A few weeks ago, my husband and I had an intense discussion about finances. By the time it was over, we were both exhausted and probably a little bit frustrated each other.
We’re in a place that will take us several years to come out of. It’s frustrating to work hard and see only slight improvements and achievements.
Frustration makes you question your WHY.
Why are we jumping through these hoops to be debt free?
Why are we having difficult discussions about money on a daily basis?
Why are we giving up nice luxuries, like cable TV and dining at restaurants?
Why is my husband volunteering hours of his personal time at the Y? And why is he driving a 14 year old car?
WHY do we want to be debt free?
Being a good example is the first step to teaching your kids how to handle money with maturity. ~ Dave Ramsey
Our girls are watching us.
They see my husband working long hours at his office. They watch us have long discussions about the business and our finances.
They watch me plan out our weekly menu and grocery list. My oldest has even started to help me plan our meals. And they see me paying with cash at the grocery store.
They’ve noticed that we don’t go out to dinner as often as we have in the past. And they’ve watched us make different decisions and choices than we have in the past.
They’ve seen us make mistakes and they participate with our giving.
Yet they’re still the typical kids who want to buy a toy every time we walk into Target. But they are watching.
When we wrote our Debt Freedom Plan, I posted it on the refrigerator as a daily reminder for the two of us. But my oldest daughter immediately zeroed in on #5: Cash flow a trip to Disney. When she read the plan, she yelled, “WE”RE GOING TO DISNEY” and immediately started dancing around the house. The cash flow part was lost on her.
I told her that the trip wouldn’t be for several years. Daddy and I needed to pay off some debts before we could make a trip to Disney.
And then the questions started. “What does cash flow mean?”, “What does debt freedom mean?” and my favorite to explain, “What is debt?” ARGH!
“What is debt, mommy?” And that is our WHY.
I don’t want our daughters to have to make a Debt Freedom Plan when they are in adulthood.
I want our daughters to have freedom before they can even articulate it. Freedom to make decisions based on desire, not fear. Freedom to travel, explore, and choose their destiny.
I want them to think of debt as a curse, not something that is inevitable.
It will be against the grain. But by the time they reach adulthood, my husband and I will hopefully have been living a debt free life for many many years and THAT will be normal to them.
We want our daughters to understand how cash works, not how credit can ruin.
We want them to know what a cash life looks like, not a life paid for with debt. Good things come to those who save for that next big purchase instead of pulling out a credit card.
Making these sacrifices now for the sake of our children won’t last forever. While my husband and I are working towards debt freedom, we will change the way our daughters view money and their future.
And that is our WHY.
What is your WHY for getting out of debt? Let us know your story in the comments. I’m participating in the Debt is Not Forever campaign. For more information and to read more posts, check out The Debt Myth.