Woman says she was shamed after sharing she was $65K in credit card debt

@helloamandaleigh/TikTok Kawee/Adobe Stock (Licensed)

‘Life happens. No explanation needed’: Woman says she was shamed after sharing she was $65K in credit card debt

'I don’t think most people realize how easy it is to get $65k in credit card debt.'


Beau Paul


Posted on Mar 11, 2024   Updated on Mar 11, 2024, 10:17 am CDT

Debt can be a tricky thing. While no one wants to go into debt it can seem unavoidable when it comes to acquiring some of the integral parts of the American dream—such as homes and cars.

According to consumer credit reporting company Experian, Americans currently owe “$1.51 trillion on cars, motorcycles, and other personal vehicles as of the third quarter (Q3) of 2023.”  Financial and investing advice company The Motley Fool found that current U.S. mortgage debt was $12.252 trillion in 2023’s fourth quarter.

However, unavoidable or not, debt can also be a source of shame. That’s what one lifestyle blogger and TikToker found out after admitting that she and her husband are trying to pay off $65,000 in credit card debt.

Two days ago, Amanda Leigh (@helloamandaleigh) explained how she budgets her household paycheck in a video posted to her TikTok account. She also admitted to having a hefty amount of credit debt.

Leigh quickly found herself receiving a slew of criticism on things such as the Lululemon tights she was wearing to her car payment, despite explaining in the video how she was using her budget to pay down the debt.

Leigh is clapping back in another video she posted on the same day, detailing exactly “how we got into $65,000 in credit card debt.” The new video currently has 869,600 views and counting as of Monday.

“I’m not saying I don’t deserve some level of scrutiny,” Leigh tells her viewers, “but I wanted to talk about what we spent for us to get to $65,000 in credit card debt.”

Leigh claims that losing her old job was a complete surprise and that she expected a sizable bonus that year. Instead, she says she was let go.

“That was a huge mistake. I have learned my lesson,” she says. She states that based on her expectation of a “huge bonus” she and her husband dipped into their emergency savings to fund some household maintenance and to pay in advance for a medical procedure.

Leigh claims that instead of receiving her bonus she was let go and says the situation was “financially devastating.” She tells her viewers that she took a variety of odd jobs to maintain some form of income but states it “just kept us afloat.”

“I did not expect to be out of work for seven months,” she claims.

“We had bought both of our cars before I lost my job, ” she says in the video. She claims that her expectation of finding employment quickly prevented her from getting rid of either of the household’s two cars.

Leigh also states that after finding a new job seven months after losing her former position “instead of rebuilding our savings and paying off the debt,” she and her husband “spent a lot of money” on vacations.

She also claims that she and her husband paid for a family friend to go to cosmetology school and also paid the friend’s bills while she completed her classes.

“I don’t regret that but it cost me $15,000,” she states.

@helloamandaleigh how we got into $65,000 in credit card debt. #personalfinance #budgetmypaycheck #creditcard #creditcarddebt #daveramsey #financialfreedom #debttok #debtfreejourney #highearnernotrichyet #finance #budget ♬ original sound – Amanda | mom stuff

“$65 thousand in credit card debt to me was a privilege,” she tells her viewers. “It was a Disney trip. It was a tummy tuck. These are not real problems. Being able to put a roof over you and your child’s head is a real problem. And I was working and I could give her some money.”

Leigh concludes, “Even if you make what we make, you can lose your job, you can make one dumb financial move and be f***ed. Thank God it’s not a health issue.”

She states, “Just losing my job was what caused this. And also using my emergency fund for something really not that important.”

Leigh’s confession seems to have gained her some sympathy and respect from some of her viewers.

“Life happens. No explanation needed. Live and learn,” wrote Jillbytheocean143 (@jillsbytheocean143).

Another viewer wrote, “I don’t think most people realize how easy it is to get $65k in credit card debt. I make a great salary but I’ve been focused on paying off debt and I have $20k to go (half is car).”

“People are one hospital visit away from major debt, I don’t know how people can judge,” another added.

The Daily Dot has reached out to Leigh via email for further comment.

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*First Published: Mar 11, 2024, 11:00 am CDT