Sometimes we overshare for a reason.
I share my life because I want to feel connected to others. When I started this blog, it was because I had no where else to turn. My husband had just been laid off from his job right after our wedding. And I had no clue how to deal with paying our bills, let alone lowering our credit card debt or tackling our student loans.
Almost immediately, I found friends who were going through the same thing or who had experience with financial windfalls.
… But I also found haters who told us we shouldn’t talk about our finances so openly. I think it’s a common issue writers and sharers get. Money is taboo, weight loss is embarrassing, relationship issues will only lead to heartbreak, dirty laundry should stay in the hamper… etc. I’ve heard it all.
And when my husband found his new job, I think many of those hater expected us to stop talking about debt and net worth. They expected us to go black and stop putting the numbers out there.
But I didn’t. We didn’t. FNP Husband and I came to an agreement that our story wasn’t unique in any way. We are/were just one of millions of millennial couples (hell, any generation of couples) dealing with crippling student loans, a lack of education regarding managing finances, and a feeling that we would never, ever get out of what we were in.
Even as I write about our move, our massive debt payments so far (over $10k in 2 years is nothing to be ashamed of), and our struggles to raise a money mindful child, I still feel as if we are just another part of a large puzzle. We represent a trend that’s not going away anytime soon.
Making our story matter
If you read personal finance blogs like I do (aka religiously), you probably notice a huge trend of writers who have made massive impacts in their finances. It’s an industry dominated by success stories.
Mine isn’t. At least not yet.
Some stories were easy. They found a better paying job, they made their website a money maker, they sold their home and paid off everything, etc. Others were much, much harder like Frugalwoods commitment to extreme frugality or Dear Debt’s long journey to student loan payoffs.
Ours is falling in the hard category as of late, especially with Baby FNP throwing a wrench in a well made plan.
But as so many people succeed and rise up on that platform to be admired and received (which they so deserve to be), I stay down here, looking up. It doesn’t discourage me from talking. It encourages me.
There’s not enough of us down here to tell our stories in real time. There’s not enough of us down here to make sure you, as personal finance blog readers, know that the struggle is real and that there are others like you who cry when an unexpected bill comes or who celebrate paying a couple dollars extra towards their credit card debt.
That’s where we can make our story matter. And we hope it does.
Why we talk about debt
We talk about debt because everyone who doesn’t want to be silenced should. The idea that finances and money are taboo are long gone. Our student loan debt has become more of a social issue rather than a personal one. And for those who want to speak out, there should be an outlet, a podium, a microphone.
We cannot be voiceless against what is slowly killing the middle class millennials.
When we talk about debt in the future, I plan on getting more personal and, frankly, more political. With the election season coming up, education and student loans have been at the forefront of my mind — enough so that I am not afraid to endorse a candidate right on this blog.
You’re free to debate with me (keep it civil). And you’re free to continue hating, if that’s your prerogative. That’s what I want this space to be for. Because the more we talk, the easier it is to make debt education a priority.