I am working with Marcus by Goldman Sachs® to help spread the word about Marcus loans.
Most of you know my story… at the tail-end of 2009, I was suffocating from the weight of my debt. My debt weighed SO heavily on me that I really saw no way out. I envisioned myself as an old lady, brittle, wrinkled, and grey still struggling to pay off my college loan and credit card debt. I felt guilty. I felt stupid. I felt embarrassed and ashamed. I asked myself over and over “how’d I get myself into this mess?” It may surprise you to know that I didn’t even know the full scope of my debt when I started my Spending Fast. I didn’t know because I didn’t have the courage yet to look at the mess I had created. It wasn’t until I had started on my Spending Fast that I could even muster the courage to look at the whole scope of my debt situation. When I decided to get out of debt by doing the Spending Fast I knew enough though. Those crappy feelings were what catapulted me into action. My debt had finally got to where it felt TOO HEAVY. After years and years of ignoring and deflecting the situation, I had finally reached a breaking point. I was finally over feeling terrible about myself and I was finally desperate enough to do something about the mess I had gotten myself into. In other words, I had hit my financial bottom. I had hit my lowest point.
When I decided to get out of debt I was ready to make some tough decisions. I was ready for the cycle of debt and guilt to end once-and-for-all so I decided to take drastic action with the decision to stop all unnecessary spending for a full year. While I knew this was something I HAD to do it doesn’t mean it was any easier for me to actually put my serious lifestyle changes into effect. In order to execute my aggressive Spending Fast plan, I’d have to change how I approached just about every area of my life. While I was ready and willing to make these changes, it wasn’t as easy on my relationships… especially with my husband. You see, I was newly married and had decided not to talk to my husband about my decision to do the Spending Fast. (I don’t recommend this by the way. I naively thought that since we didn’t share finances at the time that my decision wouldn’t affect him at all… boy, was I wrong.) I also had to figure out new ways to interact with my friends. I had to get creative and I had to redefine how I handled my relationships since money usually had some part in how I hung out with people. What we did together, going out to eat, going to concerts, going shopping, trips, events, etc. Money was always part of the picture. One of the top questions I get asked about is the social side of the Spending Fast. How to split the bills, how to navigate all of that. It’s complicated. It comes down to being honest, forthright, and remembering that the daily “small” sacrifices are all part of the bigger goal of living a life without debt hanging overhead and getting a say in every single decision.
Doing the Spending Fast and Spending Diet and getting completely out of debt the way I did (eliminating almost $24k in only 15 months) was hard, but doable. It was a process of getting clear on what I owed, creating a payback plan, and spending only on needs along with increasing my income to get my debt paid off that much faster.
On Facebook, I started a group for Spending Fasters who are working through their debt and struggling to pay off the debt that weighs so heavily on them. It’s a super supportive and encouraging community. One of the things that get brought up often is struggling to pay just the minimum on credit cards much less paying anything extra to bring down the overall balance.
I was recently introduced to a personal loan product by Marcus by Goldman Sachs. Since I’m in the personal finance world, every time I find out about a new product I question if it could be viable for people who are trying to get out of debt. I do my research and learn all the ins and outs. I have to say, I do tend to err on the side of being skeptical about things rather than “yay! This is great” automatically. What I found out about Marcus by Goldman Sachs was refreshing! Turns out, I totally dig a personal loan from Marcus because there are no sign-up fees, no hidden fees, no penalties, no fees for paying off the loan early and the interest rate won’t go changing on you. You also get to pick your payment date and term options that work with your budget. All of these aspects are awesome and are completely in line with the Spending Fast. While I haven’t had a chance to use Marcus by Goldman Sachs yet, it’d be a good match for the Spending Fast.
I got out of debt by spending on needs only through my Spending Fast (you can read about how to do the step-by-step process in my book) and it was a complete game-changer for the quality of my life. Because of the one decision I made to do the Spending Fast, I in effect made a million other little decisions. Because of that one decision we now have choices and a freedom that we never would’ve had before when I had all that debt. I really like Marcus by Goldman Sachs since it can be used to HELP with the getting out of credit card debt process rather than something that could make it harder. I’m all for easy things that actually work. When I was in debt I definitely would’ve considered using Marcus by Goldman Sachs to consolidate my credit card debts into one loan to make my life easier.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. However, as always, all opinions expressed are completely my own. I appreciate you supporting the companies that help to make this site possible!
P.S. Ready to get out of debt ASAP? Check out the Spending Fast Bootcamp!