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Have you ever read a story or a book and felt moved to take action? Have you ever read a story or book and thought “gosh, I have been there” or “that is exactly what I need to hear right now.” I know I have. I love hearing about other people’s stories because I find them incredibly motivating. I have had the opportunity to interview some of my favorite personal finance bloggers and hear more about what put them on the path to financial freedom. This post is the start of a series of interviews. I will be posting interviews from some of my favorite bloggers about how they began their journey to financial freedom.
I can’t wait for you to read all of these stories! You will truly be inspired.
The Journey Toward Financial Freedom:
If you are new here and haven’t had a chance to read our story, I am going to summarize it a bit here. My husband and I took a trip to Virginia in October 2014. At the time, we had a 3 year old son and a 3 month old son. Money was tight for us. We were paying medical bills, loans to our 401K, credit card bills, 2 car payments, several mortgage payments (we own rental properties) and I was stressed beyond belief. I felt like we were working just to pay our bills.
We took this trip to go visit some friends and at the same time enjoy the Washington D.C area as I had never been there before. Our friends graciously let us stay with them.
For several months before the trip, my husband and I had agreed to pay some monthly bills using a credit card. We were also using the credit card to pay for updates on our rental properties and using it for whatever we wanted. We didn’t really have a budget established and I was totally stressed out. My husband was stressed at the beginning of each month as it felt like we could pay a chunk of our credit card bill but, we couldn’t pay the whole thing off and we never had any money to save or put towards debt.
The trip in October 2014 to Virginia changed our lives. The couple we stayed with inspired us to really buckle down and get our financial lives together. They were working very hard to achieve financial freedom.
The funny thing is, they had no idea that we were struggling financially. They just casually talked to us about money. They were interested in our real estate business and I was definitely more interested in learning more about how they managed their money and why they wanted financial freedom so badly. They told me about this guy named Dave Ramsey and the book The Total Money Makeover.
When we got home, I borrowed the book from the library and read it in 2 days. I immediately started talking to Greg about it and we started taking action to improve our future. We started looking at money differently. We looked at it as a way to obtain financial freedom instead of just to pay off bills. We shifted our mindset from the feeling of life controlling us to a life we had complete control over. We no longer felt helpless, but instead we felt empowered.
Once we felt like we were in control of our money, our money really started working for us. We paid off $78,000 of debt in 17 months and a lot more since then. We started to gain tremendous momentum once we decided what we wanted in life. We want to be debt free. It is something we think about every single day. Don’t get me wrong, we have had our fair share of struggles. I have had to overcome the habit of impulse buying, we have fought with finding the motivation to continue towards our goals and we have even struggled with being too frugal at times. We are all over the map! But our financial freedom goal remains.
I am hoping that by reading other people’s stories, this will motivate you in some small way to make a change in your finances if you have been thinking about doing so. It is never too late and actually right now is the perfect time for change.
Your story will likely not be the same as mine or anyone else’s and that is the beautiful thing. You have your own unique story so start by writing a new chapter today. If you feel stuck, that’s ok. I would love to help as I will be putting together monthly webinars to help with finances.
I wanted to interview other bloggers as we all arrived at our financial freedom journey in different ways. Maybe by reading someone else’s story, you will get inspiration from them in some way. I don’t care where you find your inspiration, I just want to encourage you to live the life you want and never feel stuck.
Over the next couple weeks, I will be featuring the following blogs:
Life and a Budget with Latoya Scott
Making Sense of Cents with Michelle Schroeder-Gardner
Disease Called Debt with Hayley
Debt Discipline with Brian
The Budget Mama with Jessi Fearon
These people are some of my favorite blogging friends to follow and they have generously given their time to fill out my interview questions.
I will be featuring one interview per week in addition to giving you more details on the budgeting how-to’s and as I mentioned I will be starting monthly webinars discussing budgets, how to have fun while on a budget, eating well on a budget and probably some real estate stuff (because I love it!). You can sign up here for the webinars.
Most of us weren’t taught how to budget. We didn’t have any finance classes that taught us how to save, spend and give well. It just wasn’t taught in high school. It seems it has become more of a learn as you go approach. I want to give you great ways to help your family budget and still keep the fun in the budget.
Budgets do not have to be depressing. They can actually be very freeing. You know exactly where your money is going each month and you don’t have to guess. There will be a lot less fights in your family and life will be easier. Money isn’t something you have to fight about with your spouse. You can come to an agreement with how it is managed and it will make your life so much easier.
The secret to financial freedom is you have to put it as a priority. Any goal that you want to achieve has to be a priority. You have to think about it every single day. For those of us who have chosen the road to financial freedom, we figured out what was working and what wasn’t and we went with it. My husband and I were hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt and we have slashed that number in half in under 2 years.
It is possible to be debt free. I can’t wait for you to read the upcoming interviews. You will be inspired and motivated by these stories. Don’t forget to sign up for the webinars if you want some extra motivation with your finances!
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