My wife and I were stupid kids when we first started out. We just paid off $30,000 worth of credit card debt. I don’t regret the experience.
Story: I left the nest at 18 and moved in with my girlfriend at the time (I’m now 24: We’re married.) She was in school. Her mother was mostly supporting her through uni, but cut off funding once I moved in because she “didn’t want to support [me] too.” (I had a job.)
Things slowly spiralled out of control. By the time I was 21 we had a car loan and $30,000 worth of credit card debt. There was a point where she was missing periods because of the stress of work, school and debt collectors. There was a point when the bank threatened to take us to court. We owed them about $5,000.
There are a few things that I can point to and say we bought during the craze. Two computers, a printer, our wedding rings. A lot of it went to useless crap and eating out. We were both equally irresponsible.
We eventually admitted we needed help. We went for some free consulting on credit management. They helped a lot. I buckled down and researched the eff out of personal finance. We became extremely frugal. Every extra penny went toward paying off our slave masters.
As of 7/9/22 we have:
- Zero credit card debt. One card actually owes us $40 because we accidentally overpaid.
- Zero student loans.
- Only one car loan (with a very reasonable interest rate)
- 1 uni education with another on the way (she accomplished an accounting / education double major during the crisis)
- 1.75 awesome jobs (hers + two of my part time jobs)
- A financial safety net for disaster
I regret not having that $30,000+ in a savings account, but I know that wouldn’t have happened without the valuable lesson we learned. It sucked, but I think the experience was a valuable one and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.