It is so important to Ryan and I that we give our children a good strong foundation while they grow up. But over the years certain stressors crept into our lives. When we focus on stress, we have nothing left to give our children.
One of our major stressors has been money. We started our family while Ryan was a student, and I was off work due to health problems related to pregnancy. We accumulated a lot of debt during that year!
We also accumulated really bad habits.
At the time we had no money, other than credit, so we used it. But because we used it so heavily, it became our normal. And when we were both working again this habit remained. There were also many other factors that came to play, but the number one factor at play was our willingness to use credit for purchases. The more credit we used, the more credit we needed each month.
Between then and now our finances have had many ups and downs. But we’re determined it’s only up from here!
When we’re at Disney World, we don’t worry about money. We prepay almost everything, and save enough to cover gratuities and spending. While we’re at Disney, we eat well, and we treat others. It feels amazing!
This is our goal for our day to day life as well. Don’t get me wrong, we don’t want to actually live the life we have at Disney. We love the vacation because it’s so different. What we want is that feeling of freedom. That feeling of generosity.
We want to be debt free. We want to have enough money each month that we can buy groceries and not really worry about what we buy. We want to be able to invite friends out to dinner, and cover the bill.
Over the past month, I’ve read so many financial advice books and sites! I’ve gone through our previous 6 months of bank statements so I could clearly see where our money’s going. I’ve now made a budget, and I have a plan to pay down our debt, without getting anymore. It will take awhile, but we can do it! We’re using the debt snowball as suggested by Dave Ramsey. I can already see a huge shift in our relationship with money and it’s only been a short time! I can hardly wait to see where this takes us!
It takes a big shift in thinking though. We have a ton of projects around the house, some we want to get started on right away, others can wait. But they all take money. With our goals in mind, we’re planning which projects we’ll tackle first, as well as when we’ll start. This way we won’t feel like we’re going without or letting things slide.
It feels so amazing to have a plan! Especially since the plan will give us more of what we want while improving our financial life at the same time!