Tackling Consumer Debt – $0 Net Worth

Bae and I have a big goal, folks. We want to reach a net worth of $0 within the next five years. I know how stupid this sounds, but hear me out. We have a lot of debt, and that thing isn’t going to disappear on its own. Therefore, we’re taking steps to pay off our consumer debt, one check at a time.

How much debt are we talking about?

In a previous post, I mentioned that Tiyaanah and I accumulated around $10,000 of consumer debt. I should clarify that number. It’s the amount that we acquired on one credit card. That’s what we managed to rack up to survive after she quit her job.

In total, we have amassed $18,500 of consumer debt.

Actually, it’s a bit less, but we threw my student loans in there because hers are SO much more.

How’d we get that much?

Going broke doesn’t come easy. A few extraordinary events happened before reaching this point.

  1. We saved a good amount to purchase a home and lost half in the process.
  2. We used the rest to move into a rental.
  3. The rental home was so bad that we needed a loan to cancel the lease.
  4. Random: The hospital waited too long to tell me that my previous insurance didn’t cover Kairo’s birth (which was entirely their fault because they billed my old insurance.) So we paid for his hospital fees out of pocket.
  5. I got into a car accident and bought a new car. (I should’ve gotten something used, but Tiyaanah was pregnant, and we were freaking out because we’d never hit anything on the freeway).

It’s important to note that at this point, I only had about $4000-5000 of debt, which was mostly my student loans and Kairo’s medical bills. However, after Kalel was born, we had plans to use our previous babysitter (for a great price) while keeping Kairo in daycare ($900 per month). Unfortunately for us and fortunately for her, our babysitter ended up getting a job opportunity (yay) a week before she was going to start watching Kalel (doh).


Finding a daycare within a week’s time in LA is hard. Kairo’s camp was the cheapest, and they said they’d take our three-month-old for $1100 per month.

Did you do that math?

We’d have to spend $2000 just to send our boys to someone else (excluding the food and travel expenses). After running the numbers, I realized that we’d go in debt a few hundred dollars per month either way. So we chose a route that would hit our pockets the hardest, but it allowed us to have one parent with the kids at all times.

Stay at home mom

After Tiyaanah chose to stay home, we learned that LAUSD makes you pay back your salary. (Yep. Didn’t know that).

Supposedly, we owed taxpayers their money back. (That’s right, teachers pay for their own salary through taxes). So, they hit us with a $6000 bill.

Tackling Consumer Debt

In my first personal post, I list a lot of reasons that we left the country. I never mentioned our financial grief, but it was a huge motivator.

Now that we’re in Abu Dhabi, we can fight against the problems that we created by being young, and immature. We’ve only been here for six months and we’ve already reached 13.6% of our goal.

this a chart of our consumer debt

When the year is up, our net worth won’t be close to zero, but we’ll be free of consumer debt. After that, I’ll confess how much we have in student loans.

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