So, tomorrow, I become the proud owner of 2 mortgages. With any hope, this will be a very temporary situation (anyone want to buy a house?). Anyway, it's true that we needed a bigger house and we were blessed to find one and to be able to afford it, but in order for this move to be a true blessing, there is a lot that needs to change. No, this is not a post where I complain about all the stuff everyone else in my family needs to do to make this work, this is where I admit my own shortcomings and commit to change them.
1st, the obvious. We all have too much stuff, and yes, while I love my mom, I hate to say that I did get her hoarding tendencies. So over the next several weeks, there will be a pairing down of stuff. While packing, I discovered a box of stuff that came from my old house 13 years ago. It was shoved into the back of the closet and forgotten about. Needless to say, it will likely go away. And yea, basically, if I haven't used it in a while, it's gone. I'm really tempted to document exactly how much stuff I get rid of, mostly out of curiosity, but also to demonstrate how stuff can accumulate over time.
I think I shocked everyone tonight. I had to take a friend home and when I returned, I whipped my phone out in front of Tina and the kids and started deleting games. I have a list of unfinished projects (personal and professional) and all my life, they have not gotten done. I am done being idle and allowing myself to be drawn into time sinks. We budget money, but I have not budgeted time and this was the first step.
On the subject of budgeting, I signed us up for the Dave Ramsey class our church is offering. While we are currently standing beyond step 3 (full 3-6 month emergency fund), the 2 mortgage situation will tighten our budget severely and likely force us back into step 3 for a while. While we somehow managed to pay off our other debt, I feel like there are a lot of things we could do better and officially going through the class will solidify our knowledge. One of the things I have always found frustrating about this is the fact that, in college, I majored in Business Computer Programming. That involved a LOT of accounting classes and it seemed like every time I attempted to apply what I had learned in school to our personal finance, I never could get it to work. It wouldn't take long for me to get frustrated and quit. A few weeks ago, I was listening to Dave on the way into work and in that hour's 'debt free' testimony, the wife talked about how she was a finance major (and graduate) and had the same problem of not seeming to be able to transfer her knowledge to her family budget. She discovered (the hard way) that there IS a difference between personal and business finance and those things were not taught in school. Knowing this, I now feel free to forget everything I thought I knew and relearn how to apply this system the right way.
So, in short, I am declaring war on three major areas of my life....time, money and stuff. And moving into a new home will definitely stress all 3 of those things and FORCE the change.