I’ve just read the barefoot investor! We have officially joined the cult. I feel as though we were already doing some of it, maybe on a much smaller scale, and the rest we are planning to chip away at. But, mostly I really want to share it with as many people as I can.
I have prepped my husband that we are about to be strict about things, make sure we make the commitments which might mean that from time to time we will need to prioritise on what we want more, and maybe remember what it is we’re working towards… Being debt-free! Although, because I manage my headspace by writing stuff down, and talking to him to ensure we’re both on the same page, he does already know what we’re about to do, I am still going to plan the weekly date nights. We already have our super sorted so I have skipped a step, but I have kept the 4 weekly date nights to chip away at setting up our accounts, closing down the unwanted ones and planning our short-term plan.
I don’t want to give too much away, because there might be some copyright issues at risk if I say too much, but do yourself a favour and buy the book or at the very least have a listen on audible. You should know I get no benefits from recommending this, I feel however that it is a great tool everyone should have at their disposal.
We have put ourselves in a precarious position since we met. I had a personal loan to get out of my previous relationship, then when I met hubby he wanted to quit his job to finish his second degree, so I refinanced my loan to cover the shortfall of his debts that his savings didn’t cover (maybe I should have made him pay it all off before quitting – but his job made him miserable), then we refinanced to get married (again only the shortfall we didn’t have), and while trying to find a low deposit loan we were misadvised by a mortgage broker to refinance to make the shortfall for our deposit on a home loan, only to have no luck with him and find another one, with whom it wouldn’t have been necessary. We now have the residual of that loan, a car loan (since this year I paid almost what my little Mazda 3 was worth in rust repairs), some interest-free accounts, a credit card and a mortgage! Crazy!!! Our debts more than double the fortnightly repayments on our mortgage… INSANE! No wonder I get so stressed and struggle to remember when all the payments come out etc. When you think about how easy it is to get finance these days without ever having the sense of achievement of saving for something (other than a house deposit – if you didn’t get family assistance), but rather the relief if you ever get out of the hole of debt people get themselves into. We are no different, we have thought about the easy way a few times, we committed to extras thinking well we have 2 incomes now and we only need 1 to survive. However, we have come to a point in our lives where we want to start planning for the future, we want to get ourselves into a position where we don’t have to worry about our retirement. We don’t need extravagant holidays, but we would like to know we can visit family, go out for dinner, have a trip every now and then, and use the heater without the stress.
So now we have a plan I feel more hopeful for the future. I love that the barefoot steps don’t recommend you pour all of your money into debts and savings and that it allows for you to enjoy life now, in the short term with holidays to look forward, and you can also look at your debts get smaller and smaller until they are gone. I might be a bit barefoot drunk right now, but I think that’s what you need to make a great lifestyle change, that is not just a change now, but a change you can sustain for the foreseeable future. It’s like managing a great weight loss program I guess, and I know I have talked about this before. I lost 45kgs, not by using fad diets, although I did try a few and they were hard to maintain, but in the end, I had to make changes that were sustainable, and that’s the key to keeping it off once you reach the target. I imagine keeping ourselves in financial comfort will be the same, it’s not just the destination you have to worry about, it’s also maintaining that position so as not to end up back at the beginning again. It’s so easy in today’s society, things are so easy to get on credit, social media put things in your face all the time and facebook makes other people’s lives look so great compared to our own, but merely because we don’t share the negatives in our lives, only the positives… “Look at my fridge, lounge, car” etc… Little do the onlookers know, none of which has been paid for.
We’ve decided to create pictures of what we want our life to look like, and start planning and implementing change to achieve it. I highly recommend the book, it makes it seem so easy and shows you real results you can achieve. All you have to do is sit down with a piece of paper and your own numbers and see where you could be. I calculate that in 2.5 years we could have only our mortgage, and still afford an overseas holiday annually. That gives me hope for the future, and although we are planning to start a family (that could change things for us), I know we can keep plodding along and making progress. If you don’t have a plan to implement a set of goals, how will we achieve them?
You can find the book just about anywhere you can buy a book, but I ordered mine from the book depository and listened to it in the car on audible.