Part of living a balanced lifestyle is setting goals and objectives. Health and fitness is an area we’ve spent a lot of time on recently, but just as important to this is one’s financial health. Brittany has some thoughts to share on personal financial goals-
Money. What can I say about money? I guess I can say I have a love-hate relationship with it.
I think everyone does. Right? Money is great. Buying things, taking my kids fun places, having a roof over our heads, food in our tummies, transportation, entertainment, all the things money can buy. But then there is that hate part. Managing, budgeting, debt, stressing, and all of the struggling that comes with money.
Young and Dumb
I started my “adulting” pretty young. I had my first son when I was 17. I was going to high school during the day, working full time at minimum wage jobs in the evenings. My son’s dad wasn’t much help at all, but I did get some support from my parents.
At that time, I wasn’t thinking about credit scores or debts. Honestly, I wasn’t even all that worried about paying on time. I was thinking about doing what I could to get by and keep my head just barely above water.
I made a lot of mistakes. By the time I did start to worry about all of these important financial life aspects, it was too late. My credit score might as well have been in the negatives, and probably would have been if it was possible. I had doctor bills out the wazoo, thousands in student loans that I couldn’t repay, and charged off accounts. I was in a hole.
I had unwittingly created this huge hole for myself and also for my family. I couldn’t get a loan for anything. I couldn’t get a credit card. Anything that required a credit check was out of the question. Did you know that many landlords and even some jobs require a credit check? It’s rough to do anything without decent credit!
This was/is a tricky area for me also. My mother was never very good with money. (She still isn’t but don’t tell her I said that!) My dad always handled all of the expenses and payments. I must have inherited my money management skills from my mom. I never really thought ahead. I was more of a “here and now” kind of money manager.
Not So Big Changes
I was reading an article online a couple years back about things that everyone should do before they enter their 30s. At the time I was getting close to hitting 30, so I thought I would see how many I could check off. While most of them were a bit on the extreme side, like skydiving or standing on top of a mountain, one that really hit me was “boost your financial stability.”
I finally realized, after I had already buried myself in that before mentioned hole, that I needed to get my sh*t together if I was ever going to have anything of my own, or anything to give to my family.
I started to actually try to create a budget for each month to help us stay on track. But that’s about as far down the list as I made it.
Budgeting definitely helped us in a major way. Our bills were paid on time, and instead of living check to check, we were making it stretch a little farther. But other than that, and kicking up my side cash flow, I didn’t really do much else.
Of course, I have been keeping up with Candace and the progress that she has been making with her running goals. She has inspired me. Not to try and run a marathon, because I’m in no shape to be running and would probably collapse after the first day of training. But she has inspired me to set my own goals and stick to them. Instead of physical goals, I am going to set financial goals.
My husband and I have already started trying to work on our credit. We recently got a secured credit card. We have been using it for small purchases and making sure to keep the balance low by making regular payments. But it’s going to take a lot more than that.
Making A Plan
This week, I am going to sit down and make up a plan. I found a 14 day plan online that I’m going to work off of and make my own. Two weeks is definitely not going to be enough to get my knot untangled!! It’s going to include income/bills comparison, increasing income, looking at debts (both new and old), savings, credit score evaluations and much more!
Hopefully, after I get everything on track and ready to go, I will be a financial expert! Well maybe not an expert but at least I will be armed with my shovel to start digging my way up and out!
Do you have some of the same financial issues? Do you have trouble budgeting money? Maybe my journey can help you as well!