2010 was a hard year for me. I hurt my back early in 2010 and struggled with that injury all year. I spent most of the year in physical therapy and doctor’s offices trying to figure out what was wrong with me. Finally in November, after an MRI, I was told I had three bulging disks in my back. Not one, but three. At the end of November, I finally had back surgery. Things are going slowly. I’m not sure what’s in my future medically, but I think the worst is over.
The most amazing thing about all of this was that I never stressed about money. I’m not sure I would have been able to get through all this this if I had my old job. I would have never been able to sit at a desk for 40 or 50 hours a week. I was able to keep teaching this entire year, since standing was much better than sitting. The energy from my students and keeping them motivated kept me going. Making the life changing decisions I did four years ago made it a lot easier to get through this.
Because Jeff and I have spent the last few years getting our financial house in order, money was not an issue. When I didn’t feel like cooking or I couldn’t cook after my surgery, Jeff would get takeout on his way home from work. Because the majority of our bills are paid automatically, none of our payments were late while I was recovering from surgery. While it was a bit shocking to see how much we spent on food because I was not cooking, it didn’t hurt our budget. We still managed to make huge strides paying down our debt all while being a little less frugal.
So why am I telling you all of this? Because in 2006, we were not in such a great financial position. When I was diagnosed with cancer in July of that year and I was unable to work, things were very difficult financially. When I finished my treatment, I vowed that we would never be in that situation again. We started aggressively paying down our debt. We found ways to make side money and I changed careers. We buckled down and sacrificed a lot. We took Dave Ramsey’s advice to “live like no one else, so someday we could live like no one else.” Because of that, we would have been fine if I would not have been able to work.
Most people don’t realize how much your financial life affects your overall life. I can tell you that after being at both ends of the spectrum, having your financial life in order and feeling financially secure feels awesome.
I wish you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous new year.
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I’m not going to say that this is going to be a more active year on the blog. I always jinx myself when I do that. You may notice that things look a bit different. I’ve got a generic design up while we work on a new graphic design.