Honesty Takes Courage…

…especially when it comes to being honest with yourself. Tomorrow is the first day of December. The start of the 25 days of Christmas, my favorite time of the year! December 1st also marks the due date of my first mortgage payment. 

By this time tomorrow, it’ll be one down, 359 more payments to freedom. I know it may seem like I’m looking at it through a pessimistic lens, but believe me I am grateful for this opportunity to have bought a piece of paradise. But if I had known 20 years ago that purchasing a condo would be in my future I would have been a much better steward of my finances so that I could’ve paid all cash. As the saying goes hindsight is 20/20.

30 years of being enslaved to Fannie Mae is looming in my immediate future, and last night it prompted my fiancée Megan and I to once again sit down and have a discussion about our money situation. History has shown that this conversation does not end well for us. We’ve been having this talk for 8 years now and every single time I would end up getting defensive. But I know damn well the hideous truth that I always try to veil in denial and deflection.

It’s taken me those 8 years or probably even longer to come to grips with the reality of the state of my finances. I’m broke. I’m in debt. I have a negative net worth. Plain and simple. No metaphors needed. I think it sounds dramatic enough. I always know in the back of my mind the balance of all my loans, assets, and bank balances. I log in to my accounts every now and then and make mental notes of the figures. That way when the topic comes up, I’m not lying when I say I know what I owe and what I have. By knowing the numbers I can justify that I know what I’m doing and that I got it all under control.

Well I’ve finally decided to come clean. My name is Jeivin and I have a money problem. I have a problem with managing my money and spending my money and it’s taken me along time to get a good look at myself in the mirror and realize it. Trust me when I say that if you’re in a financial situation that is less than ideal or even dire, the best thing you can do is to be real with yourself. It may be embarrassing and hard at first but when you admit you have a problem, you open yourself up to receiving the help you need.

For me, finally admitting I am bad with money allowed Megan and I to have a productive planning session rather than an argument about what we were going to do when the calendar flipped to December 1st. I linked all of my accounts to my mint.com account today. Not just the ones that always carry a positive balance, but even the negative accounts that combined give me a complete view of my finances. I’m even able to finally take my Mom’s advice about money to heart! Finance, and life in general, is like a puzzle. Before you can put all the pieces in place, you need to be able to see the entire picture of what you’re working with. And sometimes in order to see the entire picture it takes honesty and courage.

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