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Huge and Embarrassing Debt: The ‘I Can’ts’

My mantra for the past four month sounds like I bought it at the Negativity Store: I can’t buy anything. I have to get my act together. I should not have let myself get into this Huge and Embarrassing Debt!

If you have been following me tackle my Huge and Embarrassing Debt you know that I had two goals set to reach by now. 1) pay off one credit car and 2) get a certain sum in my savings account.

Well, I can successfully say I did pay off one credit card and closed that account, but my savings goal isn’t even close.

Plus, I have continued to nickel and dime myself all along the way, still taking small credit card cash advances to cover days between paydays and using one credit card.

A big part of my strategy was to bring in the embarrassing element. That worked. Offering to work with USAA and SpouseBuzz got me to come forward and start this process. (See what USAA’s Scott Halliwell ideas for Tracey here Digging Out of Debt 3: The Honeymoon is Over)

But after some real in the dark moments when I was true to myself, the “embarrassing” part of my strategy was not enough.

I was already embarrassed to have $85,000 in debt! Who wouldn’t be? I have heard my fair share of Shame on you!

This month I realized that the motivation that came with facing my debt in public only got me started. What was I going to do to make lasting change?

I learned through my mentors that I learned I needed to start changing my language instead of seeing this process as a struggle with the things I cannot have and the things I have to do. I will now listen for all my negative talk around this subject:  I can’t.  I have to.  I should never …

Now I choose to get excited about the possibilities. I want to grow my savings more than grow my wardrobe. (I need to say this one out loud a lot). I want to reduce my credit card debt rather than reduce my happiness.  I want to provide a stable financial future for my family not provide toys and gifts. 

This is my Huge and Embarrassing Debt but I am responsible for this change. I receive fantastic support and guidance and I refuse to waste this opportunity but the work is on me. I want to do the work, I am excited about the future and I am giving up nothing, I am gaining the power and control to pay off this debt and free myself.

Stay with me on the ride. The last four months have been a true roller coaster, but the best part about a roller coaster is when it is over.

I did not want to admit to myself this would in fact take years! But today I am surrendering to this long process.  Maybe I should get that on a t-shirt!

About Tracey

Tracey’s Huge and Embarrassing Debt is a new series starting on SpouseBuzz. Tracey is a military wife who attended one of our live Military.com Spouse Experience events and was inspired to make a life change. As she and her family work with USAA’s Scott Halliwell and JJ Montannaro, they will all be blogging about how military families really can get out of debt — one tiny change at a time.