Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Buck's version of our Financial Start

Susan and I have been married for over 8 years now. Over those years, we have lived in relative bliss. We hardly ever have disagreements or fights. We have learned to overcome the little things that once annoyed us and see the person we fell in love with. Even with this growth, we did, and in some ways still do, have struggles with our finances.

When we first got married, we each had good jobs, made good money, and could afford anything that we wanted. So we made the decision to purchase a new vehicle, one that would give us room to grow as our family would grow. We had two cars and chose to trade in my car and purchase a four door pick-up. This way we had room to grow and we could haul camping equipment and/or a small trailer. This was a perfect plan. As an Accountant, I ran the numbers in my head (utilities, loans, rent, etc.) and everything worked. We could handle it without any trouble. So we got it, and it was nice.

After a couple of months, Susan became frustrated with her work and co-workers. She thought about it and made the decision to change employment to a field closer to her dream. With this decision, we started our times of struggle related to finances.

I am not saying that this was all Susan's fault. This decision was made as a couple in the end. We, also, made other choices and decisions that helped expound these effects. As Susan has mentioned before, I grew up with my mom handling the home finances so I followed suit and asked Susan to take over the home finances. I had a spreadsheet built to record expenses and compare against the bank.

I made a mistake with a couple things. I expected Susan to just start handling the finances without me being involved, too. And that, everything would be just fine because they had been in the past. We did struggle during this time but we had not learned yet what real financial struggle/hardship is really like.

We eventually decided to quit both our jobs and move up with my folks in an attempt to start graduate school.

Now to skip through time and highlight a few things. Living at my parents house Susan got pregnant. A couple weeks later, we totaled the truck that we had purchased previously. Shortly after our child was born, we purchased a condo. In the meantime, I was working part-time. Susan full-time but neither at great salaries. We had, also, started a business and took out a line-of-credit. After six months in our condo, I was offered a full-time position with my company that would require us to move and would more than allow Susan to become a stay home mom. So we purchased another home, and rented our condo. Eventually our renter stopped paying, we invested in additional programs that were to teach us how to make money outside a job. During all this, our business failed and the lines-of-credit came due. Our condo had financing with an A.R.M. and it's mortgage went up. Then I lost my job, shortly after finding out Susan was pregnant again. Thankfully, I found another job but lost that position a few months later.

Shortly after this, our second child was born. I received a call for employment back in Utah, which would require us to move with no available funds to do so. After packing and traveling out to find a place to live, we found that the job fell through and that we now needed to look for work.

As Susan and I talk with you more, we will build upon some of these events more. We really want you to know that you can build or rebuild your finances at any point. If you slack, you will falter again. We, also, want you to know that there are multiple methods for you to use to overcome your finances for life. If you use our methods or someone else's doesn't matter to me as long as your finances are sound. Our purpose is to show some of the mistakes that we have made, some of the things we have done to correct those mistakes, and what has worked for us so far.


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