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What is Our Why?

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It was great reading about Sara’s ‘why’ about wanting to become debt free so I thought I’d share mine as well.

 

My husband and I weren’t particularly interested in shedding debt early in our marriage. It was annoying but not a big deal. It wasn’t until we had our first son that it became a problem. A big one. I always imagined myself being a stay at home mom. I loved that my mom stayed home with me and I watched as my sisters became stay at home moms in the years earlier. I remember clearly the night Chris and I went to dinner and I had a breakdown. We were sitting on an outdoor patio, the flowers on the trellis behind me filling the air with their delicious scent. My infant son lay sleeping in his car seat. It should have been a perfect moment but as I stared at my son’s beautiful sleeping face, my eyes filled with tears. “How can I give him to someone else to raise?” I sobbed. If we didn’t have debt, I could have stayed home.

CIT Bank Money Market Account

We jumped into Dave Ramsey but we didn’t use the right tools for us and we failed.  We started telling ourselves, ‘everyone has debt so we will too’.  We repeated this to ourselves for years.  In 2014, my brother called me and shared YNAB.  Finally, a tool that worked for us.  Over the last 6 years, I’ve thanked him repeatedly for sharing a tool that worked for me.  Nope, that might not be the right tool for you but you should find the one that fits your life.
When the prospect of being debt free finally became something I could see, we attacked our debt with a crazy vengeance.  ‘I WILL BE A STAY AT HOME MOM!’ I yelled to the universe.

Life sometimes throws curveballs.  Wait.  Life ALWAYS throws curveballs.  It didn’t work out that I could stay home but it did that my husband could.  I realized my goal was to have a stay at home parent.  I didn’t care if that was me or my husband.

 

No, life isn’t all rose petals and rainbows but it’s so much better without debt.  Every time we get tempted to take on debt, we say, ‘Is this worth throwing away our ‘why’’?  It never is.

 

Find your ‘why’.  Find the fuel to your fire.


5 Comments

  • Reply Lindsey @ Big House in the Woods |

    I soooo feel this Beks. I’m a homemaker and homeschooling mom to three sweet children. I knew early on that I could never hand them over to anyone else. Your story moved me! We’ve been debt-free and mortgage-free since we were 25. We made a very dedicated effort to take a different path so I could stay home. Many people don’t understand why we do what we do but when I sit down to do a reading lesson with my 4-year-old son mid-day, I remember that this is why we’ve made all of those positive financial decisions. Or, when I watch my 8-year-old daughter sweetly talking to our 2-year-old as she feeds her a snack mid-morning, I remember why we have chosen to “swim upstream.” We live frugally and save so we can all be here together. So we can enjoy those moments. It’s a different road, for sure, but it’s worth it.
    Since paying off our first and only mortgage back when we were 25, we saved enough to build our dream home with cash and we’re also planning our retirement at 45. We’ve promised our kids that we’ll buy an RV and see all 50 states.
    I’m so glad that you found a program that works for you! Paying off debt is worth it! Choosing to live differently than most Americans has always been our goal.
    Keep it up Beks!!

    • Reply T'Pol |

      Kudos to you Lindsey for understanding priorities at such an early age! It didin’t hit me till I was 30 and even then, it was not a very conscious effort on my part. My why at the time was to have a full year’s worth of expenses so that, I would never have to work in a toxic environment again. Then my new why became FIRE and I did it.

  • Reply Emily N. |

    I know you’re probably just recounting your own feelings at the time, but I want to point out that parents who use daycare and/or send their kids to school are still raising their own children.

    • Reply Beks |

      100%. I struggled with the thought that a caregiver would be spending more waking hours with my child than I would.
      You are absolutely correct, those with kids in daycare are still raising their children.

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