No. of Recommendations: 33

Aside from a mentioning a student loan choice, you describe a victim of circumstance.

You didn't choose to spend more when your income increased, but 'expenses jumped." You didn't overspend, but "made it" through 4 months of unemployment on "unemployment checks, the little bit of severance I received, cashing out my 401K, and credit cards." Again, you didn't overspend, but encountered increased debt because "our budget doesn't have any room for error, and we still had credit available." Your 1099-MISC story would leave an unsavory tax cheating impression if not read in a humorous light.

You seem to see yourself at the mercy of events. You're not.

From the planetary point of view, you're fabulously wealthy. From the United States perspective, you're personally earning about twice the average for US households. Taking control now is an excellent direction, and choosing to pay down debt is a great start.

You have three basic options, all of which work well when exercised together. Sell stuff and send the money to your creditors. Reduce expenses. Increase income.

My biggest regret in climbing out of debt is that I neglected selling stuff. I could have made a big dent in debt quickly (reducing interest paid and speeding up payoff) if I'd have sold some stuff I thought I needed. I actually only wanted it.

Good luck,

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