nico’s blog

Defeating my debts

The start of a long journey to freedom

Not a lot of people know this, but I'm about $22k in credit card debt as of the time of this writing.

pause for dramatic effect

Don't worry, that's like, the whole point of this blog post, and I'll get around to the full story. Stick around.

Most people seem to think they need to project this air of being rich, or being well off. They'll flash their Tesla and gladly tell you how much they make and turn up their nose when you make less than they do. At best, nobody is really out and forward about admitting they're in the negative. Maybe it projects weakness. I dunno. I don't care anymore, I'm coming out and putting it online, and perhaps some good things will come out of it. I'm held accountable by the readers of my blog, and perhaps I won't get any calls from scummy salesmen. I don't have any money, salesmen, fuck off!

How did it get this bad? Well, to be honest, America. I obsessed for years over my wants, and unfortunately I'm into tech - the wants were many, new, shiny, and expensive. I always thought I needed the latest and greatest thing and justified upgraded models where "well, if I buy with more storage, it'll last longer". Proceeds to buy the next new thing next year regardless of the state of what I had. I looked at credit card benefits and rewards programs and figured "hey, that's free money!". Proceeded to buy more than I could afford. The only major expense that wasn't my fault was really when I ran a business, both the State of Oregon and Uncle Sam decided to smack me with a rather large tax bill. Boo. This is why I don't run a business in your "land of the free," America. Running a business here sucks.

Now, don't panic. I don't want charity and I'm certainly not asking for help here. This is to keep myself accountable, and to state it as a fact on the internet so I can't ignore it exists any longer. Please don't worry - I have a stable job, make a bit more than my bill payments, and have some savings. The road out is to just cut expenses and stop buying any useless shiny crap like some sort of deranged magpie, for about a year and some, and I'll be debt free. I'm not homeless and I'm not going to be. If you have money to spare, please, there's a million better places than me to put it. Donate it to someone who can't help themselves. I got myself in this mess and I can get myself out.

I'd like to thank my Grandpa Dave, who is really good with numbers, and currently volunteers his time helping other old folks get their taxes done. He taught me how to cut expenses and save money, and how to do careful accounting. He taught me about spending and investing and certainly warned me about the dangers of running up credit card spending - I just didn't listen. He even bailed me out a few times - to be honest I owe him some money too. Thanks Grandpa - I'm following your advice now. Forgive a young fool for waving you away.

Now, what progress do I have so far? Well, two out of five credit cards are all paid off, set on autopay in full, and seldom used, except for gas or groceries. The remainders are tucked away where I can't use them very quickly. I'm tracking every cent with YNAB and putting my money towards bills, paying debt, and saving - rather than looking at a plump bank balance on payday and going to town. I've always struggled with eating fast food and far too much of it(I once spent $450 in one month on fast food!!) but I've got my kitchen clean and ready for action, and I'm going to the grocery store instead of McDonald's. It might not be fast to cook for yourself, but at least I make tasty food, and damn, is it better for you. America could stand to boot the hamburger habit as well as this whole need-to-be-rich thing.

Bills are slashed enough to qualify for an R rating from the MPAA. Just the basics and no streaming services - if there's anything I really don't need, it's probably this account and a few domains - but it's less than $30/year all told. The point is, there's no subscriptions draining me dry, and no bills that I'm paying that I could go without. I do need a few fun things to keep me sane.

Thanks for listening to an invisible internet stranger's voice in the ether. Perhaps you'll come along for the ride, and we can accomplish this together. Finally, I'm putting down the shovel.


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