“Shut the Damn Lights Off!”: My Rapid Decent Into Becoming My Father

My Dad would often say, “You guys don’t need all of these lights on. I get up every night and walk through the house in total darkness!” What he didn’t ever fully explain is how he got all of the bruises on his shins from running into coffee tables, foot rests, and dining room chairs.

Starting Credit Card Debt (01.01.19): $126,310.77
Current Credit Card Debt: $109,570.87
Total Paid Off: $16,739.90
Income Going to Savings: 2%

My Dad is a smoker. Growing up he would smoke at least a pack a day, and he would often get nicotine cravings in the middle of the night. So he’d roll out of bed and wander into our living room to have himself a late night puff.

As a young child I had no idea that this was his nightly ritual because I usually slept right through the night. However once I hit my teenage years I began staying up into the wee hours of the mornings, usually playing videogames. Around 1:00am I’d get hungry (after a particularly stressful bought of something like Mike Tyson’s Punchout), and I’d wander out to the kitchen to see what leftovers I could consume. I played a lot of high school sports, and I was a big kid, so I could eat like nobody’s business. When the cravings hit, I ate anything that even partially resembled food.

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Tangent: I think there is probably next to zero chance that I have any high school aged kids reading this blog, but if there happens to be, please take my advice when it comes to eating anything you can get your hands on as a teenager: There will come a day when you stop playing sports and if you continue to eat as though you still do, you will pack on the same 100lbs that I did. I’ve since lost it all again, but it was not fun.

I have hope though. I was raised in the 80s and we didn’t give a flying rip about things like preservatives or what exactly went into getting that Big Mac into our hands. However a couple of months back I was at an out-of-town lacrosse tournament with my family, and we had ordered a few pizzas to split with some friends. After eating our fill, we were still left with a couple of pizzas. Not wanting them to go to waste, my wife approached some of the members of one of the high school teams and offered them free pizza. The response she got?Read More »

How We’re Digging Out of Debt: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

As with many things in life, we didn’t make 1 giant mistake with our finances all at once to get ourselves into this mess. We made 100s of small mistakes here and there, and slowly enough that we didn’t really notice what a bad spot we were getting into.

Starting Debt (01.01.19): $126,310.77
Current Debt: $109,299.87
Total Paid Off: $17,010.90
Income Going to Savings: 2%

So I’ve written a lot about how we got to where we are financially, and now I’d like to talk to you a bit about what we’re doing to correct our situation. This is 100% our story, so please be mindful that the approach we took may not be the best approach for you and your situation. I’m hoping to share just so that you can pick up a few tips along the way.

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I had these co-workers once who thought it would be really funny to take my adjustable desk and rotate it down a quarter of a turn every single day. Each morning before I got in, they would ratchet it down by a small fraction of a turn so that it effectively got just slightly lower every day. The problem was that they did it so slowly, I never noticed. I just slowly adapted with my desk.

The co-workers finally got so frustrated by my lack of response that they came clean and yelled, “WE HAVE BEEN DOING IT EVERY DAY, HOW DID YOU NOT NOTICE?!?!?!”Read More »