Money is a big part of all our lives. We need money to pay for our mortgage, buy food, pay for gas and money does matter. You would think that such an important topic would be covered by our parents or schools. But it’s not the case.
For me when it comes to money, my story starts with “I wish I was completely out of debt!”. Yet, at the very moment you are ready to work on lowering your debt, “emergency situations” come your way. Your car breaks down, you need new clothes for an event, you got a new hobby and it costs money to buy the equipment, life happens! Guess what, how convenient it was to pull out the credit card that you had in your wallet and thick you can work some overtime to pay it all back. Summer comes around (as it does yearly), you surf online for a good deal on a vacation. Guess what, you found a great deal! I told myself, “I deserve a vacation. I’ve worked so hard, why don’t I put it on the credit card and pay for it with my next pay check.” I always find myself wanting more than I can afford and not enough disciple to say “no”. After all, I felt like I was young and I had the ability to earn more to pay for more things.
A rude awakening comes when you get that bill at the end of the month from your credit card company and there is no way there is enough money to pay it off. Naturally, I opted for the minimum payment. The minimum payment is so low, that it makes sense to continue to live large, all at the cost of the minimum payment. As the years passes, I realize that not only did I have one credit card, I now have 8 major cards and 4 local stores cards and the limits on them are getting close to maxed out. Even at this stage of financial mess, I bought a house with a 100% loan with no downpayment trying to reap the benefits of having the interest on the home as a tax shelter. I relied heavily on the fact that I would could always earn more money to pay for my lifestyle.
Then, I was laid off.
Thank God, the story does not end there for me. I was fortunate in September 2011, encouraged by my cousin, I took the Dave Ramsey Live seminar. What I loved about Dave is that he presented facts about how Americans are spending out of control. Many businesses spend thousands of dollars marketing to us, so that we would want more, need more. You know what, Dave made me angry, very angry! I was sick and tired of being sick and tired of my debt. It was time to take responsibilty for the mess and gain control.
Our family took Dave’s Financial Peach University course, a 13 week course that goes through the topics of getting out of debt, real estate, investment, financial planning for your family and children, and so much more. My family now has a plan and as hard as it is we are sticking to it. We had to discipline ourselves. In 2011, we were over $40,000 in debt. This year in 2013, we have just $2000 left to pay off. This is the real deal, it works! I hope that the resources and what I’ve learned can help your family do the same.