This week’s Money Master is Catherine of Plunged in Debt. Plunged in Debt is another great personal finance blog from our neighbors to the north. As is frequently the case and as we can relate, Catherine and her husband found themselves in a mountain of debt and use their blog as a cathartic way to pay off their debt and help others do the same or avoid debt altogether.
One of Catherine’s more recent posts that we like is Gifts I Want for Christmas That Aren’t Things. It’s a good reminder that often the best things don’t cost any money. It’s also a good compliment to our post Experience People vs. Things People.
1. What’s your story?
I grew up in a home where education was important; I come from a long line of professionals. Let’s just say there was no way I wasn’t not going to pursue post-secondary education. My grandparents set aside enough money for both my sister and me to pursue said education, a bit of help for my mom who was a single parent receiving no other financial help for us two kids.
Very long and complicated story cut short- grandparents died, estate didn’t get executed properly we never saw the money. I didn’t let this stop my post-secondary ambitions though so I pursued the education anyway. I ended up completing two university degrees and on graduation day owed almost $80,000.
The same year I graduated, I married my high school sweetheart. We combined our deficit bank accounts together and in total owed almost $93,000 in post-secondary education. Because we didn’t learn any lessons about borrowing money with no immediate plan to pay off, we added a mortgage and vehicle to this debt.
Young, married and over $300,000 in debt. Wicked eh?
After I found out I was pregnant with our daughter we realized the multitude of our debt and got REAL about paying it off. If all goes according to plan, we’ll have the remaining non-mortgage debt, currently about $78K, paid off in less than three years (we managed to kill over $20K in principal debt in 2014).
2. What’s your point of view, as a personal finance blogger?
I’m here to tell my story. I’ve made a lot of really dumb mistakes, all of which I have learned from and hope to share them so others don’t. I embrace the community and how friendly and helpful everyone is. I enjoy reading a ton of different points of views and personal journeys. At the same time I totally respect that people create blogs as a business, if you can do it, way to go! I hate when people get their panties in a bunch over people monetizing sites in whatever way they want, it’s their slice of the internet, let them do what they want.
3. In one sentence, what’s one piece of sage advice from your personal finance background that you’d like to share with our readers?
Debt shouldn’t be anyone’s normal.
Check out Plunged in Debt. It’s a great blog that shares lots of personal experiences of the blogger. Sign up for Catherine’s RSS feed or subscribe to her email list.