Sunday, July 15, 2012
Snow Balls in July
Just the other day I had to say NO...again! I despise saying NO all the time, in this case it was a NO , we cannot go to McDonald's drive thru. My daughter, 5, was starving...I assure you that she was not! She just could not stand to go home and eat lunch at our own table in our very own kitchen. Poor her...a victim. Of Dave Ramsey.
Let me back up. My husband and I have been married since 1995. Many of those years we have had double and triple incomes flowing into this house. We have had credit cards, personal loans, equity loans, car loans and loans from family members. We have indeed, tried to keep up with the Joneses...whoever in the heck they are.
New cars, new motorcycles, two car garage with apt over it, new clothing, vacations, they all were things WE HAD TO HAVE!
Haircuts, pedicures, manicures, tattoos, piercings, cellphones, computers, leather seats, heated seats....WE HAD TO HAVE THEM. they were necessary.
Well after many years of living like this it took one year of 3 layoffs to screeeeeeeeeeeech to a halt. I was pregnant with our youngest child and Bryan was working 2 full time jobs and we could NOT pay our mortgage, which in the coarse of 12 years went from a balance of 30,000 to 231,000.00. oh yeah...I am hanging out the dirty laundry today folks.
SO. what did we do? Well we started to turn that ship around. We took a simple finance class at church called Good Sense. it was a start. It gave us a direction and it sure was NOT where the Joneses were!
Another year passed with small improvement. IN my mind it was because in Good Sense we learned to TITHE. YEP. TITHE. big or small we tithed our 10%.
Next up in August 2011 we saw that our church was facilitating a Financial Peace University Class that fall. We started to get excited and "pregamed" a bit...We sold my NEW Jeep Liberty...with ....sigh....heated seats, warranty, power everything...RADIO...:) and I had NO car. Yes I was a stay at home MOM...but geez I did not want to stay at home all the time...doh! Luckily we worked it out to where my hubbie and I could share the car. I planned ahead A LOT and did not go places that were NOT necessary. We also had a neighbor who was deployed and let us use his truck on occasion. This helped out so much in emergency situations!
WE agreed to set aside a certain amount of money for a CAR. When we got enough SAVED-novel idea- we would search for a car and buy it with CASH. the horror! :) see one thing I picked up in these finance classes is this: We kids...yes at 40 we are still some one's kids think we should have everything our parents have right outta the gate. Newlyweds buying homes 3 times the size they need, New cars because they should NOT have to drive a beater...folks our parents have been working on getting these things for YEARS! THEY worked 40 years at a JOB to get these things...they started out in apartments, riding bikes OR PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION...way before it was cool to be green! WE do NOT deserve a lifestyle that WE cannot afford. and PRETENDING to be able to afford it does NOT help our children grow up and be financially fit.
So yes. for 6-8 months I had NO car. No one died. just saying. and guess what... I got a car! for 240.00 BUCKS. the exact amount that we had saved! :) God is GREAT. and that car works...well right now it needs some work...but hey...it's PAID FOR!
Then in October 2011 we started Financial Peace University. WE both attended classes and NO it will not work unless you do the work together, attend the classes together and as a family YOU both make decisions. This is my strong opinnion...and I have see it work and not work...the proof is in the puddin' ! YOU must be a TEAM. if you are single. THEN YOU MUST have an accountability partner....NOT a shopping Partner! :)
We started with $47,000.00 worth of debt.(NOT including the mortgage) So since October 2011 We have paid off the CAR by selling it. Paid off a Visa Card. Paid off Home Depot. Paid off a personal loan through the credit union. We have paid off: $24,744.00 ....Folks that is a LOT of money. For two broke people. We have never starved. We have not been naked and the lights have stayed ON! This is not of OUR doing! this is GOD. Our God is an awesome God. He performs miracles and provides for those who Obey HIM. Amen!
We have $22,000 to go. We have an emergency fund in place. We are mad as h e double hockey sticks at where we got ourselves...but we are Halfway OUTTA this ditch! We are kickin' it. We are maintaining gazelle intensity!
To keep our momentum we actually went on to facilitate a class as leaders in our church. This truly helped us keep on "the path" to financial freedom!
Next up we will chase down a nursing home bill (don't ask) the IRS...ugh...another HUGE Visa Bill, another wonderful personal loan from the Railroad Credit Union and not one but two student loans...and um. we ain't even in College. that's right . WE CUT our kids off. sorry kids. Mom and Dad must put their oxygen masks on FIRST before we can help you!!!!!!
We tithe, we do grace giving and most of all we COMMUNICATE and PRAY together. We live a transparent life so others may learn and NOT make the mistakes we made. We thought we had it all...but really we were just two ships passing in the night. Never under the same roof at the same time. Today we parent as a team, every free moment is FAMILY time. NOT housecleaning/car fixing/yard cutting time. This is our season to sit and BE with our family. RAISE them....Not just keep em alive. The dust can wait. The yard can be messy. The time spent reading with a child can NEVER be recaptured....who cares if we have 89 dollars in the account. The bills are paid. The freezer is Full! God loves us and my car starts. Life is Good.
so our season of NO will be short lived. Will we return to our old lifestyle. probably NOT. We actually want to simplify MORE so we can GIVE and SERVE MORE! . Perhaps the Joneses will eventually want to keep UP with the Niles! what do you think?
Mad love for you all and God Bless you and your family,