Tuesday, March 04, 2008

What talks? Oh yeah, money.

The subject of money is on my mind this morning.

Ell and I live much more simply than we used to. Well, we've always lived a little simpler than most, but now we spend less than we used to. I guess we don't have the free time we once had, which could (maybe) be the reason, but we've also made a conscious decision to turn our finances around. We spent too much as young married adults, so much so that we reached a point where we had to stop spending and start repaying because we were out of money and credit. That was one of the best decisions we ever made as a couple.

It's well known (for regular readers) that I'm currently in a job that's not longstanding. At some point I'm going to have to make a move or one will be made for me. That in mind, my ears have been very sensitive to all the sayings and comments that people make about jobs and income. Things like, "I'm gonna have to work my whole life, I might has well do something I like." Or, "Be happy in your job or you won't be happy in anything." And, "Do something that gives you joy or it'll give you death." To name a few... So as I reflected on those and the fact that I'm not happy in my present situation, I started to wonder what actually would make me happy and if I'm in a position to pursue it.

Those thoughts brought me back to the fact that I don't really have the liberty to "do what you love" right now because of the financial mess I mentioned at the beginning of this post. But yesterday I came across some good news. Here's a list of the things Ell and I can see an end to in regards to paying out:

-We only have three payments left on our car
-We only have a year and a half left of a $1560 per month bill
-We only have nine years left on our mortgage
-Ell will be done with school next year and will hopefully get a great paying job
-We are finally making enough now to actually consider starting a savings account

Those may not seem like much to others, but to us they are HUGE. It means we have finally turned the corner towards a healthy financial future. I feel good about those things. (On a side note, even though this all seemed like good news as we discussed it last night, we couldn't let go of our usual Gen-X cynicism. We started listing, with smiles of course, things like that could go wrong like our cars falling apart or the house falling down. It's a slow road to total change.)

And since we're now doing the right things, the wrong thing would be dropping it all and trying to finish my novel, or setting out on the AT next week, or anything else that wouldn't make us any money. I need to stay committed to a job I don't like with hours that suck. (Read *** each 12 1/2 hour day gets me more and more annoyed by banking hours jokes ***) Ell needs to stay committed to the crazy schedule she keeps that makes mine look like kindergarten. And both of us need to continue our common sense banking even if she sees clothes that she loves or I find a nice pipe that would look great in my pipe rack. (Not that either of those are common occurences, but they are our weaknesses.) We had our crazy fun and we are paying it back so we can do it again; this time within our means.

Not sure why I felt like sharing that, it was just on my mind.


Blogger Unknown said...

Sam thanks for sharing that Lisa and I are in this process of trying get a handle of financial stuff too! we're trying to sell our house by a new one in a much more expensive market, as well as trying to stay afloat financially in this transition time. As a banker by trade i'm sure you can appreciate the education that one gets when one is looking at home loans. Whew my head is spinning!

However I’ve got a new pipe on its way today!! that should help calm life down!

2:27 PM  
Blogger kimw said...

In January of this year, I committed to not spending any money on things I don't need. I'm amazed to see how much is left in my checking account at the end of the month. It's also very sobering to realize just how much money I've wasted over the years. I've started a savings account, too, and it feels pretty good.

2:44 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

Yes, new pipes are nice. (See my weakness comment.)

3:09 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

Thanks for sharing where you are at so candidly. I'm another "Dave" who is trying or at least needing to get a handle on things financially. Your story helps give me the courage to look at things that I don't want to look at.

I'm feeling this real conviction to be less of a consumer - or at least to not buy into consumerism. (Interesting phrase we use, isn't it - "buy into"?)

5:39 PM  
Blogger Birdie said...

Sam, thank you so much for sharing where you are at with this. Ken & I are also needing desperatly to get things in order. It is not easy when you can't even buy groceries. The interesting thing is that God has used this situation to help me relate to those I serve at TWS. I am thankful for that....but I won't fight an income increase! Carla

9:59 PM  
Blogger Kyle said...

i really hate money... I don't have a job right now but I spend money money anyway... money that I should be saving. It seems like money rules the world, and I'm trapped by it just as much as anyone else.

darn you, paper presidents...

12:47 AM  

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