The other night I took my husband out to celebrate his thirty-eighth birthday. Over wings and beer we began discussing the current state of our bank accounts and the events that helped define our finances. Here are the details in no particular order:
- Our parents paid for our college education leaving us completely debt free after college.
- Neither of us ever accumulated credit card debt.
- Through the combination of a variety of paid internships and jobs we saved a good deal of money before ever leaving school.
- After graduation I lived in a group house, which saved me thousands of dollars in rent and utilities.
- Rather than renting an apartment we bought our first house within two years of graduation. We lucked out and purchased when the market was low and refinanced a number of times when rates dropped.
- Moving in together helped us save on all living expenses as we paid one set of bills rather than two.
- We both worked in the high paying field of software development.
- The company where I worked had amazing benefits including high paying bonuses and pay raises in my first ten years.
- Two of our three cars are over fifteen years old.
- We live within our means and never inflated our lifestyles, (other than purchasing our vacation home), as our incomes increased.
- Other than back and forth trips to North Carolina we have traveled very infrequently. (I’m not particularly happy with this fact, but it has helped us save money.)
- Due to a number of unforeseen medical issues my first child was not born until shortly after my thirty-fourth birthday. Thanks to time and the first eleven items on this bullet list we had already saved a significant amount of money.
I’m sure there are other major events that impacted our financial success but these are the first twelve that came to mind.