Tag Archives: being rich

Identify Your Obstacles

Identify Your Obstacles

This post is meant to immediately follow last week’s piece about your idea of what being rich means. If you haven’t had a chance to read last week’s post, I highly suggest you do before reading this post. I strongly believe that you can’t get started on identifying your obstacles unless you’ve defined your destination.

Now that you’ve determined what being rich means for you , you must now identify your obstacles.

Identify Your Obstacles

In our case, The Husband and I looked at our definitions of being rich and went from there. As a refresher, here is what being rich means to us –

Being rich means being debt-free

Being rich means not worrying about money

Being rich means being incredibly generous

If you’re a visual person, like I am, imagine your ideas of being rich at the top of a mountain. On the way up this mountain, there are obstacles and set backs on the way, such as a steep cliff, or a tall boulder in the way.

Right now, you are simply looking toward your destination – in this case, your ideas of being rich – and want to identify your obstacles that you can see right ahead of you on the way toward the top of the mountain of financial freedom.

For example, The Husband and I literally looked at our ideas of being rich one by one and identified our obstacles for each. Here is what we came up with.

Being rich means being debt-free

Obstacle #1: Credit card debt

If you’re new to the blog, you must get familiar with my complicated relationship with credit. If you’ve been a reader for some time, you’re probably sick of me talking about it. Well – so am I! This is the first obstacle The Husband and I face when we look to being debt-free.

Obstacle #2: Student loan debt

The Husband and I both went to pretty expensive private colleges. The only difference is that I came out of it with a ton of loans and he didn’t. Hey, what’s mine is yours now, right? 😉 This is clearly #2 on the debt list.

Obstacle #3: Car loan debt

This debt is only slightly less annoying than my student loan debt, but it definitely makes a dent in our monthly expenses. Plus, now that we’re married, we have two car loans to worry about.

Obstacle #4: Mortgage debt

The biggest debt on the balance sheet, but the last in priority for us. I locked in a pretty great interest rate on this loan and we’ve got other debt to focus on in the meantime. Until then, this debt will remain last on the list.

Being rich means not worrying about money

Obstacle #1: Emergency fund

Currently, we have $1k set aside for emergencies. Ideally, we’d like to have much more, preferably 3-6 months worth of expenses.

Obstacle #2: Retirement funds

I’m a huge advocate for taking care of Future You. I don’t want retirement to be a source of stress for us when we’re older. Specifically, this goal means having fully funded Roth IRAs AND 401 k (or 403 b in The Husband’s case).

Obstacle #3: Saving for fun goals/expenses

The Husband and I want to do some major traveling before we start, you know, multiplying. Saving for this is incredibly important – we don’ like traveling broke!

Speaking of multiplying, we’re also thinking of starting a college fund for our future kid(s) (God willing).

There are other expenses we might want in the future, like a new car (when the time comes), moving out (hopefully), etc. We want to be ready for all of these expenses.

Obstacle #4: Diversifying income

To diversify your income means to have different kinds of income streams flowing in as opposed to just having one main job each. We want to do this because it spreads out the risk of unemployment. When you have multiple streams of income, it’s not a huge deal if one of them doesn’t work out – you’ve got all the other “jobs” you can depend on! The more risk we can lower, the better!

Being rich means being incredibly generous

Obstacle #1: Weekly giving

As a Catholic, I firmly believe in tithing when able. What you lack in money, you can give in time. For The Husband and I, I think we are able to give both right now. I want us to start giving weekly to our church so we can start building the habit of generosity.

Obstacle #2: Monthly service

Even though it’s important to give money or even material possessions, I think that giving of one’s time is very valuable, as well. Right now, The Husband and I serve at mass once in a while at our home parish. I also serve in a choir that sings every week at different parishes.

Eventually, though, I’d love to give my time in other ways, like participating in Habitat for Humanity, or volunteering at a local shelter or food drive. I know that a lot of places depend on the time donated by many volunteers and I’d love to regularly be a part of that.

Obstacle #3: Outrageous generosity

Dave Ramsey likes to encourage outrageous generosity and I totally buy it! When we have more than enough, it’s a witness to Christ when we choose to use our riches for others and not only ourselves.

There are so many ideas that I have for this. From sponsoring a family during the holidays, to setting up a socially-aware business, and even paying for all of our family/friends to spend some time together – outrageous giving is something I want to have as a part of our every day lives.

Looking at our obstacles can get overwhelming. But it’s important to remember that we aren’t tackling each obstacle all at once. We will take these obstacles and build out a more detailed battle plan in my next post.

But for now – what are your obstacles on your way to being rich?


What Does Being Rich Mean to You

What Does Being Rich Mean to You?

After completely screwing up our wedding budget and being incredibly lax with our money during our honeymoon, it’s time to get back into this financial battle against our debt, win the war for financial independence, and start being rich.

It’s easy to say “DIE DEBT, DIE” and just start there, but we want to be strategic about our next few moves. Like a real battle, we don’t just want to run out into the battlefield and start hacking away at obstacles mindlessly. Yeah, we might get some good progress going on our debt, but we can also run into burnout if we’re not intentional and if we don’t realistically pace ourselves.

That’s why it’s so important for us to come up with a plan for battle. But even before that, we have to start at our idea of being rich.

What Does Being Rich Mean to You?

Start With the Big Picture

We can’t get to where we’re going if we don’t even know what our destination is or even what it looks like. The journey is important, but the destination is the whole point of it all.

So, for our financial journey, we’re starting at defining our destination – what does being rich mean to us?

Being rich means being free from debt

Debt-free may be a no brainer for some, but for others it isn’t.

But let’s think about it – imagine yourself with all the money in the world. Maybe you’re earning a lot at your job or maybe your passive investments are enough to pay for all of your expenses. To many, you seem rich – money is coming in faster than you know what to do with it.

But every 1st or 15th of the month, you are still obligated to pay your car loan. Or your student loans. Your mortgage. That personal loan. And on and on and on. Your income may be great and all, but as long as you have those debts to your name, your money isn’t all yours.

To The Husband and I, being rich means being free from the shackles of debt. No more due dates, no more “minimum monthly payments”. Simply put – our money is ours and no one else’s. (Okay, there’s taxes, but let’s not go there for the sake of this post ;))

Being rich means not worrying about money

Not only do we want to be debt free, but we also don’t want to have any worries when it comes to money.

Right now, we’re scrutinizing every single dollar spent. That $40 dinner? Let’s check our accounts real quick if we can afford that. That $20 Warriors T-shirt? Let’s see if we have the cash for that…

Every single expense means we need to look at our accounts. That’s because we’re still on our way to financial freedom.

We’ll know when we’re rich when we can spend money on a lunch or T-shirt and not even have to check the bank account to make sure we can cover it. We want to be able to spend on things that we enjoy (within reason, of course) without it completely emptying our bank accounts or hindering our goals.

Being rich means being incredibly generous

I’ve written before about how I will not give up giving even when I’m in debt. And I still firmly follow that rule. But when I’ve really made it, I want to give more than I’m asked – I want us to be incredibly generous.

I was listening to one of Dave Ramsey’s podcasts when I heard him mention that he flew his entire family to a cabin for a vacation as a gift. As soon as he said it, I knew that I wanted to be able to do that one day for my family and friends. Not to show off, but to be able to give the gift of time with one another.

Generosity to family and friends may be easy to want, but The Husband and I want to be generous to our parish and to other charities that mean a lot to us. To me, this is the ultimate goal – to have enough for ourselves so that we are able to give to those who don’t have enough.

Whether you’re starting over with your finances or you’re simply starting, period, beginning with what it all means to you is the best place to start. “I want to be rich” or “I want to be successful” are common goals, but are terribly vague.

Dig deep and really think about what it all means to you. Being rich is great, but my definition of being rich can be the exact opposite of your definition of being rich. Make sure you’re chasing after your destination and not anyone else *cough The Joneses cough* then we can get started on the goals.

What does being rich mean to you? What signals or events will trigger in your mind that you’ve “made it”?