Thursday, February 27, 2014

Setting the Framework

Two weeks ago my husband, Nick, and I met with our financial planner. We explained our future goals and current financial situation. We both work full-time and we have a minimum amount of credit card debt, but ALOT of student loan debt. Welcome to being in your late 20's making what you believe to be GOOD money, and then realizing you have a weight chained to your leg called student loan debt for the next 20 years. 

It seems that making “good” money doesn't make a difference in financial freedom until you can eliminate your debt. Thinking about getting a house, having kids, taking a few vacations all seems impossible when you struggle to save money and half your income is going towards credit cards and student loans. Our financial planner challenged us to start living on one income and use the second income to pay down our debt as quickly as possible, starting with credit cards, private loans, and then our federal loans. 

I spoke to two friends who freed themselves of debt over the course of five years, and now have their first kid and are starting to save money to put a down payment on a house. They worked so hard to gain financial independents and they inspire me to emulate their success. So, I thought that I might start this blog as a way to document Nick and my ups and downs to financial independence. 

I have always been frugal. I saved all the way through high school and college. We were able to pay for our wedding in mostly cash. I feel like I understand the tricks of the trade when it comes to saving money or at least making the most out of the money that you have. When I read articles on ways to save money I keep waiting for someone to tell me something I don't know. Every article tells you to stop buying coffee and make your own: check, pack your lunch for work: check, grocery shop once a week and plan your meals: check and check. It becomes so frustrating to read that you are already implementing these cost-saving steps, but yet you are still unable to save and get ahead.

It has been a few years since we've consistently been able to put money into savings. For a saver, not being able to put money into your savings account feels like a financial failure. We have been living life on our credit cards and paying back our purchases after the fact for a few years now. We end up paying more interest in the long run for our life splurges, and now feel like we are spinning in a wheel of debt.

So over the next TBD month’s/years, I want to use this blog as a way to hold ourselves accountable to paying off our debt, document the fun and new things we can do to save money on a month to month basis, encourage anyone who is trying to get out of debt, and have an opportunity to celebrate our milestones as they are accomplished. 

I hope to be very transparent with everyone, but also use this as a FUN way to document the ups and downs of being a frugal optimist! So no judgment when we end up spending more than we should and not saving what we could have in any given month! We do need to LIVE a bit to get through this process :)