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Monday, August 17, 2009

"Anything It Takes" Starts Now

Anything it takes to have financial freedom.
Anything it takes to save up for my dream house.
Anything it takes to know that we are safe from a financial tragedy.
Anything it takes to make my marriage work.
Anything it takes to position myself to be there for my kids.

Here goes the introduction: I have a shopping addiction. Not just shopping for clothing or shoes either. I shop for EVERYTHING! I'm obsessed with some of the usual things like nice clothing, shoes, purses/bags, etc., but my shopping problem doesn't stop there. I shop for my kids, my house, my husband, my friends, new cars, new houses (we just bought our first house about 15 months ago), new, new, new.

I don’t ever seem to be satisfied with what I have. I’d like to blame it on my upbringing, and I do partly, but not everything can be my parents’ fault. My parents were always bad with money and as I get older, I find out more and more about how bad they really were at managing and prioritizing it.

When I left high school with plans to attend college early and really get a head start on life and a career, I immediately got a full time job. I had no rent and the only bills I had were my car payment, insurance and spending money. I made good money, really good money for a 17-year-old. If I had been a smart 17-year-old I would have put most of my money in a savings account, but I didn’t.

I made bad choices overall, not just with money. I’m not saying that all of the choices I make now are perfect but they are generally much better, except when it comes to money. That’s where this comes in. I’ve tried to make myself accountable to my husband but that generally just ends up in a fight. The fight about money then turns into other things and it ends up like a 90° rollercoaster drop.

I started out the year with the plan to wipe the slate clean and start anew, taking a responsible, smart approach to our money but it hasn’t worked out so well. In my mind I say “We make $X a month/year and we should have something to show for it,” and by “show” I don’t mean our bank account, although that would be the “smart” thing to have.

Now for our wants:
Financial freedom; my 5,000 sqft dream house (okay, that sounds like a lot but 2 adults + 3 kids, I love to entertain, husband wants a theatre room and a library, I want a nice master suite and a H-U-G-E kitchen) on a couple of acres; nice cars that are paid for; husband wants a boat; we both want bikes; I want to be involved in a strong charity or community project; I want to get my masters degree (have to start over on my bachelors at this point); and I want to be a work-from-home mom, preferably doing something in real estate or marketing.

If I continue on the path that I am currently on, I/we will never accomplish any of this. Right now my life revolves around money, how much we have or don’t have or how we’re going to pay bills and still have money to enjoy ourselves a little at least.

I’ve started the YNAB ( plan (15-day free trial) and will be purchasing the software soon. Budgeting is really where I fall short and I believe that this budgeting software will give me some accountability. Dave Ramsey’s plan is hard to follow with a household of 5, 3 of whom are in daycare.

A budgeting we will go, a budgeting we will go, hi-ho the money-o, a budgeting we will go…

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