It is a beautiful disaster I have created over the last 10 years. Wouldn't change a thing, as it brought me to this very moment. But I feel empowered to change it!
How I got into this mess:
I come from a lower middle class, single parent family, but was spoiled to the extent I thought we were upper middle class my entire childhood (ha!). I left home at 17 and put myself through state school with far too much school loan debt as the result. After college, I moved cross country 3 times in 5 years and created a ton of cc debt in the process.
In the last 5 years, my financial situation worsened as I lost touch with the reality of what I could actually afford. While I take full responsibility for the reality I created, I know I allowed two factors to strongly influence me:
1) being in a relationship for 2 years with a very giving, generous man that came from a wealthy family. It distorted my idea of what 'normal' spending was and also caused lots of incidental costs to be encountered (if Im being flown to Paris, even if the flight, dinner and hotel are paid for, Im still going to buy *something*),
2) living in Los Angeles (Hollywood) - oh, the reality distortion field that city can create!
What I'm doing about it:
For almost a decade I'd been living slightly beyond my means, until I had a revelation last year that I needed to find financial freedom. I weaned myself off of CC use and on to a 'cash diet' for a couple months and in October 07 I set a goal of paying $30k toward my $43k of CC debt before I turned 30 in July 08. I hit that goal in May, and am now excited to eliminate ALL my debt.