Who Am I and What Do I Know About Debt?

As the name of this site implies, I am married with debt. This does not mean I am married “to” debt – actually we are getting a divorce! But seriously, I just recently turned 30, have been married for 7 years, and have two daughters (age 6 and 1.5). I am currently an overworked state employee working for my state legislature, and my wife teaches 2nd Grade in a private school. A few years ago we seemed to be on the upward mobility trajectory. Then my wife lost her well-paying job as a public school teacher, and our earnings were sharply reduced. At that point I nearly freaked out and lost my mind, preparing myself for homelessness and the soup kitchen. At that time we only had one child, yet I was absolutely terrified – we had no emergency savings and tens of thousands of dollars in debt, including a large credit card balance. We were lucky to land on our feet as my wife found a (lesser paying) job, we never missed a bill payment or did without the necessities. After the near-disaster, I began to tackle our debt. We paid off approximately $20,000 in credit card debt, but … Read more

Why Have I Started “Married With Debt”?

Since this is the first post, I may as well explain why I am even doing this. There are three main reasons:   1. To give myself something to do as I pay off debt 2. To help others see how they can escape debt slavery 3. To see if readers can help me plot my financial future Give myself something to do as I pay off debt: First, let’s have a confession – I am obsessed with my financial situation. I look at my personal finance spreadsheet every day. It tracks my bills due and bills paid each month, and I use it to track all of my non-bill expenses such as groceries and entertainment. It also tracks how much debt I owe. I am loosely following Dave Ramsey’s 7 Baby Steps plan, as well as his debt snowball approach to eliminating debt. I have chosen to do this instead of investing, because I want to be free from the grips of creditors, and also because having debt is like having a negative investment – if you carry a balance on a 20 percent credit card interest rate and you are investing in stocks at 5% gain, you are … Read more