Allow me to introduce myself, my name is John.  I’m a mild-mannered 33-year-old husband and father of two by day, and a cape wearing debt-fighter by night.

And lately(May 2008) debt has been kicking my butt.

It didn’t use to be this way…

Even though our income has always been rather modest, we never had to worry about finances.  If we wanted to go on a ski-trip with friends, we went.  Follow Pearl Jam on the road for 2 weeks…No problem.   Buy a house and all the trappings that go with it…Piece of cake!

All of this was done without debt (well, except for the house part).  We were rather frugal.  Family and friends called us cheap, my wife called us broke, but I always preferred “frugal”.   Thanks to a PBS show, I got turned on to the book “Your Money or Your Life” by Joe Dominguez.  I ended up tracking and charting all income and expenses for 20 months.  It was easy to see where we stood money wise.

But soon everything would change.

I was laid off from my marketing job and had a hard time finding a new gig.  At the same time my wife started to resent her dead-end graphics job.  So we made the decision to move from Minneapolis, MN back to my hometown in South Dakota so I could try to take over the family business.

It was a hard decision to make because we loved living in the Twin Cities area.  But we were sick of the “rat race” and we thought that running a successful business would save us.  And while we’re at it, why not start a family and convert a super old broken down duplex back into a single family home?

Ahh to be young and foolish…

After hitting my head against the wall for 3 years I finally realized I was not a good fit for the family business, nor it for me.  In the meantime along came child #2.

Luckily for us the entrepreneurial spirit rubbed off on my wife and she started her own wedding photography business, using a small gov’t loan and the last of our savings to do so.  She’s a natural and does fantastic work.  She will no doubt be a huge success…someday.  Whereas I’ve landed on my feet in the insurance industry, learning the ropes at a local independent agency as a CSR / Salesman-in-training.  I’ve decided to go back to school to become a teacher.

I truly think things are looking up and that in a few short years we’ll be busting out of our “modest” income and once again enjoy the freedom to do whatever we want.  At least I hope so because we haven’t gone skiing in ages, we’re not catching any of the Pearl Jam shows this tour, and the house needs to be repainted.

And I also believe that freedom will come sooner thanks to all the knowledge and inspiration that The Happy Rock community provides.  So what do you say trusty HAPPY ROCK readers, feel like being a sidekick in my nightly battle with debt?  I may only have one cape, but I have plenty of tights for everyone.

-DD(Debt Destroyer)