What can I say?
I was young and dumb and enjoying life. I had a job, a couple of credit cards and a full and active social life requiring lots of money for clothes and my favourite late night cafe that had the best pumpkin soup I’d ever tasted and a warm chocolate brownie I still dream about.
Then, you know how it goes… you meet someone and start a life together. You want to buy a house and fill it with nice things. You want to start a family and have fun together. So you have to start being more responsible with your money. You have to start keeping track of what you are earning, what you are spending and make the necessary adjustments to ensure you always have money for groceries and phone bills and the occasional night out.
I’d had my fun so I was ready to make the necessary changes. It was actually a lot of fun and I got really good at monitoring how much we were earning and how we were spending it. I even started using my credit card like a proper adult.
Here’s how I did it.
I got myself a pile of paper, one of my favourite pens, a manila folder and all of my outstanding bills. I wrote down what I was earning, what my bills were and started trying to live within my means.
I made a few rookie errors. I budgeted too tightly, allowing no wiggle room whatsoever and leaving myself with no money for fun. I just wanted to save as much as I could and pay off my credit cards and set myself up on a path to financial security.
Can you tell that I was reading a lot of books about financial security?
I also became obsessed with TV shows dealing with family budgets and I used an online calculator to figure out how to pay off my credit card at a rate that I could handle.