I’ve been thinking a lot about our debt lately, mostly how much I hate debt and how helpless I feel right now about getting rid of it. Broken down, it goes a little something like this:
|My Student Loans||$9,230.17|
|Wifey’s Student Loans||$4,794.74|
I’m not digging it.
The $14k in student loans is luckily just a little more than half the national average, but it’s still $14k more than I want to have. And sure, there may be people that see those numbers and think, “Well they’ve got no credit card debt, so what’s the big deal?!” Well, we’ve got debt. That’s the big deal. No matter how you paint it, it’s a crisis and needs to be addressed ASAP.
Our student loans are relatively low because I worked full-time during my single college years and we both had scholarships and grants, at least until I stopped caring about school and they stopped giving me scholarships. We also had a bunch of medical expenses during school for Mrs. Wealth Gospel because of a car accident and all the back and neck problems that ensued.
We bought the car a year and a half ago because one of ours was burning oil like crazy and I was tired of pouring in new oil every other day. That just reminded me of the story of the people I ended up selling that POS to. That’ll make a good future blog post :)
The chiropractic is actually due to my in-laws because my wife needed to have some serious therapy done at the beginning of this year and we couldn’t afford to pay for the up-front charge. It’s a no-interest loan, which is nice, but I hate owing family money.
The computer loan is through the bank I work and doesn’t charge interest, and our old laptop died the death, so we needed a new one. I accidentally set it in an unstable spot the day we got it and it fell off and hit the ground pretty hard. I almost died. But as far as I know, it’s still running like a champ.
The loan from my dad was back in June when I had been unemployed six months and we were finally to the end of our rope with our savings. We initially tried to avoid it, because like I said, I hate owing family money, but it got to a point where we had no choice.
And since we’re still trying to get back on our feet with Mrs. Wealth Gospel’s salary not kicking in until August and my meager wages as a bank teller not really doing much good, our debt payoff is going pretty slow. We’ve started building our emergency fund again this month, but that means that money’s not going toward debt.
Oh, and I just checked on the student loan payment I made on the wifey’s student loans (mine come due next month) and our only $1.87 of our payment went to principal. I don’t even know what to say about that. I’m just angry.
Something needs to change
And, of course, this quote by J. Reuben Clark doesn’t help, but getting the crap scared out of you is good with this kind of thing :)
Interest never sleeps nor sickens nor dies; it never goes to the hospital; it works on Sundays and holidays; it never takes a vacation; it never visits nor travels; it takes no pleasure; it is never laid off work nor discharged from employment; it never works on reduced hours; it never has short crops nor droughts; it never pays taxes; it buys no food; it wears no clothes; it is unhoused and without home and so has no repairs, no replacements, no shingling, plumbing, painting, or whitewashing; it has neither wife, children, father, mother, nor kinfolk to watch over and care for; it has no expense of living; it has neither weddings nor births nor deaths; it has no love, no sympathy; it is as hard and soulless as a granite cliff. Once in debt, interest is your companion every minute of the day and night; you cannot shun it or slip away from it; you cannot dismiss it; it yields neither to entreaties, demands, or orders; and whenever you get in its way or cross its course or fail to meet its demands, it crushes you.
In fact, if that doesn’t terrify you, you’ve got something wrong with you. It’s hard to not be complacent about debt sometimes; especially when you have so many other things you have to worry about. For example, for me it’s finding a better job; making sure the move doesn’t drain our bank account; getting enough time to work on the blog to get it to the point where I can start monetizing it; getting all our crap unpacked in the new house (which is taking far too long for my taste); all the stupid medical expenses that keep popping up; helping my wife do some grading because she’s even MORE stressed out about teacher deadlines she has coming up. There’s definitely a feeling of lack of control going on up in here.
So it looks like the Mrs. and I are going to be having some good chats over the weekend. I can already think of a few expenses we can shave down a little bit so we can tackle this a little better. We’ll have to see what else we can do with it.
I hate debt. How do you feel about it? What do you think I should do? I’m interested in your suggestions.