Our A-ha Money Moment – Maxed Out

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There has been a lot of buzz over the last week in the personal finance blogosphere. It started with the 2014 Financial Literacy Awareness Carnival over at the Heavy Purse and continued on Monday at Budget are $exy. As usual I’m late to the party but still wanted to share. Our A-ha money moment maxed out. It occurred when we maxed out all of our credit lines and hit rock bottom.

I still scratch my head today and try to figure out how a family pulling down a six-figure income could accumulate six figures worth of debt. It’s pretty simple we were naive, uneducated in the ways of finance, we thought you graduated high school or college, landed a job and then started adding on a thing like a car, a house, a mortgage, etc. You continue to work for the next 30 years to pay these things off and retire with a small nest egg and social security. Wow did we get a swift kick in the pants back in June of 2010. Not only were we doing things wrong, the education we were about to receive was little more than common sense. This was the best thing that ever happened to us. I just wish we had realized this about ten years earlier. There is no looking back at what might have been, we continue to look forward and focus on our future. We are only 7 months away from cleaning up our debt. Then the next phase our education continues as we shift to savings and investing. We look forward to this challenge.

a-ha money moment

Never to Late

We started to get our financial act together just after I turned 40 years old, my wife, of course, was 29 at the time and still is today. So it’s never too late to get started. From the start, we have involved our three children in the budget discussion. It was clear to my wife and I if we could give them a better foundation than we started from they would have a better chance of being successful with money early on. As 2 of our 3 children are now old enough to begin working and earning money of their own we hope we have been both good and bad examples for them to learn from. I believe seeing our family struggle pre-debt pay off and assuming post-debt pay off success will help them in their futures. Understanding they would rather live debt free now, then struggle living in debt for years. Maybe one day they will share their A-ha moments here as well.

Do you have an A-ha money moment? How long did it take you to get your financial act together?

10 thoughts on “Our A-ha Money Moment – Maxed Out”

  1. Thanks for joining the movement! And I love your money a-ha because it is never too late! You can turn around your situation and truly start living the good life once we you take back control of your money. And I’m just like your wife – still 29. 🙂

  2. Hi Brian
    I can so relate to this and I’m super motivated to hear you are getting near the end of your debt repayment. Onward and upward!

    It’s great that your kids are involved and learning from the experience early in life. This will help them very much going forward. I worry that I have not done a good job in setting an example for my kids but I do everything I can now to educate, motivate and lead by example. As you say, it’s never too late unless you never start.

  3. Oh, man, I’ll take whatever your wife is drinking. Your guys’ story is so inspiring. Did your daughter find a good first job yet?

  4. It’s great that you are teaching your kids about money and that you included them in the lifestyle change and your a-ha moment. I didn’t have a defining a-ha moment, though I did realize that I was on the wrong financial path after listening to a commercial on the radio, of all things.

  5. I believe that your kids seeing you successfully get through your financial struggles WILL help them in their future to be more mindful with their money. It’s a hope that I have for my children as well – I take every opportunity I can to teach them something about finances. Just out of curiosity….did you share the numbers with your kids? (we did not)

    • We do share when they are willing to listen. 🙂 It does seem they are more interested lately that we are closing in on being debt free.

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