I have been “coming clean” about my debt by sharing this blog with my closest friends. I debated whether or not to share this with them. I worried about their good opinion, my embarrassment, etc. The more I thought about it I realized these are my closest friends, the people I consider family. I’ve known most of them for almost twenty years. While I am not sharing this with co-workers or mere acquaintances I think my friends should know the mess I got myself into and I hope they are proud of me for working my way out.
The discussion of money seems to be a taboo subject. Money is not supposed to be discussed in polite company; I guess I’m not polite. I think the lack of discussion on the subject is harmful in many ways. Parents don’t discuss their finances with their children, who in turn, are not taught the importance of fiscal responsibility. I had no idea growing up what my mother’s income was, the only thing I knew was that we were poor. When I wanted something as a child I didn’t merely ask “can I have that?”, I asked, “can you afford that?”. Friends and family often don’t find out about the financial problems of loved ones until bankruptcy is filed or a house is lost. We hide our income so we don’t come across as making too much or too little as those around us. We hide our debt and give in to pressure to “live a little” even if we can’t. I am just as guilty of all those things and am trying hard not to play along anymore, although old habits are sometimes hard to break.
It was hard to send them links to this blog because I was initially embarrassed. Not embarrassed of the blog, but of that big red number on the home page to the right. Especially because I think several of them are responsible and frugal and don’t owe money like that unless it is their home.
I have been embarrassed of my finances for far too long. Pretending I had the money to go shopping, out to eat, vacation, etc. I tried to live the life I wanted, not the one I could afford. Well, I don’t have the money, I never did. Now that I make the kind of money I pretended to have before, I can’t do all those things, because it goes to paying back the stuff I financed when I pretended to have money. So I’ve come clean and now everyone knows, after all once you post something on the internet it exists forever!