Today’s Thrifty Thursday post will be a little bit different. Why? It will be all about me!
I was raised, for lack of a better word, spoiled. My father grew up extremely poor and had to drop out of high school to help support his family. Despite that, he had the drive and heart to work hard and make something of himself. He wanted to make sure my brother and I were raised having everything that was denied of him during his childhood. Although I was not given everything and was raised to be hardworking and self-sufficient; how to live within a budget was never a topic of discussion in my house.
I had a rude awaking when I moved out of the house. I had worked since I was 15, but I didn’t fully grasp real life expenses. I also falsely assumed that everyone had a mortgage, car payment, student loans and credit card balances. Wasn’t that how the world worked? It simply never occurred to me that there was a better way.
Eventually I started to use coupons on a small scale and later still, learned that debit was not a way of life. It was a life changing experience to learn of a world where people had little or no debt, and to experience the gratification you feel when saving for that night out, new dress or vacation. That is why I am so passionate about helping people save money.
I am passionate about helping people save because I can see both sides. I have seen how through hard work and discipline you can get out of debt. I know first-hand that life will not be any less fulfilling if you don’t try to “keep up with the Joneses.” I am a self-taught money saving fanatic, and pride myself on striving to learn something new every day.
I am proud to say that my family is debt free except for our home. With hard work and discipline, we hope to be completely debt free in another 13 years (15 year home payoff goal). In addition to not having debt we want to instill the idea of living debt free in our children. At the same time, we plan to work hard so we can spend our extra money taking vacations (even if it’s just day trips) together as a family. We have learned that life is short and while we need to plan for the future and live within our means, we also need to enjoy life. Finding a balance is one of our current Savings Goals.
Update: In 2014 we sold our home and most of our belongings to move to France. We left Virginia in January 2015 and are now living in Nice, debt free. Traveling has always been our dream and a huge motivator to become debt free. Everyone has their own dreams and this was ours. We still live within a budget, an even tighter budget than when we living in the States. Through hard work and a frugal lifestyle, we achieved our goals.
We want to spend our hard-earned dollars wisely to save on those things we need, so we have money to spend on the things we want.
Please feel free to share your savings story.