How to Get out of Debt
How to get out of debt – a three part series.
I got a couple emails over the last while asking various questions on how we are so Thrifty. Well, truthfully, its been all Sarah and a learning curve for me. Financial management and retirement planning are very crucial in securing your family’s future.
One email in-particular is about how to be thrifty while planning a wedding. We spent about a total of $1800- on our wedding, reception and honeymoon. This included rings, her’s (1/3 ct, she only wanted the 1/4 ct cause it was cheaper and I had to talk her into the larger one) and mine (9 little diamonds in the middle). The cake which a friend made and was the finest cake I had seen. They made it out of rice krispy treats. Partly to pull a prank on me “struggling to cut it” and partly because sheet cakes are cheaper. The cake was about 3-4 separate layers with pillars. It was about 2-3 ft tall. The top being actual cake for us to take home and freeze for the year(for you guys- its some wedding tradition I don’t know much about except it took up room in the freezer, but I did it anyways) The cost of the wedding included nice picture frames with photos of our childhood on each table (bought from the dollar store before we even dated) It included the finger foods, you know the mints, nuts, and chocolates. It included the wedding guest book, the pen and all the foo-foo stuff that comes with the wedding. Sarah’s Aunt was happy to share tablecloths, flowers and wedding decorations to make our church gym into a reception hall. It included the photographer (Darby- Sarah’s oldest brother, and yes he did a great job). And did I forget anything? Oh yes even the dress! Which we still have hanging in our closet. The honeymoon was at Soldier Mountain. Which is a huge house north of Fairfield Idaho, south west of Sun Valley. We had the master suite. It had a huge California king, a huge hot tub in the room, a large walk-in shower for 2 or more even. The bathroom had a toilet of coarse but it even had a bidet, you know that toilet in reverse that sprays water on your backside, and just makes things worse. And one thing it didn’t have, which as I look back I am glad it didn’t – a TV. We just spent time together, focused on each other. We paid $75 for each night and stayed 2 nights. We went to Sun Valley, walked around with the celebrities and did what ever they do. It was a lot of fun.
Why was it fun you ask? Why didn’t we go to the Bahamas, where I had been a few years back on a free vacation (long story). Why didn’t we go to Mexico, or Italy. Well the reason is we didn’t want to go into our marriage for eternity with debt over our head. Once the excitement wears off and the bills start rolling in, cable, rent or mortgage, utilities, car payments, health care, food, insurance, gas money, etc – then stress hits and puts a strain on the relationship.
We all watch Dr Phill, or Oprah, or those shows. We all see what happens when money is a stress on the relationship. Ever since I was a early teen, I always thought you could live like a king on $30,000 per year. It is true, it just depends on what your view of a “king” is. Is it the gold and the diamonds? Is it the fancy clothes, or those cool shoes that the Sex in the City girls wear, or even the half off mock ups of those shoes? Is it the $5000 or $10,000, or $30,000 on one day, or even a week of vacation that makes the wedding, or makes the relationship?
Sometimes I think we need to take a deep look inside and re-evaluate our pride. Now if you wince at that word, or are having a hard time reading this, then maybe its been awhile since we have had that evaluation.
Being a nurse, I see a lot of seniors. Let’s face it as we get old our health fails. I’m sure you have noticed that cute old couple. Probably in their late 80’s or even 90’s, holding hands, she is probably driving because he wore his body out working. I see them all the time in the hospital. Sure they don’t stay at the bedside through the night because he tells her she better get home before she can’t see to drive at night. Have you ever thought about how they stayed married for 60 or 70 years?
My challenge to our readers is to find one of those couples and ask them… How have you stayed married for so long?
They will tell you that it’s not because they spent a load on a wedding, or on the ring, or because they went to Mexico, or the Bahamas. It’s not because they racked up a huge credit card debt. What they will tell you is that the relationship is ALL that matters. And don’t do anything to put stress on that.You should really ask them what it was like in the Great Depression. These are the people who struggled more then we are now. And they still remain happily married.
I can’t tell you what you should and shouldn’t buy, or how much is too much for a certain item. What I can tell you is ” Will that really make a difference in your relationship, now or 10 years from now?” Isn’t a relationship more of what’s to come then whats happening right now? If we always focused on what makes us happy NOW, then I can tell you that the relationship will eventually be less then it could’ve been, and the credit card companies will love you even more.
Other things to think of are…
In todays view everyone needs a home phone and a cell phone with internet, texting, games, music downlads, and on top of that a new phone every time the newest one comes out!
Really? Don’t you see the enslavement things like this cause? See what you can do to cut cost!
TV? Do you really need the TV? And all the add channels and programing. I have a friend who pays almost $200 extra dollars a month for his football channels! Now he can watch 8 games at one time… Really? Or just the extra $10 a month for HBO or those other channels… See what you can cut!
Toys? Motorcycles, ATV’s, boats, snow machines, guns, scrapbooking supplies, computers, video games, workout equipment, ipods, and so much more! If you really want to cut your budget and get out of debt, you CAN forfeit these at least for a short while… in the long run you will have so much more after you are out of debt!
Movie rentals! These add up! couple bucks here, couple buck there! If your really need to get a movie in, try the dollar theater. Sure there is gum stock to the floor, just dont lick it! Or those box rentals you see like Blockbuster, or RedBox… use the free codes that come out all the time… or just make sure you only keep it one day, so they don’t keep charging you.
We have become a society that thinks we need these things to be normal! To fit in! Or just to survive! Trust me after the first couple days, you wont know any different! Just tell yourself that you want the burden of debt off your shoulders!
Once we got out of debt, every thing improved! Our life, our relationship, and now we get more, do more, and yes we can spend more! We buy things with cash and not plunk our hard earned money into interest to the bank!
Part 2…coming tomorrow