Good Friday morning to you!
I wanted to make Friday’s the day I posted mainly about budgeting and our debt free journey. So I’m coming in with my first post today! This is a subject that I’m very passionate about, and I’m excited to share what I’m learning as we work to pay off our debts and to find financial peace of mind.
I should probably place a disclaimer on this site somewhere that states very clearly that I do not claim to be a writer, nor do I hold any formal titles that makes me an expert of anything. Although I did go to college for two years and graduated from a two year technical school, I have found that my best educational experience has been through navigating life as an adult.
So now that I’ve cleared that up, I’d like to start this series by saying that we use the Dave Ramsey cash envelope system and are working on our debt snowball, where we are currently on Baby Step #2.
And if you don’t already know who Dave Ramsey is, please do some research and consider reading his Total Money Makeover book. It can be life changing…trust me!
Our story begins like most all newlyweds, we struggled financially starting out, but after a few years of being on a tight budget with me working at a hospital and him still in school, things started to look up after he finished and started working.
We bought our first little starter house and paid it off. We financed cars, more cars and still more. The vehicle situation was and has always been our problem. I hate to point a finger, because I too have faults that I’ll later share as I tell this story, but the beginning of this story is about the “staying-in-debt-for-25-years-because-I-like-new-cars” syndrome that my Mister has struggled with, along with the “I work, I deserve it” slogan that we both adopted. If my guy was sitting here beside me right now as I’m typing this, he would agree wholeheartedly, just as I will admit to my part in the problem (hint: thrift store shopping) as the story goes on.
The first step to fixing the financial mess you have made is admitting there is a problem and owning it. We finally did that.
My moment of “I’m sick of this, I’ve had enough!” came a few years ago. I was sitting at the table working on bills, stressed and worried because it looked like a layoff for my guy was about to happen any day, and what were we going to do? How could we live? No real savings, no real plan.
We were just winging it from week to week, paycheck to paycheck. I realized that if we didn’t have all these small debts, medical debts and vehicle debts, that we actually could probably barely scrape and pay our mortgage and still be alright if he were to be laid off.
I would feel sick to my stomach each and every time I sat down to write out checks to pay bills. It was disgusting and frustrating each time and it finally built up inside me like a volcano about to erupt – “I’m sick of this! I’m so sick of debt!”
Honestly, I was sick of everything at that time. I was overwhelmed by chaos in my house, because I had developed a thrift store shopping habit. I felt so proud of my shopping trips because I was getting great bargains and saving money, I just kept buying more and more. Boy, saying that out loud now feels so wrong and crazy.
I had so much stuff piled up. I’d buy things that I thought someone else could use, then I’d end up keeping it – I knew I was developing some kind of problem. I know hoarding is a serious issue and there are people so far worse than myself, but honest to goodness, I think they must start somewhere, and I feel like I was getting to that point…the start of something bad.
So, I had a shopping problem, (but not a regular shopping problem, because I hate shopping in malls or stores) I had a thrift store, bargain finding, stuff collecting problem, and my guy liked new cars.
See the problem? We both liked to buy stuff.
I’m ending this post here. Believe it or not, I’m typing from my phone, which is not the easiest thing for my aging eyes. In the next post, (hopefully typed from a computer) I’ll continue with how I started to make changes, and how that my guy eventually joined me.
For those of my Instagram friends who are reading, tell me, how do you find this journal or written letter type of format? Is it easy to follow and understand? Let me know in the comments.