I’ve never considered myself to be a writer in any sense of the word and never in my wildest dreams did I think I would start a blog. I sometimes still can’t believe I created a website to write a brand new 1,000+ word post every week.
But here I am, six months into my blogging adventure with dreams of turning this strange hobby into a legitimate side hustle, and eventually main hustle. It’s pretty crazy! I’m sure my Language Arts teachers would be shocked! I’m pretty sure they haven’t discovered my blog yet, and if they have, I sure hope they aren’t proofreading it with a red pen!
In this post I want to shed light on why I pulled the trigger and started my blog.
We’ve Made Radical Decisions and It’s Changed Our Lives
Seriously. Our lives have dramatically changed in the last four years since we’ve given our finances a make over. When Jenna and I started dating, we were in a desperate situation and barely making it by. Our debt was overwhelming and we didn’t make enough money to support our lifestyle. It took radical decisions, hard work, and commitment to our goals, but it has forever changed our lives.
Here are a few of our radical decisions, some more radical than others:
- Created a budget
- Stopped going out to eat
- Limit food to $60 a week
- Work extra jobs, sometimes 3 each
- No personal spending other than $50 monthly personal allowance
- Only pay cash – no loans, and no credit card purchases
- Tithe no matter what
Sticking to our decisions hasn’t always been easy, but that’s what makes it so rewarding and life changing. Our small daily and monthly decisions have turned into lifestyle habits that are fully ingrained into our lives and thought process. Now after four years, we don’t attach emotion to money; it’s only a tool to achieve our big goals.
We very rarely make impulse purchases and we rarely fight about money. Our communication has also dramatically improved. There’s no way we could’ve accomplished our money goals without solid communication and talking through the best ways to use our money.
I believe that if our lives can be changed so dramatically, there’s no reason our story can’t be life changing for others too! As a teacher, I am in the business of helping and serving others. I believe that my blog is a great medium for me to do that.
Everyone Has a Story that is Unique and Worth Hearing, Including Us
No two people have the same life story. Of course some stories are really similar, but there are so many variables and factors that make people who they are. Life is a series of choices and experiences that make people unique. I love hearing other peoples’ stories, and I hope other people are open to hearing ours.
Most people I know aren’t debt free. It’s extremely common to carry around multiple streams of debt such as student loans, credit cards, car loans, or mortgage, sometimes all four! We feel extremely fortunate to have no debt besides our house, and we want to pay that off in 10 years instead of 30.
It’s powerful to share stories that go against the grain of society. The world tells us it’s okay to have debt, that it’s really common. But why does it have to be? Debt sucks! It’s limiting, and even debilitating to family goals.
We’ve Been Inspired by Other Bloggers, and We Want Our Story to Give Hope
In the early days of revamping our finances, we read so many blogs, articles, and debt free stories from other bloggers. I love reading debt free stories and big financial accomplishments, it’s so inspiring and motivating!
A couple of the most inspiring and life changing blogs I read were Dave Ramsey and Millennial Money Man. Bobby Hoyt has an incredible story of paying off debt and completely changing his life. I couldn’t get enough debt free stories, new ways to improve our finances, and to learn about investing. We found strategies that worked for us and applied them to our situation.
Incredible stories and accomplishments are inspiring! And I believe that we have a pretty incredible story. I want our story to inspire others and give them hope that no matter what their finances look like, they can still turn it around. Financial freedom is available to everyone. It’s not about getting lucky, or having it all figured out. It’s about deciding to change and sticking with your goals. And yes, it takes a lot of hard work.
If even one family is inspired and changed by our story, I call that a success and 100% worth all the work I’m putting in on this blog. I have met so many people in the Personal Finance community over the last six months that share a similar story to us. It gives me hope that it’s possible to live without debt, and our story is just one way. If I can share our counter-cultural story, hopefully others will be inspired.
If We Can Achieve Our Goals, So Can You
We are really ordinary people. We don’t have any special talents or abilities, I promise. I used to be able to balance a broomstick on my chin, but that’s about it!
Everything I’ve learned about personal finance is through experience and self-education. I read a lot of blogs and strive to always improve my knowledge. When we find great strategies, we try them out. If it doesn’t work, we stop doing it.
I think a big part of successful finances is a commitment to learning and not being afraid to be different from your friends and family. There’s a good chance that others won’t understand what you’re doing or why you’re doing it. That’s okay, stay committed to your goals and radical choices, and you will find freedom in your finances.
I Want to Leave a Legacy and Story for Our Family
My family is extremely important to me. Now that we are debt free, we can start a family and actually afford to keep our kids alive. When we have kids, I want to leave something for them. Maybe I will write a book or two someday to document our journey, but if not, my blog can serve as a wonderful time capsule for our kids to read someday.
They will always have access to our thought process, our life experiences, our joys and accomplishments, and our financial wisdom.
And when we have kids, I will probably write a lot about them. I want them to see how much they dramatically changed our lives and how much joy they brought us. (And maybe get an accurate idea of how expensive kids are, haha :)) PS. Kids, if you’re reading this, there’s no need to start dating until you’re at least 25! Love Dad.
My Wife Planted A Dream
One of the many things I love about Jenna is how much she believes in me. She saw my passion and excitement when I got to tinker around with the budget and when we talked about our finances together. She suggested that I start writing a blog to document our journey and share our story with the world. I don’t know if I would’ve ever thought of this on my own.
Like I said in the intro, I’ve never considered myself a writer, but the fact that Jenna believed in me gave me the courage to take the risk. I am so glad I listened to her! It’s so much fun being a writer and blogger, sharing our story, and meeting so many people in the personal finance world!
Wrapping It Up
I believe in you and your dreams, and I really hope you do too! One of my dreams is to inspire others and help them reach their highest potential, and I am always trying to get better at it! It’s personal to me.
Let Me Know in the Comments
What dreams are you trying to accomplish? What inspires you?