Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Get Out Of Debt - Part 1

Would you like to be debt-free?

How about mortgage-free as well?

Many people have been emailing me since I have made some references to the fact that Ken and I are not only on a mission to become debt free but also mortgage free.  While this certainly is not a fact I've been hiding, it took me some time to think about if it was a topic I wanted to go into.

So I listened to you all and got the message loud and clear, you want to know the what, where, when and how's of what we are doing.

Therefore I now declare Wednesdays (for as long as I have something to say about it) my "Get Out Of Debt" day.

That means that every Wednesday for a while I will tell you step by step what we are doing and let you know how it is working.

I would love for you all to follow along and get out of debt with me.  If you're not in debt first let me say "congratulations."  Hopefully I'll still be able to add some ideas that you haven't heard of yet that will help you even further along in you financial mission.

Today let me just begin with a quick synopsis of The Mori's Financial Story.

Ken and I have now been married for twenty years.  In that time for the most part he has made a great living and I have made an okay one from time to time when I wasn't being a stay-at-home-homeschooling mom.

Unfortunately we made a big mistake in our finances.  Note I said big but not obvious.  What was it?  We simply weren't paying attention.  It happens and it happened to us.  What do I mean?  Well, we paid our bills just fine, put some money in investments just fine and then had fun with the rest.  Fun came in the forms of vacations, cars, boats, clothing ,eating out and just an all around wonderful lifestyle that we all seem to aspire to.

Still we thought we were doing fine planning for our future. 

Then along came our beautiful son Ethan.

Again, we thought we were doing right by him and ourselves by immediately setting him up a college fund.

At this point we figured life was great.  House, check.  Good income, check.  College fund, check.  Retirement investment, check.  Sounds picture-perfect and exactly what we are all told we're supposed to be doing right?

So where did the mistake come in?

Well, like I said we weren't paying attention.  We weren't paying attention to where our everyday spending cash was going.  We weren't paying attention to what each other was spending (I'll explain later,) we weren't paying attention to what we were spending to run our household.  We weren't paying attention to all the money we were thowing away on interest.  And the biggest one of all we weren't paying attention to our financial future.  We were living in the moment and the moment caught up with us in our early 40's.

Fast forward to when our son was about five.  Still good income by my husband.  I was earning a good part-time income as an adjunct professor and things were great.  Until my husband and his business partner unexpectedly ended their relationship in a nasty and expensive legal battle.

If you've ever had the misfortune of going through one of those I'm sorry.

However, no crying over the proverbial spilled milk as they say.  We moved on, literally, and life has actually been even better so no harm done. But what this event did do was it did us a huge favor.  It made us reasses where we were in life.  When you get the opportunity to "start over" with an older version of yourself as we did, the now hopefully wiser you thinks it through a little bit more.  It was time for us to take a long and trust me when I say very, very painful look at our financial situation and the repercussions of the egregious mistake of simply not paying attention.  We had to take the shiny new designer blinders off and see the very real ugly ogre of a financial life we had created.

It took us almost two and a half years after our life changing event that we got to this point.  I know, I know, it should have happened right away but it didn't and for that there is no excuse.  But thankfully it eventually did.

Last May my husband and I had one of those heart to heart talks that can either break or make a marriage.  We soulfully realized that while income wise we were right back to where we had left off before the nasty business "divorce" with his partner, we were in our early 40's and no where near ever being able to retire.  Now for me, since I don't work outside the home that didn't seem like as big a deal, but for my beloved Ken who works six days a week, every week, ten to twelve hours a day this was an incredibly huge deal.  I felt his pain as if it were my own.

What happened to those dreams of retiring early and traveling around the world?  I wanted to hang out on the beach while I still looked good in a bikini.  We wanted to be able to spend our later years in life with our grown son and future grandchildren.  Not working and worrying about surviving.

Trust me when I say it is a sad day when reality slaps you in the face.

So what did we do?

Well, we took the advice of  what Dave Ramsey was teaching, embraced it and ran with it whole-heartedly.  And the amazing thing is now just eight months later we have made such a monumental turn around in our financial life that we now see the reality of all those dreams that had only recently started to fade away into the mist.

Over the following weeks (on Wednesdays) I'll chronical exactly what he says to do, step-by-step, what we did and how it is working for us.

I hope you come along for the journey, this has made a huge difference not only in our lives but marriage and I hope it will help you even in some small (hopefully large) way as well.

Click Here for part two of "Get Out of Debt".

Live a Delicious Life,

1 comment:

  1. Your blog is great and I am going to look up Dave Ramsey.


Oh I'm so happy you checked out my blog. I absolutely love hearing from each and every one of you - it truely makes my day! Jamie