Saturday, June 14, 2014

We're Broke

I've been considering writing this post for some time now, but always decide against it for various reasons. I have gotten to the point where, I just can't wait any longer. Our friends and family need to know why they hear "No." so often.

The Brooks family is broke. Sort of. We are not broke in the sense that we don't have money that could be dispensable, we do. We are broke in the sense, that it is gone, used, has a purpose. My husband and I, chose to go down the debt-free future path, about two years ago. We have worked hard, and paid off a lot of debt. But selling our house, renting, then purchasing our forever home, put our debt-pay-off-plan on hold for about 9 months. We are finally getting back to it, and have set a pretty lofty goal for ourselves. We want to pay off one of our student loans by this time next year. It is doable, if we stick to our budget......if we say, "No."

Smart Advice from Mr. Dave Ramsey
I hate to disappoint people, especially the people I care about. So when we are asked to go out to dinner, go to a movie, take a trip etc., it's very hard to always say the same two letters: N. O. It's also hard to feel as though we are skimping on things. When we give gifts, they are small, simple, basic. When Christmas or birthdays are approaching, it takes months of planning ahead, and a great deal of budgeting to get the job done. Although it seems counter-intuitive, this a major reason for putting our family on a budget. We want to send our parents on that trip they have been dreaming about. We want to pick a gift, based on the interests of the person, not the price tag. We want to be able to be the generous, thoughtful people, that we wish we could afford to be. We want to travel as a family. We want a future free of the stress associated with debt.

We don't want our friends and family to stop including us (or trying to), we don't want to be thought of as "cheap" or "stingy". It's quite the opposite. We want to give ourselves the opportunity to be the "yes" people in the future. With debt hanging over our heads, we would never truly feel comfortable with larger purchases, family/friend vacations, dinners out without reading every price on the menu, or shopping for ourselves without feeling guilty. Becoming debt-free will help us do all of these things and more, while still being responsible and thoughtful about our money.

Joe and I, own our choice. We stand by it. It doesn't bother us to miss out on these situations for the time being, because the goal is that we will be able to enjoy them in the future. We want to instill smart finances, and financial responsibility in our boys.

I don't feel sorry for us. I'm proud of our choices. My goal is for the people around us to understand WHY we say, "No.", WHY this is important to us, WHY we make the choices we make.

Our Debt-Free Future Inspiration


  1. It's a very admirable and understandable goal! I'd like to have my student loans paid of within the next five years instead of 10 (at least for my Bachelor's) I'm almost ready to say no to my Master's Degree because the looming Debt of that Degree scares the heck out of me.
    Your choice is surely not out of being cheap or stingy, it is out of a desire to have the ability to do what you desire with money, in the future. I wish you two the best of luck in attaining your goal in the set time!

    1. Thank you, Sarah. I wrote this post primarily for others to understand why we say no so much. It's very frustrating that it is almost impossible to go to college and not accrue mountains of debt. I'm so sorry that you feel as though you may need to give up on your masters, but I have to say, if there is a way to have the career that you want, without the debt, it's probably worth it. I so wish I had that option!