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Newbie :)

May 23rd, 2018 at 07:44 pm

Hi All,

I might be new here but debt is something I have struggled with all my life.

A little about me: Mom of 2 - daughter is 17 and son is 13. I work full time and graduated from college with a BS in, of all things, Finance! I am very independent, hard working and, when it comes to most things, responsible.

I have close to 20K in debt - mainly credit cards. I need to find a way out of this hole I have created for myself before...my husband finds out. Yes, you read that right. My husband doesn't know I have this debt. And I want to keep it that way. Actually I want to pay it all off before he finds out. You might be asking, how does he not know?? We have been married 13 years and from the start we have kept our finances separate. He pays for the mortgage and taxes. I pay for the utilities and food. He pays for our son's karate and I pay for all the kids clothes, school lunches, just about anything else that they need. He pays for his car and his car insurance. I pay for mine. It's a system that has suited us well except for the fact that most months I don't have enough cash on hand that I end up charging whatever the kids need.

With all that said, I am super determined to make this happen. I am going to scrimp and save and throw every dollar I can find towards my debts. I am not bringing this into our retirement with me. I have about 18 years until I retire - more than enough time to dig myself out but I want it gone sooner rather than later so I can save myself from the increasing anxiety I feel when I check the mail or the phone rings or my husband talks about money.

I will post my budget and debt amounts soon. I hope you all will hold me accountable and help me find some ways to save.

11 Responses to “Newbie :)”

  1. Rose. Says:

    Secret debt is rough. I hope that you are able to reach your goals.
    This place is great. And if you post consistently it keeps you accountable.

  2. James Says:

    Welcome on board, look forward to reading your updates!

  3. ceejay74 Says:

    Welcome! I hope you find the support you need here. I started with way more credit card debt, though it was shared and I didn't have to go it alone.

  4. creditcardfree Says:

    We will cheer you on! Does your husband think you don't have debt at all? Is it possible he has cash to pay it off? Not suggesting that he should given your circumstances, just wondering if it is remotely a possibility and if you were forthcoming would he pay it off? One really doesn't know unless they communicate.

    Tell us, what is your plan for how to pay the debt?

  5. CB in the City Says:

    Welcome! And I just wonder ... does he have secret debt? And I also wonder ... if you don't have the cash flow to pay for the kids' clothes, etc., is your division of responsibility really fair? Just food for thought. I know that keeping finances separate can work well, and I do understand your desire to get that debt gone on your own.

  6. Amber Says:


    I've been following Dave Ramsey's plan since last August, and I say it works, it might be something you might want to check out. I've been off 4 credit cards since starting.

    Here's my two cents, I personally think you should tell your husband, you will need the support not to mention he should be your best friend, someone you can confide in. I also think if you combined your incomes, created a budget you'll be able to knock this debt out in no time and save a lot more as a couple

  7. snafu Says:

    Welcome to SA. I hope we can be helpful. Your secret is not easy to keep. What interest rates are you paying on the CCs? When you add up the interest, fees, any penalty that accrues, how much have you paid 2018 January - May for these CCs? While you may have have sufficient income to pay for DKs stuff when they were younger, I can tell you from experience that it gets way more expensive as they get older. Is it possible that your income as not kept up with the cost of teenagers? I admire your determination to pay off $ 20K, what can you eliminate to escalate payments? I admit to manipulating the food budget as it's a fun challenge to meal plan, stay out of restaurants and explore creating entrees that explore other country's favored dishes. Alternatively, what can you do to bring in more income? Like CB, I too wonder what secrets DH adds to the story.

  8. Jenn Says:

    I think it's fortunate that you have the assigned bills that you do. There are lots of tactics to lower grocery and utility expenses! If you had the mortgage you be in a tougher spot.

    I think you'll need to communicate about your debt to your husband though. When you make a drastic change he will probably notice and ask questions. You might matter-of-factly take accountability and outline your strategy for resolution.

    Good luck! It motivates us all to see debt get crushed. We'll be cheering you on.

  9. Debt-free by Thir-ty Says:

    I'm also pro-telling your husband. Paying off debt is a really tough journey, and I feel like you'll benefit from the support. While combining finances isn't for everyone, I'd argue that your current system of separation isn't exactly working out either. Good luck and I look forward to seeing your progress. Welcome to SA!

  10. LuckyRobin Says:

    Financial infidelity can destroy marriages. Racking up debt behind your husband's back and then lying by omission to him...if he finds out on his own he is going to be very hurt and angry because it will feel like a betrayal and like you don't trust him to know when you are over your head and he will think he cannot trust you. If you tell him the truth, he may be disappointed and upset, but far less so than if you continue to mislead him. It sounds like your division of expenses is out of whack for your income. You should sit down with your husband and make up a budget together after you have laid all your cards out on the table. Hiding things in a marriage usually means the marriage is in trouble. Trust is what marriage is built on and when you deceive on such a large scale you put cracks in that foundation. He needs to know.

  11. PatientSaver Says:

    I'm a little late to the welcoming party here, and I've been reading your most recent posts first.

    I see you cut your land line and have a plan to put a few hundred toward your debt each month. I guess I'm wondering what you can do with your budget so that your expenses don't routinely exceed your monthly income? Can you take another look at where the money goes and cut some more? I think you have to be aggressive to get a handle on this debt.

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