The next step to getting rid of debt - take ownership of it!!
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    Exclamation The next step to getting rid of debt - take ownership of it!!

    Take ownership of your debt. I use to blame everyone else for our debt. I blamed dh, I blamed friends because they were always asking me out for lunch after church, I blamed it on everything and anything rather than taking ownership of it and looking at what I did to get the debt we had. (I'm talking cc debt here.)

    When I took a good hard look at the $18,000.00 we owed in cc debt, 90% of the debt was charged by me. I could have said no many times and gone home to eat. Heck, we were having a party with a large group one time and I didn't like my couch. I went and bought a new one to the tune of $1,895.00 and didn't blink. When we went for a drive, it was me who always wanted to have something to munch on.

    Once I took ownership of my debt and talked to dh about it, we began to really work together to get our debt paid off. I asked me to forgive me for putting us so far into debt and I asked him if he would work along side of me to get it paid off. From that day forth, he has supported me on getting rid of debt and in our frugal journey. He also looked at what he had put on cc and realized although I was the one who charged the most, he had done the same thing, only in smaller amounts.

    More to come....

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    Moderator aka AmyBob AmyBoz's Avatar
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    I couldn't agree more, CJ.

    One of the most eye-opening things for Rob and I was when we became pregnant with Julia and realized that I would be out of work for six months. We bought Microsoft Money and started itemizing every bill and everything we spent. We were making fairly good salaries at the time, but never really had any money and we couldn't imagine where it had all gone. Once we itemized and really looked at our credit card statements, we were shocked. It wasn't our monthly bills that were robbing us blind. It was ourselves. All the meals out that we charged; restaurants, fast food, etc. The movie tickets we charged; sometimes seeing two films in one night. If we wanted something, we just plunked down the credit card and we were instantly gratified.

    We sat down and really had a talk about our spending habits and how we had no one to blame but ourselves for our financial situation. Once we did that, we agreed to just stop the ridiculous spending. We only bought what was essential and found cheaper (or free!) ways to entertain ourselves. We were able to save $10,000 in 8 months. We could have kicked ourselves imagining how much we could have been saving all along if we had always had the right financial mindset, and we were sickened by the fact that we had been spending so much and in the end, really had nothing to show for it. Luckily, we never carried a credit card balance and had been able to pay off our cards each month. Still, all of that money could have been in savings. It still makes me want to hurl, just thinking about the waste.

    Taking ownership for our debt was the best thing that ever happened to us.
    Blog: http://amysreallife.com

    Amy
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    Mommy to 4
    Public School Teacher

    Debt:
    Mortgage - $399,526.10
    Grocery Budget Challenge: $749.08/$800.00

    Always remember others may hate you, but those who hate you don't win unless you hate them. And then you destroy yourself."

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    Registered User kaykwilts's Avatar
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    Dr. Phil says you can't change what you can't acknowledge. So acknowledging the debt and why you got there is the first step. Sadly a lot of people do not make the connection.

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    Registered User dwallyfam's Avatar
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    The sad thing is that the media wants us to believe that $18000 in debt isn't a bad thing. Since cars cost $15000 and you can now finance for 6-7 years it is nothing. But even a little bit of unnecessary debt is a bad thing.

    I get harrassed because I still pick up pennies that find on the sidewalk or street. Pick up enough of them and they add up.

    Kellie

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    Registered User forestdale's Avatar
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    I couldn't agree more. When we decided to stop spending what really upset and saddened me was all the waste. Like Amy it makes me sick to think of it.

    We were lucky in that when we stopped spending, we had no debt, but we also had no money put aside for retirement. I'd blamed DH for this, DH thought it was my fault. Positive change only started happening when we both took responsibility for our equal share in all that wasted money, food, clothing, junk etc.

    Once we stood back and saw how we spent like there was no tomorrow, we just stopped spending. Now getting me to spend is like getting blood from a stone. It sounds simple and I know first hand it's not, but taking responsibility and then stopping the spending changed our lives.

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    I couldn't agree with you ladies more.

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    Registered User mom2matty's Avatar
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    I absolutely agree!! This will all lead to me being the guilty one for most of our debt...............

    I have been a SAHM for 16 years now and have always managed the money, paid the bills......taken care of everything! My dh works so hard and until things got ugly he just didn't have the time or energy to work with me.......

    There were months were I would have to use the cc to buy gas for the cars or groceries or pay insurances...I got really good about "robbing Peter to pay Paul" and kept it all to myself for a long time!! I wasn't spending on stuff we didn't need, it was more for survival so I didn't see it as being so awful. It finally got to a point where I couldn't managed it anymore......Peter was dead broke.......Paul wasn't getting paid!! I finally broke down, shared all the uglies with dh........he in turn said that he was guilty of being blind to everything and that from that moment on we would work it all together!! That is where things started to change for us............things finally started to look better.........owning up to it always makes it better!!!!!!!

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    Registered User thrifty gal's Avatar
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    ITA.

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    Registered User missmollymayhem's Avatar
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    Great point!

    Although I LOVE to blame my debt on my ex husband, the truth is $2000 of it is my own credit card that I got after we separated. He was kind enough to acru the rest of it, but $2000 is mine-all-mine. All of it is now MY problem, though, and I want it gone. I think I'll cry tears of joy the day I write out that last payment!

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    Registered User frugalfarmwife's Avatar
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    I agree with all of you! I was so good with money in the past but let myself be lulled into the "it'll all work out" mentality and could now KICK myself when I think of all the wasted money, ugh!

    But, hubby and I are now working together and will get this tackled TOGETHER!

    I also had to have a very open discussion with hubby to get things out in the open but with us my anger was at myself for letting this happen, I have always been the one in charge of the finances.

    I'm finally sleeping better knowing hubby is on board for this turn around.

    Kris

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    Registered User Jeanna's Avatar
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    I agree. I in the past have blamed my illness for us lossing the house, but I now realize it was bad spending habits that made us lose it. That is why I will be paying off most of the debt's listed below in the month of January. My mother sold her trailer and the land it was sitting on was ours so we get $7000 in a week or so. The only extra spending I am going to do out of it is to use $300 toward stocking up and to buy a small trash can with a lid for our bathroom, since my shih Tzu puppy keeps getting into it.

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    That is so true!

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    Registered User autumnlynn's Avatar
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    I'm new here, but debt reduction is very important to me. These steps Homesteadmamma has outlined are very well thought out and organized.

    It is very important that I take ownership of my debt. I really am at fault. When I got divorced (my husband just walked out on us one day), I bought things to feel better. It helped for a short time, but then the depression would come back.

    I didn't have an emergency fund, so if one of the animals got sick or if the car broke down, it had to go on a cc.

    I now have the $1,000 baby emergency fund as recommended by Dave Ramsey. I am now working at paying off my debt.

    Since I am single, I also add $100 each month to the BEF.

    I am so glad I found this site. It helps so much to write all this out and have you all to share it with.

    I know with your help and support, I will be debt free by the end of 2007 (ecxcept for mortgage).

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    Registered User mrsmac62's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by missmollymayhem
    Great point!

    Although I LOVE to blame my debt on my ex husband, the truth is $2000 of it is my own credit card that I got after we separated. He was kind enough to acru the rest of it, but $2000 is mine-all-mine. All of it is now MY problem, though, and I want it gone. I think I'll cry tears of joy the day I write out that last payment!

    I also played the blame game with my ex. Now I shock myself sometimes when I realize I just bought something on impulse, like a choc bar at the gas station, or I'll meet my daughter for coffee at the mall & buy lunch & a cd. So much of it is consumables- nothing to show for it afterwards. I'm angry & sad that it's taken this long to own the problem & that I confused money issues with other stuff that was going on in our marriage.

    Anyway, I feel more powerful with each cc payment.

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    Registered User dolphin's Avatar
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    I've also been playing the blame game and I am now taking ownership of my debt! We started using our credit cards when I went from fulltime to parttime and then we both lost our jobs. By that time we had almost maxed out the credit cards. Within 3 months of both of us being out of work we were behind on our mortgage and facing foreclosure. We got a loan from dh's Aunt to cover the mortgage but dh was out of work for another month and I never went back to work due to my disabilities. We got the lump sum check from my disability, paid all of the bills and people we owed except for the credit cards and now 3 years later we are in worse trouble than we ever were but atleast there is a steady income coming in for now but what if dh got laid off? Too scary to even think about. We've had so many opportunities to get out of debt it's not funny.

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