When someone asks me if I have any regrets or if there is anything I would change in my past, I have always said no. I am a firm believer that things happen for a reason, both good and bad. I have faith that I am exactly where I am meant to be at this very moment.
And if we are being honest, I am amazingly content with my life. I have a loving husband, three beautiful daughters and an amazing support system. There really isn't much I can complain about. Sure, some days are stressful and sometimes things don't go my way, but all-in-all, I am blessed. We all are.
But being blessed doesn't prevent you from being stupid. I will admit that I have made some dumb choices in my life. I've focused on the wrong things. I've stressed about things I can not change. I've gotten caught up in commercialism. In having the latest and greatest. The biggest and the best.
And that last one? Well, that's something I am committed to changing.
I remember being 18 years old and getting my first credit card. For the next four years, I was a credit card company's worst nightmare. I made a few small charges each month and paid off the entire balance WEEKS BEFORE the due date. They NEVER made a cent off of me. And in return, I was rewarded with an excellent credit score.
I remember how I used to make purchases. I was a poor college student who only bought what was NECESSARY. I always thought before I swiped. If I didn't have the money in the bank to cover what I was buying, I didn't get it. So, if that meant that I ate cereal or mac and cheese at every meal because that was all I could afford, I was cool with that.
Until yesterday afternoon, I couldn't really pinpoint when that mentality changed. I knew it was sometime after graduation and before Dizzle was born, but the exact moment alluded me. But, in my ongoing purging, I stumbled upon my "wedding portfolio" (the book I used to plan my wedding).
Inside the book was the final bill for our wedding. Not the dress. Or the favors. Or the photography (which was free by the way). Or any of the costs leading up to the event. Just the total price of the wedding and reception.
$6091 that was put entirely on a credit card. $6091 that I am probably still paying for.
As soon as I saw that bill, I remembered that moment. (And it instantly became the moment I would go back and change.) J and I had to pay for the wedding somehow and our credit cards were the only way we could at the time. And I'm pretty sure that when that charge hit, we became "OK" with carrying debt. It almost seemed like a necessary evil. I think I've known all along that it's not, but when you are carrying debt it becomes easier to justify more debt.
I really wish we could go back 6 years and change our spending habits. I wish we could return all of the items we wasted our hard earned money on and get a refund. But, it doesn't work like that. Instead, J and I are actively choosing to break the cycle. We have kicked the credit cards to the curb. We have set a strict budget. And if we can't pay for it in cash, we can't pay for it at all.
I know it's going to be hard to change our habits. And I know the "unexpected" will happen. But, I also know that I am extremely driven and when I set my mind to something, I find a way to make it happen. This will be no different. I refuse to let it be.