I should start from the beginning. When we were both in first year university we, like many students, were offered a credit card. A really pretty one with a picture of our campus on it. It was great, personalized just for us, sign us up! And so it began…
I wanted to go to university, actually it wasn’t an option, I was going to university, I just didn’t have any money to pay for it. I grew up in a single parent household and although my mom had a great healthcare profession she either didn’t think about it or didn’t have the money to regularly contribute to RESP’s for my sister and I. When the time came for post secondary every single penny went on some form of credit, be it line of credit, student loan or credit cards. I had a part time job but not enough to pay for anything more than my books (which, lets be honest is a huge chunk of money in itself). By the end of my undergraduate degree I managed to rack up $32,000 in student debt and probably $2,000 in consumer/credit card debt. By the age of 21, I had $34,000 debt.
What’s even worse is that, although no education is wasted, my degree wasn’t going to get me much beyond a minimum wage job, the only option I had was to further my education. Back to school I went and although I have a great career now, and zero regret, by the end of my second degree I managed to add another $20,000 in student loans, another $10,000 in lines of credit and about $13,000 on…credit cards…Yup. I put over $10,000 on credit cards to pay off tuition and books that my loans and LOC’s wouldn’t cover. My program was over $13,000 per year, not including books and other incidentals and maintaining a part time job while in this program was not optional. I couldn’t do both and focusing on my (overpriced) education was priority. By the end of my second degree, before my life had started, I now had $77,000 in debt.
His story is a lot less scary. Hubby went to university, then college, racking up a total of about $12,500 total in line of credit and student loan debt. He had a credit card maxed at $2,000, not a huge deal. Then he went and married me and my $77,000 deficit bank account, he must really love me!
To top off my $13,000 in ‘school credit card’ debt, his $2,000 credit card, together we also owe another approximate $5,000 in various credit that we can’t really account for, overspending if you will. We have a vehicle loan together, outstanding at approximately $29,000 and a mortgage currently outstanding at about $233,000. We both have good careers but, especially now that we have a baby, extra funds for additional payments beyond the minimum for credit cards is near impossible.
Join us on this long journey to freedom and no longer worrying about money!