Hello credit card debt, how DID you come into my life?


Since I’ve been back on the wagon with this whole debt thing, I’ve been actually letting my friends know my situation. Yes I’ve come out of the closet regarding my debt. It’s awkward cause they usually assume I’m going to tell them I’m gay. Why they always assume this is another long story, if I can put a PF spin on it, you may read about it. Maybe its cause I always open the conversation with “I need to tell you something about me, I’m coming out about this. I’ve struggled with it for so long by myself, but I’ve reached a milestone in my head. Something just clicked. And now I’m proud of who and what I am. Screw what everyone else thinks. *long pause as they look at me with wide, large astonished eyes* I’m in debt and am now a PF geek, and I blog about it” I should maybe leave out the long pause?? But that’s not what this post is about so, moving on…

So after the awkwardness, the nervous laughter and the conversation as to why they would assume I would be coming out of the gay closet. There comes the inevitable question.

“How in the world did you manage to get that much credit card debt?”

On the face of it, I can see why they ask this question. I don’t really have anything to show for this amount of debt. I don’t have a wardrobe full of designer clothes, I don’t have shoe racks full of designer shoes, I don’t have fancy furniture, I don’t have state of the art entertainment system, I don’t have an ultra powerful gaming pc, I don’t have a car.

So where did my money go?

Essentially there really is only one answer to that question: girls.

I am very stupid when girls and finances come together. VERY STUPID. Think of whatever you think is the epitome of stupidity in your head. Multiply that by 13.5, that’s how stupid I am when it comes to money and girls I like. And don’t blame the girl. This is all me. It’s not like I’ve had relationships with high maintenance girls, who have demanded expensive presents or want to go to expensive restaurants, and I am not a spineless doormat that would say ok to whatever they demanded.

Most of the time, I’d just be walking along. See something I know that they’d like and just buy it for them. Like The Blonde for example, loved lizards. I was walking along and saw a some exotic pet shop walked in and bought this weird ass looking thing. No hinting on her part, I just knew she would love it. Ka-ching there goes $500.

And it didn’t have to be extravagant either. I could spend a couple hundred a month cause I’d see a key chain/little doohickey/a thingymibob that I knew she would enjoy. Fourth Floor Girl for example, her nickname was “Sunshine”, so every time I came across a Little Miss Sunshine thing (you know from the Mr Men thingy) I’d get it.

“So how in the world did you spend $20,000 on your credit cards if it’s just things like that?”

Well, there was one very extravagant thing.

Basically $15,000 of that $20,000 is all because of one girl. The Big Ex (and I don’t mean that as in she’s a large woman, she’s quite petite, it just she had the biggest effect on my life. I mean we’ve been broken up for more than half a decade and I’m still trying to fix the mess I made of my life). See she broke up with me. And me being the stupid idiot moron that I am, decided I would win her back.

How did I think I was going to do this?

Simple.

By chasing her across Europe.

That’s right you read that properly. And keep in mind I live in Australia.

So, I quit my job. Took out an exorbitant loan, signed up for two new credit cards. Bought a last-minute ticket to Europe (and if you’ve ever bought a last-minute ticket to anywhere not domestic, you know how expensive they can be) charged everything to the cards, and tried to mend the relationship.

Now all this would probably have been worth it, IF I got the girl.

Uh-huh, I didn’t even get the girl. I don’t blame her. I was a mess, a wreck and any other synonyms you may have to describe a complete disaster of a person. I look back on the me then, and I’m actually a little grossed out.

So I get back and enter a hazy period of my life, which I seriously have trouble recalling. I know I jumped from job to job, and was unemployed for at least a few weeks in-between if not months, but for the life of me I can’t recall details. There were dates that were paid by credit cards, I think I even managed a couple of relationships as well, how in the world I did that I will never know. All this time, I’m barely paying my bills, missing a payment here, missing a payment there. Using one credit card to pay off another. You know the drill.

Then around 2009 I start coming out of that 4 year funk. Not fully. But I actually have memories of this time period. And I start getting into the habit of paying my bills on time. But at this point I’m splitting my payments evenly across 5 credit cards, 1 personal loan and 1 car loan, all amounting to roughly $50,000 + in debt (as I’ve advised Lane from In Mint Condition, who is completely awesome by the by, we don’t usually count student loans in Australia since they’re government funded and there is no requirement to pay them until you’ve reached a certain salary range, BUT if I did count my student loans, at this time I would be about $75,000 + or so in debt). Not to mention health insurance, phone bills etc etc. So I was barely covering the minimums on most of these. Sometimes I’d have to wait an extra week after the due date just because I didn’t have the money to pay for that particular bill. But in saying that I still managed to pay off 1 credit card (the one with the lowest balance of $2,500).

Then comes 2010 (and I’m pretty sure I’ve told that story already) and despite the setbacks, I did manage to pay off the car loan.

And then 2011, the week before I started this blog, I finally managed to pay off the personal loan. And currently tackling the remaining credit cards.

And here we are.

So to answer the question:

“How in the world did you manage to get that much credit card debt?”

I’m a moron.

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4 responses to “Hello credit card debt, how DID you come into my life?

  1. I almost booked a flight from the States to Iraq when my boyfriend and I were going through a rough patch in our long distance military relationship. Boy, I’m glad I didn’t! But I had the credit limit to do it. Scary.

    Wow, $50k+ of debt? You’re where I want to be a year from now. Except the whole coming out of the closet part. Maybe.

    If Australia forgives your loan unless you reach a certain salary level, I would think a policy like that would result in many underachievers in the corporate world. True?

    • So basically… what youre saying is that youre not a moron. That’s okay. You can still read about my moronic adventures and judge me. 😛

      As for student loans, well no not really. Once you reach that salary level, you have the repayments taken off your gross income (which are quite small). So you barely miss it. I don’t really know anyone who thinks “oh I’m about to hit the salary level to pay off my HECS (Higher Education Contribution Scheme, thats what we call ’em) I better not get any more promotions.” It’s like a loan from your parents (your parents are ridiculously rich in this scenario by the way) you’d love to pay it off, but you know the money’s not going to be missed and you can get away with making small payments once you can afford it.

  2. When I think back to our respective credit card debts, with hubby & I, I think it was a case of trying to over-impress one another while dating. If he paid for everything on one weekend get-away, including a lavishly expensive hotel suite, I would spend/charge twice as much two weeks later on another weekend get-away. A vicious, expensive cycle that landed us in almost $20,000 of credit card debt.
    The absurdity of it all comes in the fact that we figured out that we both enjoy similar, simpler activities, and we never needed to ‘out-spend’ one another in the first place. What an expensive lesson to learn.
    I guess that makes us morons too. 😉

    • Welcome to the club! The walls are padded, the medicine cabinet is child-proofed, and there are corks on our forks. Oh and Sponge Bob Square Pants is on the television. 🙂

      Yeah, thats the darndest thing about relationships, you spend all this money trying to impress each other only to realise that both of you would rather just sit on the deck drinking a couple of brewski’s or that they’re really not going to be that into you no matter what you do. This is why I’ve decided that singlehood is the only way to go. Don’t get me wrong, you couple people are cool. It’s a personal preference, like wearing underwear, or not wearing underwear, it doesn’t really matter to anyone else. Unless you’re going around telling people you’re not wearing any underwear, that would just make things awkward.

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