Gettin’ Guesty With Kady – 7 Ways To Deal With Divorce Debt

Kady of the blog A Lady Reveals Nothing got herself out of over $45,000 in divorce debt. Today she’s sharing 7 ways that she got out from underneath the debt to live the life she’s always wanted.
“I’m not a finance blogger, but five years ago I was left with $45 thousand in divorce debt. I paid it off in three years, saved an additional $18k, quit my job, and traveled the world for a year-and-a-half. I still haven’t gone back to my job. Now, I just bartend when I can, and I pick up odd jobs to save for the next big trip.”

It was like a kick to the punch in my gut. He left me, and he left his debt too. It took me three years, but I paid off over $45,000 in divorce debt. I used that momentum to save an additional $18,000 over the next seven months, quit my job, got on a plane and saw the world.

Here’s how I did it:

1. I Changed My Mind. I looked at my paycheck differently.

It wasn’t my money.

It belonged to my creditors. On payday, first I paid my bills, then I sent a big a chunk of money to a creditor, and then I saved (a little at first, and more as I went). This left very little for spending. For more on this, see Anna’s tips here.

2. I Discovered Craigslist. In my city, it’s absolutely the best way to sell things. I sold what I could in favor of cheaper items. Can you get $800 for the couch you picked out together? Because you can buy an adorable vintage number for about $250. Send the difference to your credit card company. Did he buy you a watch? A pair of earrings? Sell them. Forget making a necklace out of that engagement ring. I sold mine for $3500 to an adorable young couple. I wished them every happiness and sent the full amount to my credit card.

3. I Took a Second Job. My number one tip for new divorcees: Stay Busy. Working a couple nights a week at a restaurant or retail store will get you out of the house and your mind off the divorce. You can easily make an extra $500 a month even at minimum wage. Warning: Resist the urge to use your new discount. Dedicate every dime of that check to a credit card payment.

4. I Tackled Each Debt One at a Time. It works. I focused all of my attention on my highest-interest cards first (see this related post). When my unsecured debt was gone, I worked on my car loan. This not only made financial sense, it also helped me psychologically because it broke up my debt into smaller, more manageable chunks. When I was finally debt-free, I treated savings like a bill and loaded my account with the same veracity.

5. I Didn’t Quit. This was probably the hardest things I ever had to do. And I had to do it alone. But I kept going. I considered every payment a victory, and got a high from watching my balances get lower and lower.

6. I Started Running. I needed something to get my mind off of the grief of the loss, and the stress of the debt. I joined a running club, made lifelong friends, lost weight and finished three marathons. Find an inexpensive hobby that makes you feel good about yourself. Join a book club. Start knitting. Volunteer.

7. I never did go back to my job. Instead, I take odd jobs when I can in favor of spending most of my time traveling.

Now my money is mine. 

Contact me at: kady@aladyrevealsnothing.com if you need further tips or a one-woman cheering section as you go!

Thanks Kady! 

Would you like to be a contributor on a topic related to personal finance? Send me an email at: hello@andthenwesaved.com. (Please know that credit or lending companies will not be considered. Only real people with real stories and experiences should email.)

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8 thoughts on “Gettin’ Guesty With Kady – 7 Ways To Deal With Divorce Debt

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  1. American Debt Project

    Wow, this is so inspiring! I have about $34K in debt that I inquired (with no help from anyone else) and I am trying to stay inspired to pay it all off before June 2013. It's so hard, but not when I read posts like yours. I'm going to sell more of my junk, and think of every dollar paid off as a victory. I love that idea! I need to read posts like this everyday to keep going :)

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  2. Wren

    Thanks for this post. My divorce was finalized about a month ago and I was left with a ton of debt, but I've got a detailed plan and I know I will get out from under all of it eventually. I've just got to work on now allowing myself to get discouraged because it is going to take some time, but i know I can do it.

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  3. Bree

    Congratulations, Kady! Very inspirational! I also have divorce debt and I've yet to pay it off. However, this year I am determined to pay off 1/2 with the other 1/2 paid off next year. What you did is my life goal-debt free followed by random jobs and traveling the world.

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