Not the kind you are thinking! But yes we have had "plastic surgery".
It takes a lot of strength to admit you have a problem. Ray and I are facing this problem head on and taking control of our financials. People have asked me why I feel the need to share online and for me the answer is simple. I hope to help others. I hope that by sharing our story others in similar situations will find that they are not alone. We all struggle with different aspects of our lives and knowing that you are not the only one can bring peace and hopefully a call to action.
So back to plastic surgery. When I showed a long time friend my "jar of terror" she ask, so how long have you been saving credit cards to put in this jar? My answer, "Oh we just cut them up last week!" She was surprised to say the least. (this is a pint size mason jar)
We had Target, Best Buy (of course) 2 kinds, Citi Bank, Discover, Menards, Babies R Us, Chase, American Express, Lowe's, and ok you get the point. We had lots. We have good jobs and make good money but it's going out as fast as it's coming in! Spending/charging was just a way of life. Past tense, "was"!
Little did I know that not being on the same page about money was cracking the foundation of my marriage. Ray and I have been married for 10 years. I was 23 years old and we didn't discuss how we would save or spend money. We have been navigating the waters of life together for over 15 years total so we have really grown up together. Neither of us really knew how to plan for our future. Ray is self taugh in learning what not to do with money by learning from the mistakes of others. I have always made "good" money during each stange of my life but I didn't REALLY know what to do and not do with money. Our marriage is strong but something like money can eat away if not addressed and on the same page. We are good but it could have contiued down a bad path leading to a not so good ending.
Money is not the root of all evil, your attitude in which you view and use money is. I grew up in a modest home with hard working parents. We didn't "live it up". I never saw my family as being poor. I just knew there were things I would have to live without or buy on my own. I started my first job at the young age of 15 years old. I worked all through high school. I went to college and paid for it on my own. I started working at the college I was attending two years into my degree. The majority of my college was paid for in benefits but the first two years were not. I didn't know you could pay cash I just thought EVERYONE took out student loans. I always pictured my life as having student loan payments, having a car payment, having a house payment and charging everything I needed. Who carries cash?? Just charge it!!
Wow, my attitude and view of money recently just came to a fork in the road. Either I start to face the girl in the mirror who has a problem or loose everything I worked so hard for. I have decided to go down the path of correcting the problem and keeping everything I have worked for. This is the first step. I am admitting I have a problem. There are no more excuses. The spending just has to stop. Everyone's view of a "problem" is different and some situtations are more diar than others. Either way it's a problem and it needs to be fixed.
Ever heard of Dave Ramsey? Well, I had seen people posting money saving tips on Pinterest, ya ok I will pin that and look later. Dave Ramsey's name kept coming up. I would see friends on Facebook posting links to tips and again on Pinterest. Something drove me to do a search for his book at the Columbus Library. I reserved all of the books I could via ebooks and then requested the others in hardcopies. I then saw that "Total Money Make Over" book had recently been republished in September 2013. I went to iTunes and bought the book. I knew that if I though this book was good then Ray would want to read it too. I read the book in about a week and then Ray read it in about two days!! We FINALLY had a place to start. We needed a starting line. We needed a fresh start. We needed to forget the past (but remembering and learning from it). WE needed a plan!! We now have all of these things.
Dave's books are worth every penny. They are not rocket science. They make sense. They are not a get rich quick scam. They are for real people with real lives. I would recommend that anyone in any situation read his books. Borrow them from the library. Go to Half Price Books do what you can to just read the books. We just started our journey but I can say that the past month has been the best month in our marriage in a long time. It's amazing what a little extra communication can do for a marriage!! We will need to work this plan for the rest of our lives. This is a journey and not a destination. Sure we will hit milestones but we will have to stay the course. This is a lifestyle change.
The definition of instanity, defined by some, is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. We are taking control and making changes! More to come on this journey...
To end with a quote from Dave Ramsey, "If you live like no one else, later you can live like no one else."
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad