That can’t be right.

“That can’t be right,” my husband Dave responded. I had just shown him our staggering $44,000 student loan bill. Ariel signing away her voice without looking at the terms came to mind.

“What do you mean?” I asked, a bit dumbfounded. Could there be more?

“You forgot my other loan,” he responded. I went back to the computer, looking up email records and old statements.

“Babe, we owe SEVENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS,” I gasped. What were we going to do?! He looked over my numbers, taking stock of my detective work.

“That can’t be right,” he said.

Whew! I’d double counted something, somewhere. “Oh?” I asked. Relief was a welcome friend. But then he shook his head, and said “You missed your grad loan.”

My throat was scratchy, tears had brimmed and overflowed my eyes. We were so stupid, I thought.

We did that painful exercise twice more. And at the end of the charade, it turned out that we had taken out more than $120K in student loans. (How many degrees did we buy?!) Deferral and forbearance for three years meant they’d grown to a mind-numbing $154 thousand dollars. Did I mention we had a toddler and a baby? I berated myself mentally for a while. Begged God to go back in time and stop my stupid self. Spoiler alert: he did not grant me my prayer request. And yet…

Since that day in 2015 when we decided to use the snowball method, to get Gazelle Intense (#TOSLAY) we have since  had our third baby and paid off $50K (took us $80,000 to get there! UGH! OH WELL!) WOHOO!

Now that we have hit the “We *only* owe 100 thousand dollars now” mark, I’ve decided to come clean with our story, in the hopes that the year of 2018 is our most gazelle intense yet, that we stay on course, but most of all, that our story can be an encouragement to others who are also suffering under a colossal burden of student loans. We. Can. Do. This.

So, I started 401Kati (cute, right?! Talking about money… my name is Kati… anyone? Buhler?) as a place to catalog our wins, commiserate our failures, and encourage others. Boy it’s scary…. but the stupid part is already over! Only onward and upward from here!

We’ve been on Baby Step 2 Step since Big Sister was 1… She’s 5 at the time of this picture…. WHEW. #consequences

Have you heard of Dave Ramsey and his Baby Steps? How are they working for you?!


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