The Sky is the Limit!
Bills, bills, and more bills kept coming with no money to pay them. My husband was barely making minimum wage and hardly spoke any English. I was pregnant with my first child and was not working at the time. We lived in a tiny studio apartment and our kitchen was the size of a closet. Many times I didn’t know whether we would have enough money to buy groceries or even some milk. Those were some real tough times.
Things eventually started to look up for us, I found a good job and my husband was doing great at his job. Both of us were making good money. However, our family kept growing and so did their needs. To keep up with the growing demands, we used credit cards. We would use one credit card, then pay it off with another credit card that offered 0% interest for a period of time. It became a vicious cycle and instead of having any financial freedom we were over our heads in debt. We were working two to three jobs just to make ends meet and help put our kids through college. This burden of debt caused sleepless nights, worry, anxiety, stress, fear, and health issues.
One day we made a decision to finally get our finances in order. I admit it was hard and required a lot of discipline. We made a plan, created a budget and started to tell our money where to go. We began to get a grip on our finances until little by little we finally became debt free.
It took some time to get out of the mess we had gotten ourselves into. Yet we were determined to climb out of the hole we had dug ourselves into. This process required both my husband and I to work together. We started being more careful about how we spent money and what we spent it on. Any purchases we made had to align to our budget and financial goals. We only made purchases with cash and we saved for vacations and major expenses. We didn’t spend what we didn’t have. We are now in a situation where we have financial stability and get to do things we have always wanted to do. The best part is that we have been able to increase our contributions to others and to organizations that make a difference. My husband and I are more connected today than we have been before, and know that we can make our dreams become reality when we work together.
What did I learn from this experience? It started with a simple decision…I wanted to be debt free. Then together with my husband we began a budget and a plan.
Don’t get discouraged during the tough first months, trust me it does get better. Do not give up when you get frustrated because changing old habits and behaviors takes time. Allow some room for growth and do not expect things to change overnight.
Here are a few financial tips I have learned.
- Create a budget (include all your expenses)
- Balance your checkbook
- Stop using credit cards… cut them up. Save for big purchases and pay in cash
- Have an emergency savings fund… this will help with those unexpected expenses that normally we would go to a credit card for. If you have the money saved you don’t need the credit card.
Of course there are many more tips but this is a good start. Remember a little hard work and discipline will get you where you want to be – Financially free!!!!
For more tips and ideas on how to take control of your finances, or other articles about relationships, follow us on social media @familybridges!
For more blogs, tips and articles on kindness or relationships, follow us on social media as @familybridges.