This article is a guest blogger submission written by NCN of NoCreditNeeded. If you want more information about NCN and his many websites, be sure to check out his “About” page. And if you like what you see, why not subscribe to his RSS feed?
Two years ago, I decided to stop borrowing money, get out of debt, and change my financial future. As a married guy with two kids, I figured that it was time to “get my act together.” Before I could begin the process of getting out of debt, however, my wife and I really needed to be on the same page, have the same goal, and agree to the same plan of action. So, we sat down and began to discuss our current situation, our spending habits, and our future goals.
My wife is a very ‘practical’ person but, like me, had never really given our finances much thought. We both figured, “If we can make the payments, what’s the big deal.” So, you might ask, what was the magic bit of insight that turned us both around? What was it that made us both say, “We’ve GOT to do something?”
We started to talk about all of the jobs that we had both held and the amount of money that we had earned over the past fifteen years of our “adult” lives. And then we looked at our savings account. Total amount = $500. We then looked at our combined debt total. Total amount = $11, 500.
So, after working a combined total of 30 years, we were $11, 000 in the red! Our eyes were opened to the fact that we were blessed with good jobs and good salaries, but we were being poor managers of our own finances. So, we decided to change our financial habits.
Now, two years later, we are debt free, we have a fully-funded emergency fund, and we’re in the process of fully funding two Roth IRAs, two ESAs and a 403(b) account. In other words, it can be done. You can change your future, your marriage and your finances. How? Begin by taking a look back at where you’ve come from, take stock of where you are, and then create a plan for where you want to go.
For most people, the hardest thing to do is to stop going in one direction and then start going in another. It’s like making a “U-Turn.” Sometimes its hard to admit we are headed in the wrong direction and even harder to stop and ask for directions. But, for us, turning around was the best decision we ever made. Now, instead of worry about our finances, we manage them. Instead of arguing about expenses, we budget for them. Instead of ignoring tough financial decisions, we face them. Together.