How Being In Debt Made Me a Better Mom
Image by mastersenaiper via Pixabay
Who in the world would be crazy enough to charge their wedding expenses on credit cards?
Who in the world thought they could afford anything and everything just because we could still afford to make the monthly payments?
And who got themselves in $120K in debt AND got themselves out of it?
This is a personal story I have decided to share because I know there are many families who are currently in debt like we were and if sharing this means it inspires just one family to start taking action, it is well worth it.
I won’t go into all the details on how we accumulated so much debt but I will say that it was pretty much anything and everything we could charge on a credit card.
In our minds, since we made enough to be able to cover the minimal monthly payments, that meant we could afford those things.
Before you know it, we were maxing out credit card after credit card and what was our solution to now having multiple monthly minimum payments?
We applied for new cards and played the whole “transfer all our balances” to this new card game so that we would have less number of payments to deal with.
On top of all that, we purchased a house on an interest only loan that now I keep thinking to myself, “What in the world were we thinking?
We started finding ourselves living paycheck to paycheck.
Barely making the payments.
Barely any money left over to do anything.
Still continuing to charge for basic necessities because the money we got paid that week was already spoken for with last months credit card charges!
The interest we were paying alone was eating up a big chunk of our income.
It was a never ending cycle.
On the outside, you wouldn’t have been able to tell we were struggling. But boy were we struggling.
I was not happy. Always stressed about not having enough money to pay the bills. Daily arguments with my husband.
It was a mess!
The final straw was when I logged into our bank account and saw that we barely had $10 in it.
That was it! I was sick and tired of being sick and tired of living paycheck to paycheck.
We went through a short sale of our home and moved in with family to start getting our life back together.
I’m not going to say it was an easy thing to do. It was the opposite. It was one of the hardest thing we’ve ever had to do.
Maybe even harder than childbirth!
Preston, my second child was about 1 month old when we moved in with my older brother.
It was the longest 3 years ever.
Three years of working extra shifts, my husband getting a second job, not eating out as much, barely going out, saying no to family/friend’s invitations, saying no to temptations of buying new “toys” and tracking our spending like a hawk.
It took lots of hard work, discipline, many frustrating moments, and nights of despair where I wanted to just give up because it felt like we weren’t making a dent in our debt at all.
But we stayed focused.
My husband and I supported and encouraged each other and stayed the course.
If there was any one thing that I can attribute to our success, it was that we were on the same page with our goals and vision for the life we wanted to build with our kids.
This is SO IMPORTANT.
And that vision did not include a life living in debt. We made plenty of bad financial decisions and we wanted to make darn sure that our kids do not follow in our footsteps.
I’m here to say that it can be done.
It starts with a decision to change your family’s lifestyle.
Make a plan to help you take massive action.
Be disciplined. Practice saying “No”.
Get creative with increasing income. Have a garage sale.
Track your spending.
And throw every single penny towards your debt.
Yes, it’s definitely easier said than done. But complaining about how much debt you are in is not going to take you any closer into living a financially stress free life,
Trust me, the hard work and effort to get there is going to be so worth it.
The life I can now provide for my kids is priceless. The life and financial lessons I can impart to them will be invaluable.
If being in debt has taught me anything, it is that with hard work, determination, discipline and some perseverance, you can make anything happen.
If you’ve read this far, that means you know what you need to do.
There’s so much more life to enjoy than to constantly worry about whether or not next month’s bills will be paid.
It’s time. Get sick and tired of being sick and tired.
Let’s do this!
If you or anyone you know is interested in learning more on the actual step by step actions we took for those 3 years to get out of debt, comment below and I’ll add a Part 2 to the story.