What’s your biggest money mistake? Stefanie shares

Starting today, our Educators blog team members are sharing their answers to this question: What’s your biggest money mistake? Today, Stefanie tells the story of her biggest money mistake and how she recovered from it. Share your biggest money mistake in the comments and you may win a $10 Visa gift card.

Stefanie’s story

I don’t know about all of you, but when I got to the ripe age of 25, I felt like an adult. I had gone to college and gotten my bachelor’s degree in Theatre Arts. My fiance (now husband), our two roommates and I survived an apartment fire three weeks after my graduation.

A year and two days after the fire, my husband and I got married, and four months after that we both got jobs at the same theater and moved more than an hour away to finally “pursue our dreams.” Life was pretty amazing.

Then it started to unravel. My husband was salaried in his position but I was paid hourly. Because of low attendance, especially during daytime performances, the theater cancelled a bunch of shows. How do you pay your bills, let alone buy groceries and the basics when you don’t have money coming in? We were starting to drown in our debt. The stress of it all was starting to affect our new marriage.

We had to have the hard conversation. Do we find a way to cut back and stay on this career path or are there better options?
We went with our better option, which was accepting my mother-in-law’s amazing offer to let us move in with her. There wasn’t any rent, per se; we would just give her money to help out with the electric bill and groceries, etc.

A month later, my husband was offered a two-month contract at Alabama Shakespeare Festival in Montgomery, Alabama. It would help get us back on our feet financially. By the time he got back from Alabama, we would be able to pay off a high-interest credit card with our tax return and his contract salary, and that would allow us to move out on our own. I also was hired as a part-time teller at the Kenosha Educators branch. We had a solid plan to get back on the right financial track.

When we first moved in with my mother-in-law, both my husband and I experienced a sense of humiliation. We felt like we had failed. But what proved that we didn’t fail was the fact that we were able to look at our options, see a better course and pursue it. That takes an awful lot of courage. We would not be where we are today without having made that decision.

Don’t be embarrassed! Sharing your money mistake might help keep someone from making the same one. And later in March, after all of our bloggers have shared their money mistakes, we’ll pick three commenters to win a $10 Visa gift card! So, comment and tell us — what is your biggest money mistake?

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