I have spent 12 years with Slasher. In all of those years we have never started a new year by talking about goals; especially financial ones. Never, nadda, not once. Every time a crisis hit, I would say it’s going to get better and here’s what we should do and when it rained he would sketch loose plans for an umbrella. Mainly the two of us never worked together. Instead I was his competition and he was a pain in my ass.
We were so young; learning as we went and doing an absolutely abysmal job. We had very shitty examples of how to navigate parenting, a relationship, finances and being grown ups way before we were, in fact, grown up. That’s not an excuse, it’s just how the cookie fucking crumbled. We thought if two fictional characters like Dan and Roseanne Connor could make it then of course we could too. We were so blinded by two shiny fat people that we forgot Dan and Roseanne are not real, but John and Roseanne are. And that they also happened to be incredibly loaded.
We did somehow manage to get parenting right.
Before we moved into our apartment, I was in the best financial spot I had ever been in, but was leaving without any savings, no job and a college scholarship that included stipends and loans. This is, by in large, how college works, but for a student with a family? It does not work. Well, it worked until I had to re-enter the job market a year before the Great Recession hit.
I was always so proud that being poor never broke us. What did it was us.
We were so busy being broke young, parents that we forgot about us: the love part, the support part, the mutual goal part, the best friend part. We had people come in to help us provide, but we lacked support to nurture our love. Our daughter has never been watched by a babysitter. Not once. Rarely were there date nights or date anything. We worked and tried; that’s what we did.
So to begin this year by talking about us and what we want to accomplish or that we even exists right now is extraordinary. This life is hard, but there is we/us/together.
We began 2013 after a friend shared the 52-week savings plan. It’s the most painless way I have ever seen saving presented. It requires no intricate personal finance software. It’s so anti Suze “scare-the-shit-out-of-you-because-you-don’t-have-50-years-already-saved” Orman that Slasher and I can accomplish what has always seemed out of our reach. It was shared just as I was considering how I want to leave here: with at least $10,000 in savings.
Why that number? There’s no logical reasons beyond it “talking to me.” One day it showed up and I reached for it. Now, I’m sticking with it.
In my life I have reached for many things and I have attained them all and they seemed just as ridiculous, impossible and pompous as $10,000 in 365 days. Published writer? My college professor told me to go work at the IRS when I asked him what my future looked like. College graduate after being a teen mom? Two percent odds; nailed it. Running a mile while being fat as hell: totally did that too. Recognized by Girl Scouts of the USA as a Global Leader? You know it. I could keep going, but I won’t.
Being thin is overrated and being financially secure is the final frontier for me to conquer. But I’m not doing it alone. This time I have a partner.
You can download your savings plan here.