It’s been a long year of change and challenge for my family.
Not the least of which has been taking the next step in our financial health. Our history with debt has, to this day, left us unprepared for retirement. And while that may still be more than a quarter century away, it worries me greatly.
And so, we have taken on the challenge of investing in our future, weighing risk against gain and working with our professional financial advisors to secure our retirement years.
Our first step was not to have our debt (once again!) paid off. But to have it all in good standing. We have – and likely always will – carry debt. However, when what we owe is manageable, within our means, and under control, it is not the stressor that it once was. The difference now is that we are learning to include ‘good’ debt – debt that will get us ahead/pay for itself in the end.
We are now in a new realm of financial health where our investments must be managed along with our budget and spending. There are new columns in my ledger that I must master. It’s been a very intense lesson these past six months as our plan was put into action and took a big leap of faith.
My point is, that adjusting to these significant changes in our situation has, in the end, taken about a year. My budgets and plans of the last twelve months evolved into what we now see as a ‘new normal.’ But I understand now that this is all a ‘process,’ not an ‘event.’
I am excited today, because, as of this week, after throwing our entire financial picture into a shredder and trying to piece the whole thing back together, I not only balanced our budget, but paid the bills, have caught up on payments so that the money is securely in the bank before the bill arrives, and reduced my monthly financial ‘to-do’ list down to one page.
This is nothing short of phenomenal and I am feeling the pride!!
The stresses of past bad debt remain with me; I think they always will. I still panic when faced with a phone call from a creditor. But what a difference when one calls to tell you you are now seriously in arrears on a monthly payment, and you KNOW that you’re covered. When the conversation starts with, “I paid that. What went wrong?” you are blanketed in a feeling of confidence and relief that debtors seldom experience.
How utterly wonderful to hear, “You’re right Mrs. Brown. It looks like the payment was credited to your other account. I’ll just transfer that over and everything’s straightened out.”
(Long, luxurious sigh.)
I love being in control of my finances.
I’m not rich.
I’m still in debt.
But I am in control. And there is no better feeling.
If you would like to benefit from Stacey Brown’s personal debt experience to assist your own recovery and to avoid some major pitfalls along the way, you can purchase her book online by clicking here.