Rather than plan a vacation (even though I would LOVE to take Bendy to Disney), buy too many things we don't need, or toss it all into savings where it will slowly be depleted over the next few months, we decided to take most of that money and pay back a number of old debts that we had on our credit reports.
See, when I turned 18, I didn't quite understand yet the ---danger--- that IS credit cards. In my frolicky little world of sunshine and flowers, I thought, yeah, I will sign up for this credit card, and buy the things I want... And pay the minimum until the day comes that I can pay them back! *smiles* *tosses hair* *pops bubblegum loudly*
But everyone in the *ahem* real world knows that that day never comes. Instead, you just get pummeled with fees and interest and blah blah blahs until one day, you owe a company $1000 for that $100 DVD player you decided to buy to watch your favorite movie on. And then (at least if you are me) you realize you won't overcome it anytime soon, and you give up. You let it go onto your credit report and ruin any chances you have of getting any type of loan on your own for the next however many years. So that's what I did, and that's how I ended up in this mess.
Will's was actually not nearly as bad as mine, to be honest. He had a bill from a hospital and one credit card, but that's nothing to my ridiculous amounts of book clubs, credit cards, past due bills, etc. I am turning red as I write this, because really, I'm not proud of it. I should have known better.
But, I didn't. It is what it is, I guess.
And NOW... Now that I am older, now that we have a daughter, now that we are getting more serious about what we want to do with our lives and doing things like making budgets and five year plans and thinking of just how to get to that point where we can buy our own house... NOW... We are fixing it.
I spent a while on the phone two days ago with all of these credit companies. **SIDE NOTE: You DO NOT need to hire a credit counseling service to help you if you have debts. You can negotiate with these companies all on your own, and they will offer you deals- on average, most will settle for around 50% of what you owed them in the beginning. IF you DO decide to go with a credit counseling service, whatever the reason, DON'T get one that makes you pay ridiculous amounts of money! Check out CCCS- Consumer Credit Counseling Services- you can even do a lot of it online with them now...** I paid back a big chunk of what we had owed, and I am pretty sure it's going to boost our credit score within the next couple of months. One step closer to being able to buy a house in a few years!
And you know what happened??
The next day, I happened to be browsing Craigslist, and I clicked on housing. I have been keeping my eye out on there for a while, because while we do like our apartment for its size, our location and our landlord are both kind of sucky. If you read about our heat situation, you know what I mean.
So we've been wanting to move for a while, but not forcing the issue. We've been waiting for the right thing to come along. We were *hoping* for a house or a duplex, something a little bigger, with a yard (right now we live on one of the main streets in town and have ABSOLUTELY no yard, which blows with a dog and a one year old!)... and I had only seen one that was good in the past few months, which was snatched up before I could even get ahold of the poster. So I didn't have very high hopes in clicking... But what do I see at the top of the list but THIS AD:
3br - ENFIELD NH 6 ROOM DUPLEX3 BEDROOM (ONE SMALL MORE FOR NURSERY) 1 BATH. NEWLY REMODELED. APPLIANCES ALREADY THERE.
BIG YARD AND PLENTY OF PARKING.
$800.00 PER MONTH PLUS UTILIES
We are going to look at it tonight. The woman sounds great, doesn't mind that we have a dog, and it seems like we were the first to get ahold of her about this amazing deal!! If all goes well, we might be putting down a security tonight...
I think so.