I’m Going to Get Rid of $50,000 in Debt
I was raised to follow a certain standard of propriety and manners.
I was raised to know better than to do what I am about to do.
But I know you’re my sweet friend. I know that you’re lovely and supportive and kind and non-judgmental and you’d never tell a soul that I may have fallen into this dastardly trap. I just know that I can trust you.
I’m not ready to admit this out loud just yet, so I’m going to whisper it to you real quick: I’mabout$50,000indebtandthatdoesn’tincludetheloanformyhouse.
Hmmm, what do you mean you didn’t understand me?!? I said that I am nearly $50,000 in debt not including my house loan.
Close your mouth; stop standing there with that look on your face.
I already know. I agree. It’s so shameful.
Okay, okay. I’ll try to explain myself; just give me a minute.
Alright, okay, it’s like this:
I still have student loans. Yes, I am aware that I graduated from college with my MBA in 1997, thankyouverymuch! I do know that that was nearly 20 years ago, and my loans should have been paid off by now. But, well, they’re not. I played the “defer-defer-pay-forebearance-go back to school for my teaching credential-defer-defer-pay-divorce-stop paying for almost a year-start making on time payments again-defer-forebearance” game a little too well. And the damn loans didn’t miraculously pay themselves off. Nor do I qualify for Loan Forgiveness because of the whole “failure to pay on time all the time” thing that I did rather frequently. So, I have approximately $28,000 in student loans that have languished and collected interest and will probably be worth four times that amount by the time I finally pay them off. At least student loans have an element of acceptability – I mean they are proof that I have my advanced degrees and that I worked hard to finish my education, right?!?
I have tax debt. As in: I owe the IRS money. Did you know that when you get divorced that you are supposed to nurse a broken heart, put the pieces of your life back together, and remember to let HR know that your tax withholding has changed? Well, good for you because I forgot all about that last one. For three years. This, in addition to the taxes I had to pay on the retirement account that I cashed out so that I would have an emergency fund as my marriage was falling apart, means that the IRS and I are in a long term relationship for the next $12,000 in payments.
And I have a car loan of $9,000-ish to pay off. It might be closer to $7,000, but I’ll keep thinking it’s $9,000 because that’s way scarier than $7,000, and the baby Jesus knows that I don’t want to get too comfortable with my debt.
I’m going to tell you something else even more shocking: I want to pay off most of this debt in the next year.
You’re doing that thing again with your eyes and your face and your mouth hanging open…dear friend, that’s not a good look for you! Stop that.
I know that paying off $50,000 in debt in one year may seem like crazy talk, but what if I do it? What if I put it out there in the universe that I want to get rid of my debt? What’s the worst thing that can happen? The universe is going to fall over laughing and say “I’d like to see you try!”? Well, challenge accepted.
Yes, lovely, I do know that I could fail. I do know that it could take me longer than 12 months to pay off $50,000, but so what?
How about this: why don’t you let me worry about how I’m going to pay it back? Let’s just meet once a month, drink some Starbucks, and talk about how far I’ve gotten. Deal?
Yes, I know; I think I say crazy things, too. See you in a month, k?