A little back-story for those new to No Credit Needed –
Back in April of 2005, my wife and I decided to get serious and do something about our debt reduction. As part of our plan, I created this website to track our progess. After ten months of planning, working hard, sacrificing, dealing with setbacks, and learning from our mistakes, we were able to celebrate – we were debt free! Less than a year later, we managed to fully-fund our emergency fund and for the past two years, we have managed to fund our retirement accounts and education savings accounts for our three kids. Presently, we continue to fund our retirement accounts while saving for a future home purchase and building cash reserves.
I share the above so that you’ll understand where I am coming from when I make the statement – The more things change, the more they change. I know, I know. The actual quote is – The more things change, the more they stay the same. The truth is, I just don’t believe that. Nope. I believe, like I said before – The more things change, the more they change.
Frustrated with being broke, even though I had a good job and a decent salary, I decided to make some changes. Those changes, once they had born their fruit, led to other changes. Subsequently, those changes, after bearing their fruit, led to even more changes. And, so on.
My point? We must not relegate ourselves to unmitigated stasis. Instead, we must force ourselves to change – to break free from the foolish habits of the past and replace them with positive routines in the future. As our circumstances evolve, our attitudes evolve, our emotions evolve and our responses evolve. This evolution – amazingly – begins to push itself forward. The process, almost literally, takes on a life of its own.
Here’s an example. After getting out of debt and building our emergency fund – our entire outlook on life was altered. We were no longer bound by the day-to-day drudgery of paycheck-to-paycheck living. Free, even a little-bit free, we began to think long-term. Think about that. I had worked for almost fifteen years, and I had never really considered that I might, someday, be a guy who “had money”. I honestly thought that worrying about debt and feeling nervous about the future were simply parts of life.
Imagine how liberated we were when we realized – Hey, we’re actually saving money, living below our means, and planning for a pretty awesome future. Things had changed! And, they continue to change. Each step in the process leads to another step, and then another, and then another. With each step, we have more opportunities, more freedoms, and more choices.
The more things change, the more they change. Instead of worrying about this month’s credit card payment, I’m thinking about investment opportunities. Instead of fretting because I don’t own the latest and greatest, I’m satisfied with my current automobiles and saving up to pay cash for their replacements. Instead of facing a future clouded with doubt and worry, I’m making plans and preparing for my life thirty years from now.
Before you finish this post, please keep the following in mind. I am, quite literally, just a normal dude. I like football, french fries, and hanging out with my friends. I don’t have an advanced degree in finance and I haven’t figured out some way to line my pockets with gold. Frankly, I’m just a a guy who got fed up with being broke and decided to do something about it. When is the best time to start planning for your future and embracing some change? How about today?