Bills, Bills, Bills

Hi, it’s Sophie.

We are getting near the end of my personal story of shopping addiction.

My last post was about how after graduation I bought myself a new house, a new car, and basically a whole new life, putting most of it on credit cards.

Using my degree, I got a full-time job as a receptionist in a business office. It wasn’t glamorous work, but it was easy, and I felt like a real adult dressing in suits every day. Suits, of course, that I had purchased with a credit card.

By this time I was hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. I had mountains of credit card debt, student loans, and my mortgage. Bills were coming in every day. I used to keep them in a stack, thinking one day I would have the time to open and sort through them. But whenever I had free time at home, I found myself binge-watching television while the stack of bills glared at me from the table where they sat.

Eventually, I opened a couple and was shocked. I had no idea I owed this much. The scary red letters and pages and pages of transactions swam before my eyes.

I was in complete denial. I threw the stack of bills away and decided just to ignore them. I had a fabulous house and car, a decent job, and a fantastic wardrobe. I couldn’t let a little thing like credit card debt get me down.

But the bills kept coming, and soon I was getting calls from collection agencies. I took out a personal loan from my bank to pay off some of the debts because I was afraid of the loan sharks. All this did was transfer my liability from the credit card companies to the bank. I was still in just as much trouble as before.

I couldn’t pay for anything. Every single one of my credit cards was maxed out, and my credit score by this point was terrible. No credit card company would approve me for another card, and I was lucky even to get the personal loan form the bank to pay them off in the first place.

I was at home one day after work, looking through yet another pile of red bills (red meaning past due) when the electricity suddenly went out and I found myself sitting in darkness. I realized I hadn’t paid the electricity bill because the card I used to pay it off was maxed out.

I knew then that I was in serious trouble and had to make a significant change.

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