Ever watched one of those reality shows where people are drowning in debt and have a money guru sweep in to show them the light and save the day? I do. Often. I feel a bit of self-righteous pride after watching because, unlike those people on the show, I have a handle on my money.
But do I really? Do any of us?
Pretty much every person I know is carrying some debt- but a lot of people I know are carrying significant secret debt. Secret debt that is crippling them and breaking them apart. Secret debt that is keeping them awake at night and drowning their happiness.
So many of us have learned that we don't talk about money, we don't share those struggles and we are never, ever supposed to be open and honest about something that is so personal.
Enter my friend Kristy. Kristy has decided to blow the lid off of debt and declare that she and her husband are working to be debt-free by 30. Kristy is my hero when it comes to money-sharing. She just lays it all out there on the table and is holding herself accountable. Using REAL numbers and sharing REAL struggles, and just be straight up REAL.
It is because of Kristy that my husband and I pulled up our bootstraps and became consumer-debt free. On her blog, she shares the numbers and her household budget. The mistakes that have precipitated debt and her debt breakdown. She has also been giving real life monthly updates- not inflating the amount she pays off each month. It is the most refreshing, honest blog I have read to date.
My husband and I have been blessed. We have never been drowning. We have never been awake all night, wondering how we will pay our bills. But, we have certainly felt the creeping pangs of debt that could balloon into something completely unmanageable; debt that is on the cusp of becoming too much for our double-income family. I have 2 university degrees, both paid for by Canada Student Loans that I'm still re-paying. We own a decent-sized house with a decent sized mortgage, have two cars, and daily pay for two (really really really expensive) kids. We work very hard to budget and stay in line, but life is pricey and there have been times that we have felt a significant pinch and watched our credit cards reach their limits.
So, drowning in debt, wading through it, or rarely feeling the pinch, I think we could all benefit from being a little more open about where we are and how our money is doing. No lying, no secrets, no self-righteous pride, no judgement. I having a sneaking suspicion that if we all threw the covers off our debt it wouldn't be such a terrible thing at all!