Home > Managing Debt > The Debt Diet Challenge Week #3: Our Participants Weigh In

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This is our weekly installment of The Debt Diet Challenge, in which Credit.com follows the lives of five people selected to take Jean Chatzky’s Debt Diet—to get themselves out of debt and on track to a better financial future. Every week, Jean Chatzky updates us on the participants’ progress, and the participants blog about their experiences with the program.  Here are the latest dispatches from our participants…


Hi. My name is Erin and I’m a debt-aholic. It’s been 12 hours since I last reviewed Quicken and 18 hours since I last spent any unapproved money. It’s been 1 hour since I last hated myself for being in debt.

I’m truly struggling with blogging about my experience today. This process has been an extremely emotional roller coaster for me—has been for the last five years. I’m tired of the emotional ups and downs that being in debt causes. That combined with raging hormones has caused a truly rebellious mind this morning. I don’t want to write about getting out of debt. I don’t want to care about trying to get out of debt. Don’t even talk to me about looking at my debt paydown spreadsheet one more time!

Getting out of debt is a mind game. Watching every dollar we spend and analyzing whether or not we should spend it is exhausting. It causes me to overeat. It causes me to drink more than I probably should. It causes me anger towards my husband if he spends a dollar I don’t approve and anger toward my kids when they want something I want to buy them but didn’t budget for. Overall, I’m a pretty frustrated (and unhappy) person. Sure, I look pretty normal on the outside—like a successful and satisfied career woman.  Inside, I’m falling apart.

I feel like I’ll never make enough. I feel like we’ll never get out of debt. I feel like I might fall apart emotionally on a daily basis. Meanwhile, I’m counting calories, watching my alcohol intake, and trying to take deep breaths before I talk to my kids or my husband.  I’m amazed that I haven’t spontaneously combusted with all the anxiety and anger I hold inside.

The Debt Diet is helping me to put it all out there so I can start healing myself but it’s going to take longer than I thought, and possibly some therapy  :)

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