creating a debt free life

Posts tagged ‘arguing about money’

What does wealth mean to me /you ?

 

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Another blogger posed the question, what does wealth look like, or mean to  you. I did not have to think long. She suggested some things, among them nice cars or house, but to us, that is not what we are going for.

 

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Wealth to us, my husband and I means security. Freedom. When you owe money, you are in many  ways, working for the  company you owe. You work for them, not yourself. You have to plan your life around work you have to do to pay those debts every day. Now, I know there is money you make that does not go to them. But  if you have substantial debt, you have a lot of hands held out each month and often times, when you include your mortage, they get a lot more  of your check than you do. Period the end.

We have dreams of course. We want to pay off our house and we want to buy a building downtown to start a business. With no mortgage, that is possible. With a mortgage, possible but stressful and not probable.

Retirement for us  has never meant to stop working and just play golf and sit around be lazy. Quite the opposite. We want a business to run, something we love to do when he retires from where he works now,  so we keep active and busy . We want reasons to get up every morning. A purpose. We want to be part of the community and get involved with community events and enjoy being out in the world.

David will never retire from working. He is very vocal about that. He saw his own father retire and sit in a recliner and die. He refuses to own a recliner. They are not allowed in the house. He will retire from the company he works for between 70 and 75 years old.. What age depends on where we are on this plan. How much is saved, do we have our building already, how much security do we have in place.  We have just over 18 years until he is 70. We cannot waste any time. We have  to get our debt and house paid off asap so we can make the  decisions that affect the quality of our golden years. Now a days  you can expect to live into your nineties and maybe even 100 and that is our goal, we joke we want to live until at least 110 , and we will try to do that , but we want to live until the day we die, not  be in a  nursing home or sick, so we are working on our health as well.

Some things are out of our hands, but we are grabbing  what we can control. We are working to get thinner and healthier. Can we prevent anything from happening, no, no one can, but we are thinking positive and planning for a long full life. We CAN pay off all our debt. We CAN save up a huge nest egg both for emergency and retirement. We CAN walk and eat right. So, we CAN do a lot. We also CAN plan and plot and come up with a great retirement business that will keep us alive and happy and excited to get up every morning.  Something we can do together.

So, this is step one, which is very critical. Pay off our debt.  Every single dime, including the house. Then save. Save money like squirrels save acorns.

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Once we have an 8 month emergency fund and have enough money going into the 401k, then we start saving again for our business. There is nothing romantic about our plans. Nothing edgy. It is just staying the course and making sure we do what we need to do to make things happen the way we want them to happen.

We recently read a quote that said something to the effect of , dreams without plans are wishes. I have no clue who to give the credit to, but it is so true. If you dream, but never make a plan for that dream, it really is just a wish. It will probably never come true.

Things happen and that is okay. As long as we have our emergency fund, it is all good. Occasionally our savings will be  redirected to emergency to rebuild if something like a blown water heater, or air condiioner malfunction happen, but then we just rebuild what we had to spend and, once done, back to where we were at. Simple. Easy to follow.

Lets face it. Budgets and diets are both alike in many ways and people resist them for the same reason. It is more fun to not do them. Eating and spending what you want sounds like fun, but is it really ? At the end of the day you are fat and/ or broke and that is certainly not fun.

We had  50 grand in the bank once. Years ago.  An inheritance. What an amazing feeling that was. But getting laid off and being out of work for months before he had the job he has now,  and having to do major overhauls on two baths that were close to unusable, and some foundation repair and put up fences, and and loaning to our grown kids who were in need at the time, who did pay back every cent within a few years, just kind of ate it up. Very sad.

I want that feeling again. It was so fun to walk into a store and KNOW y ou could buy anything you wanted cash, but are choosing not to. It was fun to know we could pay cash for a car, but did not !! We loved that feeling and cannot wait to have it again.

So, we know how it feels, so we are working toward that feeling  of security that money gave us at the time.  Wealth to us is many things, but not fancy cars and houses. If we have those one day great, but they are not high on our list no matter how wonderful they are !!

So, what does wealth mean to you ? How do you define it ? It can be a very defining question !!!!

Hope you enjoyed my scrabble piece and chain  play and my modge podged acorns, I love playing and making things to put on my blog !!!

Thanks so much for taking the time to come by, it  means a lot to me !!!

Stephie

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A fresh new financial start

This is how my  husband David and I feel today. We are being given  a fresh new start !!  We had such a great conversations with our debt coaches . Jeff and Robin at Debt Free Squad, I hope everyone interested in getting debt free will check out thier site, so many awesome videos and information there, LInk is to the right of this post.

The hardest instruction to follow so far, was no debt talk Sunday. Sorry, Jeff and Robin, we tried so hard, but we broke that rule about ten times yesterday, we woudl catch ourselves and say, oh, we are not supposed to talk about debt today but then , we would do it  again !!

We are so excited and full of hope and energy to get started, it was hard to not talk about this new journey we are on !!

So, what we have done so far to help break up with debt is,

Start writing down every single penny we spend. , no excpetions except for our blow money, more about that in a minute.

CUT UP  CREDIT CARDS !!  We were told we could keep one, until our emergency fund is where it needs to be, but the rest, all c hopped up and I picutred them on one of my first posts here !!

No debt talk Sunday, okay, crashed and burned on this one, but we will get there !! I have a feeling if we have to be bad at one, this is the one to  mess up on !!

Read the first two chapters of Dave Ramseys, Total Money Makeover, I got my reading done, we had our grandkids over and David was only able to read chapter one but will do chapter two today.  We got these instrucions on Sat evening in full swing with the kids, but next two chapters will be read on time.

Watch our weekly videos for the 30 day challenge every monday, get to watch number two today, can’t wait, somethign new to learn I am sure !!

Down load the spread sheets and learn to use them, Robin has emailed me some hard copes, which I will print out and use today, David should be able to get the program pulled up we need to use them online in the next day or two and then we will transfer that info on the hard copies onto our pages on the computer.

Jeff and Robin explained that we have to tell every penny of our money were it is to be spent, no exceptions, groceries, savings for certain categories, vacations, car expenses, Christmas, not just the obvious bill and expenses !!  As they explained, these things do not sneak up on you, Christmas is Dec 25 every year, your cars registration is due, the same day every year, and so is your inspection, at the very least, the same month.  Vacations are rarely just taken on a whim, you plan ahead so you need to plan the money part too. If you do not have enough money saved, you simply do not take your vacation. They explain it as your vacation following you home, and that is never fun !!

So, we are going to be  allocating money into differant categories so we can save for vacations, doctor bills, car expenses, and eventually more for clothes and other things, Christmas and … wait for it..

groceries, entertaiment and what they call,  blow money.
yes, you can plan some entertainment into the budget When I questioned it, Jeff said, you have to, or you will spend it anyway. So  with thier help we decided on a very modest 100 a month for entertainment, 25 a week, but that is plenty. Enough to have a date night meal together once a week if we are really careful, or enough to go out to a few thrift stores or yard sales, one of  our favorate things to do, but now we have a limit. Once that money is gone,  We are done, no more spending. so, we need to think carefully before we spend it.

Blow money, a small amount, will get a bit more as time goes on, but for now, five bucks a week each. Not a lot. but it is money for a diet coke for me, or a cup of coffee for David or any little thing, no questions asked. My blow money is mine, Davids is Davids. The entertainment is both of ours, we have to decide that together, but my blow money is the money I have that I do not have to explain. We can save it up, and then have a bit more put away if we have something a bit more expensive we want to do, or we can blow it as we get it. Love that !!

I have to admit that David and I have never fought over money. Really never.  In 32 years, we have had a few arguements,of course,  but never over money.I cannot explain why, but we do not fight or argue often anyway, but if we ever argued about money, it had to have been rare, neither of us ever remember a money fight. I have been in charge of the money, Davids choice, he worked, I was home with the kids, I had the time to make out bills and all that, and so he gave it to me. A couple of times I tried to get him to do it, but it always came back to me. Neither of us were better at it than the other, I was a bit more dilligent, but I had more time. As dilligent as I am, we are still way in debt and for many years paid bills late and had poor credit scores. We often had more month than money and have lived check to check for pretty much our entire 31 year marriage.

I am not sure what really woke us up, but we did wake up. I think buying our new car and finding out the reason we did not get a interest rate of half what we dened up with, was because we have too much debt. Our credit score is good, but your debt to income is a huge part of your score, I believe it is 30 percent. So, you can see how, even a great score can be pulled down a lot by having a ton of debt.

It is a vicious cycle of debt and high interest rates and seeing the balances going up and up every year. It is ironic to us that the people who can least afford high interest are given high interest and those who  can afford it and have more income and less debt and need that loan the least, get low interest rates. It makes it seem impossible to get ahead , and it is, until you get a plan. The other ironic thing is, once we pay off our debt, our  interest rate will go way up, allowing us access to the lowest interest rates, but we will not be taking advantage of them for anything else but refinancing our car down and refinancing our house payment down. Once the car and house are paid off, and Oh yes, those are in our future plans, no paying off the house 26 and change years from now as the mortage says, no refi and pay off asap.  We want to live in a world where we are completely debt free !!

So, I do  know at times we were upset over our money, or lack of it, but we never told it where to go, never budgeted for future expenses and certainly never saved any money for emergencies, which is the next thing,

Start an emergency fund, get at least 1000 up to 2000 into asap. We will have the first thousand stashed in the bank this week.

Debt snowball. Once we get that emergency fund set up, then we take the first debt on our list. Robin and Jeff recommend smallest to largest and we agreed that made sense. . A lot of people recommend highest interest rate first, but I think paying off the smaller balances first is much more movtiating and helps free up money toward the next. So we will pay min payment only all all credit bills but the smallest, and then any extra money we have gets thrown at that bill until it is gone. Then that minimum payment plus any extra goes to the next on the list !! Very easy to understand and motivating !! Once we see that first one disapear, that will be so exciting !! I can imagine as they each are knocked off, it will be more and more exciting to progress down the line.

So, anyway, this is what we are working on this new , fresh week. We have a plan in place to attack the debt and I will keep track here and record as each debt bites the dust.

I probably missed something, but I will be writing a lot more on all of this as we go !!

Thanks for stopping by !!