Money to me is like Lindsay Lohan is to drugs. I can’t get enough of it. Literally. I was always running out of money. I wish I would just control my shit, but sometimes I just go overboard. Having two girls, I should start avoiding clothing stores. It’s like a plethora of adorable little outfits and bows that I want to own ASAP. The women at the bank asked me one day if I lost my debit card because I was showing up every day pulling out cash. The look on her face when I said “I cut it up to control my spending” was my breaking point. It was like she was saying I know how much you have pulled out in the last month, so obviously that plan blew up in your face, dumbass.
I was never taught any sort of financial planning for my future, and I had to learn in the hardest way possible. By fucking up hundreds of times.
Now, I am not blaming anyone but myself for my financial hardships, but I do wonder why it wasn’t as important as it should have been in school. From my standpoint, it seems like teaching children that the world is completely fair and just is apparently far more important. Well, the world isn’t fair at all. I wish I could tell the bank that it isn’t fair that they charge me an overdraft fee every time I decided I MUST have that new pair of riding boots, even if I don’t have all of that money in my bank account. I should also tell Layla it isn’t fair that she needs my attention 24/7. Hell, while we’re at it, I should tell my husband it isn’t fair that I have to birth children and he doesn’t.
Ha. Unfortunately, no one cares whether you think it’s fair or not. Life is a giant turd on a silver platter that you must turn into your own gold. Have fun figuring out that shit show.
So, here I am, with a shitty credit score, a pile of debt and a yearn for things I don’t have the money for.
Then, I had to ask myself what is really important to myself and my family. Do we have to have the biggest house? Or the newest Iphone? No. Turns out I can survive just fine off of my own means. I came to this huge realization about our society.
We all live with champagne taste, when 3/4 of us have a PBR budget.
So I did away with a lot. I don’t own a cell phone. I don’t update my wardrobe every six months. Hell, I don’t even buy “box dinners” anymore, which is like leaps and bounds for me. If it were up to me two years ago, I could have survived off of Oriental Ramen for years to come.
Living in your means is hard to do when the American Dream today is to have to best of everything. Buy everything on a loan, it’ll work itself out. Well, I don’t want that. The typical interest on a home loan is almost half the price of the home itself, when you choose the longer term loan, which most people do because it is a lower monthly payment. The average cell phone bill for my husband and myself is $170 dollars (as a smartphone plan with unlimited data/text). A month’s worth of groceries with processed boxed dinners was coming in around $700 dollars a month for us. All of this adds up, fuckin’ fast.
I am learning every day to live within my means. We cloth diaper to save money. Doing just that alone saved me thousands of dollars, considering I paid a total of $95.72 for a diapering that will last me the entirety of Caroline’s “poop in my pants” stage, as well as potty training. We do not buy easy meals. Ever. I have bought all the ingredients I need to cook 30 different meals for $435. We actually stocked up on a lot of items that will last far beyond 30 days, which means next month my grocery bill will be less. We have just a house phone, which costs us $25 a month. The only other major bills we have is our regrettable car payment, rent, power and gas. The rest goes to savings and debt repayment (which I am disgusted with the amount of debt I allowed myself to rack up.)
We found this great site Quizzle, which is a free service for credit awareness, and is a branch of Quicken Loans. It allows you to see your updated credit score and credit report 2 times a year, let’s you know basic information on how to fix your credit. It also has other plans that cost as low as $7 or as high as $25 a month, but come with tracking, analysis and a plan for rebuilding your fuck up of a credit situation.
I like this so much, because I don’t understand credit at all. With this site, it tells me what my credit score currently is (which is something I could cry about in a fetal position later), as well as how much you can increase it with a plan on how to do so. The site has all of the information on collector’s contact information, and what you should pay off or catch up on to get your credit mortgage ready. Within a year, we should have average credit, which I am extremely excited for.
Once we get to that point, I am not going to go crazy and start lines of credits, loans or any of that mess. I know I am a disaster. I could have 2 bucks in my account and instead of freaking out, I say “Well shit, looks like I can buy myself a candy bar!” I had to cut up my debit card to quit that shit.
When I buy a house, I do not want a loan. Or, let me rephrase that, because I also don’t want to rent forever. I want to put at least 50% down on the cost of whatever home I choose to buy. If I can do more than that, they lucky day. But I am not living my life on credit.
I am going to live the American Dream, but not by the standards of today’s society. I am going to live MY American Dream. It includes Channing Tatum as my pool boy. Let’s see how we do with that.