I haven't posed anything on this blog in quite some time, but in my continued effort to make 2010 a stepping stone on the path to financial prosperity for myself and for my family...I'm back on the Daddy Financials horse. Thanks to ispf for letting me come back.
To be honest, part of the reason I left was because I thought I had it all figured out financially. We had set up our daughter's 529, I had my Roth IRA and 401k just chugging along, the families' consumer debt was at a manageable level, and I had even improved my credit enough to get approved for a personal loan. Everything was sailing along smoothly...until we took our eyes off the prize.
I was so motivated at the start, and we had reached a lot of our goals so quickly that I became overconfident and complacent, which of course led me down the exact same road to debt and despair. Where I once watched practically every penny that came into and out of our various accounts, I now just spent money on what we needed and let the rest "work itself out." The baby needs a new Nintendo DS, put it on a card and I'll pay it off in a few months; we haven't gone out in a while, let's put dinner on this card, I think I have enough available credit; I don't feel like logging into my Citi account to check the balance, just get whatever we need from the takeout place and I'll figure it out later; I need some more me time, I'm buying that Playstation 3 game and just suck up the late fee and pay the Cable a week late; I didn't get a raise this year and our rent is going up 3%, I'll figure it out as we go, we should be fine. These are just some examples of a drastic shift in attitude on my part. I saw the signs, but refused to accept them. Ignorance is the liquor of the fool who refuses to accept reality.
The story goes a lot deeper, but this is just step 1. Coming clean and admitting I have (or had) a problem. I have already taken steps to correct some of these mistakes. I used the majority of our tax refund to pay down a huge chunk of consumer debt we had accumulated and I finally sat down and worked out a budget so we can see where all of our money is supposed to go and where it is actually going. Any extra money that comes in will be used to further reduce debt. I also check the balances on our accounts at least once a day, which I think is very healthy.
I'll stop here just for your sake, I don't want this post getting to long. For those who want to know, the munchkin is now 3 years old and just bursting with personality. The wife is doing well and she has gone back to work. I was all set to go back to school until a career opportunity presented itself so that is on hold for now. And still maintaining normal cholesterol levels.
Looking forward to getting back in touch with everyone and sharing our journey. Being a dad is still a very scary proposition, but through the mistakes I made, and will make in the future, there are lessons to be learned...these lessons will someday prevent my children from making those same mistakes.