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Debt Free by 33

August 1st, 2007 at 10:55 am

That was my mantra in my late 20s, when for a period of time I was diligently chipping away at mine and AS's $50K or so of debt (much of it student loan, some credit card). Well, I turned 33 this year, and when I totaled my debt in March, it had more than quintupled! Granted most was mortgage debt, but a good deal still student loan and much more credit card than before.

Another adult entered my household this year as well, with his own adult-sized debt. I just "took on" (psychologically) NT's debt as well last night, and that adds another $141K to my $277K, bringing me (psychologically) to $418K in debt. Whoa, close to half a million. That's nutty. At this point, you can't even freak out because there's no human reaction befitting that. And that's not counting the 4 years of college he hopes to get, I imagine to the tune of not much less than $40K total. And. And. And...

On the upside, whereas mine & AS's assets are only about $180K worth of home (that's an estimate; we bought it for $207K but I know home sales have been sluggish in my building) and $26K of retirement funds (probably less from the recent crash, but soon to build to that again), NT gives me (psychologically) with his debt a home worth $260K and a retirement fund of unknown value. That gives the three of us assets worth $466K not counting NT's retirement.

Coming to a net worth of $48,000 between us. (If you don't count the upcoming college costs, which could very well take us down to net worth of $8K.)

As a pick-me-up it ain't much, but I'll take it. Now to roll up my sleeves (or should I say shine my shoes?), because I have some fancy financial footwork ahead of me.

NT's rental income isn't quite covering his mortgage and credit card payments, so I have to come up with an extra $400 per month. He also has a new job which we should (hopefully) find out the compensation details of soon, but unfortunately I was already eyeing that extra income and thinking about where I could put it, so it's a bit of a downer that I have to spread it a little more thinly than I thought.

First step today: move back a credit card payment that I usually pay early, and use that money to do an emergency transfer into his checking account to cover some bills hitting tomorrow. Hoping everything happens in the right order; if not we'll have some overdraft fees to contend with.

Sigh. The funny thing is, I knew some reckoning was coming for at least a couple months, ever since NT told me he hadn't checked his accounts for awhile and wasn't sure the payments were being covered. I think the reason this all seems overwhelming is a tiny straw: AS charged $13 for drinks last night on our check card, and NT bought a messenger bag on one of his credit cards for $70. Now, neither of them rebels very often, and I've been reining them in pretty strictly since March, so these aren't huge deals in the grand scheme of things. But finding out about them at the same time that I'm trying to deal with all this just makes my stomach feel hollow.

Ah well. no one I've encountered on this site is in anywhere near this kind of debt, but at least I know you guys will be thinking of me (hopefully sympathetically) and pulling for me. It makes me feel less isolated.

Thanks for listening!

4 Responses to “Debt Free by 33”

  1. Ima saver Says:

    WE are pulling for you!!

  2. koppur Says:

    we are pulling for you sunshine!

    if it makes you feel better, my debt:
    student loans $67,000
    credit cards $4,600
    personal loan $15,000

    Total: $86,600 and I don't even have my own home to show for it.


  3. Broken Arrow Says:

    Hey there! I just turned 33 myself.

    Are the debts and assets separate, even though you are manage them? Unless their debts and assets are somehow directly tied to you, I don't personally consider it as my own net worth. Instead, I would just consider myself as their own personal accountant.

    I don't know if that helps your world view any.

    Also, it's worth considering that you're more forthright than others. I don't think irresponsible spending and excessive debt is something man people are willing to pipe up and, since they might fear being chastised.

    Finally, when I was married, our net worth was more than -330k. And that's for two adults (and OK, 3 small children). That was really tough... so I feel your pain. Hang in there!

  4. ceejay74 Says:

    Thanks guys; venting helps soo much! And so do your encouraging words. :-) In answer to your question, BA, some of the debt is tied directly to me, either jointly with one of them or with just my name on it. Overall, it doesn't make that much difference to separate it out; I think I'd end up with less debt but negative net worth, so who knows what's better or worse?

    Thanks again for your supportive comments, everyone. At least I have the full picture now, so I can start to tackle it.

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