Here at Early Morning Money, we think that family is everything. But it’s hard to put family first when you’re buried by a mountain of debt.
Shopping trip? Yes. Manicures? No doubt. New car? Of course!
That was us not too long ago. Andrew and I thought we were living the good life – rocking married life, raising an awesome kid, and working at good jobs – but we were tired. And, as it turns out, we were in quite the financial mess.
We had a few car repairs and ended up two months behind on our bills.
With car loans, credit card debt, bank loans, student loans — we could barely make our minimum monthly payments.
Suddenly, our credit cards weren’t enough.
We were screwed.
And we were scared.
Life is hard with debt! But we felt trapped.
Andrew and I were tired of never having enough time or energy at the end of the day, and never enough money at the end of the month.
There had to be something better, right? Living a time-starved life, working full-time and still struggling to make ends meet was taking its toll.
And we were sick and tired of it.
But we found a message of hope.
It wasn’t long until I stumbled into the idea of starting a side hustle.
Making extra cash on the side to help pay down our debt sounded pretty good!
Then I heard about something called FIRE – Financial Independence/Retire Early.
And it blew my mind.
Could it be possible?
Could Andrew and I really escape the fate of working like a dog until we retire 65 or later?
We started dreaming of what life would look like if we didn’t have debt.
And it looked pretty good!
Time to take action.
Driven by financial freedom and the idea of unlimited vacation time — time to travel, to spend with family and engage in our passions — we set out to design what a perfect life would look like.
I immediately started side-hustling to bring in extra cash. It paid off! In just 9 months, I grew my part-time side job into a full-time freelance writing business. Now, I work from home and have complete control over my time.
Andrew started working with Shipt on the weekends to bring in more cash right away. He also launched a podcast to build up a long-term stream of income.
But we hit a snag:
More money doesn’t help if you don’t know how to manage it.
We quickly learned that to find financial independence, we had to change our behavior.
Instead of using our extra cash to pay for more dinners out or shopping trips, we had to learn to cut our spending.
If we didn’t figure out how to find joy in frugal living, we’d be stuck in an endless cycle of working forever!
So here we are… changing our priorities and living life on a budget.