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Police wife life

Blog and life updates, Family Finances, Police wife life

Financial Leap of Faith and FinCon15

September 14, 2015
Financial leap of faith and FinCon15

14 months ago, to say that my husband and I were “struggling to make ends meet” would have been a gross understatement.

My husband was working 40 hours a week at his full time job as well as working the reserves one weekend a month. I was providing childcare during the week to try to help pay the bills. I even started a small craft business. It wasn’t enough. Working more wasn’t an option. I had newborn, and we were already working as hard as we could.

My husband was already working as a police officer, but he was being paid the same rate as he was making as a security guard before he finished the police academy, which was pennies. He wasn’t earning what he was worth, and his superiors kept coming up with a lot of empty promises for his actual police rate pay (which never came).

Facing foreclosure

We were facing foreclosure. The food that we put on our table came from the garden and government assistance food checks from WIC. Too many dinners were rice with vegetables that I grew. We were one or two weeks shy of my husband re-enlisting as an active duty member of the military and having myself and our two kids move in with my parents for a while. It was a dark place, emotionally and financially, that we never thought we would have to come to.

My husband took a financial leap of faith and started looking anywhere and everywhere for a new job. He had just achieved his goal of finishing the police academy, and he was done with his term of field training, but he was willing to go back to selling motorcycles or joining the military again, just to make ends meet. We both hoped that he could find a job for a different city working as a police officer.

One town with an open position seemed like our only hope. As my husband got further along in the hiring process, first passing the physical and written tests, the back ground check, and then the home check, we had more and more hope that this position was the answer to our prayers. He wasn’t even guaranteed the job yet, but we started packing boxes.

Our financial leap of faith 

I don’t like to talk too much about my faith online, but I wouldn’t be able to explain this story without it. I had a quiet peace in my heart about this potential position. After a lot of prayer, we both felt the need to pursue this job with alacrity and ready our home for sale or new renters.  We took another financial leap of faith, and we moved to the new town before he was even offered the job. There weren’t many homes for rent, and we found the perfect house for our needs which was within our budget. We had to pounce, or we would have lost it.

Anyone looking in from the outside would have seen our decision as brash, financially irresponsible, and foolish. Our extended family thought we were insane. But I knew in my heart that it was the right decision. This was a high risk, high reward situation, and we were willing to take the gamble. Since we were already facing the loss of everything, we literally had nothing to lose. We even had a renter lined up. Our good friend wanted to rent our house for herself and her three kids. I couldn’t have imagined anyone better as a renter.

Our financial leap of faith paid off. Two weeks after we moved into the new rental house, he was offered the job.

Since that financial gamble, we have had 13 months of financial security, money for rent, and food for the table. We have met new friends that are more like family, and we are happier than we have ever been. We still have a lot of debt, but we are working hard to pay it off and be free once and for all from that awful time of our lives. Our financial leap of faith paid back in dividends. We couldn’t have imagined a better outcome.

A new financial leap of faith

I took my own financial leap of faith in March of this year, when I took a course to learn how to get paid to write for blogs. That course was worth the investment. Cat, the instructor of the course, is both my friend and mentor. She helped me to reach the level of success with writing that I now have. I even paid taxes on my earnings for the first time yesterday. Nobody likes paying taxes, but that was a great feeling.  

I love writing from home, and I love working as a contract writer and freelance blogger. I am ready to take my business to the next level though, so with Cat’s experience and advice, I am taking another gigantic, financial leap of faith. I took on $1500 dollars of debt so that I can attend FinCon15.

FinCon15

This Wednesday, I will be driving to Charlotte, North Carolina for the four day conference. My dear friend designed and ordered 500 business cards for me to distribute, and I already have a few potential client meetings lined up. I am ready to work harder than I ever have before to meet new clients, make connections, and get my name known in the financial writing world.

I have never been more nervous for anything in my life, but I have the same kind of peace in my heart about this conference as I did when we moved without a guarantee of a job for my husband. The experience we had by flinging ourselves into the financial unknown, and surviving to tell the tale has made me more willing to take risks for the reward. I have faith in myself that I will be able to pay back my debt quickly. I made $450 dollars last month writing from home. Even if I don’t win a single new client at this conference, I will be able to pay the debt off relatively quickly. I see FinCon15 as a good debt, not unlike taking out a loan for school. 

I am ready to hustle hard, work harder, and make my own career dreams come true. I’m ready to take the financial writing world by storm.

What is the biggest leap of faith that you have ever taken? Was it in pursuit of your personal goals or your financial goals?

Blog and life updates, Police wife life

Friday’s Roundup

July 10, 2015
Never too young to side hustle

Thank goodness for small blessings! This week was much better than last week. We’re still fighting with the warranty company, but hopefully the issues will soon be resolved and we can live a life uninterrupted by maintenance and repair technicians. One can only hope, right? Even if they don’t get resolved in the next week, it doesn’t really matter. For a whole week my mantra will be “not my circus, not my monkeys” because I am out of town, and I won’t have to deal with anything concerning the warranty company.

Yesterday, the kids and I traveled up to my parents’ house. We are going to visit family and friends for a week while my LEO husband works, works some more, and has Navy reserve duty. I’m really looking forward to meeting up with some long-time friends and reconnecting. I’m also planning on getting a haircut while I’m here and have access to free, built-in babysitters (a.k.a. my parents). Hopefully, I can then sucker my soon to be brother in law, who sidelines as a photographer,  to take some pictures of me that I can use for my “about me” page.

Since moving my site from WordPress to HostGator, I have been fiddling around with different plugins and widgets and basically trying to really make the site my own. Running your own webpage is both exciting and challenging! You don’t realize how much you don’t know about something until you need to understand and utilize it. I may end up taking a basic coding or programming course on Udemy just so that I can have a better grasp of my site’s functionality.

Besides getting my new site up and running, I have been really branching out and pitching to new clients. I was rejected by a big name blog, but the editor actually responded to my email. That particular site doesn’t always respond when you pitch to them, so I count that as a win.  I am going to write and pitch, write and pitch until I pester the poor woman enough that maybe she’ll publish my post just to get rid of me.

My life hasn’t been all rejection. My very first weekly contributor post went live this morning on Young Adult Money. I am so excited to be part of David’s team!

Besides my post on Young Adult Money, here are few of my recent articles.

Adopting the Minimalist Lifestyle: Drop the Digital Clutter

5 Reasons to Encourage Your Child to Donate to Charity

Does it Cost $250,000 to Raise a Child?

I have learned so much about freelance blogging in such a short time. I really wouldn’t be where I am with my website if it wasn’t for Cat Alford’s guidance and mentorship. If you want to learn how to sideline as a freelance blogger too, sign up to take her course, Get Paid to Write for Blogs. I really can’t rave enough about how much I learned from Cat’s course on blogging.

Happy Friday! Enjoy your weekend everyone!

 

Budget, Family Finances, Police wife life

Financial Emergency Planning and our First Ever Finance Date

June 8, 2015
Finance date night

At the start of our marriage, my husband always took care of our finances. It made sense because he had more experience than I did with tracking money and managing bills. I had just graduated from college, but he had been living on his own and managing his money for four years working in the Navy. After our kids were born, I actually preferred that he take care of the finances, because taking care of the kids all day is exhausting, and my mind would turn to mush if I were confronted with accounting numbers.

I have no trouble at all living frugally, cutting the excess from our spending, and trying to live within our means. When it comes to hard numbers though, up until this past Friday night, I was completely lost. I was completely ignorant of the bills, how any of them were paid, and I didn’t have the login and password information for any of our accounts. Especially since my husband works a high risk job, this put our family and our future in jeopardy. Should anything happen to him now, on his job as a police officer or Navy reservist, I would be completely in the dark as to how to go about managing our finances.

Receiving daily advice from personal finance blogs has really helped get me motivated to organize our finances and save for the future. I realized that we have an alarm system on the house and a fire extinguisher in the kitchen. We have car, home, and renters insurance. We have all of these safeguards in place to protect our belongings and our assets, but we didn’t have any protection or emergency plan in place for our finances. For the past few months, I have really been pushing for us to sit down and hash out the numbers. I wanted to have a plan in place, not only for if an emergency should arise, but also so that I could become more involved in the daily maintenance of our money.

So, this past Friday night, my husband and I snuggled on the couch with a legal pad and laptop. We had our first ever finance date for creating a concrete budget and having all of our account information compiled in one place. It was everything I imagined it to be and more. Just kidding…sort of. Creating a contingency plan for if your spouse should be killed is not exactly the epitome of romance. However, going over the numbers that represent our life and how we feed, clothe, and house our family was a new sort of intimacy that we had never experienced together. Albeit serious and at times painstakingly dull, it was a date which required eye contact, real communication, and compromises being met. If you have never had a finance date, I highly recommend it. It brought us closer together, and it gave us the tools we need should we ever have to deal with an emergency.

After our finance date, I felt so much better. I don’t like having to think about something terrible happening to my spouse, but it’s a relief knowing that I now have all of our account information to deal with the finances if I have to. After our date, my husband told me that he felt like a huge burden had been lifted from his shoulders. Since he was no longer the only one dealing with the stress of our finances, he could breathe a little bit easier.

I honestly have no idea why we waited so long to sit down together and talk about our finances. It was such a huge relief to us both. We decided that, from now on, we are both going to manage our accounts together, and we are going to work towards meeting our financial goals together. We plan on having monthly finance dates from now on. We both slept well Friday night knowing that, financially, I would be alright if anything were to happen to him in the line of duty.

Do you and your spouse have monthly finance dates?

Do you have the account information you would need in case of an emergency?

Motherhood, Police wife life

What my daughter knows: the life of a police officer’s kid

March 9, 2015
police-lights

At four years old, my daughter doesn’t truly understand yet what exactly her daddy does at work every day. She doesn’t know everything about his job, but she knows that her daddy helps keep people safe. If you ask her, she will say, “My daddy is a police officer. He gets bad people off the street and keeps good people safe.”

She knows that her daddy has very special tools that he has to have with him at all times to keep himself and others safe. She doesn’t really know what they do, but she does know that he prays to God every day that he never has to use them.

She knows that daddy leaves the house before she wakes up and doesn’t come home until well after she is asleep. She also knows that daddy sometimes works 18 hour shifts because things happen right at the end of his shift, and he can’t always just come home.

She knows that daddy won’t always be home on her birthday, Thanksgiving, or Christmas, because his job requires a lot of him. She also knows that no matter how little or often he can be home on holidays or special occasions, he loves her.

When her daddy walks into the house emotionally and physically exhausted, she doesn’t know that it is because he had to deal with a horrific case of child abuse or a gang related murder. She just sees his shoulders slumped and his head hanging and that daddy could really use a hug to help make it all better.

She doesn’t know that daddy leaves the house every day knowing that there is the very real possibility that he won’t come home again, because there are people who would gladly and willingly harm him.

She doesn’t know yet that there are people who think that her daddy is a racist or a bigot, just by virtue of the uniform that he wears. She just knows that her daddy will help any person at all if they call for his help.

She doesn’t know that the uniform she sees her daddy put on, is the same uniform that too many people in our society despise.  She just knows how hard her daddy worked to be worthy of that uniform, how proudly he wears it, and how seriously he takes his vow to protect and serve. She hears her daddy talk about the thin blue line, but she doesn’t understand what that is.

For now that is all we want her to know. As she gets older and understands more, we will make her more aware of the threats that her daddy faces every day. For now though, we want her to know that no matter what his job requires of him, he loves her. No matter what daddy faces at work, he will do his best to come home.

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