I try to take small steps on the road to non-fucked-up-ness. Possibly, this means that I will never actually achieve non-fucked-up-ness. This is fine. I’m merely attempting to reach, “Easy for me to live with.”
I think the biggest step I took on this path was going to the bank this time last year and consolidating all of my credit card debt into one big pile of debt and one tiny pile of debt. The tiny pile of debt will be paid off this month, which mean that next month I can take the money that was going to the tiny pile of debt and put it towards the big pile of debt on top of the money that is already earmarked for it.
This feels like such a grown-up thing to do that I fear I’ve overlooked something important and it’s really going to turn out that I also owe $2500 to the Russian mob, which they’re going to make me pay off by scooping horse shit on some farm down in Williamson County.
Anyway, so I have my “fear of never getting out from under mound of crippling high-interest rate debt” managed. I am going to get out from under it, if I stick to my plan.
Another paralyzing fear I have is that our landlord will not want to renew our lease and we will be forced to move. Writing it out like that makes it seem like a stupid fear. We pay our rent on time and without complaint every month. We take care of our own issues, so we don’t trouble him with stuff to do. And, though the place is messy, it’s not filled with bugs or rats or other vermin. Why would he not renew our lease?
And, if he doesn’t, I’ve been putting money in savings every month so that we have money to move on, and I’m cruelly not letting the Butcher make any birthday travel plans until I know if we’re going to need that money, too.
The moving thing is just a hang-up I have. It’s hugely traumatic for me and I just can’t stand it. I want to live in this place until I can afford to buy a place and then I want to live in that house for the next million years. I don’t want to move from Nashville. I don’t even want to move from this neighborhood. I want to put down roots. I want to make friends and know that we will be friends until we just naturally drift apart. I want to know the people in my neighborhood and know that they know me. I want to be recognized at the grocery store because I go in there so often, not because folks have been gossiping about me.
I want to have a hometown.
I want this to be it.
If the landlord wants us to move, it doesn’t actually affect all that other stuff, but in my mind, they are so closely linked that moving one causes the whole rest of the mess to shift.
But this year, I’m not going to get freaked out about it. I will allow myself to be unreasonably nervous, but I’m not going to be paralyzed with fear.
That’s my goal.
Good for you!
What Jenny Ryan said! Getting out from under that credit card debt is a huge relief, I’m sure. It’s good that you want to set down roots and have a home town-it has always made all the difference for me in my quality of life. I applaud you!
Did you by any chance grow up as a preacher’s kid, forced to move over and over again for seemingly no reason and just when you were getting used to the old "new" place? ;-p
Congrats on your "get out of debt" plan, B! As for the landlord, he won’t kick ya out…who else is going to put up with him mowing the lawn after dark??
Good job on getting out of debt. At some point, when you have paid down a good chunk of debt (25%? 30%?), you should contact your creditors and point out that your credit score and/or debt-to-income ratio has improved. You can try to negotiate a lower interest rate. Even long before you are finished paying everything off, you might notice a ‘virtuous cycle’ where your smaller balance lowers your rate, which lets you put more of your payment toward principal, which pays it off faster, which lowers your rate…BTW, if a creditor with a lower rate offers you balance transfer checks they can really help (but watch for fees). Not only do you get a lower rate, but the creditor you transfer your debt away from will often lower your rate to entice you back. It’s a really great dilemma to have to choose between 2% for six months (betting you can pay it off), or 9% for the life of the balance, when transferring away from a 23% credit card. You can tell that I’ve made some poor choices, huh?