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A Little About Me

We are in the middle of our journey to paying off $110,000 in debt and becoming FI/REWelcome! My name is Chad. I’m working to pay off $110,000 of debt. This includes student loans, a mortgage, and the IRS. With any luck, the IRS will be paid off by early 2018 and I’ll be down to $75,000. We are doing side hustles and cutting spending like crazy to accomplish or goal to be debt free by 2021.

Why I Started My Blog?

Originally, I thought I would start this blog as being one in a few that are cataloging their journey into financial independence/Retire Early but shortly after my first post, I have found a TON of people doing the same thing. I had to switch my focus. I’ve learned there is nothing new that I can contribute as far as information so my goal now is to MOTIVATE others like me to start their journey.

My other reason for starting this blog is to help fathers (especially those of adopted children) learn what fatherhood might be like for them. While the bulk of my writing is currently about finances, I plan to write a little more about parenting my son as things come up. I hope people find useful information that will help them as they raise their children.

My Story

I got my first job at 16. As much as most people never want to, I’m glad it was at a restaurant aka fast food. There is a lot of life lessons I learned there. I learned to work hard and how to work with others. Not that I had much of a problem with that, but there are some people that you’d rather not work with. There is always a variety of personalities at every restaurant.

I started out at minimum wage but moved up quickly. I spent everything thing I made and no one could tell me to do otherwise. My parents tried. I didn’t have to have extravagant stuff, I just wanted to do a lot! All of my money was spent on things that I now don’t even remember. I kept doing this as a moved from job to job. My highest paying job was at a warehouse pulling orders for grocery stores around the US.

They paid a whopping $13/hour! That seemed to be a lot for an 18-year-old with no degree. Where the money really piled on is that we worked at least 80 hours per week. My paychecks were near $1200 each week!!! I still have nothing to show for that. All I did was work and sleep and somehow still found ways to spend it.

Shortly after my high paying job I took an enormous pay cut (went down to $8/hour) to frame houses. I had found my calling. It was by far my favorite job I’d ever done. When my boss decided he couldn’t run the business anymore I took a few of my best friends and started framing houses myself.

With very little, rather not very thorough research, my business failed and I owed $20,000 in employer taxes!!! I went to a “tax professional” to have them help me lower my debt. After a couple years of bad advice that I thought was good at the time, the IRS came knocking on my door for $32,000 because of late fees and penalties. They only have until September of 2018 to collect so they decided to have me pay $1,000/mnth or give up my retirement savings.

My goal is to keep making the payments so that it will be over. My retirement isn’t enough to cover the full amount after penalties and taxes. So going that route is a last resort option.

In the meantime, I married the love of my life, Charity, who has reformed from her ways of using credit cards and loans and has been amazing at walking next to me in our financial journey. We did our wedding with no debt, paid off her car (mine was already paid off), and paid off her credit cards in under 2 years.

We decided to adopt (you can read more about why here) and that we were going to do it without adding to our debt. She headed up all the major tasks of organizing payments, fundraisers and all the paperwork. All I had to do was apply for grants. Just under 2 years after we started the process, we got to bring our son home and didn’t owe anyone a dime!!!

Follow our journey to paying off $110,000 of debt and becoming FI/ReNow we are tackling our largest debts being my IRS debt (~$25,000), our mortgage (~$69,000) and a student loan (~$10,000). All of these WILL be paid off in 10 years, but we want to try and do it in half the time. The catch is, she’s a stay at home mom now. We no longer have two consistent incomes, so we’ll have to save and side hustle our way to financial freedom.

Where You Can Start

If you want to read more about our adoption journey you can start with these articles:

Why We’re Adopting
Adopting Debt Free!

In the “Categories” tab there is an “Adoption” option that you can use to find all my articles relating to our adoption. Please feel free to browse around and see what I have to offer. If you are considering adoption and want to ask questions please feel free to contact me using the contact page.

If you are here to follow my debt story and how I’m digging my way out of it. You may want to start with these two articles. They have to do with the first things I did to start my journey.

First Step To Create Wealth
Saving for Emergencies

I believe that the first place you can start is creating a budget that works for you. Tracking your money and knowing where it’s going is a very empowering step. The next step is saving for emergencies because emergencies only happen when you don’t have a way to pay for it. You know what they say, “What can go wrong, will go wrong.”

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