The road to positive net worth can be quite the trying one for most people. Most of us in this day and age bring on debt into the adulting world. Whether it be from student loans, a bad car choice, or even a bad run in with a roommate that never paid their share, you find yourself deep in a hole that you never thought you would find yourself in. Thankfully, that hole doesn't have to last forever.
You see, I had dug myself into that hole too. I went to college the smart way. First stop was to community college where I paid each semester in full by working as a bartender, model, and bus boy. I was lucky, tuition at the time was a mere $15/credit hour since the schools in my area were restructuring. This saved me a ton of money because it allowed me to focus on passing and not having to worry about any loans as I adjusted to the differences between college and high school. Once I obtained my associates degree however, I had to move to the much more expensive choice that could no longer be avoided. I had to go to a typical four year, rack up the debt, and get out as fast as possible. Even though I did just that, I still eneded up with a sizable debt. Or... I would have if my parents didn't end up paying for it.
Yes, I was one of the lucky ones. My parents decided that I would be lucky enough to have my loans for the two years that I spent at the university paid for. In their eyes, I did what I was expected to do. I did it as cheaply as I could have, passed all my classes, and got out as quickly as humanly possible. My debt was paid. So what then with the ten grand that I had put away to throw as a lump sum at my loans? Lucky for me, the California job market had an answer. I could no longer work for my old employer because I was over qualified and I could not yet work for degree requiring jobs because I was under-qualified without proper work experience in that field. My ten grand saved was gone in mere months as I sucked the life blood out of it just to keep gas in the car and food in my belly while looking for jobs.
Finally, after months of searching, I found a job as a group home assistant. The job required a degree but it paid less than my jobs without a degree. Yay!
Jump forward three months later and multiple instances where I could have died by being strangled by at risk youth (15-18y/o) and I had done enough for my life. I moved on to a higher paying job and I was finally out of debt again. Then I got another new job but in a different state. Then I got greedy. I got used to suddenly having more money than I was used to. I bought a new car. I racked up debt with Best Buy getting a big screen and other lovely new technology. I bought guns and bows and all sorts of fun things to do with my free time. And then I got married.
Debt started to pile up even though I was bringing in a good amount of money. Something needed to change. Thankfully, near the end of all the debt piling up, I learned how to invest. My money started to grow upwards rather than downwards. I spent more and more time learning about it. I spent time learning how to manage it, fuel it, live within it rather than expand too fast outside of it.
Now, only a little more than a year past the first steps, the wife and I are finally in positive net worth. As of this morning, we paid off the remainder of her student loans and now only have one car payment left. Once that is done there will be no liabilities in the house hold. All the income we generate will be able to be allocated correctly and not towards creating more loans. If we need something, we can save for it and purchase it outright. We will own it, not be owned by it.
It feels good. Man, does it feel GOOD! Onward and upwards.