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Get Out of Debt

Landslide into Debt – Help a Reader Get Out

Today we have a guest post for you from Dom. Dom and her hubby are working to get their finances back on track after some unfortunate, and expensive, events this year. They started a blog to talk about it.  If you can provide some friendly and helpful advice in the comments, she’d greatly appreciate it!

Hubs and I have reached the tipping point. We are officially uncomfortable in our finances, or rather, lack thereof.

How did we get here?

Hubs and I introduced a beautiful baby girl to the world back in May. I am a school teacher so we did our best to plan the pregnancy so that my maternity leave would roll right into summer vacation. We saved as much money as we could for my leave, which we hoped but couldn’t guarantee would be enough.

We are homeowners and we both work in the human services field (a.k.a. we make a combined salary of less than $90k). We have one car payment, great health insurance, and generally we aren’t too frivolous with our expenses. The biggest pit of our financial situation is hubs school loans: a whopping $90,000.

Just admitting this number makes me want to cry. Luckily, we only have one set of student loans. I will forever be thankful to my parents for financing my undergraduate out-of-state education. I paid cash for grad school until this last semester. Unfortunately, this last semester has helped push us further into debt, but this education will allow me to move up into the next pay level at my job. Additionally, my employer will reimburse me for a portion of the cost. Unfortunately, this doesn’t help our cause in the here and now…

Here is the lowdown of our very quick tumble into debt.

  1. Maternity leave savings did NOT cover us through September.
  2. The washing machine broke 2 weeks into maternity leave.
  3. My car, which is paid off, needed 4 new tires to pass inspections.
  4. Our water heater burst. We replaced the water heater. Our basement is a total loss.
  5. Hubby’s car also needed 4 new tires.
  6. The dishwasher broke.
  7. My grad School payment came due.

This is just a list of the major incidents. This doesn’t include the things we had budgeted for like replacing the brakes in the car, oil changes, small home repairs and projects, or new additions to the monthly budget like formula, diapers, and baby clothes.

Our emergency fund has dwindled, out credit cards are maxed, and we aren’t making enough money to build these funds back up without making some major changes. The problem is that I have no idea where to start.

It was clear that our dual incomes weren’t going to cover our expenses despite hubs’ overtime. So, I’ve picked up a weekend job bartending. I am sad to take the time away from the baby but the payoff is worth it! One night at the bar usually pays for childcare that whole next week!

Even with the added income, we are having difficulty staying afloat.

Readers, what advice do you have for Dom and her husband on how to get started paying back their debt and building their emergency fund?

Dom is a new mom, teacher, novice writer, cook, wine drinker, and so much more – filling the internet with unsolicited stories, questions, dreams, recipes, and advice. She owns up to her faults and is willing to share her mistakes with her peeps! You can check out her blog for your daily dose of reality and ridiculousness or find her on Facebook.

Photo of author

Erin Thompson

Erin Thompson spent years managing her own blog about budgeting and debt. Because of that, she has great insights not only about managing spending and borrowing but also about running websites profitably. When she's not writing articles for us, she's traveling and looking for new types of wines to try.
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