Marcus Garrett is a natural spender. Saving money, on the other hand, was more of an acquired skill, the importance of which the 34-year-old audit manager learned only after getting into $30,000 worth of debt.
Despite having dug himself into a hole, he managed to claw his way out. Whether you're saving money to eliminate debt or for a different reason, Garrett's process could work well for you.
Driven into debt
The SparkNotes version of Garrett's spending spree goes like this: After graduating from college with $9,000 in unpaid credit card balances, he turned to a large national bank for a debt consolidation loan. But instead of using his $10,000 loan to eliminate his debt, he spent most of that money elsewhere.
"There were a lot of bottles bought, several parties thrown, and when it was all said and done, I bought a car," he says. "With rims, of course — I had my standards."
Garrett's debt skyrocketed.
It wasn't until several years had passed and an offer for a second debt consolidation loan that Garrett had a financial epiphany.
He tried negotiating with the bank for a better deal. "You're going to take this offer or not," Garrett recalls the loan officer telling him. The bank knew he needed the money and was not willing to budge.