Who is Kirsten?
Maybe you want to know more about me – not just the debt part. Well, I’m a coffee lover, NASCAR enthusiast, slow runner, terrible vegan, and above all else, Christian. I’m a full-time employee, a wife, and a mother of two young girls and one really old dog. I’m filled with wanderlust and, yes, consumed by debt.
What is “Indebted and In Debt”?
Indebted and In Debt: Indebted to God and In Debt Up to My Eyeballs is a personal blog about one woman’s journey out of overwhelming student loan debt. Some posts are about my debt specifically, while others share tips for others who are also overwhelmed by their debt. Many posts examine how faith affects finances, work-life balance, and earning more money.
“Everyone’s” Got Debt – What’s the Big Deal?
I get really irritated by articles that say I can just stay home if I don’t have to pay for daycare. Think of the tax savings and cutting out work lunches and gas savings, they say. Tax savings is fair, but I don’t do work lunches – I can’t afford them – and I commute with my husband, so we are paying the gas no matter what. Plus there’s this fun fact: our student loan payments are 50% more than our modest mortgage. We are essentially paying two house payments!
While I am the top earner, we’d like for me to be a stay-at-home mom, and it would be more than doable on my husband’s income – if we didn’t have those student loan payments. Essentially, I work to pay for student loans and daycare and nothing seems to be left over at the end of the month for us to get ahead. And let me be clear – our combined incomes are well over six figures, but we can’t seem to do much more than pay the minimums, because the minimums have been so high.
About the Debt
I started repayment in 2005 and my husband started repayment in 2007. Our grand total at its highest point was $150k. When I started this blog in 2014, the total was just a bit over $100k.
The debt I focus on is basically all student loan debt. As of starting this blog, we have no credit card debt (let’s keep it that way, shall we?) We recently purchased a new vehicle with a loan, after my in-laws pledged a few years of payments. We have since taken over the payments. The student loan debt is overwhelmingly my husband’s, who initially had plans for a lucrative career but changed his mind pretty far along in the process. Instead of switching majors as a junior, he changed direction with a master’s degree, which we paid out-of-pocket. Unfortunately, the master’s degree has earned him far less than his original career choice. In a nutshell, that’s why we have so much debt and why it’s so hard to pay off.
The Reason for Indebted and In Debt
I realized I probably had a voice to share. I had tried blogging before, but ran out of material quickly when I realized I had overstepped my expertise. I am a mom, but not a particularly good one. I don’t craft or make up recipes. I’m a slow runner, who as a new mom, doesn’t even have time for that. And really all my passions in life would be hard to come up with new, fresh, exciting material. But the one thing I know about is being in debt.
I started this blog on maternity leave with my second child. Each day was wonderful, but each day was a little sad, because it was one day closer to going back to work. To keep me awake during the 2 am nursing sessions, I read blog after blog. I was especially fond of Lisa Jo Baker, who at the time, hosted a link-up called Five Minute Friday. The goal was to write for just 5 minutes on a one word prompt she gave. No editing or second guessing yourself. So, she might give a prompt like “closer” and all the linked up posts would be about a closer walk with Jesus. Mine, if I had a blog, would have been about the end of maternity leave being closer.
With over $100k in student loan debt (plus a mortgage), this is definitely not a how-to site. It won’t be the story of how we paid off our debt in just one year or how to budget or coupon. I’m going to learn a few things and fail a few times and you get to read about it all. Probably with hefty doses of sarcasm. And hopefully with some introspections on how our financial life relates to our Christian walk. And you dear reader, get to hold me accountable.