Home > Our Money Journey - Part 2

Our Money Journey - Part 2

April 24th, 2024 at 07:22 pm

Here is part 2 of our money journey.

At this point in our life, things changed a little bit because I went to work full-time in my profession as opposed to working part time in retail. In some ways, things improved, in others they stayed the same, and in yet others, they got worse.

Age 28 – 32

At this point, I went to work full-time as a teacher. We didn’t have to pay for day care as my mom watched our kids. But the kids were also getting older and getting involved in more activities.

This is when we pretty much stopped adding to our debt, as I was making more money, but we didn’t make much progress on it either.

We were able to pay cash for almost everything we needed or bought, but our payments towards debt were minimal. We made payments and, in fact, even made small dents in the debt, but we never really made much progress. We were treading water and still living paycheck to paycheck. We didn’t put any money into savings and were not actively contributing to our retirement, other than what was involuntarily taken out of my paycheck. The Husband was still working for the same large company and they did offer a pension plan the he was fully vested in.

Age 32 – 37

At this point, The Husband switched jobs. Leaving a stable company in the middle of the Great Recession was crazy in my book, but we prayed about it and really felt like it was the best option for our family.

He got a huge pay raise but took a cut in his vacation time. It was a trade-off we were willing to make.

Because he was fully vested in his pension at his old job, we decided to cash that out to pay off our credit card debt and be able to start fresh.

With the pay raise, we were able to travel more and start doing major home renovations. We were able to pay for these all with cash. We charged a lot on our credit card each month but had no problem paying the balance in full every month.

Although we were living within our means, we were JUST living within our means. We did contribute to our retirements, but we didn’t put anything in savings for “today”. We didn’t save for a rainy day and were still living paycheck to paycheck. This would eventually come back to bite us when we decided to remodel the kitchen at our old house.

Up to this point, all of the remodeling we had done was paid for in full by the end of the project. We were able to cash flow everything. We didn’t understand how expensive a kitchen remodel would really be. We charged everything, just as we had done in years past, but everything was so expensive, that we couldn’t pay it off each month. And the balance started to grow.

It grew to over $13000. (Small aside here. We also had a balance on another credit card that we were paying off slow and steady. The balance had gotten down to a little over $4000 so I took money that should have gone towards our kitchen remodel and put it towards paying off the other card. It didn’t change our debt total, just the way our debt was structured.)

For us, this really became a period of two steps forward and one step back.

At the end of our kitchen remodel, we decided to sell our house. (There were many factors that played into this decision, I swear!) We were back in credit card debt, still had virtually no savings, and had learned nothing from cashing out a small 401k and a large pension. We sacrificed out future to payoff our past and still wound up in the same situation because there was no work involved in paying off our debt. We had no discipline and did not change any of our behaviors.

Stay tuned for part three and the (likely) final installment of our money journey.

1 Responses to “Our Money Journey - Part 2”

  1. rob62521 Says:

    Retrospect is revealing, isn't it? Hopefully the next segment is very positive.

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