When my sister and her husband announced their plan to move to NZ back in 2003 it was a crazy idea for me to grasp for a couple reasons. At the time Eric and I were newly engaged and I was devastated because my best friend, big sister and matron of honor were moving three months before we were getting married. The three people I talked to daily were Eric, my mom and my sister, how was I going to cope. All things worked out in the end with the wedding, we were able to get her a flight back for super cheap and she was standing next to me on my day. We have bought our phone cards and talk frequently and are definitely on FB to catch up more often than not.
Eric and I started discussing their plans of NZ and wondered if we would ever do something like that. From day one we always had it in the back of our minds that eventually we were to go too. I finally got to visit for the first time in August of 2006 when I was first pregnant with Enzo and my mom and Kira all went. I loved it so much and pretty much had confirmation when I was there.
Eric, Kira, Enzo and I all went as a family in April of 2008 and really feel like at that point it was a done deal. We loved the people and could really see ourselves living there and being in community with these sweet people. But then the next questions were When and How? and How and When?
When we looked at our debt and realized what we owed and needed to do before we moved. We felt like the dog who is running on one of those leashes that is loose and has a long leeway and then BAM the owner locks it and dog is jerked back like five feet. That is how we felt. How could we go over with debt, well, we could not. So we sold stuff and more stuff and moved out of our apartment and in with family to save. Things do not always go smoothly of course we all know that, but here we are almost two years after our visit.
We are finally in the right direction and I feel like we making progress. We have a three year plan to be completely debt free. Whoa! It feels good to say that! Getting the plan out in writing and actually starting it and making it work has been hard. I feel like I am seeing the light. Not the light at the end of the tunnel but rather the light of hope that there is an end of the tunnel.
I have been listening to Dave Ramsey and reading a lot about his Baby Steps to Financial Freedom. I am excited and I feel like we can do it.
There are seven:
#1$1000 to start an Emergency Fund
#2 Pay off all debt using the Debt Snowball
#3 3 to 6 months of expenses in savings
#4 Invest 15% for retirement
#5 College funding
#6 Pay off home early
#7 Build wealth and GIVE!
We are working on the first Baby Step and saving $1000 for an emergency fund. God just opened up $100 to start and I am excited. We are having a garage sale next Saturday if it does not rain or the 6th of February. I can not wait to get the emergency fund taken care of and then getting back to paying off our debt. I know Dave says all the time that you have got to eat beans and rice and rice and beans until you get out debt. He also says if your friends start thinking you are weird it is working. Sweet! my already do, just kidding, kind of ;)
I think what he means is you are not living the "Norm". You do not eat out, you are not buying the newest clothing etc, and you do not have the nicest car on the block. Now this was kind of hard for me, I loved my Eurovan, however we were being bled to death by it, so we got rid of it and now we only own cars that are paid for. Wow, what a concept! I love that my car is paid for and that all these little punk kids look at me driving this old car and think I am weird and I love it. I just think to myself, "At least it is paid for".
So in a nut shell, the plan of moving is still there, just delayed a bit. God has His timing for sure. The goal is three years to be debt free and then work on saving for tickets, moving expenses, housing and all that goes with it. Hopefully we can at least make one more trip over there between now and then, well maybe just Eric can go and scout out jobs, because it is definitely expensive for all four of us to fly, about $4000 off season.
There you have it, what is on the horizon. I will update as we move through the steps and hopefully encourage you to live debt-free and to stop being sucker punched into thinking you "need" something.
Ooh, just had a thought maybe I will do 28 days of nothing again next month....okay I thought about it and I am going to do 28 days of Nothing, I encourage to do something similar.