“Hello, Lisa, The Girl In The Band,” all 20 people answer in unison.
“ And I am a Serial Spender.”
Alright, so that scene never happened. But it should have. I have hinted before at my not so good relationship with money, but in case you are not aware, in 2012, I declared Bankruptcy. I don’t say that with pride, but I also don’t say it with shame. At least not anymore. It was not always the case.
My biggest regret of filing may surprise you and it is the reason I want to share my story. The regret? I wish I had done it sooner.
Flashback to 2004, the beginning of what I like to call my Livin La Vida Loca period.
I had, after a very long and stressful year, settled up with my insurance company after my garage fire and 11 months living at a hotel. (If you missed those episodes, check out some archived posts from June, July and August of last year.) I had started a new job with a financial institution and I had finally paid off a ton of previous debt.
To say up to that point I had been thrifty, would be an out and out lie. I had always lived beyond my means, always carried credit card balances and had already done the House Refi Cash Out Dance a time or two. It was easier than doing the Humpty Hump. Run up a few too many bills? NO PROBLEM! There was an ATM full of money, called your home! After all, California property values would never stop going up, so what was the problem?
Getting the job with the financial institution only made the problem worse. They were happy to give me a hefty Home Equity Credit Line, a new credit card and another refinance on my home, all tied to an employee rate.
I felt like I was in heaven! Little did I know, I was getting ready to go to financial hell!
Next up, running up more credit card debt than the cost of a house in Wisconsin.