Category Archives: About Me
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
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.
For the first time in my life I’m buying life insurance.
I’ve always had life insurance coverage through my various employers, but I never bothered to purchase my own life insurance because I thought that I didn’t need it, and honestly I probably didn’t. I had absolutely no assets, plenty of debt, no children, no spouse, no one depending on my income and enough in my retirement account to bury me…with a little money left over.
As of last Friday, I am officially unemployed with no new job to go to. Are you panicking for me? Because I’m not.
I’m smirking as I write this post that has been months in the making while sipping on a cup of calming ginger tea. My heart is beating loudly as if playing out a scene in The Tell-Tale Heart, but it’s at the excitement of what is to come in the next few months. Life is beautiful, and for just this week, I took the time to stop and enjoy being alive and happy.
If you recall I resigned from one job over a year ago to take another job with a different employer. The new job was in the field of Human Resources, something that I had wanted to do my entire career. When the opportunity presented itself, I was hesitant at moving because I liked my previous employer a lot. But, after speaking with my better half, I was convinced to get over my reservations and accept my dream job.
Within two weeks of joining the new company I knew that I had made a terrible mistake. My job? Oh, that part was easy . The office and company? That was the issue. But, I’m nothing if not positive, so I decided that I would give the new job at least six months of observation before making a decision on leaving or going.
It’s the fourth anniversary of the start of this blog. Every time I pass another year of blogging, I’m surprised that this blog has survived for another 12 months. Make no mistake, consistently writing articles well enough to keep readers somewhat engaged is not easy, especially if it’s not your full-time job. Thank you for sticking by me for four long years. We’re officially toddlers now. If you’re new here, get ready for the ride.
As I do every year, I like to reward my readers with an anniversary gift of sorts. This year is no different than any other. Since reading is fundamental I would like to encourage that habit by giving away a Kindle Fire. I’m giving away only one Kindle Fire to one lucky reader.