c:That's OK. Communication is more than just words, the internet is limited that way.BTW, I think I wrote in my original post, when I was doing what I considered well, I had a nice 401K, a mutual fund, stocks and a few months salary in savings. So I wasn't just getting by. In addition, I had just purchased a house, my first ever. So I think my portfolio was going well until the crash of the IT market in my city. Also, I was married to a man who supported me. I have an art degree and I think after getting divorced in that situation, going to making 6 figures in 5 years is pretty darn good.However, the "6 figures" was only my contract rate. I never worked 12 months on that except one year. That was the year I started the mutual fund and the stock portolio.It was very difficult when my contract ended and the market was down and I couldn't find anything. I was in a pretty high income bracket and although I was willing to lower my rates, recruiters and companies thought I wouldn't stick around when they went up. My last job ended in May and I was making the lowest I had made in 5 years but it was still OK with me. I just wanted something permanent, not contract. But even permanent jobs lay people off, sigh, which is what happened.I am 45 and was not in debt like this until 3 years ago, I had never had more than 2K on a credit card, so I do believe it was circumstantial; not working and having a home makes it hard to really scrimp. I kept thinking another job would come "any day now". I know better now. For 3 years, I've been employed as a contractor because it was all I could get; 3 months here, 6 weeks there, with MONTHS off in between. I couldn't work in retail or anything administrative because nobody here was finding work and all the "any type of jobs" were filled up and they didn't want to even look at the IT people who would leave when the market came back.I definitely know about emergency funs, freedom funds and especially retirement. I have a whole plan for it but no income. However, I am confident something will come up for me in a job and my husband is working his way up, he's younger and very smart, he just has to break through the new cultural barriers in the U.S. He's already working in his field (television) and he works really hard. Together, we'll be OK. BUT, I have to pay off those credit cards. I have a plan to do it in a year and a half, paying $2000 a month toward that debt whenever I start drawing a paycheck. I have an art-related side business that brings in a dribble of money and I'm working on that on the side, hoping to drum up more business.The art side of me though, tends to make me sometimes forget the practical. So I want to stay on this board to get support.Thanks...
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