When this blog began in early 1996, I was a stay-at-home mom with a husband, two kids, two dogs, and a pretty ordinary life in the suburbs of Kansas City. And like a lot of stay-at-home moms, I was brainstorming ways I could add to our family’s income.
Our finances were in okay shape, and by that I mean we paid our bills on time and our good credit scores reflected that. But we weren’t getting anywhere with our money:
- We had too much debt and not enough savings.
- Our daughter was four years away from college and we had very little saved.
- We were in our early 40s and retirement was no longer in the distant future. Like an object in a rear view mirror, it was closer than it appeared.
But income wasn’t our problem.
You can always use more of it, of course, but we had more than enough for a good life. Our problem was that we weren’t making the most of the income we already had.
Specifically: we weren’t using it to build wealth, we were using it to qualify for payments.
While considering all of this it occurred to me that if I were to really focus on our money – like it was my job – that that could make as much of a difference as that part-time job I was considering.
So I hired myself to make our family’s finances my business, and that’s how The Family CEO was born.
As it turns out, focus is powerful thing.
Since that time we’ve been able to:
- Pay off over $47,000 in debt.
- Put our daughter through college using cash.
- Increase our retirement savings.
- Add to our emergency fund.
We’re currently in the process of putting our son through college using that same no-debt plan and, once we’ve have that paid for (sometime in the Spring of 2016), we’ll be able to supercharge our retirement savings and plan for what’s next.
We’re really excited about that.
Now, in case I made all of that sound easy, know that this has been a journey. A journey we’re still on. And our route from there to here hasn’t been a direct one.
We’ve lost focus at times, and made less than perfect decisions. But we’ve always found our way back to the path and we’ve discovered some important things along the way:
- The more we pay off debt, the less we’re okay with it. That’s why those debt-free college educations are so important to us.
- Paying off debt and building your savings can be as fun as spending. Addictive even. No, really, I’m serious.
- Found money – a strategy that I ran across while paying off debt – makes a big difference in your finances. BIG. It’s like finding an income stream you didn’t know you had.
So those are things that I blog about. And there’s plenty of life stuff thrown in too, because the best reason to focus on your money is to be able to live the kind of life you want to live.
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Thanks very much for stopping by to learn more. I’m happy you’re here.