Average Guy

The Average Guy’s Story

If you asked me in 2013 what my financial ceiling would be, I’d likely say, “nothing above poverty”. I couldn’t imagine making $30K a year. I couldn’t imagine living below my budget but being able to buy most anything I’d want.

I was defeated. Felt hopeless financially and believed that I was stuck as much as stuck could be.

To give a little backstory, neither one of us(my wife or I) had learned about finances into our adult lives. We had a few things that helped though. When I was a high school senior I took Financial Peace University through Dave Ramsey. Unfortunately, the only thing I took from it at the time was that Credit Cards were bad. My wife had been a credit card collector. So neither of us entered our marriage with credit card debt though we had other debt.

As a young man I worked since I was 11 years old. As soon as I was 14 I got my first “regular job” and worked throughout high school and college. Work has never been a problem for me. I’ve always worked hard and been heavily committed to working. My wife shared the same work ethic.

My wife and I were on food stamps, WIC, Medicaid and other forms of government assistance. We met with a financial advisor from our church. The advisor looked at our budget and said, “you literally have nothing extra when you’re expenses are paid. You don’t have any room for breathing. More less, tithing and saving are near impossible at this point”. We decided though that tithing was a high priority as a family and we tithed $20 a month starting off.

I ‘m not one that thinks tithing is a form of magic. I believe it’s apart of stewardship that God calls us to. I believe in financially supporting the work of God’s kingdom.

A few weeks later I found my wife crying in the kitchen. We had a baby on the way in addition to our other 2 kids. We had no money. With tears in her eyes she said, “I’ve been praying that God would work in your heart to help lead us financially.” It was an important moment in our family.

We signed up for Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. I started a journey of becoming a die hard DR fan(still am). I began reading and listening to his stuff like crazy. We loved it. The only thing that was difficult was hearing so many people who were high income were a lot of the one’s paying off debt.

We focused on getting ourselves into a financial position where we not only had some control but we could put our money ahead of us. We went from dealing with the stress that was behind us because of bad decisions we made to focusing on building something for the future.

We ended up paying off all of our student loans and other debts. We built a fully funded emergency fund. We got life insurance. We began budgeting monthly which we still do today. We began investing into retirement accounts. As well, we began saving for real estate investments because I had a real estate background.

And most importantly, we finally found hope. We found the ability to save money. We found the ability to invest in the future. We found out that my mindset was the reason our income was low. That was the entire problem.

My goal is to write to help others.

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