. One that let the employee work from home and take breaks as needed. And paid very fairly.
In other words, the job that I never dreamed as possible. (Which is saying something because, thanks to chronic fatigue, I sleep a lot!)
With full-time pay, we were able to get out of debt within three months. Then we spent a little carelessly, got a cat with health problems and had three different car repairs. Which put us back in debt for another four months.
Then things happened, as they always do, to keep us on unstable footing: a totaled car, the decision to buy a house a year early (to keep the in-laws from being homeless).
But we seem to be edging toward stability. We have a $1,900 emergency fund. The $1,500 credit card balance will be paid off this next month. We’ll be done paying off our current car within 8 months. (One month, if I get a bonus again this year.)
We still have a mortgage, and the utility bills will continue to kill us until we can afford double-paned windows. But, compared to four years ago, we’re living like royalty.
I do feel the need to point out that our current circumstances are as much luck as hard work.
We absolutely put a lot of blood, sweat and tears (lots and lots of tears) into debt reduction. We’ve also had plenty of help along the way.
Somehow I doubt the next four years will be quite so tumultuous — well, unless we do manage to have a baby — but here’s hoping you guys stick around to find out.