That’s right. We’re unapologetically breaking bad. Breaking bad habits, that is. Of course we’re not slipping down a rabbit hole of dark, unlawful acts. What were you thinking? Sounds like someone watched one too many episodes of a certain show about blue drugs and an ex-chemistry teacher. ;) In all seriousness, when Mr. MMM and I were enthralled in the series, Breaking Bad, a few winters ago, we were also under contract to purchase a house we couldn’t afford. But that wasn’t all, we were also spending money without much thought to future ramifications. Finally, we hit a wall and had to redefine our expectations and behaviors. Much like Walter White, we broke bad.
A Plethora of Bad Habits
Before becoming Mr. and Mrs. MMM, we had a plethora of bad habits that needed breaking. We’re Gen-Xers, and we met when our 20s were well behind us. However, because we started a fresh relationship, we felt like we were super young again. And we acted like it, too! We acted like two college kids just starting out with our entire lives in front of us. Unfortunately, in reality, that wasn’t the case. We weren’t just starting out. We both had past missteps. Big ones. Both financially and emotionally. But boy, were we ever having a blast.
It was at this time that we discovered the series, Breaking Bad. We couldn’t get enough. We binge watched it on Netflix over the course of our first winter together – taking the occasional break because my nerves couldn’t handle it. I mean, when you’re dreaming that you’re in the middle of a drug shoot-out, it’s probably time to take a breather. Nevertheless, we pressed on, ate ice cream, and enjoyed ourselves. Did I mention those nights we were taking a breather, we were going out to eat. Yum!
During that winter, we were also shopping for engagement rings and a bigger house! I had a little girl and we both had animals, all of which would be blended into my small house after marriage. Obviously, a 1300 SF home isn’t capable of handling such a load. So we contracted to buy a much bigger house. That’s what everyone does, right? College, career, starter house, kids, bigger house, etc. But we knew better. Deep down, we knew that Breaking Bad wasn’t the only thing causing us angst. We knew we were spending way too much money. We knew we couldn’t comfortably afford that bigger house. And we knew we were smarter. We finally had a stroke of luck when the house contract fell through and we were able to sleep again. That’s when we had The Talk and got on the right track.
For entertainment purposes, I have compiled a short list of our former financial inadequacies here:
-Eating out all the time. Cheers!
-Eating in. Ice cream every night. The bad habits didn’t stop with our purse strings.
-Not tracking our net worth. Net what?
-Not tracking our expenses. We make good money, surely there is plenty for everything.
-Not planning for the future. We’re never going to be old people.
-Not having a plan for our money or our life. We’re perpetual 25-year olds! Yay!
–We had cable. On steroids. We’re talkin’ 200 HD channels and a DVR. Uh huh.
–The Mother Load – We contracted to buy a house we couldn’t afford. It’ll work out.
I can’t tell you how relieved we felt when we the contract fell through and we decided to stay in our small home. We renovated our house last summer – all cash – and we couldn’t be happier. It’s now a total of 2100 SF and I can’t imagine cleaning something bigger. Probably the best benefit of all is that I don’t have to worry about keeping it warm in the winter or cool in the summer. Because it’s small and super efficient, the utilities are easily managed. Since getting married, we were able to create a huge gap between our income and our expenses, essentially lighting ourselves on FIRE and getting on track to be financially free within a few years.
Related: Frugal Hacks To Live An Awesome Life
“What’s My Name? Say My Name.”
If you watched Breaking Bad, you definitely get the headline reference. After getting our crap together, we can finally say we broke our bad habits for good. We will no longer be a slave to consumerism. We will pay attention to our money. We will know our net worth. We will not purchase things we don’t need. We will make plans for the future. We will invest with purpose. We will Break Bad.
Now, say my name, bitch.
What are your thoughts? Have you broken bad habits? If so, what were they and what was your breaking point?
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