lifestyle

I have been hiding this secret from my husband for five years.

Cynthia feels ashamed for breaking their pact to do things differently.

For the past five years I’ve been hiding a terrible secret from my husband. I have two credit cards with a debt totalling $8000.

I feel incredibly ashamed, especially considering our financial history together.

My husband lost his business in 2008. Before then we’d been riding a wave of success we thought would never end. Then, in six months time it was all over. We’d lost his business, our home and a car. We had a four-year-old boy and another child on the way.

We moved to a more affordable area with our tails between our legs, swearing we’d do it all differently this time. We’d both get great jobs and start over. We’d be careful with our spending. We’d structure a budget and stick to it. We’d save the money to buy another home.

And we’d be honest with each other about our spending.

Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by myprosperity. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words.

The weight of my credit card debt affects every part of my life. I feel resentful towards my husband for the loss of his business and our home even though I know it wasn’t anything he could prevent. I feel ashamed of myself for breaking our pact to do things differently. I feel guilt every time we discuss money. And I feel like I have let my family down.

Despite both having good jobs, Cynthia and her husband still haven’t been able to buy another home.

Despite the fact we both have good jobs we haven’t been able to buy another home. We live in a semi-affluent area where the homes are big, the schools are amazing and the lifestyle is expensive. Around here everyone has a big, beautiful home with a mortgage, a large family car, annual holidays, lifestyle, money for groceries and trumpet lessons, ballet lessons and art class for their high-achieving children.

There are a handful of families we know who are renting a home and we are one of them. We have a small vehicle, we don’t go on annual holidays because we are trying to save for a new home and in the meantime, the money keeps flying out the door on things for the kids, entertainment, food and god knows what else.

I feel like everything is spiralling out of control.

Everyone around us had just returned from holidays to places like Queensland, Fiji and the Central Coast. My sister shows me her latest jewellery purchase and complains about the home she can call her own, that holds just a small mortgage. I visit my children’s friends and their homes are stunning. They tell me about their latest renovation or their plans to convert their family room in to a movie room.

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I want their lives.

Cynthia has a plan to pay off her credit card debt, but it’s difficult to do in secret.

I devised a secret plan to pay off my credit card debt but it’s very difficult to do this secretly and it’s a slow process. I don’t even remember what I spend the money on. All I knew was that our budget was so tight I felt a sense of rebellion building and every time I brought up the subject with my husband he convinced me to stay strong.

I wanted to enjoy life as we saved for a new home, he felt we could enjoy life once we had a home again.

The thought of confessing my terrible secret to him makes me feel ill. I know he’ll be angry and I know he’ll forgive me but I also know that he won’t look at me in the same way again.

Everything I know about money has been self-taught. I don’t know enough about managing what is the most important part of modern life and I feel like a fool.

This is the year I have to get rid of the debt because next year we plan to try and purchase a home or at the very least, an affordable investment property.

Here is what my ideal 2014 looks like:

1. Pay off credit card debt.
2. Husband and I both finish the courses were are enrolled in to increase our employment prospects.
3. Take a holiday for the first time in 8 years.
4. Create a budget that is more flexible and less strict so we can enjoy life as we save.
5. Buy a bigger car that better suits our families needs.

Each time I sit down and try and figure out how to achieve this I come up with a plan but then end up going off the rails again. It starts with a purchase of rebellion like extra chicken breast for dinner, a new top, a trip to the movie with the kids…then it spirals out of control and we’ve made no progress towards a new home, a holiday or paying off my credit card debt.

I need help.

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