This is a guest post by Sean Platt, a freelance ghostwriter.
Debt is the mortal enemy of practicality; a sneaky snake that whispers all is well.
Credit is easy enough to get, but far from cheap. Financial management can be tough enough when you’re a two-income family with steady paychecks to share, but for twenty-somethings straight out of college, trying to balance a brand new life with a boggling budget and freelancers who (let’s face it) jump from job to job, things can easily drift from difficult to disaster.
Millions of people in the United States are juggling way too much debt and don’t have a solid method or sound hope of climbing from the hole they’ve dug themselves, shovel by shovel.
Countless twenty-somethings are living paycheck to paycheck, month to month, constantly wondering to where their dollars are disappearing. And freelancers find it hard to navigate their best course as their income wavers with the stability of a weather vane in stormy weather.
Late last year, my wife Cindy and I made a decision. After running a small pre-school together for a few years, we decided to close it. My wife is a twenty year veteran teacher and had always longed for a school of her own. We decided to open our pre-school. She could teach while we both spent the first five years with our two wee-ones.
We discovered rather quickly that our little school had a low ceiling and narrow walls. Unless we made a change, we would be stuck running around the same old track forever. About this same time I discovered that I’m a born writer; few things make me as happy as when all my syllables are singing.
We decided to close the pre-school and carve out a living online, me with my writing and the two of us building an online academy together. We went from hardly enough income to no income at all, risking it all for the promise of possibility and potential.
We needed to quickly figure out how to keep food on the table, clothes on the kids, and a roof over our heads. We have always been careful, but all of a sudden like millions of Americans, we were living by the skin of our teeth. Credit cards mounted and I took each and every job that pinged my inbox.
The worst is now a memory, but we must continue to be careful as we skate along the razor’s edge of risk. Without sound financial planning and management, we would not have been able to take the risk and would have never accessed any reward. If we had leapt without preparation we would have only plummeted to an unknown and unwelcome fate.
Number crunching isn’t easy and rarely fun. Consistent discipline even less so. Yet without these fundamental habits, you are only begging fate to keep you running around the track.