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There is No Prince Charming: Getting Out of Debt Day 1

06 Feb

OK let’s start with how offended you are by the title! If we make men our Prince Charming, we’re really setting them, and ourselves, up for failure. We shouldn’t rely on men to “rescue” us because we will only be disappointed and they won’t know what they did wrong!

Now if I was married, then I would be doing this with my husband. But I have this goal to get out of debt and be financially independent before I make a move that big. And debt just brings added pressure into relationships. Aren’t relationships hard enough?! Even with Prince Charming!

I don’t spend a lot of money. Let’s be honest, I don’t spend a lot of money because I learned early in my twenties what credit card debt does to your credit and I worked my butt off getting out from underneath it.

I don’t get my nails done, not that I have anything against it because we all have to have our vices. I rarely sign up for anything that has a monthly fee attached to it or a contract, such as cable, gym memberships, tanning salons, etc. But I like my daily cup of vanilla latte and I’m not giving it up. Though I did switch to a small instead of a large. I don’t have a car payment either.

Sounds easy right? Trust me, I know that sinking, drowning feeling all too well of which bill do I pay this month and which ones can I hold off as long as possible. This last year my medical bills have reached close to $30,000 and it might be more but I’m terrified to sit down and look through all of it. My student loans are around $15,000 and I’m not even done with college. My credit cards are less than $2,000. But I’m still struggling to keep up with the monthly bills; rent, utilities, fuel, daycare, insurance, cell phone, groceries.

The basics that I can’t cut though I’ve cut back quite a bit already. My spending is actually pretty much under control because there is nothing left anyway. But I want to take my children out sometimes and I don’t want to worry about what bills I haven’t paid when I go to bed at night.

I hear people say, “Do what you love and the money will come.” I am one of the lucky few that are doing exactly what they love, and there was a time a few months ago when I began to resent it because there is no money in it. I work two jobs that don’t pay and one job that does. Why?! You think I’m crazy. But I do it because I’m dang good at it and I know, I KNOW, the money will come. And I have to hang in there because when it does, when that first novel gets published, when that newspaper takes off, I’m going to be just fine. I’m going to live in a cozy little cottage and go on vacations with my family every year. Now I just have to get there. And I have to get there without stressing out! And because I work so hard at it, it will be fulfilling when it happens because I EARNED it!

So today I made a few changes and I have a long way to go. I’m prepared for this – I think. I have a photo shoot next week for Mrs. Utah and I have found things in my closet that I can wear. But I wanted, not needed, one more piece of clothing and I knew I would find it at Bohme. But when the sticker price said $118 (I never pay more than $20 for a single item), I walked away. Maybe it will go on sale or I just might have to find something else.

I then headed to Barnes & Noble with one thing on my mind, “Personal Finance Workbook.” The problem is, I LOVE books, so I don’t go in that store very often. I was in there for over an hour and would have loved to walk out with five books and a couple magazines, but I narrowed it down to two books. Pat on the back here because that’s a big deal for me.

As I looked for my finance book, I struggled with all the ones that are available. I don’t know anything about finances. I want something EASY. Something I can clearly follow – a step-by-step. I found a lot of investment books, but come on, who has money to invest! I want a book for those of us who are worried about making rent!

I found a pretty decent one in the teen section, but uh, it wasn’t quite detailed enough. But I liked it because it was an actual workbook and towards the end it described what a 401K is and a girl like me needs some help there, too. But I had Suze Orman on my mind because my mother talks about her a lot. So I went to find her and boy did I find her. A dozen of the books made my head spin. They were far more advanced than I am. Maybe in a few years I will graduate to her books, I started to tell myself. And then I hit the jackpot. “The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke.” Score!

A few things definitely caught my attention from the beginning like the words “delay tactics” and my favorite part, right there in the introduction: “You won’t catch me telling you to cut back on the lattes and ‘simply’ save $10 a day.” I was ever so grateful I had the $16 to buy the book, even if it means a week without my lattes!

So today I start my journey. I’ll read the book, blog about it and hopefully you’ll find it inspiring and helpful and won’t have to pay the $16 yourself. Off I go to get started – right after I clean the house, get the kids in the bath, walk the dog, start the laundry, play a board game with the 10-year-old who has been talking through this entire blog.

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Posted by on February 6, 2011 in Relationships & Personal Growth

 

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