Growing up, I was blessed enough to have parents that sat me down and taught me financial sense. As a teenager, I remember sitting down at the kitchen table with my dad so he could show me how to budget, track my spending, and warn me of the dangers of using too much credit.
From the beginning, my husband and I started our marriage on the same page about finances. We balanced our checkbook regularly and never used credit to purchase vacations, fancy clothes, or other frivolous purchases.
Even so, we came to a place where even our “good debt” was bogging us down every single month! We had two car payments, a small amount charged on a credit card, medical bills, and school loans. A LOT of school loans! Grad school ain’t cheap, people!!
Together, we sat down and realized that our combined debt payments were literally half of our monthly take-home pay. In a nutshell, we were so tired of working hard every day in order to use half of our check to pay off debt, and the other half to pay our bills. And by “pay our bills” I mean “mail in the checks to cover the bills and pray that none of them bounced.”
We had two small girls, two decent jobs, a teeny tiny rancher that was “ours,” but no peace. Checking the mailbox became a daily moment of stress. One where I would hope and pray that no bills were lurking to catch us by surprise.
Finally we realized enough was enough, and it was time to make a change.