Our Path to Financial Freedom
Each of us has our own story relating to finances and here is mine. Growing up I learned to earn money at an early age, starting with a paper route that lead to bagging groceries at a local supermarket and eventually I took a job as a cook where I became a shift supervisor upon turning eighteen. I got a credit card with a $500 limit on it so that I could start establishing credit, I bought a computer with a personal loan, and I started out financing a $3000 truck with my parents as co-signers. This truck loan was the first of eight vehicle loans that I took out in ten years to include a loan for a brand new truck and a brand new Harley Davidson motorcycle.
When I graduated High School I left for the Air Force where I served 10 years with a regular salary that was basically guaranteed. When I got to my first duty station I took out a Universal Life insurance policy on myself valued at $250,000 even though I did not have a spouse or a child who would need it. I also bought a house during my second year in the service that I could barely afford, but within a couple of years it became very affordable and it was great to be independent. Unfortunately I bought at the peak of the housing market and when I went to sell it five years later I did not have enough equity in the house to be able to sell it without taking a loss, but I still tried.
I moved to Missouri in 2008 and upon arrival I was able to get my house first house rented out which allowed me to buy a house in Missouri. I bought my dream house which quickly turned into a nightmare. I bought a house I could barely afford to make payments on with my bills, but I loved it and I was staying on top of my bills. I was blissfully unaware of the danger that I had created around me until about a year later when I found out that my renters were not going to renew. I tried once again to sell my house as well as to get someone else in it to rent it out, but after a couple months of making double mortgage payments I needed to try to sell my house in Missouri.
The final straw upon my back occurred about a month later when I no longer had food in the house or gas in my truck. I found myself completely buried and unable to pay my bills. I was completely broke and broken. I fell to my knees sobbing for God to help me and within 24 hours both of my houses had received offers on them and I was able to get out of them without taking a loss, or receiving a gain for that matter.
For the first time in my life I was debt free, but only for a moment. I had already sold my motorcycle, and now that I was no longer financially burdened I bought a brand new Chevrolet truck. I met my wife in 2010 and we married in 2011. We were able to cash flow our wedding which cost about $10,000 which was a great feeling.
I got out of the military in 2012 and in preparation for that we sold the truck and bought a different truck, which was our last financed vehicle payment that we would ever make. Our church was hosting a Financial Peace University class and we started the process of getting out of debt. We had roughly $80,000 worth of debt that we were able to get paid off in about three years.
Today we live a much different life. We are living on a budget and enjoying life. We are no longer controlled by money, and are able to tell our money what to do. We are on track to being able to retire with a healthy retirement fund, we have six months of expenses saved up in case an emergency arises and we are currently saving up to buy a house with cash which should happen in 2-4 years.
Our lives have changed drastically since we decided that we needed to take control of our finances and because of the changes that we have made we have goals that we are working towards, I am able to stay at home with our daughter with my own business, and we are still able to do some things that we want to do. Of course there are other things that we wish we could do right now, but we have learned to save up for things and to delay our gratification because we know that we have goals for the future and we want to be able to pass on a legacy to our children when we pass away.
The financial freedom that we are able to experience today and that we are working toward in our future are the same things that I want you to be able to experience, but it takes a plan. We actually got out of debt making less money than we were making when we first started, but we made a plan and stuck to it. Once out of debt our goals were updated and we were able to save up our emergency fund. Upon completion of that we had to set new goals and we are now working toward buying a house with cash.
This was our plan based upon our goals and your plan will look different and it is my desire to see you win with your money by working with you to create goals with actionable steps to take in order to reach those goals. Sometimes our income is a true problem to reaching these goals, but more often than not it is our habits that are the problem. If we do not make it a habit to budget and to work towards our goals then we end up spending money without a plan.
Financial freedom does not just have to be a reality for us, it can be your reality too. Sometimes we need people to help us see a clear path or just to answer some questions for us. I am available to you to help answer your questions and to help you in setting goals with clear action steps to take in order to achieve them. If you are interested in your one-on-one coaching session please contact me today so that we can start the process or contact me if you simply have any questions about what it is that I do. I look forward to hearing from you and I also look forward to bringing you more information in the future.