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Crossing the Line into Debt

October 21st, 2009 at 12:45 pm

Around 20 years ago, I got myself seriously in debt--about $13,000 worth. To some, that may not sound like much, but my income at the time was about $16,000 and my assets were nonexistent, so percentage-wise, it was serious. It took a few years to get myself out of that debt--about 4 years to wake up to my poor money-management habits and about 3 years after that to nix the debt. Since that time, I have remained debt-free--other than acquiring a mortgage, which at least comes along with a substantial asset.

I'm getting dangerously close to crossing the line right now, however. The amount of my total cash balance is close to the amount of my credit card bills, and for the first time in years, I will be carrying a balance on a credit card that isn't paid off within a month or so.

I hate that I've had to put so much on credit cards, but $3500 worth of car repairs on a car that is generally in good shape and $5000 worth of vet bills for the hound who gives me a reason to wake up in the morning were non-negotiable expenses. (I'm afraid Henry will be my last dog for a while, though--this is his second costly medical crisis in the 3.5 years I've had him, and odds being what they are, he'll have at least one more costly crisis before he goes.) I paid much of that out of savings, but now I am getting to the point where I am reluctant to completely empty the coffers in order to pay the bills.

At least at this point, I am much more financially aware, and I have a positive net worth. But I am unemployed, the job market is tight; I am looking for entry-level work in a career field new to me that will mean that my first year's income will be relatively low (although the potential for growth in income is
much greater once I am established).

This is a real tipping point, and it scares me.

4 Responses to “Crossing the Line into Debt”

  1. gamecock43 Says:

    I know you are worried- but your worry is good. It keeps you accountable. And Henry thanks you for your money management skills- because without savings he would not have been able to have those vet procedures.

  2. crazyliblady Says:

    You got yourself out of some serious debt before and you can do it again. Why not pay the minimum on your mortgage for awhile and in the meantime, build up your savings and pay down the credit card? That would accomplish replinishing your coffers and eliminating costly credit card debt. Congratulation on having a good savings balance. I am sure that took a lot of work to maintain.

  3. Ima saver Says:

    i know those vet bills are so expensive, but dogs give back so much love!

  4. Jerry Says:

    Has anyone ever looked into that health insurance for pets? It is probably prohibitively expensive, but I guess that depends on the malady with which one's animal is afflicted. The costs that vet bills can lead to can be scary, indeed... but like ima saver mentioned, they are worth it!
    Jerry

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