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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


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.

Join The Conversation
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 8 years
Yeah, i was wondering that too.
carak carak 8 years
i don't get how they got approved for a mortgage that was 100k more when they're that much in debt! obviously their bank still isn't checking as good as they should be!
Spectra Spectra 8 years
See, these are the kinds of people that I really have no sympathy for when it comes to debt. Seriously, when you earn that much money and don't have some sort of medical crisis going on or anything like that, you have no business racking up that much debt. Sounds like these people are thinking that if they just ignore their debt, it'll just magically go away on its own.
supercoolnat supercoolnat 8 years
Wow! How can people be so in denial? And to underestimate your debt by that much - how can you not even know how much you know? At any given moment, I can give you the balance of each of our savings, investment, and student loan accounts within a few hundred dollars.
gooniette gooniette 8 years
geebers, there a lot of people who gamble to try to solve their problems. they are trying to be on the 'fast track' to wealth. it's the tortoise vs. the hare lifestyle change they had to make.
LadyAngel89 LadyAngel89 8 years
OMG and I freak about my relatively small amount of debt that I've collected while switching jobs and moving. This makes me very thankful that I'm not so naive.
geebers geebers 8 years
These people seem really ridiculous. I mean really? Gambling to get out of debt? Buying a condo that is 100k MORE when they know they are in debt? AND they think paying their debt is a "waste"?? Who are these people?
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