One of the most disorganized aspects of my life has been my finances. It’s funny, because I used to be very on top of my finances and dedicated to saving and being very prudent with my expenses. In my past I had to deal with a home life where money was always tight and sacrifices were made just so our family could eat. I was terrified about falling into the same traps that my parents fell into when they were younger, and it motivated me to stay organized with my money.
I don’t know when things changed. Possibly when I started making pretty decent money for myself. As my income increased, my urge to spend increased with it. More expensive clothes, more nights out, careless spending on frivolous items. It kept increasing and I never noticed. I just kept making more money so the higher expenses were always covered. Eventually, I had to hit a wall though. I soon discovered that my increased spending habits were disastrous for my future planning. I had dug myself into such a hole that I am now facing and I have no choice but to dig myself out if I want to have a happy and fruitful future.
The finance fix began last night. Although I was aware of a debt or two that had to be covered, I did not have a clear picture of my financial situation and, what I have discovered as a problem for me, if I don’t see it, I don’t deal with it. So to begin things, I ordered my credit reports. Everything that I had neglecting and forgotten showed up and it helped paint a picture of just how much I needed to dig.
It was surprising, and a little sickening, but also a little relieving as now I have something to work with. A number to work down, a goal. A review of my spending habits over the past year also helped get my mind focused on the right path of getting my finances in order. Although I have been better in controlling my spending over the past year, I still have some of the same issues of trying to reward myself when things are tough by spending when I shouldn’t.
I have a lot of other goals I would like to accomplish. I certainly would like to get married, buy a new car, and of course, have a nice house in my name, but none of those are even possible if I don’t figure out my finances. Neglecting them will do nothing for me but cause more grief down the road. So today it begins. With her help, we are putting together a spending budget, a repayment schedule, a plan to get things back in order. Being a man means being in control of your life. Finances play such a big role in our lives, it is astounding that so many people have issues with it. I am one of them. But not for much longer.
Getting out of debt is not a tricky business, it is all about planning and sacrifice and diligence. I gave her access to all of my finances and I know that will keep me vigilant on my spending. She is my rock and I will do this, thanks to her. Granted, I should have had this taken care of a long time ago, nay, I should never have been in this position to begin with, but what’s done is done, and it’s what I do moving forward that really counts.