I started a blog last year and failed just like my first attempt to sort out my finances. In the absence of Anderson Cooper, I stated I was doing it to “keep me honest”. Bull$hit as it turned out. I stopped blogging as soon as I had some bad behavior to admit.

I don’t have a particularly exciting financial story. I charged up my 15.2% APR AMEX with a bunch of fancy shit I don’t need to impress Jones’ I don’t even know. I cashed out $15K from my old 401(k), took the big tax hit, paid $12K off the card and went Joan Crawford on that debt, paying off another $10K in 4 months. Then I did the smartest thing ever… transferred the remaining $18.5K to a brand new 6.9% MasterCard. Not so smart as it turned out. I HATED that AMEX debt with a fiery passion. I didn’t hate it when it became a balance transfer because there was no more emotion associated with those dollars. So what happened? I got complacent. And then I charged the shit out of that AMEX again. [LESSON LEARNED: CUT UP THE CARDS!]

It started with a pair of sunglasses. Actually, it started with weakness for a handsome colleague. Again, that’s a whole other story and I’m only pledging full transparency in all matters financial at this time. 😉

Where was I? Oh yes, a lunch date with a beautiful British man and a throwaway comment about my sunglasses. Followed by a night all alone in a hotel room and a thought that it couldn’t hurt just to check out sunglasses online. What do you know, I’d done so well paying off so much debt, I deserved a little treat. Those sunglasses turned into new jeans, turned into new outfits for every meeting I attended with this man, to complimentary shoes and accessories for those outfits, to… Ugh, the picture is clear. I’ve created a whole life story that isn’t mine.

Unfortunately, my story is actually $15,675 on my 15.2% AMEX. $17,200 on 6.9% MasterCard #1. $3,685 on MasterCard #2, which is 0% if paid by 12/31/2013. $2,640 on Retail Card that is 0% if paid by 10/16/2013. All adding up to a grand total of $39,200 in toxic debt. Did I mention the $39,846.27 outstanding car loan? I sure drive a nice car.

I’ve never missed a payment, and my “I LOVE DEBT” score is 756.

The one thing I did do somewhat right last year is contribute to my retirement savings again and build an emergency fund. It’s a pitiful amount for someone in their mid-30’s but this isn’t about beating myself up, it’s about celebrating a success in a crap-load of failures. I have roughly* $14,357.82 in savings and retirement accounts. *I say roughly because the markets suck and I’m sure my 401(k) took another dive today.

The cards are cut up, the budget is solid, the net worth is wildly negative but has been increasing steadily since August.

And that’s all the news that fit to print. At least for today. X

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Piggy Mac

How do you make yourself known in a world of personal finance blogs? I’m pretty sure Step One is WRITE SOMETHING!!!

I have been procrastinating for far too long. I have blog posts in my head constantly that never make it into the computer.

Even now on a rainy night when I can’t sleep (because I overindulged in pre-Christmas treats – but that’s a whole other blog for you), I got up with the sole purpose of writing. What did I do? I started thinking about names for my blog. I played around on godaddy.com. I checked my bank accounts. I read the Money section of the Daily Mail. I would have been more productive had I stayed asleep.

For now, I’m just putting fingers to keyboard so to speak.  Much more to be written.