Here is a guest post I wrote for Money Saving Mom!
My parents were terrible at finances (they will be the first to admit it). They provided no insight and I really had no idea what real life was like! I do remember being told to not answer the phone at certain times, and now I’m pretty certain it was because creditors were calling.
Growing up, if we wanted something, my mom would usually get it for us. I saw her use credit cards and I just thought that was the way it was!
When I got married, I was in for a shock! I came into the marriage with a lot of debt and my husband had a couple of thousands in debt. Together I think we totaled over twenty thousand dollars in debt!
I kept spending the way my mother always did and when we found out we were pregnant, I cried myself to sleep for nights over the fear of not being able to afford this next season of life.
We found a way to get a house back when they were giving money away (okay, not quite, but it seemed like it). We were approved for a $150,000 loan but my husband put his foot down (God’s grace!) and said that we could not afford more than a $100,000 loan. While looking for houses, I quickly realized that I would have to compromise (yikes!) and it took us over three months for me to mature enough to accept this fact.
When our second child was only four months old, my in-laws provided us with an opportunity to attend Financial Peace University. This changed our lives and it’s been almost four years and we now only have one car payment and a mortgage!
We now have four children and I no longer work, but my husband has received raises which have doubled his income and he now makes about five thousand dollars more than when we had two incomes! I know this was God’s grace, but had we not taken Financial Peace University, we would have just dug ourselves a bigger hole to climb out of.
How to Start the Climb (especially if you were not blessed with wonderful role models)
- Pray and ask for God’s grace everyday!
- If at all possible, find a way to take Financial Peace University.
- Create a support system: family members, spouse or even blogs!
- Read, read, read! (I highly recommend Total Money Makeover and More Than Enough by Dave Ramsey).
- Don’t give up. Surround yourself with sticky notes that have inspirational quotes on them.
- Create a budget, live the budget and make giving a priority in the budget. Make it a habit.
- Expect to make mistakes!