<<Finally something snapped, I think mainly that I was considering marriage, and I didn't want to start my new life with $26K hanging over my head. At the risk of sounding like a sap in a bad soap opera or self-help commercial, the first step really is mental. Decide you're ready to fix up your finances, and then mentally take yourself out of the picture. I would play a game with myself where once a week I would pretend I was the CFO of Me, Inc., and was tallying up figures I had no personal stake in. If you look at the numbers impassionately, you can figure out a strategy, rather than doing the addition, and having some insurmountable figure like $26K owed as your bottom line.>> Excellent post, 007! That earns you the honor of being a Seattle Pioneer "Favorite Fool," a rare honor. I liked your pragmatic approach to finding ways to cut your spending and debt that worked for you. Tailoring a debt reduction/spending control program is best fitted to each person like a pair of shoes, I think. You need a program that fits.I also appreciated your candid discussion of how you got into trouble in the first place ---acknowledging that it was ironic that a professional in dealing with budgeting for large companies could get in trouble with that in his personal finances. It is amazing how common that is.As you look back, can you identify how you bought into the consumer value system of spending and debt, and identify any ways that might have led you to avoid the problems you created?What would it take to point out these pitfalls to smart, educated people before they ensnare and damage people?And I also want to commend you for deciding that you didn't want to burden your marriage with a load of debt. I find it amazing that while Americans consider the idea of paying doweries to marry a spouse to be a hopelessly retro idea, lots of people don't seemm to hesitate to impose a large load of debt on their spouse to be. I think that should be recognized as a dowery of debt, and in my view, a lot more people should be picky about marrying into a dowery of debt, although there is an argument for student loans that produce a marketable, high paying skill.Anyway, thanks for a very worthwhile post. Seattle Pioneer
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