Things Are Going Sh*tty, and Then A Pandemic Hits

When last we (I) left this blog, my Dad had passed away. I’d like to say that is the reason my blog posting fell off, and that was certainly part of it, but it wasn’t the only reason.

While I was still reeling from the death of my Father and figuring out what that all meant, we got hit by a global pandemic. Maybe you’ve heard of it. It was in a couple of newspapers.

With this hit came a lot of changes in life. As with so many other people around the globe, life changed for me almost overnight in terms of schedules, kids in remote school, activities canceled, and a decent amount of initial fear and stress.

The best way to deal with all of this, at least for me, was to crawl into the fetal position, drink a lot of alcohol, eat horrific food, and in general listen to my skin quietly moaning like a slowly inflating balloon as it expanded and strained to meet these new life choices.

My family and I hunkered down and remained mostly quarantined for the better part of the next year.

Smash cut to 12ish months later, and a lot of stuff has changed. Even though I had already cut my drinking down to a few sips of wine on the weekend, I decided to go whole-hog and take March totally off from drinking. I call it my “March to Sobriety.” Nobody steal that idea. That’s all mine.

In the meantime, while waiting for a vaccine to arrive, I have also built out a modest home gym and have been lifting weights and running around 4-6 miles each day. My son has joined me in the gym, and this has helped to further motivate me to stick with it.

But you didn’t come to this blog to hear how jacked, swole, pumped and buff I’m getting. You came to read about finances…

AND YOU’RE IN LUCK!

If you peep the sweet graphic in the right column of this blog, you’ll see that gains ain’t just for the gym! I have paid off close to $78,000 in credit card and student loan debt, and overall I have stuck to my Digging Out plan almost to the penny.

However, that image is only a small part of the larger story…

You see, that tracker only charts student loans and credit card debt. It does not take into account things like vehicles or my house. So let’s dig in a bit further to some of the numbers here, and while I’m not going to go into deep specifics around what the value of my junk is, I will talk about the amount of overall debt that I have paid off.

Debt Paid Since January 1st 2019
House: $6,496.29
Vehicles: $30,676.91
Credit Cards: $77,654.95
Student Loans: $296.52
House 401K Loan: $6,259.85
Total Paid Off: $121,384.52

You read that correctly. Since January of 2019 I have paid off over $120,000 in my overall debt. That’s not smoke and mirrors, and it wasn’t done by some crazy magic trick or family inheritance. It was paid off using sheer determination, and an overall desire to get out of debt once and for all.

I mention family inheritance, because I just mentioned at the top of the blog that my Father passed away. While he did pass on his insane work ethic, his flare for creativity and a few old trucker hats, one thing he did not pass on to me was any kind of monetary inheritance. To be clear, that was expected, and I’m 100% cool with it. I’m just making a point.

During those first few “dark months” of the pandemic, no matter how down we got or how isolated we felt at times, one thing my wife and I refused to bend on was this digging out process. We understand that we were very fortunate to not be impacted directly from an employment standpoint, and we took this as a sign of responsibility to ourselves to not waste this blessing.

So we stayed focused, we held to our payoff plans, and we sacrificed to hold the line and keep the debt payoff rolling forward. The result is what you see to the right and above.

I’m not making any promises about returning to a regular cadence on this blog, but I at least wanted to give an update. I wanted you to know that I didn’t give up or sink back into my old ways.

As with so many others, we faced adversity on several levels over the past 2+ years, but we believed in our plan and it’s finally starting to pay off!

Thanks for stopping by!

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