My money story isn’t all that different from most Americans who find themselves without savings, slowly drowning in debt.
I grew up in a pretty average middle class family. We had stuff and we were comfortable. We didn’t live paycheck to paycheck, but we were in debt.
Both my parents worked for Stanford University.
My mother brought home the larger paycheck. And, according to her, my father spent it.
Nothing but the best for our family!
He liked nice things and always had to have the best; a sports car, a motorcycle, an enormous truck. He was constantly upgrading to the newest audio/video equipment; most of it Sony. These were all things which we really couldn’t afford.
So, growing up with that as my example. Not great for my money story...
When I started making my own money, I had a real problem holding on to any of it.
In one instance, I blew through almost $3500 on new clothing and eating out, all in a matter of about two months.
I was a hot shit 17-year old with money!
This became pretty normal for me. I still lived at home. I didn’t have many responsibilities, so I spent most of the money I made.
Around this time, I decided to get my bachelors in business. With my parents working at Stanford University, I was fortunate enough to qualify for tuition assistance, which covered most of my schooling. After all was said and done, I was left with $10,500 in tuition debt.
Only $10,500? Could be worse... Right?
Fresh out of school, broke and in debt! It was 2008, the Financial Crisis hit, and getting a decent paying job in the Bay Area was proving to be very difficult. I ended up settling for a job at The Home Depot.
Not making enough money, I couldn’t afford to pay on my loan, so I was forced to defer it. To be honest, I didn’t even know what deferring meant, just that I didn’t have to pay.
Before long, my loan had accumulated an additional $1,035 in interest!
But it gets worse...
I got myself a credit card, charged about $2,000 to it, and only made minimum payments.
- Credit Card Debt: $2,000+
- New Total = $13,535+
- Credit Card Debt: $2,000+
I wish I could say that was the end
I was gifted $5,000 after the passing of my grandfather.
I took the advice from my then-girlfriend, and decided to get myself a new, used car. I didn’t need the car. I had a car; a pretty good one at that. Her reasoning for me getting the car was: “It will make you happy so you should just do it!”
Oh, and did I mention that she had filed for bankruptcy at the young age of 28?
My reason for listening to her? I was a dumbass and irresponsible.
- New Car: $6,091
- New Car: $6,091
Sigh... What was I thinking?
Then I met Chelsea and my money story changed.
Our relationship progressed quickly, and before long, we were living together.
We moved into a small, inexpensive apartment. We didn’t buy furniture; only acquiring items left behind by people moving out. This was how I found my practically new and still under warranty Dyson vacuum (which I still have!)
We spent very little money, realizing we didn’t need much to be happy.
Living simply felt good!
We made enough money to cover the essentials (food, shelter, clothing), built up a small emergency fund, and then started attacking my debt.
The progress was slow, but eventually I was able to pay off the credit card. It was a small win. It felt wonderful, but I needed to do more.
I was ready to make some serious changes!
At this point, we were willing to do whatever it took to turn my debt around. We made the tough decision to move back in with family. We got better jobs and worked our asses off.
Change didn't happen overnight
With intense focus and dedication, the pieces started to fall into place, and we could finally begin living the life we wanted.
Years later, we are completely debt free!
We’ve built up our savings, opened retirement accounts, and have enjoyed continuous steady growth of our net worth.
My point with all this is...
Like most people, I grew up with a poor example and the wrong idea about money and finances. I lacked proper guidance from my parents, which meant I had to learn some difficult lessons all on my own.
Failure is sometimes your best teacher
It seriously sucked! It cost me lots of time and money. But that experience brought me to the wonderful place in life that I am right now.
Fixing my finances gave me the mental strength to start improving other areas of my life.
It was from this growth that I decided I wanted to help others with their finances. So they don’t have to suffer through their mistakes like I did. I want to change your money story.
It's not my goal to make you a millionaire.
I can’t promise that you’ll ever be rich. And I am not going to tell you that changing your life will be easy.
What I am offering you, is the chance to be happy and free from debt. To gain the freedom to start living the life you desire, on your terms.