It’s funny that you write about borrowed money today [on the subscription site]. You described me in your writings. I wanted to be big and big time. Thank goodness I woke up before it was too late. Five years ago I built a nice set of working pens, tub and chute and borrowed 100% to do it and the bank wanted to loan me more. About three years ago is when I woke up broke, I was simply living off my balance sheet and the fact that my real estate had appreciated faster than my stupidity. My wife and I came to a “We’ve had it,” moment. We paid the bank more in interest than her off farm job was paying her. I sold a lot of stuff that I didn’t need, paid off all we could and began to work toward paying off debt as fast as we could. I put up with old, wore out equipment, non-swinging gates, pallets for fences, and, what the universities would consider terrible in-efficient feeding systems.
Two weeks ago my wife informed me that we had paid off several debts, paid down on our stocker note, and that we were a year ahead on our real estate notes and we have six months of living expenses saved up in a savings account. She then told me we had enough money saved to build my “some day I’m gone have” big square pens with in-line feed bunks! This is great Bud. We are paying cash for these new pens and it feels wonderful. Plus, if the market is such that I don’t need to use them for a while, they can set empty and it won’t matter. They are paid for! I never had a college professor explain the advantages of have paid for things. “Debt is a tool,” seems to come to mind when I look back at college days.
Bud, it took your teachings for me to reach the point that I can understand that efficient has nothing to do with profit. Paid for feeding pens can set empty or half full while waiting for good profit. And being able to sleep at night is a wonderful tool! [Wife] and I both are full time farm and ranchers. We seem to be making a good living on what most consider a small operation. Living with in our means, saving and giving all we can.
Love the new site!!!
You and Eunice have changed our lives for the better! But don’t quit yet, I still have a whole lot to learn.