Welcome! This is my personal account of our family’s journey to take control of our finances and live our best life. It’s a journey that started over four years ago, but has only begun to take real shape in the last 12 months. For the past four years I have poured over countless Personal Finance Blogs, becoming entrenched in other people’s successes and failures, and they worked their way out of various amounts of debt. For four long years, during my lunch breaks, on the way to my second job, and most weekends, I watched some of these families beat the odds and come away debt free. I have been absolutely amazed by some of the debt totals and how quickly some people have been able to pay them off. But in all that time, I could never get motivated enough to begin to tackle my own debt situation.
Even as I write this, I am not entirely sure what prevented me from moving forward. I mean, I definitely had, and still have, more debt than I would like to admit. And some of my favorite bloggers, The Budget Mama, Six Figures Under, Eyes On the Dollar and The Frugalwoods, talked about simple money saving techniques that were easy to follow and had proven results. Still, it would be another 48 months before I woke up and said, “Enough is enough!”
The funny part was that I had a budget. I had been keeping my household finances on a spreadsheet for most of my life. I would update my budget regularly, and just glance at the total. I think I was just fascinated with analyzing the data and creating fancy charts, even more than acknowledging what they data represented. My debt total was always there for me to see, but I would just ignore it. Then one day I decided to download a Net Worth calculator, and that’s when everything changed. It wasn’t until that day when I saw the negative number in print that I really felt the weight of my situation.
6 FIGURE DEBT!!
Don’t ask me what I have been waiting for because I really couldn’t tell you. So many people have already confirmed for me that there is no magic bullet to paying off debt, no magic unicorn. If there is one thing that I have heard over and over again, it is that the only way to get rid of the debt is to work hard and make a plan . . . sigh!
This Fall, both of my teenagers will be attending college. It saddens me to think of the time I have wasted not committing to a debt payoff plan. All the dreams left unfulfilled. I had talked of not letting my children graduate from college with student loan debt, but the reality is that I am in no position to prevent that now, as I am still paying my own student loans.
I am finally ready to put one foot in front of the other, and step off the debt train. I am finally ready to stop hiding behind other people’s successes (and failures) and live in my own truth. Even though my oldest daughter already has a sizeable student loan for this year, I may still be able to change our financial path. But if I don’t make serious changes, right now, her future will be tainted with the same stench of unsurmountable debt that I carry with me every day.
So here it is Day 1 for me and my teens.