Updated: Jan 31
I was doing some cleanup on my Gmail account the other day. I came across a note I had written in 2007. Apparently Bankrate.com was asking for contributions to an article they were writing about consumer debt. I never did complete the note, but I saved it.
It was a dark financial time for us. I can still feel the painful emotions of that day. I was scare, lost, and overwhelmed. The future didn't look bright, even though I tried to convince myself we had a plan and a path forward that would bring us to the light.
My Note from July 9, 2007
"Wanted to share my story...for maybe no other reason than to just vent. First, I am married w/ two kids. I earn about $110,000 a year and my wife pulls in around $10,000 a year (part time accounting work out of the house), plus we earn $650 a month from a rental property. We currently have about $40,000 in credit card debt, 2 car payments, a student loan, a rental property with a first and second mortgage and a home with a first and a second mortgage on it.
Here is a breakdown:
I have created a plan that will eliminate all of our credit cards and car payments by July 2011*. We have 4 years and a lot of sacrifice - but I think we can do it. We have too...this debt is draining us (financially and mentally)!"
The Difference 13 Years Can Make
Although not captured in my note above, at that time our house and condo were both financially underwater. We had a little bit saved up in a 401k, but not much. Times were bleak.
Now when you compare these numbers to where were are today (as previously posted) we have improved our Net Worth by $805,788 over 13 years. If you would have told me that was possible back in 2007 I would have thought you were a tweaker (was that a word back then?).
The path wasn't a straight line between 2007 and now, lots of bad investments / choices have been made (as previously posted). I will be sharing more of those bad investment choices as time goes on. But enough good choices were made to counter balance them, I'll be sharing those good choices as well.
The bottom line to it all was I never gave up. No matter how dark my circumstances were, I pushed forward. I'm not at my goal yet. I know that to be successful at reaching my Financial Independence Retire Early-ish by 2026 goal I will need to continue this "persevere through all" mentality.
As Robert Frost once penned, "As that I can see no way out but through".
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Personal Capital: My go to place for tracking all things Net Worth.
YNAB: My go to place for managing my spending and budget.
Betterment: I use this account for general investment purposes.
M1 Finance: I use them for my dividend stock investments.
SoFi Invest: This is where I make individual stock investments.
*My estimate of when our credit cards and car loans would be paid off was significantly over optimistic. We didn't achieve that milestone until 2018 which was 7 years longer than I planned.