Saturday, September 8, 2007

Can our marriage survive a financial fiasco?

Credit cards companies are the devil. Okay, so maybe I over-exaggerate a bit, but with interest rates topping out near 40% and expansive marketing campaigns with slogans like, “Free to do what I want” and “Make Life Rewarding,” they’re innately evil at the very least. Unfortunately, the husband and I were seduced by the “get it now, pay later” mentality in our early college years. Eleven years later, we’re still paying off that debt, and with the exorbitant interest rates, we’ve probably paid for the original item ten times over. That financial burden can cause a huge strain on marriages, and it’s been known to end more than a few otherwise good relationships.

A few years ago, we came to the realization that we were only about a month away from bankruptcy. We played the blame game about which one of us put our family in this predicament and contemplated divorcing, but ultimately, we decided to power through for the sake of our two young children and the eight years we had invested in our marriage. Since we had already cut out all unnecessary expenses, we were left with only two choices: bankruptcy or make more money. Neither of us could stand the thought of shirking on our responsibilities—that was our debt and our responsibility to pay it off. So that left us with our only option: to make more money.

I’m here to tell you, it’s by no means an easy thing to do, but you CAN make more money—regardless of stature or education. We networked with everyone we knew, and the hubby eventually decided to take a job with an oil company. He works incredibly hard in sweltering heat and he travels A LOT, but one year later, we’ve paid off more than $5,000 of our credit card debt. We still have another year or so to be debt free, but we’re making great strides.

We’ve had to sacrifice time with each other, and he’s had to sacrifice time with our kids. Is that a selfish thing on our part? Yeah, it stinks that he’s missing out on a dance recital here and a trip to the park there, but what a great lesson in responsibility and consequences for our children. We’ve actually strengthened our marriage in this whole debacle, because we worked together to create a solution for bad decisions we made together.

Have you ever been faced with a potentially relationship crippling problem, but come out healthier and stronger on the other side? I’d love to hear your story!


—Kickin’ the Credit Habit in Chico, CA

Technorati Tags:- Credit card debt – Debt and divorce – Bankruptcy - Relationships and Debt
Topics and tags: Credit card debt – Debt and divorce – Bankruptcy - Relationships and Debt

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