Just like many people in my country, and every other one, we are in debt. I am not ashamed of this fact, I say it with conviction as much as I would say that I have long hair, and my favourite thing to wear in the summer is tank tops. Money is a taboo subject within our society, and I disagree with it.
Last year, around this time, M and I were saddled with a 10,000$ debt thanks to the waste of air known as my daughter's sperm donor. This was approximately a month after we had just purchased our first car together for somewhere around 14,000$ (financed, of course). Holy balls, that is a lot of debt for a 23 year old who never went to college/university!
I am happy to say that as of right now, we are down from owing somewhere around 24,000$ to more like 15,900$. Which is still a lot, but considering that we managed to (mostly) maintain our lifestyle while also eliminating 8,000$ in debt is a bit of a pride to me.
On the other hand, since I just got a pay increase at work, and one of the debts should be gone by March or so, that will make it much easier to pay off the 2nd debt. I'm using something similar to Dave Ramsay's Snowball Method of debt repayment, and it's working wonderfully so far. I'd like to be out of debt by December of next year, I think that's a realistic goal. Once that happens, the only other debt I'll be willing to saddle is a mortgage.
One thing that made a HUGE difference in being able to save that kind of money to pay towards debt is shopping sales. Sure, it doesn't necessarily seem logical to buy your winter clothes in the spring, but why not? You can get a jacket for less than 50% what you normally would have paid for it. Maybe the closest grocery store to you is the most expensive, but there's nothing saying you have to go there. Switching grocery stores alone saves us at least 200$ per month on groceries. That is NOT counting the sales.
Small goals have helped immensely as well. I never just make the minimum payment on the debt that I am focusing on paying off. If the minimum payment is 100$ I aim for at least 200$. I never buy laundry detergent for regular price, I wait for the sale and buy a few to last us til next time.
Expect me to talk more about money in the time to come, because it needs to be talked about. Money is an integral part of life and society these days, and yet conversations about it are virtually blacklisted. Not for me, not in my world. I will fully disclose just about every penny to whoever I feel like. If you don't want to reciprocate, then don't. But don't be ashamed of it, because the money you earn and spend is YOURS, so decisions about it should be yours. Stand strong and be willing to talk about difficult things. That's how we move forward in life.