DEBT: 2019 is THE year!

Here’s a story… over 10 years ago I went through someone’s budget to realize they were spending more than they made every month on their recurring expenses. He knew this was happening but he was paralyzed by fear of how to fix the problem. We went line by line and cut cable, canceled his home phone line, canceled his gym membership and now he had enough for groceries but still couldn’t make any progress. I loaned him a $1000 to pay off a Gap credit card that had a 20% APR. I fully suspected NEVER to see my money back. My thought was “here is a gift, if you pay it back great, if not, lesson learned.” I no longer have expendable money, kids are way more expensive than I expected.

Guess what happened to this person?

I’m not sure if it was the rock bottom feeling of having a friend give them money or if it was seeing his expenses in black and white but he worked his butt off and paid down his debt. He gave me $100/month EVERY month until the loan was paid off. He made every life change that he could to optimize and GET OUT OF DEBT. He canceled what he could from his recurring expenses with me, he explained to family and friends his plan and they supported him with babysitting and the occasional home cooked dinner. He worked extra shifts when possible and put every dime towards debt.

Hard choices, easy life… Easy choices, hard life

Excuse: I don’t want to loose this time with my kids… I agree but if you have a lot of debt and it’s making you crabby. I fully suspect your kids would rather you work late or extra in 2019 and then you give them your full worry free self for the next 18 years.

Luckily, as nurses we can work 2 angles: Cut Expenses and Increase Income.

Tell your family and friends that you need extras support with your family this year and then show them how you are making progress. Show them your frugal wins and say thanks for watching my crew on Friday, I put that whole shift’s pay to pay down one of my student loans.

I have unlimited energy for 2019. If you’ve ever wanted someone to cheer for you from the sidelines, get on your ass about making small changes to have a happy life, or help you calculate the math on what to pay first, NOW’S THE TIME!

Start with the MIser Recurring Expenses Worksheet and let me know if you want to go over it. No judgement, only coaching and support.

Here’s a second story. About 5 years ago, I was talking with an attending about how I was working nights so that we could have more money saved/invested than we owed on our house. (Net worth calculation.) I was doing all sorts of weird little things to cut costs. For example: see how long I could wait before my husband noticed I hadn’t gone groceries shopping, once I went 11 days.  The conversation was: “we haven’t had milk for a long time.” Me, “really, I hadn’t noticed.” Back to my story, this attending said, “I’m about 4 years away from being completely in the green. Wow, congrats on having your net worth calculated. Wait! What, you are almost 60 years old, how do you still owe money, when you make a doctor’s salary??? I tell this story to remind you, all levels of income can end up in debt. Getting in debt is a bummer, it doesn’t make you a failure. Staying in debt without a plan is a different story.

Debt is not always an INCOME problem, often times it’s a SPENDING problem and an ORGANIZATION problem.


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