It’s not uncommon for most of us to post almost every detail of our lives online. From what we had for lunch to where we went on vacation to who we’re dating, there’s practically nothing too mundane — or too intimate — to share with our friends, family and completely strangers, except when it comes to...how much debt we have.
A recent survey found that nearly 43% of Americans admit they are hiding substantial credit card debt from their partners, and we’d guess there are lots more of us who don’t want anyone to know how much money we owe.
Writer and “Debt Heads” podcast host Jamie Feldman is not one of those people. Feldman, who previously worked at HuffPost, went viral on Tiktok last year when she started posting videos detailing how she racked up $23,000 in credit card debt and how she’s paying it off.
Feldman’s hilarious, relatable and brutally honest videos document her tips and tricks to getting her spending under control, as well as the mental health issues and implications related to spending that she’s uncovered along the way.
We — Raj Punjabi and Noah Michelson, co-hosts of HuffPost’s “Am I Doing It Wrong?” podcast — recently chatted with Feldman about the first thing she did to get a handle on her debt (and how it can do the same for you too).
“I went through six months of my historical spending,” she told us. “I had fallen into this pattern where I just wasn’t looking [at my credit card statements]. If I didn’t look, it didn’t exist.”
She then categorized all of her purchases and had a much bigger and better picture of where she stood financially and where she needed to go from there.
“That was the first thing that whipped me into shape,” she said. “I realized this is not what I want for my life...I don’t want to look at my historical spending and see I spent $800 a month on restaurants — I’m one human person! That’s too much!”
Feldman shared lots more of her experiences and strategies to save money and pay off her credit cards — including how choosing the “avalanche method” can can help you vanquish your biggest interest rates first:
After you’ve had a listen above or wherever you get your podcasts, subscribe to “Am I Doing It Wrong?” so you don’t miss a single episode, including our investigation of the ins and outs of tipping, how to score the best deals on airline tickets, interviewing for a job like a pro, getting the best sleep ever, slaying your next trip to the grocery store, and apologizing.
Need some help with something you’ve been doing wrong? Email us at AmIDoingItWrong@HuffPost.com, and we might investigate the topic in an upcoming episode.