I started a savings account when I was quite young. I loved seeing the numbers grow. I delighted in asking for some odd jobs to increase what I was savings. Because of this, everyone that knew me as a youngster assumed that I would have my act together as an adult. Everyone figured that I would be the last person on earth to have financial problems. Yet, I was at one point almost destitute and deeply in debt. How did that happen? How did I let my finances go belly upside down?
My financial demise was brought about by a bad marriage. That marriage eventually ended, but while I was in that marriage, I sat back and let my finances spiral way out of control.
Allowing others to Dictate your Finances
When I got married for the first time, I was naïve and believed that the only way to handle finances as a married couple was to combine everything. That is how my parents handled their finances. That was how most of my friend’s parents handled their finances. It seemed absolutely normal and exactly how things were done. One of the first things we did as newlyweds was to combine all of our financial accounts. I was sure that it was going to be perfect and wonderful. Boy, was I wrong. Almost from the first I struggled to keep my ex-husband’s spending under control. There was always something that he wanted. There was always something that he ‘needed’. Our accounts were always perilously close to being totally empty. Each month I scraped together our money to pay the bills, barely! It was a hard scrabble financial life. But we were making it! But that wasn’t to last. Eventually came the month where I couldn’t pay the monthly bills. I had to chose which bills to pay and which bills to let ride. It tore me apart! I vowed to get the spending under control and I stopped buying anything that was unnecessary!
It wasn’t enough! I wasn’t spending money, but my ex-husband was spending money faster than we could make it. I didn't put a stop to his spending. I was trying to play the part of a good wife and I let our finances be dictated by someone that had no control. Instead, I learned the art of balance transfers on credit cards. I tried to keep our interest low so that we would have a chance to pay off the debt but it wasn’t happening. I mean, how could it; when we were spending more than we made? Each month the debt grew. Each month my feelings of despair grew. I didn’t know what to do!
At the same time as our finances were blowing up in our faces, our marital life was also falling apart. Things happened and changed within us and I decided that it was time to part ways. We both knew it was coming for quite a while before hand. I worked hard for a year to curb the spending and to get myself in a position that I could leave a relationship that was not healthy for me. It was hard work!
I prepared myself financially for the separation and divorce by working on adding no new debt. I worked and did everything I could to eliminate what debt was in my own name. I tried to prepare myself in any way possible. I did this by working various side hustles. I worked and hired myself out as a photographer. I typically prefer to photograph buildings and scenery. But for about two years straight I worked on weekends to photograph weddings, children, families, animals, concerts and bands. Anything and everything. It gave me money to work on my finances and to prepare myself for the split that was to come. I also wrote some e-books that I self published. It didn’t make me a great deal of money, but every penny counted in those days!
Out of Debt and ready to move on
Now I am out of debt and out of that bad relationship. I have vowed to remain as debt free as possible. I did have to get a loan to buy a new car and we are hoping to one day soon buy a house and I know that will necessitate a loan. That is ok. What is NOT ok is credit cards and unsecured loans. I use my credit card all the time but I pay it off every two weeks! I do NOT carry a balance….EVER. I will not fall into that trap of credit card debt again. But it is time to start thinking about the future. What do I need to do in my 40’s to make my financial future more strong. What do I need to do to make my financial future bright? I’m sitting in a good spot. I only have a car loan. I can make the changes necessary to make my financial future strong and robust!
It wasn’t easy to start over financially in my mid 40’s. I had nothing and it wasn’t easy for a while. However, slowly but surely I have found my footing and the old Maryfran, the gal that loved to save every penny is reemerging! I am ready to face the future and better myself. I have ideas and thoughts about how to increase my wealth and financial stability. I may have been financially broken, but I’m not broken any longer. The financial future looks bright!
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.