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The holidays are coming up really soon and with that, so does gift-giving, which is my love language. Whether you like to give toys, clothes, travel, or experiences (my personal preference) to your loved ones, at the root of all of it is the innate desire to bestow upon the people you love gifts; tokens of adoration and gratitude. We wait all year for this one day to give. Why do we wait? Oh yes, because that is when the sales happen and we’re trying to spend responsibly.
Since the day we had our girls, we’ve been head over heels in love with them. We wanted, and still do, to give them the world. I don’t feel like it’s wrong to give them special gifts, I feel like it’s a blessing to be able to do it. Giving is a salve for my soul.
But then the accident happened my own personal life-altering moment. I took a misstep in a bridesmaid gown and our entire world changed. I broke and shattered the bones in my left leg while completely dislocating my ankle. I had no idea how momentous one wrong step could be. It’s actually a good metaphor for life.
READ ALSO: Bridesmaid Down
It was as painful as it sounds and that broken leg nearly broke us. The bills were astronomical. Recovery included 3 surgeries over 3 years, countless hours of physical therapy and rehabilitation and the cost of renting medical devices to just be able to take a shower or get around my own house. I couldn’t bear weight for 12 weeks. I couldn’t work. All I could do was sit and watch as the entire world moved on without me. It took a village to pick up the slack and there were lots of unexpected, hidden costs involved.
Christmas rolled around that year and all my weary heart wanted was to give to those I love but how could I? I got depressed and when I’m depressed, it’s cliché but, I like to shop. Somehow it empowers me when I’m feeling helpless. So in the middle of hemorrhaging money on one surgery after another, I kept shopping. It wasn’t about the stuff it was about the joy it brought me to give the smiles on my daughters’ faces.
That Christmas was a plastic Christmas. I couldn’t let my broken leg ruin our holiday. It had already robbed the girls of their Disney World trip, I wouldn’t let it take this from them too. As the medical bills began to roll in, when I still couldn’t walk, I had my husband push me around the mall in my wheelchair.
Christmas came and went. My cards were maxed out and the medical bills just kept coming, even when the paychecks were late; the bills never were. I wish the hospital’s billing department could give tips to the people who owed me money. Apparently, that scenario never works out in my favor.
Pretty soon, the bills were coming more and more frequently and the stress of owing money that I couldn’t pay and afford groceries at the same time, just became too much. I began to shut down. I stopped spending and started focusing on paying bills down and saving but the bills were already so high. I felt like I couldn’t breathe or move under the weight of it all. Meanwhile, my credit score was moving in the wrong direction.
We were in over our heads with the medical bills. We were drowning with no life preserver in sight. Humiliated and embarrassed, I didn’t want to ask for help. I’m an adult. I just wanted to hold on long enough to be able to fix it but I could never catch up.
Then one day, I had to ask myself, “Why should my children pay because of an unexpected medical emergency? Why should we be punished for a momentary lapse in footwear judgment on a warm autumn day? Why?” I was angry and I was sad. I was frustrated and I felt out of control and I didn’t like any of it.
READ ALSO: What’s a Quinceanera and how to plan yours
I was struggling with the idea that I had school tuitions, ballet, cheer, work trips, family vacations, and quinceaneras coming up that I had to pay for. The fact was not lost on me that college is coming sooner rather than later too. How was I going to afford all of it? Why should my family miss out on these important things to them because of debt that had nothing to do with them. It felt punitive.
Bills kept mounting. I’d pay the bare minimum when I could. I used to feel like I would never finish paying off the medical bills because once I broke my leg that set off a chain of unexpected health issues and more trips to the hospital.
Worrying doesn’t help. You have to make a plan and take action. The first thing I did was call my creditors. I spoke to them, human to human. Explained the situation and they worked with us to help us pay the debt down without starving or damaging our credit score. This wasn’t a magic pill and we’re still working that plan. It was a Band-Aid. It takes time but it was a relief to have that life preserver.
The thing you have to remember is that credit is fluid. Your credit is not set in stone. Every single day is a new day for you to repair or destroy it. It’s your choice. One resource, CreditRepair.com is a leading provider of credit report repair services in the United States. Their credit professionals help educate and empower individuals like me achieve the credit score I want and the lifestyle my family deserves.
CreditRepair.com can help you make good choices because a credit score is more than just a number, it is a way of life. A credit score directly correlates with quality of life, not just because of the things you can afford but more importantly because of peace of mind and security. For me, and most people, debt and compromised credit cause unnecessary stress and worry and then you can’t enjoy anything. It’s a vicious cycle and sometimes it feels like there’s no way out. But there are resources available for just that. We just need to know they are available.
CreditRepair.com professionals believe everyone has a right to: Achieve their dreams. Increase their ability. Enjoy a lifestyle of greater opportunity.
CreditRepair.com’s technology provides its members with a personal online dashboard, a credit score tracker and analysis, creditor and bureau interactions, text and email alerts, mobile apps and credit monitoring. They give you the tools to be the master of your own financial destiny. They focus on your personal story and your determination to develop a healthier relationship with your credit and dedication to the process of changing your lifestyle and spending habits to achieve your financial goals. It’s very personalized.
I’m still working my way out of financial debt and learning better spending habits.
My credit repair goals are:
· Pay everything on time.
· Pay off all of my medical debt.
· To get to a place where I can pay more than just the minimum payments on credit card bills.
· Pay off debt and use my credit cards less.
· Carry low balances versus maxed out cards.
· Establish a regular savings schedule and contribution goal.
· Get any negative payment history removed from my credit report.
If your credit isn’t perfect, that’s ok. You can fix it with a little guidance and help from CreditRepair.com Get started today with your free consultation.
What are you waiting for? You deserve the freedom, joy and peace of mind that having good credit can provide. Your family deserves that version of you.