Four Eggs on Six Figures

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I will not for a moment claim to have a life as hard as some folks do in this world. Not even close. So please don’t think that I don’t have perspective. I’m not looking for you to feel bad for me, but instead providing insight into the sacrifices that my family and I have had to make. I’m also giving you insight into just how badly we had “effed up.”

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In my very first post on this site, I talked about not being able to afford to buy my son a piece of pizza at a lacrosse game. I mention that while this is not unheard of for many families around the world, it was just plain silly that I couldn’t do so given my six figure salary.

I’ve had several people ask me just how bad things got, and just how close my wife and I were to a financial catastrophe when things hit rock bottom in January. I think some like to see just how far we’ve come and encourage us to keep going, and frankly I think a few are just buttholes who want to revel in how far down the drain we had swirled.

“I knew they bought a house they couldn’t afford.”
“Well what did they expect? They ate out 5 nights a week and bought new cars every other year!”
“If Dave could just stop buying television sets for a minute, they might have the money to pay the bills!”
“How can you be that fiscally irresponsible?”

Buttholes aside, I do think it is important to share our lows. If this blog is only about the highs and wins, it doesn’t really do anyone any good.

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Tangent: I’m now actively recruiting for my new band, Buttholes Aside, and we are looking for a bass player. Must be willing to wear spandex. Serious inquiries only.

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My wife and I need to be reminded of those lows, and reminded of the sting of those lows, even if we have made tremendous gains.

Trust me when I say that last part was by no means boastful. I can see that stat tracker in the column on the right just as well as you can, and I know we have a LONG way to go, but allow me to explain how far we’ve come…

As a recap, when my wife came to me in January and laid out how bad off our finances were, I was shocked.

  • ~$126,000 in credit card and student loan debt
  •  Absolutely zero dollars in savings
    • (We did have some money in a 401K)
  •  Upside down ~$3,600 in bills versus income each month

We didn’t ask for a single penny from a family member or banking institution to solve our problems. Well… that’s not entirely true. I did ask for a $5,000 credit limit on a personal line of credit with my bank within the first week, but they declined me due to… GET THIS… my debt to income ration being too lopsided.

I know… they must have been on the crazy pills right?

What we did to right the ship has been chronicled on this blog a few times, but in effect we stripped every single nice-to-have expense from our lives, cashed out vesting company stock and combined it with money from things like tax returns to pay off bills, lowered interest rates, refinanced a car, refinanced our house, picked up side jobs, sold personal items and in general just absolutely buckled down across the board.

However for several months, we were still paying out more money than we were making. By month two we had it down below $2,000 that we were over, but it was still pretty bad and we were pretty sure we were going to lose the house we had just purchased less than a year prior.

Month three was better still, and we had figured out ways to get everything down to $1,000 over, but we still were in a bad way.

We struggled little by little and did what we could, and I’m happy to say that almost 8 months later we’re at least paying all of our bills. We’ve put a modest amount of money in savings, we have a plan for taking care of roughly $50,000 of that credit card debt by end of year, and we are on the track to dig out completely over the next 2-3 years. We’re still living a VERY modest lifestyle, and we are putting a laughable amount into 401k, but our situation is nothing close to what it was like in those early months.

How “modest” did it get for us? 4 eggs a night modest.

Our kids of course came first, and we made sure that through all of this they maintained a healthy and well-balanced diet. When it came to my dinner, I resorted to 4 eggs a night. I would scramble them and maybe sprinkle a bit of cheese on them, but otherwise that was all I felt I could afford to eat in good conscious, given how upside down we were with our budget. This wasn’t me “taking one for the team,” but instead was simply reality. We couldn’t afford more than $2.50 worth of eggs and cheese. Heck, half the time the eggs were totally free thanks to a family friend.

Again… six figure income.

I will not for a moment claim to have a life as hard as some folks do in this world. Not even close. So please don’t think that I don’t have perspective. I’m not looking for you to feel bad for me, but instead providing insight into the sacrifices that my family and I have had to make. I’m also giving you insight into just how badly we had “effed up.”

I didn’t share any of this with family or friends. Those closest to us knew that we were on a budget, but nobody knew how bad it was. When someone saw me eating lunch meat (no bread, no toppings, nothing extra) at work for lunch, they remarked how dedicated I was to my Keto diet. Not only did I refrain from correcting them, but I even carried that forward as an excuse several times over the next few months. I had already lost all of the weight that I was going to on my Keto diet, but why go into the gruesome details of our debt if I didn’t have to?

When we are totally out of the woods, and have paid things off, I think I may just write a book. While “Digging Out: A Journey Out of Big Debt, One Small Win at a Time” is certainly in the running for a title, I also think that “Four Eggs on Six Figures” has a nice ring to it as well.

Some of you reading this may be as bad off as I was. Some of you may be far worse. Just know that there are ways out of whatever mess you’re in, and there are people who will support and encourage you along the way! Above all else no that hope is never lost. YOU GOT THIS!

Now I have to run… I’m late for Buttholes Aside band practice, and I still can’t find my leather jockstrap.

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If you’ve got a comment on this post, leave it below! If you’d like to join Buttholes Aside, send a tape, 5×7, and list of favorite bands to me via my Contact page.

5 thoughts on “Four Eggs on Six Figures

    • Thank you so much! We are trying our best to overcome our mistakes, while at the same time hoping to help others avoid them altogether.

      Like

  1. That’s the ticket — cutting everything out you possibly can. It’s a balance, too, cutting the quality/price of things you eat enough to make a difference, but not so much you’re eating Monsanto Left Overs (also a good name for a rock band).

    Also, I play bass… but the closest thing to Spandex I’m ever in is my mountain biking shorts. Do the Buttholes Aside do Spinal Tap covers?

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s a balance for sure. We have evaluated every single cent and feel like we’ve hit a good balance now, but those first months were rough.

      Bring the shorts to practice. I think we can use gloss spray paint to cover up the rest.

      Liked by 1 person

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