I am 35 years old and have complete confidence in my finances and both my long term and short term financial situation.
Can you say that?
It wasn’t always that way…
When I met my husband, it was 2008, the economy sucked, he was unemployed, I made $8 an hour and worked 13 hours a week. I was saddled with debt from keeping myself afloat after being unemployed and my husband was suffering the consequences of being a recent college graduate unable to find a job.
When we got engaged a year later while we had found some stability in our careers and were making a little more money and both working full time we were by no means flourishing. We were living on a 50lb bag of potatoes someone gave us and whatever we could find in the discount meat bin for under $5.
Now not only did we have to live day to day but we also had to pay for this wedding and fund the new life we wanted to build together. We didn’t want anything extravagant but I did want a real wedding with our friends and family. That coupled with our debt, poor credit created by our struggles and no savings we were feeling pretty hopeless. I wasn’t will to accept the impossibility of it all so we decided to sit down and really figure out the money thing.
We started out simply by trying to plan for the things besides our bills that stole our savings, things like car registration, new tires and insurance renewal. We plugged that in across the year on the spreadsheet we were using to create our budget along with our normal paychecks and expenses and we realized that if we planned further in advance we could actually cover those expenses without having to take from savings. That realization changed our approach to money forever.
We decided that the best way to pay for the wedding, pay off our debt and save to move into a house without roommates in 14 months was to track every dollar in and out and make sure we were maximizing our paychecks. We created a predictive budgeting spreadsheet that helped us find the shortages and in that 14 months we “found” $11,000 and was able to accomplish all of our goals.
This year is our 10 year wedding anniversary. Now we have built our life in a way that we are able to live on 50% or less of our income, we take 8-10 trips a year, we have money to invest and most importantly we never have to say no to an opportunity due to lack of finances.