There is a fire in my belly that I haven’t felt for a long time. I really feel like I had lost my passion but I’m back and I’m back with oomph and a vengeance.
I started January full of beans. I had a plan, I had ambition and I was hungry to succeed. Then, very quickly, January fell apart around me and I lost it.
I may not have let on to the outside world but, for the last month, I have been wondering what I’m doing. I’ve been wasting time doing things I shouldn’t. Daydreaming about goodness knows what.
I have not been productive. I’ve been down in the dumps and, at times, quite depressed.
What makes it worse is that I don’t know why. I want to give myself a big slap and tell myself to pull it all together. I want to work hard for a good future for me and my family so one day we can say we are debt free, and maybe travel, and buy our own place, and be mortgage free and, heck, just even have a garden for the girls to play in.
I know that if we work hard we will get these things but my head is telling me I am stressed and that I cant do it so I just sit back and think “what’s the point?”
I really wanted to head to FinCon 15 in Charlotte, NC this year, which is the largest financial blogging conference in the world. Some of the biggest bloggers, ever!, will be there (I am a huge fan of most of them) and attendees will be able go to talks with these blogging gurus to learn to how to develop our own blogs and find out how to grow them to massive potential.
When they released the dates, in my excitement, I found out about the conference tickets, looked at flights, checked out local hotels and even worked out a babysitter for the kids, so Skint Mum could come with me and learn from the experience herself. It would be like a working-honeymoon (maybe not the honeymoon everyone would dream of but we have become money nerds and would love it, plus tax deductible).
So, after working everything out (in dollars) I converted the costs into pounds sterling. It was a lot but I wasn’t phased. Broken down into small chunks each part of the costs could be done.
However, we still have debt and should someone who is in debt be spending money?
I was torn slightly but, I decided to move on. This was my goal and I started to work out other ways in which we could pay for the trip and pay over and above our current debt repayments at the same time.
Sorted! Post it notes went up on the wall. I could track what we had to do and that was that.
But that was that.
After planning and getting hyped up, after thinking my slump had gone, it was back.
Planning a massive trip had done nothing more than let me forget I was down in the dumps in the first place. Two weeks of looking at booking details and flights had just stopped me thinking about myself. As soon as I had nothing to do, the thoughts I was feeling before were back.
So then I sit. I play on my phone. I make lunch. I play with Chloe. I play again. I check twitter. Maybe wash up. And then sit.
I am not myself but I can’t figure out why.
Going on this trip would be amazing and I would gain so much but tonight something snapped inside of me.
Thing is, I realised how fragile money can be. Just this morning I was informed that I had lost one of my freelance contracts – £200 per month, £2,400 per year – 8% of my existing debt! Although it wasn’t because of how I write, or how I engaged with people, it was still a kick in the teeth.
After thinking about it all day I suddenly felt buzzed. I don’t know what clicked inside my head but my slump had shifted a little.
Although I want to attend the conference, what I REALLY want above EVERYTHING else is to clear our debt.
By not going, we could have an extra £3,000 to pay to our lenders and be a step closer to being in the black for the first time in years.
This evening I took the Post It notes down off the wall and ripped them up. Little pieces of them sit on a pile next to me as I write this.
Instead I got my household budget out and looked at the figures. There aren’t a lot of things that we pay out for but what could I cut? What don’t we really need?
Chloe’s pre-school (although she only goes one day a week) will be free (as she is over three) from April – £90 saved. We transfer £5 each to the children’s bank accounts each month in an attempt to save a little for them, I feel bad but that can go. We can clear Skint Mum’s overdraft and make a saving each month for the fees she pays – £32 per month saved.
On an already tight budget where we don’t have much left, I could cut out another £132 a month.
That’s another £132 a month closer to clearing our debt.
I am desperate to be debt free. That’s what I need to focus on and that is passion.
I don’t like comparing but I wish we had more than a national average salary between us. I love my kids and wouldn’t want it any other way, but when I read other stories where someone has cleared thousand of pounds in debts but has no family, lives with their parents and has a whopping salary it only makes me feel that they cheat. No normal person can do that!
I am a normal guy, living in a normal rented flat, in a normal sized town, with a normal salary – but I was an anything-but-normal-life. I want more to my life and by kicking debt in the butt I WILL get it.
I have a passion to make more money, an extra income, a side hustle to first clear debt (shameless promotion –> please book me for your writing gig!). Then my passion will turn to saving money and investing.
I will kick debt’s butt and I will be debt free!
Although it pains me to say it, I won’t be attending FinCon this year. I am gutted but clearing my debt and being free from this burden is my main priority.
Ricky Willis is the original Skint Dad. A money-making enthusiast, father, and husband to Naomi. He is always looking for unique ways to earn a little extra.