This is the first post to kick off my new blog. I figured this was a great opportunity to give you some knowledge in my backstory.
Most of my life I did not have a clear direction. I was lucky in that in high school I starting playing around with programming and web development. It fit my personality, and I’ve excelled in my work life. However, my personal finances were a different story. As my income increased, I spent more money. I found myself making expensive purchases on electronics, hobbies, and various crap I didn’t really need.
I didn’t have a problem with my spending at the time as I was only concerned about the present. This quickly leads to spending future income on bullshit items that have little actual value.– Chris Roane
My bad choices resulted in negative consequences, and at multiple points, I was motivated to get out of the debt hole. Being a driven person I did really well at this… but my habits ultimately didn’t change, and I ended up back where I started.
What do you have to show for
your hard work?
It really started to hit me when I approached my mid 30’s. For the amount of money we made, we didn’t have a lot to show for it outside of our kids, house, and careers. It made me distraught because it felt like we lost a lot of time. Experiencing those feelings and seeing a vast wall of debt is depressing.
You might be like me in feeling like you are too late. That you’ve missed the boat. But it is never too late to start on the right path, and each of our tracks will look different. It has caused me to think about what I want out of life. When I have more wrinkles than brain cells, what will I have done that will give me peace?
Below are a few things that came to mind:
- Have a shitload of awesome memories with my kids and Andrea.
- Travel and see the world.
- Attain financial flexibility to only work for money when I want to.
- I want to be as emotionally close to Andrea as possible. Loving her brings me joy.
- Leave an inheritance for my children (even if it isn’t massive).
I don’t want finances to get in the way of pursuing our goals. I’m not sure how long it will take to achieve all of our dreams, and I expect plans will change as I grow older. I realized my credit card spending was pointing to a much larger problem. It was preventing me from pursuing what truly matters most. And I no longer find it acceptable not to pursue these things in how I spend money. Note some of these goals are not solely dependent on cash.
Summary of our plan
I’ll go into more details in future posts, but here is a quick financial summary in what we are doing to pursue these goals:
- Pay off all credit card debt and lines of credit.
- Save around 4-5 months for our emergency fund.
- Maximize our retirement investment accounts.
- Put excess funds into after tax investments and invest money into Andrea’s salon.
In future posts I’ll talk more about budgeting to maximize debt payments/savings, along with our general plan for our investments.
Are your spending habits representing what you truly want out of life?
Chris Roane is a financial blogger who loves to be transparent about money-related issues. He’s paid off massive amounts of credit card debt and is the blog author of Money Stir. His main focus on Money Stir is talking about how money relates to our relationships, personal development, and how to plan for the future we want. He’s been quoted on Market Watch, The Ladders, and other publications.