Monday, January 16, 2012

Being Financially Smart In The New Year

Two weeks into the New Year and I'm still working hard at making the little changes to help provide for not only myself and husband in the future, but for my children as well.

We were a young couple, married at 18, our second child on the way before I was twenty. We have come a long way but I think there were some important life lessons, at least financially, that we missed out on. We were too young to take into consideration how important being financial responsible was and to realize how much it could, and would, impact are future in the later years. 

We got a first apartment, my husband was doing well, working two jobs and the credit cards were just rolling in. Sometimes credit can be a blessing, but put into the wrong hands, and it can be quite dangerous. I am not ashamed to say we racked them right up! Looking back I wish we would have at least made are purchases on credit worth it, but again, we were young and enjoying what we thought was the freedom of spending and living it up. To us it wasn't a big deal as long as we were making our payments, and we were.  As a matter of fact, the more payments we made, the more credit card offers showed up.

Fast forward another year or so. My husband was down to one job as his main employer had since closed their doors. I was at home with two children and no real experience in the work force under my belt. In fact, it was going to cost me more than I would have made to even place my kids in daycare. That, however, did stop those credit card bills from rolling in, and we were drowning quickly. Then we got an offer from one of our credit cards companies that sound appealing - "merge your debts onto one card."  In our young minds this sounded great so we started transferring balances from card to card. Eventually we were even using card A to make a payment to card B and so on. Yes, we were headed down a long sticky road!

After a few more long months of struggling, we saw an ad for debt consolidation. It seemed like we had exhausted are other options, and we were not financially stable enough to keep up with our payments as they were. We figured, what harm could come from finding out a little more about consolidating. This actually turned into a great option as we were given a flat balance that we could afford to pay monthly. It took some time, and a hard lesson learned, but we finally got help with credit cards and learned a valuable lesson.

Here we are now in our thirties, and sometimes I think we never learned to budget correctly. I mean our bills are paid on time; we have food in the cabinets but don't save a dollar. We have always had that "you only live once" motto, so why not spend it while you can. I quickly see us on the road to putting more things on credit, and saying we will worry about it later. However as my children and I age, I realize that we should have been saving all along. Time goes by way to fast. I don't want to worry about finally getting out of debt in my golden years. I don't want to struggle to find a way to provide for my kids college education - especially with four of them! I realize credit cards are valubale in emergencies and the unexpected, just make sure you grab the best card help you can when picking a card right for you and your needs.

I have added a lot to my plate this year to better myself and my family. I know with a little hard work and dedication everything will come together. 

* Read my disclosure located here


Samantha said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

in this economy, sometimes it is hard not to rely on CCs. but it's important, and you made some great points!

Pam said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Thanks for sharing your story. I see a lot of people on this road and it is hard to get off. I know we have had some financial difficulties with my husband's salary being cut, etc. It's a tough economy and I hate to see people drowning in debt.

Closer to Lucy said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I'm with ya! Credit cards seemed like such a good idea at the seems to be a common theme these days. Getting out of debt sometimes requires a little direction...nothing wrong with that as long as it's sound advice. Thanks for sharing.

Courtney B said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

love this story! thanks so much for sharing!

Sandra said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

What a great post. I know a lot of people can see themselves in same situation! Best of luck on turning it around. I like Dave Ramsey's approach.

jenzen69 said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

wow, good luck. I am 42 yrs old and i still live by the same philosophy even though i know better, i find ways of justifying it.

Grace said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Credit cards are easy to use and hard to pay off. I have some and upon occasion have had to use them more than I would like. I was fortunate to have a mother that harped about the use of credit cards and a wise father who told me "You can make bills and let someone else enjoy your money or you can be frugal and enjoy you own money." I've always kept that with me.

Stacie said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Gosh, your story sounds a lot like mine! We were married at 19, had our second child before 22, bought a house, had some cars, seemed to be doing well. Then one day I woke up at about 34 and realized, we're no where near where I thought we'd be. I think we probably had a negative net worth. Bills behind for the first time ever (even though we'd make more than ever before). Something was wrong. Big changes needed. That was end of Nov/beginning of Dec before last.

In just over a year, we've made so much progress. Not easy, but so worth it. We finally have plan for our future for ourselves and for our family. Take some short term sacrifices, but the peace and reduction of stress that comes along with making better choices and living with more discipline is awesome. You can go a LONG way in a year. We have one credit card left and the only reason it's not paid of yet is because we're expecting baby #7 in March. :)

Wishing you the best in getting rid of those credit cards. We haven't used one in over a year and don't miss it one bit!

Cat said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

wishing you good luck with your new year financial goals!

Suzanne said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Sounds like a fabulous financial plan for 2012! When you are trying to eliminate debt it is important to set goals for yourself to help keep you on track. Credit card debt can be the most difficult to get rid of; if you are looking for help visit to see what options you may have.
Best of luck in 2012!!

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