Where I Came From
I don’t have a super compelling past. I didn’t rise from the ashes of complete poverty. I didn’t survive a childhood full of abuse and neglect. I’m honestly blessed and I fully realize how lucky I am to have been given the childhood that I did. I had an amazing mother, sisters, and a father that I knew and was able to spend time with. Not many people can list those among their blessings.
With that being said, I wasn’t exactly groomed for a life of financial success and wisdom.
My mother was hard working and selfless, but she was also a single mother and worked long hours on third shift to secure a lower middle class income for our family of 4. My sisters are 10+ years older than me and they both had college expenses and had lives full of expensive school activities. I was always involved in sports, band, and other expensive extracurricular activities during my school days as well. We had a Nintendo, cable, and a comfortable townhouse to live in. I had no reason to suspect that things weren’t completely fine for our family.
I got older, got a cheap first car, and settled in to high school. It was around that time that the cracks began to surface in the family finances. My mother had been injured at work and had a few other issues going on at the same time. I was never fully aware of the details, but she ended up having to file for bankruptcy, sell our townhouse, and move into an apartment. It wasn’t until later that I realized what all of that meant. She had been doing whatever she could to provide for her family, but unfortunately a lot of it included financing purchases with credit cards and store cards. We always had a good Christmas, birthday presents, and a new pair of shoes every school year.
Now we know how.
Couple that with a modest income and we all know how difficult it is to get out of a hole like that.
I knew that I wanted to have the selfless work ethic of my mother, but I didn’t want to end up in bankruptcy to support a lifestyle that I couldn’t really afford. I didn’t want to make the same mistakes.
The problem is that life doesn’t always work the way you think it will, peer pressure and desire will often get the best of you, and young people don’t always make the best decisions.
Fast forward to today and I have credit card debt, two store cards, two car loans, a loan for our wedding rings, and two little ones with expensive extracurricular activities every month.
Even while I swore that it would never happen, I managed to accumulate credit card debt all through college. I didn’t want to ask for help from anyone and I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t a financial burden on my mother anymore. It happened so easily to me and I KNOW it has happened the same way to many others. It’s so easy to go into debt. Kids, family, and life in general make it so easy to fall into the trap.
So, Why Am I Here?
I’m here because my wife and two daughters need their father to be a strong role model and source of protection and security for them. In a nutshell, that’s the most important thing to me and it’s why I spend my extra hours learning, planning, and dreaming. I can safely say that we are a happy family and we certainly enjoy a greater sense of security now than we ever have in the past, but this is mostly due to pure effort and instinct. We’ve survived 6 years together with many ups and downs.
I’m here because I’m on my own journey towards financial independence and peace of mind. I’ve been on this journey for a long time, but I’ve only recently realized that there are sources of information and help out here in the internet that can serve as our compass to get us through the worst of times. I don’t have everything figured out, but I do know that I have the power to control my own destiny and the destiny of my family.
I want to teach my family how to control our money so that it doesn’t control us. I want my children to understand how money works and learn how to master it at a young age. I don’t want them to look back in confusion as to how they got where they are in the future and having no clue about their financial plans.
In short, I want to be the family financier and become the rock that my family depends on and draws strength from for the rest of my life.
How We Can Help Each Other
My story isn’t unique. Far from it!
I know that many of you reading this can relate to it in some way or another. One thing we definitely have in common is that we are all in debt and trying to make ourselves better. I know I can help others because I have slowly started to help myself. I am gaining more knowledge and wisdom each and every day and I can now see a bright future even if it’s still hazy and distanced.
Just like an addict needs a support group to stay clean everyone needs a support group to get out of debt and stay that way. Spending itself is a lot like a disease of addiction after all and the first step towards sobriety is always admitting that you have a problem.
I have a problem with debt.
I said it.
If you will stand up and make that own admission to yourself, I promise that I will help support you in any way that I can.
I will search for information, educate myself, and bring it to you.
If you have a question about something, leave it in the comments or drop me an email. I’ll find out just for you. After all, if you have a question there’s bound to be thousands out there with the same one just wishing someone else would ask. I’ll be here for you and speaking with others will be my motivation to succeed.
Who’s with me??