Debt Diary: Day 2

dirty laundry
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The down and dirty debt numbers.

Money is weird. It doesn’t seem like it should be. At its simplest form, money is a tool of exchange used to facilitate transactions. It represents value and allows us to trade goods and services without the need for direct bartering. Debt is even weirder.

Simple, right? 🤦‍♀️

Money can seem pretty weird to folks for a bunch of reasons. Sometimes it’s all tied up with feelings, like stress or even shame, about our finances and what we can or can’t afford. Plus, a lot of us never really got the lowdown on how money works – like budgeting or investing – so it can feel like navigating a maze blindfolded. Then there’s the whole crazy system of banks, loans, and interest rates, which can make your head spin if you’re not into all that financial jargon. And let’s not forget about the inequality stuff – seeing some folks swimming in cash while others struggle can leave you scratching your head. Plus, our culture’s always pushing us to spend, spend, spend, which can lead to some serious money stress. And don’t get me started on the rollercoaster of economic ups and downs – that uncertainty can really mess with your head. So yeah, money can be a real head-scratcher, but with a little know-how and a healthy attitude, we can all get a grip on our finances and maybe even have a little fun with it along the way.

I’m going to do something that society as whole thinks is taboo: talk about money. And even more, I’m going to share with you my numbers. Why? For one, I know that holding myself accountable is the only way I get things done. It’s the way I operate, society be damned. Does it look like airing my dirty laundry? I suppose. I can tell you I’d rather be out of this cavern of debt MORE THAN I care what people are going to think about HOW I’m doing it.

Soon you’ll find a spreadsheet of a bunch of numbers and interest rates. I went in to every single account we owe money on, found the balance and interest rate, put it in to my Debt Destroyer + Budget Boss spreadsheet and away I went.

Drowning in Debt Information.

There is so much information about money out there. Websites, blogs, podcasts, books, articles, social media accounts. Just like diets, every single school of thought has the potential to work, if there’s follow through. I have read and listened and received enough information for a lifetime but like they say, “If information was all it took, we’d all be thin and rich.” So, a couple of things to note about MY experience and the work ahead:

  1. Good Debt vs Bad Debt. I understand the difference, however, in my party animal brain it all makes me FEEL icky.
  2. Business Debt. We own a number of small businesses so we have more debt than the average bear. I think that’s supposed to make me feel better. It doesn’t.
  3. Shock & Awe. Believe me when I tell you that I know how big these numbers are. It took me the equivalent of breathing in to a paper bag for a few days to look after I was done. But that’s the thing with authenticity and honesty with yourself; it’s fucking scary and sad and disappointing and regretful and desperate. But when we pull all of those covers off, the real work can begin. I’m over the shame of it but it might make you feel better about your situation and I’m cool with that.
  4. Budgets vs. Spending Plans. One of the things that I have avoided during my 35+ years making money is telling it where to go. It’s always just been the party girl doing whatever she wants, whenever she wants. Well, this party girl is tired. I listen to a lot of podcasts and The Rachel Cruze Show (Dave Ramsey’s daughter) is one of my favorites. She simply changed the term budget to spending plan and that’s all it took for me to change my mindset. I’m not depriving myself of things, just doing them differently.
  5. Technology. There are thousands of apps and tools out there. I’ve tried Mint, EveryDollar, YNAB, Nerd Wallet and Monarch and the only thing I learned from all of them is that they don’t work FOR ME. I spent so much time and energy filling them out only to leave them like a bunch of abandoned socks without their matches in the dryer. I’ve always turned my nose up at spreadsheets, I am right-brained to the hilt, BUT I tried my hand at learning the magic of them, worked hard to get it right and fell head over heels into a financial love affair with Google Sheets. (Those that know me reading this, you can pick your bottom jaws up off the floor now.)
  6. Time. My husband and I were chatting about this over lunch the other day (we went out for Mexican…I’m not a monster) and I told him if we pay what we’re paying now every month until 2031 we will be completely debt-free; first and second mortgages (house), commercial buildings, cars, medical bills, credit cards…everything. That’s 7 years. I’ll be 52, he’ll only be 49. That’s retirement speak right there. And when you see how much we’re paying monthly in payments, you’ll understand what I mean. This is why I’m excited, motivated and grateful I took my head out of the sand. I also understand that while 7 years doesn’t sound like a long time, that’s 2555 days of consistent work and dedication. Are you going to hang out with me for the next 2500 days?

Here’s the down and dirty and this might annoy some of you, but yes, I’m going to make you sign up for an email list to get it. Not because I’m about to sell to you or send you a bunch of shit you don’t want, but because there are some trolls out here and I have no interest in giving personal information to people that aren’t actually interested. I promise the first email you get will have all my down and dirty digits.

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i write therefore i am.

Hi, I'm Katy.
Your lifestyle designer and business mentor.

Writing is my way of unwinding and letting my thoughts roam free. Every so often, in the midst of this creative chaos, something clicks, and I'm like, "Hmm, maybe someone else will dig this too." So, I toss it out into the world, hoping it lands with someone who gets it.
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