It has been months and months since I last posted anything on this page. Over the last several days, I have thought about how I have neglected this blog and what I am really trying to accomplish from sharing my thoughts. Thinking about all of this took me back to the why:
The WHY is at the age of 49, I started my life anew. I divorced after 29 years and 11 months of marriage. This was hard, very hard. However, it was something I needed to do. I have often said, people under the age of 20 really have no clue what they want with their lives and it is far too young to make a commitment to someone for the rest of your life. Now I know some of you are going to say I know so and so and they got married when they were in their teens and they are very happy. For those rare gems, I say congratulations.
I made this very hard decision just a month shy of my 49th birthday. The day before my 49th birthday, I started my new single life. Over the next year, the realities of what was occurring set in. The first is for the first year or so after I left, I paid the expenses for both homes. I did this not only because I was able, but because I felt an obligation. During this year, my youngest son got married and there were of course expenses. Also, during this time I racked up credit card and other stupid debt.
When the divorce was finalized, it was necessary to split what assets were accumulated during this marriage. Because I did have a better job situation, he ended up with 60% of the assets. This does not make me unhappy, nor do I bear any grudges. The reality was though, when I took inventory after all of the dust had settled, I somehow had gotten myself in almost $40,000 debt — without a house payment. I really was starting from scratch — and I needed to do something about it NOW!!
The good news though is from all of this, I realized I needed to make some changes in my spending and savings habits. I had to learn how to be disciplined with my money and get back on track. After all, by this time I had turned the BIG 50 and I didn’t have so many working years ahead of me any more to right this ship. Luckily, someone very dear to me recommended I read Dave Ramsey’s book “Total Money Makeover”.
I knew to pay off this small mountain of debt I needed to make some drastic changes. The first thing I did was take a true inventory of my income and expenses. I wrote everything down. I also tracked everything I spent for several weeks to truly see where my money was going. I then did the first honest budget I had done in years. Some of my previous posts talk about the zero-based budget. I plan over the next several weeks to do a new series of posts about budgeting and discuss how I was able to pay off this debt and the successes in my life since.