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Free by 50

I am always reluctant to write about deep things in our personal life. Maybe it's because of pride (probably) or maybe because I wonder if anyone really cares. But, then I remember that this blog is about a Journey to Excellence, not just in the education of our children but in our personal lives. And, maybe, someone who reads this will be able to relate and feel as if there is someone else out there going through what they are.

I have been so stressed over the past several months about the status of our debt situation. It's not good, folks. I would love to blame the economy and Obama and a myriad of other things. But, the truth of the matter is that we got ourselves into this situation by living way beyond our means for too long. It's depressing to consider where we could be had we not done that.

There isn't a whole lot I can do to help our situation beyond what I am doing. Homeschooling is just not something we are willing to give up. With Eli and Brynne's special needs (on both ends of the spectrum) and the state of our educational system, especially in the small town where we live, it is something that we will continue doing. I do what I can from home to help with our finances, but it is limited. Working outside the home is nearly impossible as there are no jobs in our area nor time to work at them.

It feels hopeless at times.

I look at where my parents were at Rick and my ages and it just depresses me further. We never had much growing up, but we had all we needed. And, now at just age 62 and 64, they are getting ready to retire. They can do that. At this rate, there is no way Rick will be able to retire at that age. We just aren't prepared. And I don't want that for him. I don't want him to have to work until he's 90 just so that we can survive.

Again, it feels hopeless.

But then I read a post by Tracey at Housewifery Planet and I felt some hope and peace. It's always nice to read someone else's story and know that you are not alone.

She is working at helping to get her and her husband out of debt within the next 8 years, when her husband turns 50. She has a long-term goal instead of dwelling on the short-term. That gave me hope. Rick and I will be turning 50 at the same time as her husband. Eight years feels doable. It's a long time away, yes it is, but it is doable. And we won't be ancient at age 50. We will still have some good years left of our lives. To be debt-free at 50 would be pretty nice.

So today I am choosing to do as Tracey has chosen to do.

Yesterday, I didn't. But today I am.


  1. Nicole, I just want to encourage you. Chris & I were in your exact same spot a few years ago. I was consumed with worry and our financial situation stressed me out to the point of losing sleep. Like you, we did it to ourselves and there was no one to blame. Today, I feel like we are finally holding our heads above water and I can see the reward on the horizon. Not only is the savings account thats slowly building again rewarding, but the knowledge that Chris & I conquered this together. It's made us so much stronger and closer. (Wasn't always like this. I could tell you stories about money conversations I am NOT proud of) Hang in there and remember, God is working with you through this. He never lets us down!

  2. I can so identify with what you are saying in this post. Believe me when I say you are not alone. We too suffer from the debt problem and over the past 25 years of our marriage have lived beyond are means many of those years. We just took a step to get rid of all of our debt with the exception of our home and one car. Of course this step we are taking will affect our retirement. I could go on and on about the economy and how it is close to impossible to save and get ahead now. Basically I have just made a decision to do the best I can and with God's help we will all get through this difficult time.

  3. Oh Nicole, you are definitely not alone. I think about our financial future so many! Just when I think we might have a savings, something breaks and there it goes, either a car or something in the house. So much of my money-saving tactics is to try to get ahead or to just have a little fun every now and then too. But we are not even close to being where we need to be for retirement. That word kind of makes me laugh out loud. I feel the same about homeschooling as well. I am not willing to give that up. I have tremendous FAITH that things will work out.

  4. Uhm....honey? I only have 6 years until I'm 50! I think Vin Diesel is younger than me so he has 8 years.


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