You can't get something for nothing. When I signed up for Boot Camp, I was entering a contest to get financial help. What did that mean to me? A wad of money to pay off my existing bills and get a fresh start would have been great. (Hey, I am just being painfully honest–finally. I was losing my house, my stability and my bearings. My husband said I was a dreamer, that this was never going to happen. He urged me to drop out of this process from the beginning.)
Knowing that getting that pot of gold was an unlikely scenario, I settled for assistance in differing shapes and forms. I really thought that a financial planner would be able to help get me on track. However, as Karen noted in her last post, a financial planner was not a good fit for our immediate needs. I actually preferred the Dave Ramsey classes over my weekly conversations with her, because in the Dave Ramsey classes, we have a plan — a 13-week plan, to be exact. It is educational, which is what I needed. In fact, learning about Dave Ramsey's classes has got to be the most beneficial aspect of this whole experience.
My husband and I lost the desire to meet with Karen. As noted in my blogs, my husband has a very tough schedule to accommodate, pair that with a toddler to care for and, as Karen wrote, "two lessons that would have taken at least 6 hours" plus 4 hours of driving time. It just didn't make sense financially to pay for childcare and 1 or 2 tanks of gas.
I asked Karen to come meet with us in our town because I wanted to see if her intentions were pure. Did she really want to help a family in need? When she stated that she could not make the drive, it basically proved my gut feelings. I did not feel the need to share any of my personal information any longer. How did I benefit? Conversations were more stressful to me than they were worth. I had done all the work, while she acted as if she may have had some responsibility for my changes in behavior.
The debt counselors on base proved to be a huge waste of time as well. The Boot Camp blog readers chose to focus on the time I "wasted" not getting to an appointment. But when I finally got one, I was told to file bankruptcy–in an email! Can you say 'devastation'?
So what did I learn: I am stronger than I thought. I have more patience than I thought. I am not a quitter. I had 3 financial entities tell me that I should file bankruptcy over the course of the last year. I chose to do what my gut instinct told me to do and I am truly benefiting from it. I can continue to do things on my own and have the faith to know and believe that what I am doing is right. My relationship with my husband has endured and will continue to grow stronger. I have figured out what is important and what is not. I am accountable and responsible for my actions. I found resources that worked, including focusing on the number one resource–ME.