Remember how I told you that my wife and I encountered an emotional situation during our journey to freedom? Well, it happened JUST after Baby Step #3 was completed. I’ve been toying with when exactly to tell this story. I was going to make it a part of yesterday’s blog, but I wanted to give the story its own post, because I’m really proud of it, and it’s actually very poignant, in my opinion.
Picture this: Your wife is 6 months pregnant, and then the bomb drops. YOU LOSE YOUR JOB! Well, that’s what happened to me in April of 2015. My team at was called in to a “special meeting” with the head of retail banking at my former employer. We all knew what was coming. They had been slashing departments left and right for a while at that point to provide cost savings and increase profits. However, I think I was the only one that wasn’t worried about it. Why wasn’t I worried? Because my wife and I had just finished all of Baby Step #3. We had 6 months of expenses in the bank, AND had already saved $5,000 into our HSA to pay for the birth of our daughter, who is now nearing 3 years old.
When they announced to us that our positions were being eliminated, I was actually happy. At that point I had been looking to make a change and become a financial advisor for some time. I was ready for my time at the bank to end. What the termination ended up being for me was a kick in the butt to get myself out there and do what I really wanted to do. A blessing, in my eyes. In fact, I distinctly remember thinking that God had directed me to tune into The Dave Ramsey Show specifically to prepare us for this situation because the timing was so incredibly apt. We had, quite literally, JUST finished our 6 month emergency fund a few days before I was given the news that I was losing my job. It was incredible.
I went home that day, and told my wife that we were going out to dinner, which she thought was really strange because we NEVER went out to dinner at that time. She thought I was getting a raise, and I told her the exact opposite. She freaked out for a few seconds, and then the same peace that had come over me earlier in the day started to come over her, after she realized that we were completely prepared for it. We were going to be OK!
A month later, they officially eliminated our department, and let us go. Soon thereafter, I began the process of getting hired by my current firm, and sponsored by them to take the exams for all three of the necessary licenses that one needs to become a financial advisor. I collected unemployment, used a little bit of emergency money, and spent my summer at home studying for my licenses, helping my wife during the last few months of her pregnancy, and was able to spend two full months at home with her (While she wasn’t getting paid, by the way) and our new baby girl after she was born. How many dad’s get to do that in the U.S.? Answer: Barely any.
I went to work as a financial advisor in September of 2015, and I haven’t looked back. I love what I do, and wouldn’t change a thing about what happened.
So you see, because we had followed the Baby Steps, we literally had NOTHING to worry about during a situation where most people would be scrambling to make ends meet and charging up their credit cards to the max. We were safe, comfortable, and financially solid. It made all of that hard work and sacrifice completely worth it.
I hope this story puts things in perspective for you, and shows you how incredibly empowering it is to know that no one controls your destiny but you. If you owe money to others, your life is not your own. If you’re into the Bible, Proverbs 22:7 clearly states the nature of the danger of debt. It says: “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.” In short: Debt = slavery. If you haven’t already fully committed to it, swear off debt forever, right now, and don’t stop working until it’s completely vanquished. Your life will be better for it.
Come back on Monday when we’ll talk about saving for other things like cars, down payments on a house or whatever else you have goals for.
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