When I was younger my dad would stash some of my earnings away so as to get me in the habit of putting money into savings. Stashing cash was a great lesson because when I got my first real job I was able to purchase my own laptop with my own money. How cool! Saving money is great and all, but as you grow older you find out there’s more to it than earning and saving. There are bills! There are budgets! There are taxes! There are nice things you want to buy, and opening a credit card will get you a great deal! There are cars! There is retirement! There is debt! Who knew? Not me. Not at 15 at least.
It wasn’t until 2014, after going through a 9-week course, that I learned how to manage my money and eventually come out on top. By taking this course I was able to pay off my car while making $760 a month. Yes, you heard that correct. I was only making $760 in an entire month and I was still able to pay off my car! This series of posts is dedicated to my financial journey; the good, the bad, and the ugly. Let me preface all of the subsequent posts with this: I AM NOT A FINANCIAL PROFESSIONAL. That said, I hope that as I share my stories and successes that you can find hope and inspiration to start and/or complete your financial journey for a better future.
I would say we should start at the beginning of my financial journey, but that would just be me getting a job at the Sonic Drive-In. That’s boring. Let’s start at the beginning of my financial hardship: I got a credit card.
Just like a lot of people, my intentions were good in that I was to pay off the credit card every month. “If I just use the credit card and pay it off I can earn points!” Let’s be real people, my points got me a $5 gift card to Outback after 7,000 points. I’ll be honest and say I was actually good at paying it off in the beginning. The credit card was primarily for emergencies and big purchases. Problem: I was getting comfortable with borrowing money.
My credit card money borrowing eventually turned into student loans. My student loans eventually turned into another credit card. My dad and I went halves on my new car and it was my turn to make payments on it. Cue another credit card (this one you earn money when you borrow money!). Reading all of that makes it sound really, really bad. It was, however, it felt normal at the time. I felt like my life was normal as I was living to pay back borrowed money. That’s how a lot of people live and I was just like that lot of people! I was the king of minimum payments. Funny, I read an old credit card statement the other day and it said if I had kept making the minimum payment that the credit card would be payed off in 15 years. Oh, goodness.
Alright, enough of that agonizing tale. There’s some back story for you. I was a money borrowing champion, and it all started with a credit card! I’m telling you though, when I was introduced to the 9-week course (Financial Peace University), my life changed forever. There’s no way I’m a pro, but I’m on a journey to debt-freedom and real financial peace.
Can’t wait to share more with you. I am still on this journey of paying off debt, but one of my favorite things to talk about is paying off my car making $760 a month. That will be my next post. Please let me know what you think of the series I am working on. Is there anything you would like to know or have questions on? Are there any topics you want me to try and talk about? Just let me know!
Be strong. Love God. Love others.