With Christmas right around the corner, the holiday shopping season is in full swing. I know from experience just how easy it is to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everything and lose sight of your financial goals.
I think I have mentioned a time or two before that I was previously married to someone who spent money like it grew on trees. He ended up getting us into a lot of debt, by spending our paychecks before they had even hit our bank account. Before I knew it, we were 3 months behind on nearly all of our bills, and I was constantly on the phone with our creditors trying to make payment arrangements.
Not only were we pretty far behind on all of our bills, but we were getting slammed with huge late fees and interest charges too. Those late fees add up FAST and can quickly turn your small bill into a very large one. Needless to say, I was completely stressed out and miserable all the time, and it eventually ruined our marriage.
After my ex-husband and I divorced, I vowed to turn things around. I was stuck paying off all of the debts that had been racked up, and I wanted to pay them off as quickly as I could. I set up a very strict budget, and stuck to it until all of our bills were finally paid off. It took me a couple of years to pay them all off, but every time I paid a debt off, it felt like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders. The weights just kept coming off and off, and I finally felt like a free woman again.
It can be so easy to get trapped under a mountain of debt, which is why it’s so important to keep an eye on your finances all year long, and especially during the holidays.
Have you ever heard of the January “hangover”? And no, it’s not what you get after binge drinking on New Year’s Eve. It’s when the holidays have come and gone, and you wake up one morning in January to realize that you spent way more than you should have when you were all giddy with the holiday spirit. You feel sick to your stomach, because you don’t know how you are going to pull yourself out of the financial mess you have gotten yourself into. Right now is the time to make your financial resolutions, and stick to them.
I am now remarried, and my husband John is very responsible with money. I have to say, I think it’s one of his most attractive qualities! I love that we now have our bills paid on time, or even ahead of time every month. We have some money saved in the bank, are working on a retirement fund, and bought our first home this year. And the best thing of all, we have paid ZERO late fees!!
It’s so nice to finally have “financial peace of mind” after many years of struggling just to keep the electricity turned on. That’s never a place I want to be in again, and that is why John and I take steps to make sure that doesn’t happen. If we don’t have the cash to purchase something we “want”, then we don’t buy it. We do use credit cards, but we use them responsibly, and make sure that we have the money to pay the credit card bills when they are due. We never keep a large balance that we are unable to pay off within a reasonable amount of time. The most important thing to us, is keeping our bills paid on time and avoiding unnecessary fees.
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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.