Bologna sandwiches and Ramen Noodles broke. No hope of anything.
If you asked me in 2013 what my financial ceiling would be, I’d likely say, “nothing above poverty”. I couldn’t imagine making $30K a year. I couldn’t imagine living below my budget but being able to buy most things I’d want by saving.
I was defeated. Felt hopeless financially and believed that I was stuck as much as stuck could be.
To give a little backstory, neither one of us(my wife or I) had learned about finances into our adult lives. We had a few things that helped though. When I was a high school senior I took Financial Peace University through Dave Ramsey. Unfortunately, the only thing I took from it at the time was that Credit Cards were bad. My wife had been a credit card collector. I had a little credit card debt, she had none.
As a young man I worked since I was 11 years old. As soon as I was 14 I got my first “regular job” and worked throughout high school and college. Work has never been a problem for me. I’ve always worked hard and been heavily committed to working. My wife shared the same work ethic.
My wife and I were on food stamps, WIC, Medicaid and other forms of government assistance. We met with a financial advisor from our church. The advisor looked at our budget and said, “you literally have nothing extra when you’re expenses are paid. You don’t have any room for breathing. More less, tithing and saving are near impossible at this point”. We decided though that tithing was a high priority as a family and we tithed $20 a month starting off.
I’m not one that thinks tithing is a form of magic. I believe it’s apart of stewardship that God calls us to. I believe in financially supporting the work of God’s kingdom.
A few weeks after meeting with the financial advisor my wife and I came home from the hospital to a home with no heat, a pile of debt and a baby in addition to our other 2 kids. We had no money. With tears in her eyes she said, “I’ve been praying that God would work in your heart to help lead us financially.” It was an important moment in our family.
We signed up for Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. I began reading and listening to his stuff like crazy. We loved it. The only thing that was difficult was hearing so many people who were high income were a lot of the one’s paying off debt. I wasn’t hearing much from folks like us on assistance.
We focused on getting ourselves into a financial position where we not only had some control but we could put our money ahead of us. We went from dealing with the stress that was behind us because of bad decisions we made to focusing on building something for the future.
We ended up paying off all of our student loans and other debts. We built a fully funded emergency fund. We got life insurance. We began budgeting monthly which we still do today. We weren’t asking how to invest broke. We began investing into retirement accounts. As well, we began saving for real estate investments because I was comfortable with real estate.
And most importantly, we finally found hope. We found the ability to save money. We found the ability to invest in the future. And we found out that we weren’t stuck.
If you’re asking how to invest broke, how to build wealth through real estate, how to budget when you’re broke or anything about asset building, you’ve come to the right place.
That’s what this blog is for. Those of us who want to keep fighting. Those of us who have been in the gutter, went to sleep not knowing how to provide for our kids. And those of us who are ready to fight through everything to help redefine the direction of our families.
Stay with me in this fight. Share stories, perspectives and I’ll share what I’m learning.
What is Broke to Blessing?
The ultimate goal for us wasn’t a new home, a new car or anything like that. Our victory cigar is when we’re at a point to where we’ve gone from being broke to being in a good enough position to be a blessing financially to others. Being able to give some good gifts to others. To get to that point and to take care of our family though we had to do some good house cleaning of our own finances. To be in a good position where we could bless others.
Our goal is to help low income families and individuals move from Broke to being able to be a financial blessing to others. The pinnacle isn’t the Disney Vacation, the retirement account or anything like that. Those things are good but we’re thinking beyond all of that. The end goal for us is that you’ve went from needing people in your lives to be a blessing to you to being able to be the blessing to others.