Confessions of a Laid-off Lawyer

Just Your Average Joe Blogging Away His Debt—In One Year or Less

Day of Accounting

with one comment

Well . . . breakfast is complete.  The tea steeped and drunk already.  (And I’m about to start the coffee . . . generally don’t like coffee upon waking.)  And yet no blog.  But for good reason.

I began to blog, but then remembered that I needed my credit score and all the financial data first.  That took a bit of time and purchasing (having to pay for credit reports and scores annoys me).  So, now I begin again.  But first . . . an initial digression about the date (as the telephone just interrupted me), then another digression about money.

My mother just called to wish me happy anniversary.  Today, August 10th, is the day I was adopted, thirty-three years ago.  I’ve always known I was adopted; I do not have a specific memory of being sat down and explained the truth.  Other adopted members in my extended family found out through what’s now stereotypical means: blood tests before marriage, birth certificates, old letters, family gossip, and so on.  But my parents thought it important that both my sister and I know from an early age that we were adopted.  It speaks to their character and sheds light on the child they raised.  Yesterday my mother relayed a story told to her by my kindergarten teacher; they bumped into each other somewhere.  As the story goes, at some point during class one day–I’m unclear as to the topic of conversation–I raised my hand high and when called upon by the teacher, announced to the class, “I’m special.”  My kindergarten teacher asked me why.  I replied: “Because I’m adopted and that means I was chosen.”  Let’s just say that the distance between that innocent, honest, and a bit brazen child and me cannot be traversed in a straight-line.  But, this blog is all in an effort to get things back on track, so I kinda like that my anniversary falls on the day, a year from now, when I will be debt free.

As to my second digression:  Money is dirty.  Or so we’re taught.  I think I read this somewhere; could have been in a book . . . perhaps Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki?  But the point holds much validity: from the time we’re young, American society boggles our minds with conflicting messages.  On the one hand, we’re taught by advertising and mass-marketing that we need money, and the things we buy with it, to feel good about ourselves.  Money brings power.  Money brings fame.  Money brings happiness and security.  But there’s a subtle subtext to money in our society: money is dirty.  Christians are often reminded that Jesus threw money changers out of the Temple (Matthew 21:12).  People look askance at others who pick coins up off the ground.  We’re told to wash our hands after handling money.  Money gets “laundered” to remove the dirt of its illegal origins.  We toss coins into fountains (running water) to cleanse them and then hopefully grant our wish.  Since money is dirty, we’re ashamed of it.  It’s considered uncouth to ask someone how much he earns.  Spouses keep debts (and spending) hidden from each other.  I recall watching a television show where a couple invited all their family and friends over so the couple could air their “dirty laundry” and come clean about all the debt they were carrying.  As if it were this tragic secret.  As if everyone else isn’t in a similar situation.

So, one minor goal of this blog is to come clean about my debt.  That hopefully by bringing all this out of the shadows and into the light, I will strip it of some of it’s control.

So, here goes:

Total Black: $522.45

Here’s the Breakdown:

Primary Checking: $13.21
Secondary Checking $500.00
Savings $1.84
PayPal Account: $0.00
Amazon Payments Account $7.40

Today’s FICO Score 562

I guess since today is the 10th, I will make the 10th of the month the day when I publish updated debt numbers.  Also, I can only update my FICO score monthly, not daily as originally posted, because I have to run a new report each time, which will cost like $9.95 or something.

Total Red: $235,784.28

Here’s the breakdown:

Credit Card Debt

MasterCard     $5,630.54
Visa     $7,863.00
Visa     $5,066.96
American Express $2,367.40
Raymour & Flanigan Credit Line $5,647.75

Student Loan Debt

Federal Stafford Loans: $94,504.20
Private Student Loans: $34,148.50

Back Taxes

IRS (2007): $2,230.60
IRS (2008): $27,478.73
NY State (2008): $2,846.59

And I suppose if I’m being coming completely clean about all of this, we’d have to tack on $40,000 for money borrowed from my mother and roughly $8,000 she’s carrying on one of her credit cards.

So, that means approximately $235,784.28 dollars to go until I’m debt free.  And 364 days to do it in.

One Response

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  1. Why do you have so much debt? If you were laid off from a law firm, you couldn’t possibly have been working there for very long if you have this much debt unless it was a low-paying position.


    March 12, 2010 at 03:31

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