I’m sure that everyone knows someone that is struggling financially. It isn’t fun, and for some reason money is often considered one of those taboo topics where no one really likes to admit there might be a problem, or as for help if they need it. Quite often people don’t even realise they have an issue with money until something happens in their lives and all of a sudden previously unseen money issues come to the fore.
Quite often it takes some sort of moment in time or life event where money takes center stage. Hopefully you are already completely financially prepared for when such a situation arises, although I suspect for many this isn’t the case. So today I am taking part in the Financial Literacy Awareness Carnival that is hosted by Shannon at The Heavy Purse.
The aim of this carnival is to help educate people on the benefits of financial literacy, which to me is a great cause to be involved with.
Now you might think that because I run a personal finance blog that I have always been good with money. Unfortunately this just isn’t true. When I was younger I used to waste money here there and everywhere. I look back at some of the things that I purchased when I was younger, or how I spent a lot of my money, and can’t for the life of me think of why I thought it was a good idea.
Then one day it all clicked for me and I realised that something needed to change. Unfortunately this came when I was under a mountain of debt and my back was up against the wall. The debt I am talking about is my mortgage debt when I built the house which I live in now.
I knew that taking on a mortgage was going to be a big deal and that it was going to cost some serious money, but what I didn’t realise is just how much the repayments were going to cramp my lifestyle and how much interest was going back into the loan each month. I honestly felt like I was throwing away money each and every month because the loan just wasn’t reducing in size.
This prompted me to take fairly serious action. My wife and I started to track all of our spending, we budgeted for the future and we got smarter with our money and our expenses. To be honest, life was fairly stressful at that point in time and I couldn’t really see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Fortunately after a couple of months of knuckling down and sticking to our plans we did start to get ahead, and things got easier. I actually look back at that time in my life and am incredibly proud of just how well we worked as a team and how committed we were to achieving financial independence. The first step though was to recognise that we needed to change our habits, from there it’s a simple matter of learning how to change and then actioning it.