I’ve known my wife since early elementary school. Growing up together in a small town, we had the same friends. We took the same classes from the same small handful of teachers. We are also both very fortunate to have grown up in good homes with loving families.
As unbelievable as it may sound, I had a crush on the girl I now call my wife starting in the 3rd grade. It only took nine short years for me to work up the courage to tell her, and we started dating our senior year in high school. College sent us down the road together, away from most of what we knew. It wasn’t far from home, but it was still hard at times to adjust. Thankfully for me, I had her.
We made the most of it and graduated four years later. The start of the following summer we spent at home with family. We married that June and shipped off down the road again to start graduate school a month later. Once again we were in a new place, chasing our dreams. Together. It was tough to be so far from most everyone we knew. Thankfully for me, I had her.
Toward the end of our graduate studies, my wife and I were blessed with a son. We spend the next year completing our respective programs, and we each graduated for the last time. If you’ve been following along to this point, you’ll know that this is the time when we had reached our lowest point – financially.
But debt be damned, she had that degree in hand, our child on her hip, and a smile on her face.
In that moment, there’s not much else that could have possibly mattered. The most important things in my world were in front of me. I feel now as I did then: I wouldn’t change any of it.
It’s been a few years since that scary and exciting time. Thankfully our careers have amounted to as much or more than we could have hoped for. We’ve been blessed with good health and happiness in that time. As an added bonus, a beautiful baby girl has also been introduced into our world.
At the beginning of this year, I started this blog to tell our story in real time as we work toward financial independence. Something I fear may be lost in discussions about interest rates, repayment strategies, and net worth updates is the human aspect of our journey.
My wife describes me as analytical. Generally as a compliment, but that’s not always the case. I think we make a great team because we hold each other accountable in different ways. I’m continuously trying optimize our path out of debt and toward financial freedom. She helps me to always remember that the most important parts of this journey are all the things outside of the Excel spreadsheet.
We’re better together than we are on our own. We have balance.
At times I can have trouble setting aside enough time for the things that really matter. The nature of my job forces me to bring my work home with me from time to time. More often than it should, really, and I don’t care for that. Sometimes, though, it’s tough to avoid. Luckily for me, she helps keep me grounded and helps me remember what this is all for.
We’re in a tough spot. Debt in the six figures weighs on us. It’s a major part of our lives, and there isn’t a day that goes by where we don’t talk about it and make decisions because of it. It is a giant elephant in the room that we’re learning to live with and work around. I know, though, that we’ll make it through, because I have her.