Last April we announced to you that we were debt free except for our mortgage. But then you might have noticed that we didn’t share with you our next financial goal. We didn’t because we had a reason. We felt it would be a bit awkward. Why? Because my last day in the corporate world was on Friday.
Wait a second. First, what does my quitting my job have to do with our getting out of debt last April and not sharing with you our financial goals? Well, that is the exact reason we didn’t want to share. We have been hoping to bring me home to work on my own business opportunities but just didn’t feel like sharing with my employer. As I said above, it would be a bit awkward.
But the reason we want to share this with you – other than we love to share everything with you about our financial situation – is that we hope it helps demonstrate the limitations you have when you are Deep in Debt and conversely the opportunities that present themselves when you are Debt Free!
But we wanted to share this from two different perspectives. That of myself and that of my lovely wife! In every marriage there are two people – duh? But more importantly there are two different perspectives of what is going on.
From the husband
I probably can’t express fully how excited I am about my new ventures and new-found freedom. There are moments I want to scream out like Braveheart “FREEDOM!!” and then moments of hesitation knowing that all our planning and hoping has now come to this – its now time to execute and make our dreams a reality.
Yes, this move is definitely something I have dreamed of for many years now but we just couldn’t take any risks because of our debt. I’ll be sharing more in depth in a future Deep in Debt to Debt Free article, but many years ago I had to pass up what I considered in my profession as the perfect opportunity because we couldn’t miss a single paycheck. We couldn’t take the risk because it would mean miss paying bills or worse yet, not feeding my family. It was a time of our lives that I felt like I was bound in a straight-jacket, just doing whatever I could do to keep afloat due to the big financial mess we got ourselves into.
Sure, I know it may sound crazy to some of you. But my career the last decade has really been about just taking the next expected step because “that’s what you do in the corporate world”, especially when you need that regular paycheck to pay off the creditors. I will always remember the “When I grow up…” Monster.com commercial that really summarized my life in the corporate world.
Yep, I was making the tracks but I wasn’t passionate about what I did. I always knew that if I had the ability to invest in my passion, to do what I really wanted to do, that I could be more successful and enjoy life a bit more. But, when we were in such a tight place I knew I couldn’t.
Finally, this new venture allows me to spend time with my family and work and teach my children. I’m excited about that! I can’t tell you how much I’ve missed the opportunity to nurture those relationships with our kids and teach them. I know that as one wise man once said, “The best thing about self-employment is you get to choose which 16 hours of the day you work.” But, I also know those other eight hours can be more evenly spread throughout the day to spend more time with Cassie and the kids.
I don’t pretend that this is the dream of anyone else. Nor do I even insinuate that it should be. But this has been my dream for a long time coming. And I’m excited that just this week it has started to come to fruition!
So maybe you wonder what it is that I’ll be doing. The great thing is that its multi-faceted! I have been a software engineer by trade but I want to use those skills now in areas that I’m passionate about and that I enjoy. I plan on developing Android applications for smart phones and tablets and possibly developing some other sites in the near future! Plus, I have a new found passion for both Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and social media marketing – I plan on including those as some other ventures as well. Finally, in my spare time, I will of course always be Thrifty Al while working with Cassie in sharing more of our story and everything that we love to do with our money-saving site! Yes, at the end of the day I have a lot of irons in the fire, but that’s part of the fun of it all – its going to keep me busy doing something that I want to be doing.
The wife’s perspective
Wow, we are finally to the week when Alex is working from home! This week has brought me many emotions as well as fears.
Being able to be at this point makes me so incredibly happy, elated and overjoyed as I get to work with and next to my husband. However, I can’t deny the fact that this opportunity comes with a bit of fear. As the wife, I relished greatly by knowing that we had the same consistent paycheck for all these years – it brought about a greater sense of security, even though at any time, it could have been taken away. It was still security being able to plan far ahead knowing what was coming in – you don’t realize the comfort and confidence that this brings into the marriage in the areas of finance until its just about ready to be taken away!
Despite not knowing what the Lord has in store for Alex, us and our family in the area of self-employment, one thing rings ever true! Alex is more confident than I have ever seen him before. This brings to me the security that comes with the dramatic change in employment! This is important to note because anyone that knows Alex personally will agree that he is the type of person who is a planner and not spontaneous in anything. So the fact that he has confidentially stepped out in faith provides me with a real sense of security.
The funny part is that this new found freedom that has cropped up in him, he has had a greater, more wonderful personality change – the freedom he can now afford to pursue his dreams with the skills he has, working together as a family, and attempt at achieving our goals financially at the same time.
So here we are, with Alex pursuing his dreams, and one that I have wanted, supported and encouraged for the last year as we talked about and prepared for this day! I look forward to standing by his side, watching him grow and succeed and helping him in whatever ways that I can!
Am I a little scared? YES
Am I a lot excited? YES
Can we fail in trying to make working from home work? YES
Do we plan to fail? NO
Will we work hard, save when and where we can, and even step into an even more frugal world than ever before? YES
Will we trust and rely on the Lord’s provision while we do those things? YES
From Both of Us
As we just this week celebrated our twelfth year of marriage, through those years we have experienced the low financial pit-falls and deep load of foolish debt and being way over our heads financially the first 4 years, to being really frugal and working hard to pay it off over the next 7 years, and enjoying the fruits of our debt-free labor the last year and half to now become self-employed on 75% less income than before. We really feel like we have been through so many aspects of marriage and finances that we look forward to sharing this next part of our journey with you.
We also feel that with attempting to live off of 25% off what we were making before will allow us to take that next step in frugality and simple living as this is yet just another chapter in our lives especially in our continual goal of living frugally.
We will continue to share our story, along with the everyday deals, money saving tips, articles and more as we head into a new season of life and discover even more!
We also want to share with you how we planned and prepared for this day when the dreams of self-employment and working from home could become the reality it is today!
And although there is that 75% pay cut for the time being, we feel richer and blessed beyond measure to have these financial freedoms and the world at hand and knowing that our Lord will provide when we are faithful and work hard.