The Road to Financial Wellness 2.0
The following blog post is part of The Road to Financial Wellness blog tour. The Road to Financial Wellness is a three-month, grassroots campaign promoting financial empowerment on a national level and encourages people to pursue their dream lifestyle. Find out more about local events near you.
Over the last few months I have lived without any personal debt. Over the previous 10 years of my life I have lived in debt. It started with student loans to pay for college. It moved on to a credit card to go on spring break or pay books or buy food. It didn’t end there. Instead of less debt it became more. As my high school vehicle was limping to work at my grown up job, I made the decision to purchase a Mercedes Benz. If I couldn’t make any more poor financial decisions, I left my job and moved across the country just a few short months later. I had no job and 1 month worth of savings to live off of. While living across the country I didn’t find full-time work for over a year. I hustled my hardest just to make the minimum payments and as my credit card payment reached it’s limit, I realized I had failed. That’s how my road to financial wellness all started with a failure.
I moved back to the Chicago area with a family member to get back on my feet. I began working the second I stepped out of my Mercedes Benz and I knew things had to change. I was able to get full-time work shortly after I arrived. My family member showed me some tough love and kicked me out of my rent free arrangement. I needed the tough love, I needed to be responsible, I needed to grow up a little. I sold my Mercedes Benz and started down the road of eliminating over $100,000 in debt and where I stand today.
I wanted to share the details of where I was a few years ago. Many of the stories you read in the big financial websites include a simple statement like “I paid off my student loans in 14 months”. I know it sounds odd, but I need to see a bigger fail. I need to see someone not have a job, buy an expensive car, move across country, move back home because he/she couldn’t make the minimum payments. I need to see someone struggle to show they really won.
Financial Empowerment. When I first came across these 2 words, they didn’t really mean much to me. Over time they meant a little more. It all started with a budget and knowing where my money was going. That made me feel empowered. Then I sold my car and next paid off my credit cards, which made me feel in control. I was doing something with my money that I had never done before. One of the biggest feelings of financial empowerment came about one year ago when I paid off my student loans. I had over $60,000 in student loans and I paid off the last$46,500 in 2 years and 3 months. I felt Financially Empowered. I felt like everything that I did with my finances before this point had led up to this moment. I paid off the last of my personal debt this past year, a loan to my parents. It wasn’t the most conventional way to pay off the last of my personal debt, but I have come along way.
I have not always made the right choices with money. My guess is that know one has made the right choice with money. That’s why it’s so important to learn, live, and listen to everything you can get your hands on about money and financial wellness. The places it can lead you to and the choices it can provide are endless.
The Road to Financial Wellness could be coming to your town, what a great way to start on your road to financial empowerment.