Howdy! Well I have been thinking about doing this for awhile and I finally decided to take the blogging plunge. I am not sure if I will be blogging daily or if it will come in fits and starts depending on life happenings and the like. I intend this blog really to be about my journey toward financial independence and security, my anxieties about money, and just general topics. Don’t be surprised if I also throw in some political topics here and there. Hopefully, those will pertain to finance, but politics is a part of who I am. I love talking about it, analyzing it, and getting involved (and it is really part of my job). I have read and continue to read countless blogs about people who pay off their debt, retire early, have anxieties about money, are hiding dirty secrets from their spouses, etc. All of those subjects and more I intend to talk about here. These posts are really about my own personal journey as I move through the trials and tribulations of my own personal finance life. I have made a variety of mistakes, some of them severe, some of them mild, and if my story can help anyone (including myself because this can act as a form of therapy) then I hope it has done some good.
So where should I start? Well, I guess I should begin with what inspired me to do this. Two years ago I got married to the love of my life and I just felt that as I turned 40 I wanted to be in a different place. My wife and I had a long-distance relationship for over two years, which put a bit of a strain on me financially. We took trips, went out to eat, and did all of the normal things that couples do. Unfortunately, we only got to do it together basically once a month. Once we were married I came to start thinking about our future and realized I didn’t want to be in this situation anymore; the situation being drowning in my own debt. Perhaps it was a feeling of now I can finally start my life with someone where I can accomplish the personal things that I had been wanting for the previous few years (e.g. a house, a family, traveling, etc). Perhaps I even panicked a little when I realized I am almost 40 and don’t even own a house yet, but I still make a pretty good living. Whatever it was/is I put in a plan at the beginning of 2014 to start paying down this massive amount of debt, while at the same time I vowed to help students go to school without incurring more debt and make the same mistakes I did.
I began by taking a hard look at our debts that we had accumulated and the number scared me. For my part I brought over $116,000 of debt into our relationship. Now that debt was primarily student loan debt. At the time of our marriage it was about $73,000. However, the rest of it was a personal loan, and a little credit card debt. For the first time in my life I actually started writing things down. I tracked my spending on Mint.com and fast forward today and I have paid off over $17000 in debt. My goal by the end of December is to have my total consumer debt (and I mean my portion of it down) to about $90000. That might be a tall order, but I am looking forward to the task.