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personal finance

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?

Budget, Family Finances, Self Suffiency

Personal Finance Goals for the Future

July 3, 2015
personal finance goals for the future

The past week has not been great for the Muse house. My grandfather passed away last week, which is still really affecting me. Also, our fridge broke down, and we have been fighting with the warranty company to fix it for almost a month now. Now, both of my kids are sick with fevers, congestion, and nasty sounding coughs. Bad things come in threes right? Wrong. Whoever came up with that adage is a schmuck. The sump pump in our basement quit working and excessive water from some bad summer storms flooded everywhere.

With one stressful situation after another, I have been neglecting both this blog and other things that are most important to me…like exercise. I haven’t gone for a run in over a week now. I guess that is a natural side effect of when things go awry, but I am trying to refocus on my goals and become more organized. I have been meaning to write a financial goals post for a few weeks now, but I have been lacking the motivation/energy necessary to get it done. I really felt the need for a pick me up, so I started hashing out ideas to motivate me for the future. The following list represents my biggest personal finance goals for the future.

10 Personal Finance Goals for the Future

  1. Immediately reduce household expenses by $200 a month
  2. Start Roth IRA and 529 accounts for both kids
  3. Earn a steady $500 a month through online writing by December 2015.
  4. Put 10% of all income towards retirement savings
  5. Start saving 10% of all income for a down payment on property
  6. Pay off personal loan debt by April 2016
  7. Eliminate all credit card debt by December 2016
  8. Purchase a property and build a berm home by August 2017
  9. Save $5000 to take a 10 year wedding anniversary vacation to Scotland with my husband (2019)
  10. Have enough money invested to retire by 2027

Looking toward the future

Some of these goals are easier to accomplish than others, but what fun is life without a little bit of a challenge? My biggest dreams for the future involve travel and living in a self-sustaining home. I want to be free of consumer debt, and I want to be able to pursue whatever it is that brings my family joy. My goals will most likely change a bit over time, but this is my motivating list for now. Creating this list of personal finance goals for the future has given me renewed direction, purpose, and focus. Life is too short to dwell on the negatives. You need to just pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and look towards the future with hope and a plan.

What are your personal finance goals for the future? Do you have specific dates planned for your goals?