A quick disclaimer: I do not like negativity and will not tolerate it. I understand that this is the internet and there are certain things to be expected when you put your life out there. But also, if you treat me with rudeness or disrespect you can expect to get blocked. I just won't put up with it.
We all have a secret of some kind... Something that we aren't proud of, something we wish we could change. Something that we would never want people to know about ourselves... Well today I am going to share my deep dark secret with you. Why am I sharing something so personal with you? Accountability. I want to change this problem that I have and I haven't been able to do so privately. Besides, someone else may be having the same problem and maybe they can go through this with me!
I'm sure you are saying OK Housewife, what gives? Are you going to spill your guts or just keep us in suspense? I'm getting to it! Really it's not all that bad in the grand scheme of things... OK well here it is: I am bad with money. That was harder to type out than I thought it would be. It's much easier to say that to an understanding friend or family member than it is to say to the surprisingly critical public.
Now that you know what my big deep dark secret is I want to take a second to say, this is going to be a long post. A really long post. I'm going to go in depth about my family's finances, debt, reasons behind the way I handle money, my goals. If you are not interested in that then thank you for reading this far! If you continue reading, thank you even more! Thanks for sticking with me and by me.
I'll try to keep this as organized as possible so I will start from the beginning and work my way to the present. I was raised by a single, working woman. I had three siblings, me being the youngest. My mom did the very best she could with what she had. We were dirt poor and at one point in my childhood I remember being on state assistance. My mom tried to shield me from the fact that we were struggling. If I asked for a toy, I got it. If I asked for take out, I got it. For birthdays and Christmas I got obscene amounts of presents. I was the baby of our family, and I was darn spoiled. I didn't realize until I was much, much older that we lived in a house that my mom had to staple cardboard no the walls to keep cold air from blowing through the cracks.
I realize that a lot of families struggle a lot more than we did, but my point is I was shielded from money. Everything about it... Lack of money, what things cost, the fact that people actually had to WORK for money. Really I just thought it was something you had for a long time.
As many of you know, I became a mother very early in life. I'm 26 with a 10 year old and a 6 year old, both biologically mine. I am so very thankful for them and for my hubbs, without them I would be living a very different life I think. That I'll go into in another post because it will be a long one as well. But when you go from being a baby yourself to having a baby practically overnight, it's a pretty drastic change. I didn't have time to learn about money and how to manage it when I was trying to figure out how to change a diaper and make a bottle.
In the beginning of our marriage, we had a lot of help from both sides of our families. Help paying bills and buying anything we needed for our bebies. I'm thankful for that because my also young hubbs was working a minimum wage ($5.15 I think it was) job trying to support his new family. Even with help from our parents we struggled... We had a lot of checks bounce and our bills were paid mostly when they were about to be shut off. I rarely thought about money at all, I was so caught up in all of the baby whirlwind. Fast forward four years, our second son was born. My mother passed away shortly after that. I guess looking back, life just kept me distracted from our money problems. I know that sounds crazy but I really just didn't think about it at all.
We were struggling more than ever at this point, I remember my husband was bringing home $800 a month. That's what we lived on for our family of four. His parents were separated and we could go to either one of them any time we had a problem. When the hubbs' step father passed away, my mother in law was suddenly a widow. She couldn't help anymore because she was having her own financial problems. We no longer had help from my mother (obviously). And to be honest, his father was getting tired of helping his adult son and his wife out. Things were really looking pretty bleak.
Then we received a true blessing, my husband was offered a wonderful new job. An amazing offer. We couldn't believe ourselves! An IT position for Go-Mart, a chain of gas stations here in WV for those of you that don't know. It was paying an unbelievable (to us) $50,000 a year. There was a small catch, we would have to move about an hour north of our childhood homes. It wasn't that big of a deal to me because my family was mostly gone, I had no ties to the community except a few close friends. We found a home and set to the loan process and were (surprise!) denied. Turns out when you have unpaid bills and bad credit, banks are not likely to give you a loan! We got another blessing, the same person that owns the company my hubbs was going to work for also happens to own a chain of banks. They helped us get a loan.
Within a couple of months, we went from broke and renting to rich (to us) and home owners! During that drastic change, I learned the joy of being able to go out to the store and buy what ever I wanted, when ever I wanted. That was five years ago... I've been shopping ever since without ever really looking back. Our bills are caught up and (mostly) paid on time, we have a ton of debt which I will go over in a later post, we have no savings and are living paycheck to paycheck even now. There is no safety net and it's getting old. I've been embarrassed to admit to anyone that we are still having money problems even to this day. We shouldn't be. I know that. With my husband getting regular, yearly raises we are making more money than ever before. But somehow we always still seem to be broke come payday.
I've tried in the past to make small changes and it just hasn't worked for us. This time I'm doing something I've never done before, I'm drastically overhauling our finances. I've been working on a budget for the past couple of days and I'm changing the way we live. It's not setting a good example for our children and I'm tired of it. We've been living paycheck to paycheck for the past 10 years. Really isn't enough, enough?
I'll be going over the rest of the things in a series of other posts. I will be talking about my budget, goals, and much more so check back! =)
If you are struggling financially or just want to set some new goals for yourself, we can do it together! Comment here on my blog, message me on my facebook page, or send me an email. Whatever you are going through, I promise to never judge you. If you need a supportive friend then I am here for you, no matter what!