There I was, at the beach, just the mommies and the kids, wondering how my friend could afford a 2nd home at all much less one walking distance to the ocean. When I spoke to my husband that night, he suggested I ask her point blank. "Ask her how she swings two mortgages?" What he didn't know was that they also have a 3rd house that they rent out so actually they have three mortgages. So I asked. Her reply was immediate, "I don't buy anything that isn't second hand, that's cars to clothes. I shop for groceries at the cheapest stores. I don't spend on extras." And her reply, fast and concise as it was, hit me like a ton of brick... I'm to blame for us not having the financial security she does.
It was an awakening moment. All the shopping, all the entertainment, all the restaurants, all the extras, this lifestyle we've come to accept as our way of life, was financially flawed.
And that was it. I was done spending.
Armed with her list of tricks to help me get on track, I came home from the beach ready to tighten the purse strings. First up, no more eating out - which we did at least 3 times a week. Next, extras like Starbucks, movies, ice cream man - gone! Then an itemized list of current debt and how to reduce/eliminate nearly everything. Paid off my husband's car loan with my daughters savings - she'll make more interest from me than from the bank anyway and she doesn't charge the interest rate the dealer does. There are of course, things I am not willing to give up like all my daughters extra curricular classes but I can certainly suggest to friends that instead of getting together to go shopping, we can get together for coffee... at my house instead of Duncin' Donuts.
I hit the ground running and haven't looked back. Just this weekend, while my husband and daughter were away on a daddy/daughter camping trip, I certainly would have spent the entire time shopping had I not had this change of heart. Instead, armed with various gift cards and coupons, I came home laden with shopping bags and only spent $20. Not bad! It's my hope that by the end of the year, our current finances are cleaned up and by the end of next year, I'll have a vacation home. I could kick myself for not doing this sooner, but I'm doing it now so I'm not looking back.
At the same time that I was excited to begin the BIG SAVE, I began having strange physical ailments. It was so bad that I called the doctor to make an appointment - something I never do. When I gave them a list of my symptoms, the nurse asked me if I wanted to come right in or go immediately to the ER. What?! Long story short, and if you've already read my last two posts you already know, I was diagnosised with pre-diabetes.
Much like when I came home charged for a spending freeze, so too was I really looking forward to making the lifestyle changes I needed to ward off or reverse the path to diabetes. I spent the whole afternoon after my appointment researching what exactly it was and what steps I had to take. With proper diet and exercise, I am going to be able to alter my current path. Day four of eating right and exercising. I'm not even hungry, though I still hate working out. This time it's going to be different though. This time, I'm changing my body, not to look good, but to live.
Quite a bit of changes these last two weeks, not to mention 3 blog posts during that time when I havn't written anything in months. "A new leaf" to be sure. All in the hopes of a new life ahead.