My Epiphany – Time for a change!

By glblguy

Epiphany
Photo from: stock.xchang

Gina, a reader of Gather Little by Little, wrote to me at the end of January and asked “When did you have your Epiphany about your finances?” She shared a little about her epiphany and then said it would be interesting to read about mine and others. I thought this was a great idea, and asked if she would be interested in writing her’s up as a guest post. I love the opportunity to allow my readers to guest post and I think Gina did a fantastic job (Thanks Gina!).

As Christians we hear a lot about Epiphany and Transfiguration at the beginning of the calendar year. Most of us set goals or resolutions to change a part of our lives for the better. Two years ago I experienced an epiphany of what I would call biblical proportions.

My epiphany came when I was pregnant with my daughter. My husband and I had been married for six years and bought our first house for cheap. I got more involved in church, began volunteering for three non-profit organizations and my husband started a new job working from home. Life was good.

We began planning updates to the bathrooms/kitchen and then SURPRISE we are pregnant. As you can imagine, we realized quickly that being responsible for another person would take time AND money. We had been putting money away for retirement but using credit cards to take vacations (how backwards is that?). Our priorities though would definitely have to change. Updates to the house would have to wait and no more using credit cards. Who wants to live with the idea of your kid having to pay off debt if something happened to you?

Luckily I found Dave Ramsey, Gather Little By Little, and an amazing world of underground consignment sales for children. Today we follow a written budget, use most of GLBL’s ideas on saving money and have eliminated our credit card use. I guess we really needed a goal to get our finances in order.

When did you have an epiphany about your debt or your finances? How did you react to that epiphany? Are you still maintaining your progress to make a change for the better? Add a comment below and share your financial epiphany!

From Glblguy: While not a formal meme, I would like to invite other bloggers to share their stories and link to Gina’s article. I’ll add links to this article as I see the trackbacks come in or receive emails from you that you’ve shared you Epiphany moment. I’ll be sharing my epiphany on Thursday.

Other bloggers sharing their Epiphany moments:


21 Responses (including trackbacks) to “My Epiphany – Time for a change!”

  1. Dan Says:

    In short, I was married with a child, living in a rented house. My wife and I were both professionals and between us, made a pretty good living. HOwever, every month we seemed to run out of money and were constantly postponing paying bills, rent, etc. But it was all right because we always had a big paycheck right around the corner.

    Then I lost my job.

    All of the sudden, our income was almost halved. The weeks rolled by and I couldn’t find a job. I went on unemployment and still couldn’t find a job. Finally I took a part time position for less than half of what I used to make, without benefits.

    This was the time I decided to stop waiting on someone else to organize my financial life and do it myself. I started budgeting and realized that we could make it fine on what we were bringing home then. How was it possible? We were barely scraping by when I was making a lot more!

    To cut to the conclusion, I have now been budgeting for about 6 years, and although it took a lot of trying, failing, trying again, failing again, etc., I finally was able to stick to it. Although it has been a very hard adjustment for an old spendthrift like me, I never gave up, and it finally became a habit I was used to.

  2. Mrs. Micah Says:

    I guess it was when I realized that now I was married I was responsible for the debt too. And that I needed to get things properly sorted out now we were combining our finances.

  3. Joshua Says:

    My epiphany came when I learned about compounding interest…
    A gentlemen from my church lent me his John Cummuta cd’s Transferring Debt into Wealth and those cd’s taught me about compounding interest and changed my entire financial future. Now, around two years later, I’m debt free and looking forward to watching my retirement grow.

  4. MoneyBlogga Says:

    I am brand new to the world of blogging, especially personal finance blogging, but boy have I learned a lot in a very short space of time.

    My epiphany came when I realized I was about to lose my family and my shirt along with it. I am still trying to come to grips with the mess I have made of our finances and still cannot believe how stupid I have been. Today was a rough day – I have barely been able to stay out of the bed. I just want to get in and put the covers over my head for the next couple of years. About the length of time it is going to take for me to dig out of the “poor credit” hole I have secretly dug for myself and my partner in life (PIL) without PIL’s knowledge. How can that be? Well, it happens every day. People lead double lives and their significant others never know it. My double life was not one of sexual infidelity but rather financial infidelity and my cover (if it can be called that) may be blown yet.

    My epiphany came when I realized I was spending THOUSANDS of dollars more on mortgages than I needed to and that refinancing was out of the question due to both my extremely poor credit and the state of the financial lending markets in general. I need a credit score in the 700s and I can only dream about it at this point. The fact that the bulk of our combined income is needlessly going out to pay so many more thousands of dollars in interest than necessary was my bamboo-under-the-fingernails moment. Combine that with the fact that I am unable to buy my dependants the things they need (not want) because the wolf is at our door and the fact that my PIL is going to be disgusted with me and – voila.

  5. Mike Says:

    About 13 days ago, when I turned 30, was single, 2 kids, and wondering where the heck my paycheck was going every week. My girls and I did a complete 180 in a matter of a few days and now live on a budget, and surprisingly, have been doing well with it.

    It’s going to be a while before we’re completely “debt-free” but I think we have it understood in smaller and more digestible phases.

  6. Carolyn Says:

    Thanks for the opportunity to share. I grew up doing without trendy labeled clothes, a big house, vacations to Hawaii, etc. So, as an adult I thought I was fairly careful about my money due to the fact that I followed my parents and wasn’t a lavish spender on “wants”. However, when my husband and I had our first daughter three years ago I somehow hears about “The Tightwad Gazette” by Amy Dacyczyn and checked it out from the library. Wow! That is a great book. It helped me understand that there is a much better way to look at living frugally. Instead of seeing myself as “doing without” and sacrificing, I learned that being creatively frugal is a lot of fun. I find it exciting to go to thrift stores and find things that I need for a fraction of the cost of regular retail stores. I enjoy cooking from scratch and listening to people marvel at how much better homemade food can be. I still have a lot to learn, which is why I started my blog at ivyleaguehomemaker.blogspot.com so I could share my journey with others and hopefully inspire someone like Amy Dacyczyn inspired me.

  7. BeThisWay Says:

    I love this idea! I can’t wait to read all of the stories. I did put one up on my blog, too!

  8. southernseven Says:

    My mother died a month before I turned eighteen. Overnight I went from being a teenager to a teenager responsible for a house with an acre to mow and all the monthly bills that came with it. I was always taught to only buy things that you could afford and I guess my nature is to be a planner and budget maker. So, I made a budget and lived within that.

    A few years later I married my husband while he was in his last few months of college. We didn’t make a lot of money but with it just being us two we had a comfortable life. We had a home built that was based on both of our salaries but found out when we moved in that I was two weeks pregnant. I made a little more than him, so we were at poverty level without my salary. I was determined to make it and tried to continually grow to learn new ways to do things cheaper or do without. I used cloth diapers, hung out clothes to dry, learned to cut up chickens, started buying thrift and garage sale items.

    My epiphany came not in the form of doing better or that we were doing anything wrong. We started listening to Dave Ramsey and it hit me that yes, we were doing good and getting by but if we wanted to get past the getting by we had to do something drastic. We took a paper route and started getting up at 3:30. I started cleaning two homes. My husband got his handyman liscense and started doing some remodeling for people that flipped or rented houses. We worked hard- for 6 years we delivered papers. We wore ourselves out. It was not a pursuit of money, it was a pursuit of digging out of the hole of getting by. We didn’t have debt, but we didn’t have savings other than our 401-K. Now, we have moved to a less costly area and have a beautiful home, emergency fund, and comfortable lifestyle. We don’t have to work two jobs and can have a lot of family time. We are looking forward to finally being able to enjoy traveling with the kids. I am glad we worked hard for a little while to make our future life better. Dave says to “Live like no one else so that later you can live like someone else. ”

    Posted by Southerner at 9:36 AM

  9. southernseven Says:

    My mother died a month before I turned eighteen. Overnight I went from being a teenager to a teenager responsible for a house with an acre to mow and all the monthly bills that came with it. I was always taught to only buy things that you could afford and I guess my nature is to be a planner and budget maker. So, I made a budget and lived within that.

    A few years later I married my husband while he was in his last few months of college. We didn’t make a lot of money but with it just being us two we had a comfortable life. We had a home built that was based on both of our salaries but found out when we moved in that I was two weeks pregnant. I made a little more than him, so we were at poverty level without my salary. I was determined to make it and tried to continually grow to learn new ways to do things cheaper or do without. I used cloth diapers, hung out clothes to dry, learned to cut up chickens, started buying thrift and garage sale items.

    My epiphany came not in the form of doing better or that we were doing anything wrong. We started listening to Dave Ramsey and it hit me that yes, we were doing good and getting by but if we wanted to get past the getting by we had to do something drastic. We took a paper route and started getting up at 3:30. I started cleaning two homes. My husband got his handyman liscense and started doing some remodeling for people that flipped or rented houses. We worked hard- for 6 years we delivered papers. We wore ourselves out. It was not a pursuit of money, it was a pursuit of digging out of the hole of getting by. We didn’t have debt, but we didn’t have savings other than our 401-K. Now, we have moved to a less costly area and have a beautiful home, emergency fund, and comfortable lifestyle. We don’t have to work two jobs and can have a lot of family time. We are looking forward to finally being able to enjoy traveling with the kids. I am glad we worked hard for a little while to make our future life better. Dave says to “Live like no one else so that later you can live like someone else. “

  10. pete @ biblemoneymatters Says:

    Just posted my response on my blog. Great topic!

  11. Steph Says:

    Mine came when I learned I was pregnant and truly had to make a decision whether I was going to attempt to get my life back in order or just give in and give up. I’ve been posting the story on my blog to help provide some accountability for myself – it’s a slow climb, but I’m making it.

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