Two times in our lives we have had reality smack us in the face when it came to realizing how much money a month we were spending on food. The first time was when we first discovered Dave Ramsey years and years ago, and the second time was last year when we discovered the FIRE Community (Financial Independence/Retire Early). I thought I had it all together when it came to our food budget. I knew all the rules. I used to lead Financial Peace classes for Goodness Sake! I was careful about our spending. When we made the commitment last year to begin saving for retirement I didn’t know where we were going to get the extra money to do so. So, I began cutting expenses wherever I could. Imagine my shock when I took a good hard look at our banks statements and realized we were actually spending more than double what we had budgeted every month for food. Whoopsie-doodle…..life had certainly crept back up on us and we didn’t even realize it.
House of FI Podcast COMING SOON!
Payday lenders and title loan companies are Sharks.
You must train your brain that every time you drive by one of these lenders or see one of their commercials to hear the Jaws theme. They are predators and they prey on people who are afraid they can’t make it to next pay day.
In an emergency room, patients are treated based upon the urgency of their need for care.
If you are reading this and you are living pay-check to paycheck, and/or you have past due bills, or are just trying to stay on top of all the debt you have accumulated, you have a debt emergency.
The very first step for anyone in your circumstances will be to “triage your debt”. What do I mean by “triaging” your debt? It is this – Before you can dive in and begin working a system of overall debt repayment and savings, you have to first start with vital matters.
The first step in getting out of debt is to assess your situation. Over the years, working with hundreds of bankruptcy clients, I have seen over and over what I call the “Ostrich Syndrome”. The enormity a clients debt situation is so hard to face they instead ignore it.
We live in America. This is the “Land of the Free”. This is where dreams come true and anyone can make it. Others risk their lives to live here in pursuit of their dream. So, what does that mean for those of us who have or who ARE struggling? Who are burdened by our debt? In our minds, right or wrong, we are failures. We have fallen short. There is something in us that is deficient. And all of that brings us shame. Failure – shame. OUCH.
When we began this Financial Independence journey back in May of 2017 – our savings rate was abysmal. It was so abysmal that I really had no idea what a “savings rate” was.
I first heard the term years ago when I stumbled across my very first Financial Independence blog trying to find a way to quit my job and live a “laptop lifestyle.” On one site in particular it was discussing people who were saving 40% and 50% of their incomes. Which, frankly, I thought was insane. But at that time, I wasn’t looking at increasing our savings rate so it didn’t register what it meant.
How We Increased Our Net Worth by $86,000.00 in Ten Months
Quarter 1 of 2018 Update – Day 2763…….264 days in.
No. That is not a typo…that’s the number. $86,000.00. I was in disbelief myself when I did the calculations. I believe I actually said, out loud, Holy Smokes Batman!!!
I sometimes feel our history with our finances mirror the story of an addict. You hit rock bottom, you sober up. You work really, really hard towards getting your act together. Sometimes there are set-backs. Other times, you fall completely off the wagon and are in full crises mode once again. But eventually…hopefully…there is recovery. Long lasting recovery.
Starting over at 42, having already gotten my two oldest children almost to the finish line, I don’t know what I thought it would be like. We never had the traditional get married, buy a house, have babies timeline. When I was a new mom at 25, I was still in college and working. We were broke and struggling. Though I would have loved to have showed up and helped out in my daughter’s class, and gone on field trips and finger-painted in the middle of the day, if Momma didn’t work she didn’t earn any money. She couldn’t ditch school either.