Maxed Out: High-Maintenance Debt Denial


This episode of Maxed Out puts faces on the word denial. Gillian (25-years-old) and Ed (27) collectively earn $93,000 a year, they estimate they are $47,000 in debt, and they're moving to a new condo in nine months with a mortgage that's $100,000 more than their current condo. Ed says whenever they do save something, they spend it because it seems like a waste to put the money toward their credit card debt. Find out how much the couple underestimated their debt-load and how they got into money trouble when you read more.

When Allison Griffiths goes through their paperwork, she discovers that Gillian and Ed don't have $47,000 in debt — it actually totals nearly $76,000! They have a monthly shortfall of $1280 that will more than double the day they move into their new condo, and within 10 months they'll be bankrupt. Gillian's secret shopping sprees (she buys clothes and shoes with cash), her regular blowouts and nail appointments, and Ed's affinity for gambling (he says he'll be able to pay off all their debt when he hits the jackpot) are the major culprits for why they're so deeply in the red.

Allison tells the couple they need to learn self-restraint and asks them to cut their expenses to the bone. Obviously, the gambling and shopping sprees are eliminated and Gillian has to blow dry her own hair. They learn to cook together because Allison slashed their takeout and restaurant expenses. They're able to pay down enough debt before their moving day to make the move financially feasible, and Gillian asks the couple about what the hardest thing was about the process. Gillian says that it was cutting her shopping sprees, but she admits that it's better because she doesn't have to worry about Ed finding out. On top of their finances, Allison may have saved their relationship.

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