Thursday, July 29, 2010

Whip me, beat me, but please don't take away my credit cards.

Hi, and welcome to my life. It probably will take a while for us get to know each other. I am a thirty something stay at home mom, with a dirty little secret. I have a shopping addiction. I love to shop, I need to shop, I must shop. But more specifically it is an an addiction to Bargain Shopping! Thrift stores, Goodwill, Salvation army, you name it, they know me by name. I never really thought this was a problem until last week. People have "joked" with me for years about my shopping and spending. I never really thought it was funny though. And amazingly they probably didn't know how much time I really did spend shopping.

I come from your average middle class suburban family, went to college, went on a got a professional degree. Lived in NYC for awhile, got a dog, got married, had a baby, bought a house and  moved to the suburbs, had another baby, pretty much your average American family now, or maybe not. I also have a large amount of debt. College loans, professional school loans, mortgage, and Credit Cards...more than a few, all with very large balances. These large balances are mostly my fault, I have paid off and rerun up the balances on these cards several times, as this point we are talking about Approx  $50,000 in credit card debt. Yep you saw that right. When I added up all the numbers last week, I had an anxiety attack, and then I realized...Houston, We have a Problem, or rather I have a problem.

So I have a problem and I don't know how to solve it.  But I intend to try and figure out why I am like this ( I wasn't always), how do I treat this, and how do I pay off all that debt!  I intend to chronicle this journey to recovery, please feel free to offer your suggestions and direction as I obviously have made quite a mess of things on my own.

The first step, the credit cards are gone, and I have to admit I feel a bit panicked. I feel stifled and caged. and mostly a bit lost.  I walked into a store earlier this week and then turned red when I realized  I have no way to buy anything. For a moment I felt like the air had been knocked out of me. Then I turned around and pushed my kids out of the store, and my son asked why we were leaving, and I said "Mommy forgot that she didn't have any money",  and he said "mommy that's ok, just charge it!" He is 3, I went back to the car and cried, I don't want to fail my children the way I have failed myself.  So please give me strength to complete this journey to a debt and addiction free life.  Because the person who said money can't buy happiness was completely right!

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