Warning this post discusses our personal finances. We usually do not discuss our personal finances, but we wanted to do a post on this subject for two reasons:
- A record for ourselves. Something for us to look back on and remember, we learned a lot in the last two years and would just like a record for ourselves.
- Encouragement/inspiration for others trying to work on their financial goals. We’ve read a lot of financial success stories over the years and they have always kept us going. It is a nice reminder to know you can do it!
We use our blog to primarily keep friends and family updated on the boys, but it is also a record of our life as a family and this step was important to us. If you do not want to read about our personal finances please stop reading now. 🙂
In 2009 business slowed down, but we didn’t really notice between getting ready to travel to Ethiopia and then bringing home the boys. We were busy and exhausted. The business quickly racked up a lot of debt, plus the credit card company we used went out of business. By the beginning of 2010 we had no borrowing room left for the business. We didn’t feel despair at this point, we knew we had made mistakes and with hard work and by giving up the extras in life we could get back on track.
We already kept a personal budget and we trimmed it a bit, but the business budgets needed some slashing. We learned how to better track and forecast our cash flow, and slowly but surely started paying down the debt. Pay cuts and a tight ship were in order.
In 2011 business slowly picked back up, we also were blessed that the adoption tax credit was made refundable for this year. So, In just under two years we were able to pay back $66,887 in debt (personal and business). Praise God, we gave up trying to control our debt ourselves and He moved mountains. We really owe it all to God, because without Him we couldn’t have done this. So other than our mortgage, we have no remaining debt.
Other than the tax credit we have not had any giant windfalls, income has normalized for us, and we sold some stuff collecting dust for extra money. We did this by sticking to a tight budget and paying weekly on our debts. We are also blessed with tons of hand-me-downs for the boys from another set of twins we know and generous grandparents that do our babysitting for us (plus spoil our kids :D).
This post is not to brag, we don’t have everything all figured out (really we don’t). It is our hope to inspire and encourage. We have learned a lot the last two years, hopefully enough not to make the same mistakes again.
Our next set of financial goals includes building up our savings, and really working toward a retirement fund.