When this blog began in 2006, I was a stay-at-home mom with a husband, two kids, two dogs, and an 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 knew we needed to be doing more to prepare for retirement.
I was considering a part-time job, but income wasn’t our problem.
Extra income is always nice, 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 our income to build wealth, we were using it to qualify for payments.
Taking all of this into account 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 a part-time job.
So I hired myself to make over our family’s finances and The Family CEO was born.
As it turns out, focus is a powerful thing.
Since I hired myself we’ve been able to:
• Pay off over $59,000 in debt.
• Put our daughter through college using cash.
• Increase our retirement savings.
• Start and grow an emergency fund.
Now we’re putting our son through college using that same no-debt plan and, once he graduates (Spring, 2018), 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 the 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.
• 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.
If that sounds interesting to you, you can have future Family CEO posts delivered via email. And comments on posts are always welcome.
Thanks very much for stopping by. I’m happy you’re here.