Back when I graduated college, I decided to move clear across the country to 1) find my own adventure and 2) be with the guy I was in a relationship with at the time. Sure, that in itself in retrospect was probably not the best of ideas, but I would have never gotten to where I am in life right now if I hadn't - so woo hoo for jumping in with both feet and blinders!
Guy I was in a relationship with at the time – let’s call him C for simplicity – lived in NM, so there I went, and we immediately got an apartment together and me a job doing menial marketing drudgery. Ah, the things we do for “love.”
Well it quickly became apparent that C didn’t really know what he wanted to do with his life and flitted from job to job with (apologetic) abandon. I wasn’t making much with my marketing gig at the time but it was consistent – so it wasn’t long before I was taking pretty much the full brunt of monthly rent, bills and out-of-pocket expenditures (plus I had to buy a new car because my old one died). We didn’t budget and didn’t really know how. Money was definitely flowing out faster than it was coming in.
I think it only took a year or two before I was in serious credit card debt – I think I blanked out a good portion of it, but I believe I topped out near $30,000. And you wonder why I'm even smiling in these pics ...
It was also around that point that I actually started excelling at my job and started having a life outside of C – and with a clearer perspective of things, that was when I decided to end the relationship.
No, money wasn't the only reason I ended things but we won't go into that - let's just say it was amicable. I don’t believe C was purposefully a moocher and didn’t sit back and just “enjoy” not doing anything. He tried to do right and always had a job –unfortunately just not the same one. And there were times where he was in training for a job and no income was coming in on his side.
But let’s face it, I totally enabled him too by not truly saying anything about the situation and not holding tight to the expenses split we initially agreed to – I am the first to admit that I was young, naïve and “in love” and this was my first time really out in the world by myself.
It’s been a long while now, I am a different place in my life with a different job and different person. It took me a few years but I finally worked myself out of debt by paying it back bit-by-bit, month-by-painful month.
(No worries about C, my dearies, towards the end of our relationship, he had gotten a steady gig working with the government, purchased himself a little starter home and even adopted a pup. Good for him and I bear him no ill will – though for a while I did daydream about sending him a bill for his share of my debt!)