My name is Penny, and I have a problem. A serious problem.
However, before I dive into said problem let me tell you a bit about myself.
Penny, as you may have guessed, is a pseudonym. It is the Internet, after all, and I am about to spill the beans on my many financial fuck-ups. So, for the time-being, just call me Penny. Penny Plastic.
I’m female, 29 and Californian – born and raised. I live with my boyfriend (we’ll call him David). I work in a creative field doing something I would very much enjoy if I only made more money.
I’m pretty happy.
Parents? Check. Happily married and living near-by. Siblings? Nada. I’m an only child (I’m sure this explains a lot). Friends? They’re fantastic but have spread across the country in our post-undergrad years – pursuing jobs, post-graduate studies or boyfriends (and girlfriends).
I drink a LOT of wine and am addicted to Jezebel.com. I love Pilates but haven’t exercised in a year. I have many bulletin boards filled with photos and drawings and shit I’ve torn out of magazines. I’m messy. I can’t concentrate easily but can often hyper-focus on incredibly silly things. I can plan but am awful at following through. And when it comes to money, I’m a failure. Unless you count spending it.
I’m in debt and have been since I was 18 and placed my grubby little hands on my first credit card.
I’m in debt and tired of credit card balances and guilt and shame. It sucks being in debt. Not only do you owe a bunch of financial institutions money (and do they really need more?), but it’s your own doing, and usually for incredibly stupid/selfish/indulgent reasons. I’m not in debt because my father needed a quadruple bypass and had no medical insurance and I was forced to use 15 credit cards to pay for his medical bills. I’m in debt because I’ve bought (and continue to buy) stuff I don’t need.
Trust me, I do not expect anyone to feel sorry for me. Hell, I don’t feel sorry for myself. The purpose of this blog is not to whine about what I am missing and how I am struggling (although I will do that from time to time). My goal, aside from paying off my debt, is to be honest about the process. To that end, this blog will be treated more like a journal. I don’t have any expectations of readership. If a few poor souls happen to stumble upon my rambling I can only hope that, 1) there is some glimmer of recognition, as I know many people share my struggle, 2) there are a few laughs or at least some head shaking or 3) someone with the same problem discovers their motivation to 86 the plastic fetish.
My hope is that in a few years, I can sit my frugal, financially responsible mother and cautious, doting boyfriend down in front of the computer and share my journey with them. A journey that I am only beginning. Here’s hoping that all paths lead to financial freedom.
That’s all for now. I will dive into the dirty stuff in my next post.