I haven't really discussed where our debt came from. Mostly, it's due to it being a long story and a hard one to explain. It would be easy to say we just blew money like there was no tomorrow, but that's not necessarily the case.
The easiest to explain is debt to the tune of 10 grand from financing my husband's business. It's high tech, so it comes with a high price. We didn't have the money, so on the credit card it went.
The remaining 27 grand built up through the years. We've been accused of being dreamers by my in-laws because we decided against living in the city since that is where the money is. Instead, we chose an area that is so beautiful and relaxing that it is almost like you are on a vacation every day. You rarely hear sirens and you can feel safe walking down the street at night. It's a wonderful place to raise a family and I love the slower pace of life.
Such a beautiful place comes with a price. There are many lower-paying jobs (meaning under $7.00/hr) and very few higher-paying jobs. My husband and I actually both have college degrees, but there are no available jobs in the area for us. We'd have to move elsewhere to work in the fields we were trained in and we feel that the money isn't worth leaving the area that we love so we've made do with what we had.
As a result, we've lived with working near minimum wage - alternating shifts so we could avoid daycare for our son and earn two incomes. While we were happy, we didn't always have money for certain things. I managed to pay the regular bills, but sometimes we have had to put groceries on the credit cards. Not to mention some costs such as car repairs (we had a lemon of a vehicle for a while).
In general, we did live very frugally. But, there were purchases now and then that were made that we really didn't need to make. Like a second vehicle that we thought we needed (purchased with a credit card cash advance check) which is now broken-down and sitting in the garage. Then there have been multiple other high-tech things purchased since we are a high-tech computer loving family. I also have a weak spot near the holidays and I tend to spoil my husband and son as well as my parents. I love giving gifts and I have gone overboard in the past.
There have also been a few times where either my husband and I were not working during transition phases in our lives. Last year, I quit my job making a decent income for the area (over $10/hr) to find a work-at-home job. Crazy, yes...but I wanted to be able to see my son when he came home from school and I wanted to just see him more. I like being able to ask him how his day went. My job search didn't go well and I was out of work for about 4 months. So, we just lived on my husband's income of $6/hr and I made around $300/month working a couple odd jobs (online tutoring & writing). Needless to say, the credit cards came out and were almost maxed out and I was about ready to get a job outside of the home to keep things going. Then it happened...I landed a very good job that pays alot better than what I was making before and I get to work at home! I just love my job and I am so thankful for it.
It's funny, because although we have had a rocky past and have accumulated a lot of debt, things have been working out for us slowly but surely. If you have watched the "A-Team" you will appreciate it when I say, "I love it when a plan comes together." That's how I sort of feel our journey has been - a plan. And finally things are starting to come together. I really believe that starting this blog has been the best thing I could have done for our finances and if we didn't have debt - I wouldn't have started a blog. I'm am enjoying this experience and my only desire would be to have more time to write more.
I will never say that I am happy that we are in debt, but in a way I am thankful for it. It did help us make it through rough times and make it where we are today. I don't know what we would have done without our credit cards. But let it be known that even though I am thankful for them - that doesn't mean I lack the desire to pay them all off :)
So, there's where my debt came from - in a very brief nutshell.