- Brittney Reynolds has been documenting how she pays off her debt on TikTok
- She amassed the debt over years of splurging on furniture, travel and skincare
- Since moving back in with her parents, she’s been paying off $4,000 per month
A woman who was forced to move back in with her parents after racking up $36,000 of debt despite earning $88,000 a year says people shouldn’t be ashamed of money troubles.
Brittney Reynolds, 28, was coasting along until her now-ex-girlfriend lost her job before the two split up over this past summer – leaving her to foot all their household bills and rent.
For the brand marketing specialist, whose job is fully remote, the $2,700 a month rent was too much to handle along with her other household bills – and quickly overwhelmed her $5,000-per-month after-tax salary.
Over the prior seven years, she’d also racked up $36,000 of debt on credit cards.
In various TikToks, she revealed she’d incurred the debt through ‘chronic overspending’ – namely on a combination of major one-time purchases, including a $3,800 couch and Airbnbs, as well as on skincare, tattoos, rent and basic necessities.
After her breakup, she finally came clean to her mom about her finances and ultimately moved back in with her parents, leaving the Bay Area for her childhood bedroom in Temecula, California, in August 2023.
She’s now paying off $4,000 of debt a month and admitted she’s struggled because she was ashamed to ask for help but still wanted ‘the best’ of everything.
‘Living in the Bay Area, the cost of living is wildly expensive,’ said Brittney.
‘It has been for a long time but recently started getting worse with the cost of living. A lot of tech companies have their HQs here so you have a lot of highly paid people pushing the residents out
‘My debt accumulated over seven years and over the last two, it went from $20,000 to $36,000.
‘I went through a breakup and I just couldn’t afford to live on my own anymore.
‘I called my mom and explained the situation. It was a positive conversation. She was very understanding.
‘There is so much shame about debt and I don’t think it is necessary. It happens and it can happen to everyone.’
Brittney and her ex-girlfriend contributed to the $2,700 a month rent for their one-bed apartment until they broke up.
‘The debt was really all-consuming. I still wanted to live my life and meet up with friends but it was just not manageable,’ she admitted.
‘You almost don’t feel human. It is like there is nothing you can do apart from paying your debt.’
Brittney is now living in the small town she grew up in with her mom Susan, 69, and dad, Charles Reynolds, 63.
‘I definitely feel a sense of relief. I feel really impatient about it now, but I am happy to pay it off quickly,’ said Brittney of her getting back on track financially.
On her TikTok, where she’s racked up nearly 20,000 followers documenting her journey to get out of debt, she’s also admitted to feeling lonely, with her most geographically close friends still more than an hour’s drive away.
‘It has been an interesting adjustment to be back with the parents but luckily my job is fully remote so I was able to make the transition easily.’
In a TikTok in which Brittney ‘interviewed’ her mom about how she felt when her daughter called her asking her to move back home, Susan said: ‘I felt really happy that you were going to come home.
‘I also was very concerned about your debt and knew that was a burden to you, and that you were struggling with some things with your breakup.
‘So, I was very happy to have you come home so you could work through these things in a nice, comfortable environment,’ said Brittney’s mom.
Brittney has paid off $4,000 in the past month.
‘It is going so quickly,’ she said. ‘My monthly income is $5k and I am putting $4k into my debt each month.
‘I am hoping to pay it all off my June or July.
‘My advice for people with debt is to ask for help. We live in a very individualistic society where we need to buckle down and do life on our own.’