It's fascinating to be living through life with everything changed from a few years ago. Three years ago, my wife and I had just bought a house, had no credit card debt, and were doing very well. Then came the layoff at the school where I was teaching, and pretty much everything went to hell in a handbasket, so to speak. Life went on, but boy did it change. First of all, we had to foreclose on our home.
Now, I've read about a lot of people who foreclose who simply stay in their house as long as they can. We didn't want to do that, though, so we moved out as soon as it was clear that we could no longer afford to make payments. My school was in a small town, and there were no other jobs with comparable pay there. So we gave it back to the bank as soon as we could so that they could sell it quickly, and we moved into our RV.
After more than four months out of work, I finally found a teaching job, but it was four hours away from home. My wife and I ended up living 250 miles apart, seeing each other only on weekends and school holidays. After six months of this, we decided to move to a place where there were more opportunities, so we packed up and moved two years ago.
I did find work, but unfortunately the job was also in a small town, and this time, my wife has been unable to find full-time employment. So for the last two years, we've been living on the one salary while trying to take care of the debt that we incurred during my unemployment and our move. (Unfortunately, we had to pay to move twice, as I found a job in a different state than the one we had moved to.)
So for now, we're still pretty heavily in debt and we don't seem to have too many options for raising our income in this area. For many, many years, I had wonderful credit and I could get any credit card or loan I wanted. For the past three years, though, we've been living with virtually no credit at all, and very little money. It's definitely doable, but it is different. And I'll expand on that tomorrow. . . .