Monday, August 25, 2008

The Numbers ($42,398.64 Est)

So I'm going to give the numbers here, since I think it will be useful. I'm going to try to keep the current total debt in the titles of the posts, because it's interesting to see the mindset change as you go along. The current number is estimated, since I don't know exactly how much she's borrowed for student loans, but I have a fairly good ballpark from her. We will tackle these in this order.

Card #1: $3942.62

This card belongs to Nikki's mother, but Nikki had it for "emergencies" in college. I had one of those, too, and it's funny how many emergencies you have in college when you have no concept of money. We are paying this one off because we have a moral obligation to do so. She spent the money, we have to pay for it.

Card #2: $4456.02

This one is Nikki's card. It's from the same bank as the other one, and her mother is an "authorized user" on the account. She got this one so that she could "build her credit," and we see where that got us. Never thought getting a credit score would cost so much, did you?

Replacement Vehicle: $4000.00

Okay so this isn't an outstanding debt, it's a category. Nikki drives a beat up 180,000 mile Ford. I'd put her in an $800 car if she'd let me, but I had to lose this battle to win the war. She hates her car, and for good reason, but that's a story for another time.

Student Loans: $30,000.00--ish

I'm not sure of the exact figure, but it's very close to that. Keep in mind that she was on full scholarship for undergrad, and had an assistantship for grad school. Most of the money went to living expenses, not school. She went to a state school for undergrad and grad school, drove a paid for car, and had a job. Still, somehow she needed $30,000 more (and in addition to the $12,000 she had in credit cards a year ago) for the last 2 years of school.

This brings us to $42,398.64

Which happens to be almost exactly the number I had when I graduated, at 24, with my master's. I say that so that people don't get me wrong. I may at some times seem critical of my wife's debt. I don't do that to be critical of her, because that would be stupid. She didn't know any better, and neither did I. I make these points to challenge your way of thinking, and to remind myself that

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