June 3, 2008
Personal Financial Tipping Point
Today, Free from Broke, did an excellent article re personal financial tipping points.
As I’ve noted earlier, mine came when I found out that my roommate had not been paying her mother (who writes our rent checks because the Landlord will not accept checks from my roommate because of the “high latex content”) her share of the rent for over four months.
After all the histrionics between her mother, her, her best friend, and me had died down, I did a lot of thinking. Not only did I never want to be in that situation again, but I realized that (other than my fiance) I really do not want to be sharing living space with anyone. After a long hard look at my own actions (avoiding paying creditors, spending beyond recklessly, eating out 6-7 times a week, taking cabs almost everywhere), I decided to take action. The first thing I did was to go to annualcreditreport.com, and got copies of all three credit reports, so I could see just how deep the hole I was in was. I then called my creditors and made agreements (all of which I kept). I stopped buying books — totally for a while, now only using gift certificates and buying used at that.
It’s been a long two years since then, and I have paid of all but one credit card (and that is well on its way to being paid off). I am working my way to freedom, and it will take about two years to get there.
My roommate still screws up, but I recently found out that that is because she does not want to be responsible for her finances. She says she wants someone to make it all go away and take responsibility for her, but refuses to let anyone actually do so. My ex sent me a spreadsheet so she can track her checking account, and she refuses to fill it in herself, or let me do it. She now claims that she thinks she could let my ex do it, because working with him will be less “emotionally painful,” but I bet when he shows up she will find more excuses.
Yes, I am angry about the situation — things that I could have put money toward have had to wait as, in order to keep a roof over my head, both her mother and I have had to cover for her. However, I know that this is temporary, and that once my credit reports are clear enough to not scare off Landlords, things will change drastically!