Friday, May 1, 2009
Celebrate With Me!!
I'm going to tell you a story with a happy ending! Several years ago, I married a man I had no business marrying. I probably wouldn't have ever dated him, really. But one summer, my heart was crushed and damaged so that it was unrecognizable to me. So I jumped into the first potential relationship that I could find. And then I wanted to "beat" my ex by getting to the finish line first- marriage. Well, I won that race. But it was a major loss. Anyway, the marriage wasn't a good one. He was a good friend but we weren't good as husband and wife. There were unresolvable issues in the marriage- a story for another day. One of the many problems we had was money. Debt. I came into the marriage with no debt. Hadn't ever had a credit card. But he had and knew the "joy" of shopping and spending. I got sucked into the spiral and, together, we made a lot of bad money choices. His dad bailed us out. A loan that he co-signed. Consolidated our debt. $20K. Ouch. Within 2 years, we had run out and opened new credit card accounts and created enough debt to match the consolidation loan. Another $20K. When we divorced, the debt had to be split. Since we had been married, debt that he brought into the marriage became my responsibility as well. The frustrating thing was that I couldn't remove myself from his debts. He was bad at paying bills and that had a big negative impact on my credit rating. So when it came time to split them out, I took the credit cards and he took the loan. He got the better deal (lower monthly payment, faster pay off time) but I needed out of the marriage and I needed control over those cards. If I didn't have control, he could have continued spending on them, not paying bills on time, and so on. This all happened in 2001. I remember when I paid off the first card. I think it was for Value City Furniture. It had a small balance and I had it paid off not long after gaining control of my finances. And it was a great feeling. I knocked out a couple of other low balance cards soon after. For the past year, I've had 1 card left to finish paying on. Today, I made the final payment. I called the credit card company and confirmed- this is the last payment, the account is closed. I will receive one more statement showing my zero balance. And then... nothing else. And since we all love a little karma... I have kept myself away from credit cards. I do not have one, I will not have one. Jeff has one for emergencies only. The only debt we have is my car, our mortgage, and the payments being made for the new siding on our house (done last year). Aside from those bills, I am out of debt. The ex? Now... I don't know for certain, of course. But I had heard through the grapevine that he'd gotten remarried, they bought a house. One day, a letter showed up from a local hardware store, explaining why he had been turned down for the credit app with their store. I had to do some digging to figure out why this store sent his rejection letter to my house. It ended up having something to do with credit reports. But the bottom line? He was still trying to get credit and spend money he didn't have. Now I have complete closure. I feel justified. I fell proud. I feel calm. A chapter of my past, of a very major mistake, is very much closed. I DID IT!!