Category Archives: About Me
I’m 14 days overdue, but with good reason. I wanted to wait a bit to share some news with you in this post instead of making a whole separate post about it later.
Let’s see. We’re deep into July and heading towards August at full speed. It’s been a wonderful summer so far, much like my summer last year when I was job free and enjoying life. This year, I’m consulting and thoroughly enjoying what I’m doing and where I am. If nothing else, this blog has been an amazing chronicle of where I have been and how life can twist, turn and evolve over the course of months and years.
Let’s good the financial details out of the way. The debt numbers are below and they’re trending in the right direction. I slowed down the debt repayment somewhat to increase savings. One mistake that I see people in debt constantly make is concentrating on the debt and neglecting savings. It is entirely possible to have two goals and accomplish them both at the same time.
I promised that I would share how I plan on retiring at 40, so this is it. If you’ve ever wanted to know how a regular Jane can do this, here’s your chance. First, we have to get one thing out of the way before we even talk about my actual plans:
Retirement does not mean the same thing for everyone. What I plan on doing is retirement will most likely be far from your idea of retirement.
Back when the dinosaurs roamed way back in your parents’ or grandparents’ day, retirement might have meant sitting at home watching television, while knitting socks. They might occasionally take a cruise, visit the grand kids or host family events. That’s not my idea of retirement.
With all of the things that I share on this site my net worth has never been one of them. It’s not like I’m an incredibly private person, but I always felt as if I should hold at least ONE thing close to the chest. That’s about to go right out the window.
Blogging buddy J. Money asked bloggers if we were willing to share our net worth and I guess I felt challenged enough to (1) calculate that number and then (2) share that with the world (okay, the three of you who read this site).
You already know about my debt. This blog was established with the sole purpose of documenting my way out and upward and it’s been some ride.
When I started this blog way back my very first post detailed my debt of $105,665.31 and optimism. I started owing less money than I do now but the circumstances are so much more different (grammatically incorrect, but it stays) than they were then. Back in 2009 the only thing that I owned was my debt and two degrees…and a lemon of a newish car that I had to have constantly repaired at the dealer.
I constantly get into disagreements with my other half about working too hard and being too focused on money. He thinks that I have both of those issues. I agree to disagree.
Yes, I work hard. I put in nine to ten hour days at work then get home and run my own small business and then find time to write articles for this site. I don’t get as much sleep as I should but that doesn’t bother me. It’s not the money that motivates me, it’s the freedom.
I’m more than a little focused on getting completely out of debt and I have a very short time table to do so. With over $130,000 owed to creditors and a goal of paying it all off in less than five years, I am extremely aggressive in my narrow-minded focus of paying debt and amassing retirement funds. The goal is that once everyone is paid I will work for myself on my own terms – effectively retiring at 40.
I have a confession that will seem very Grinch-like: I don’t buy Christmas gifts and I don’t want anyone else to buy gifts for me either.
I used to be like everyone else; scrambling every year deciding who to get what while worry about spending money that I didn’t have. I would think of who could possibly send me a Christmas gift. Was I getting a gift for someone who as not getting me a gift and therefore would feel obligated to get me some tchotchke? Was I not getting a gift for someone who I should be getting a gift for? Was I getting something too expensive?
All of the time that I was spending money on gifts for friends and family, I was actively trying to get out of debt. It finally occurred to me that I was spending money that I didn’t have to please others. After running around during the Christmas season it would take me about two or three months to pay off the balance from the gifts that I had bought. The thought finally hit me that I was being an idiot. I decided that I had had enough and I did what made sense:
I STOPPED BUYING CHRISTMAS GIFTS
If you are looking to buy your first car you may be uncertain of the procedure for getting finance. You may be just starting your first job but have reasonable prospects and believe that you can afford the costs involved in running a car. As long as you have reached the age of 18 and are looking to borrow a minimum of £2,000 then you are likely to find someone willing to advance the money as long as you can show your ability to pay the monthly installments.
I Can Not Afford It
Yeah, I pretty much can’t afford it. You can stop reading here if you want, but I have some data to back up my reasoning. Enter the rabbit hole with me.
First, I have to say that I welcomed the Affordable Care Act when it was proposed as a single payer system. The way that it would have worked (ideally) is that Medicaid would be the benefit carrier and as long as your doctor accepted Medicaid, you would have some level of service. It would have been a much easier solution to the hodgepodge mess that has been enacted. I’m ahead of myself. Let’s backtrack on how I came to this decision.
I loved this story so much that I just had to share it with you.
Imagine sitting in your tax preparer’s office as you do every year waiting to hear how much you might owe, or, if you were lucky enough, how much of a tax refund you would be getting back. Now image hearing that not only would you be getting a refund, but you would get more money than you even earned in a year? Not just a little but, but $54,000! That’s exactly what has happened to a loving couple who opened their home to foster children who they later adopted.
The Ward family already had a blended family of six children but decided that they wanted to offer a loving home to foster children in need. Over the past few years they have opened their doors to a number of children in need but could not help adopting six of the children that they had helped. This couple is not rich by any means amd acted out of love for their children.
Now imagine having your tax preparer tell you to go home because they needed to verify the number that the tax software spat out at them. Picture yourself coming back another time to find out that because you had adopted children out of the foster care system, you were eligible for a tax refund for each of the children that you had adopted.
I love this story because these children were adopted out of love and not for the money – but the money was a welcomed windfall. Check out the story of the Ward family below.
I had the opportunity to speak with Gerri Detweiler the credit expert at Talk Credit Radio about my debt story.
I spoke a little about how I got into debt and the drastic steps that I initially took to begin getting out of debt and how I went from paying only $2,000 off my debt to paying $25,000 off my debt in one year. Have a listen!
Click the download button to open this interview in your computer’s media player.