Now that I am older I can look back on some financial decisions I have made and shake my head. Luckily for me I was able to break the cycle of “being broke.” The sad part of my past is that I wasted so much time and money on things that had no REAL value. It started with my first credit card at the age of 18 and escalated to cars and stupid material things in between.
Being a financially responsible adult was not at the top of my radar. However being successful and looking the part was. So like many young adults I accepted the job that offered me the most money while purchasing the latest gadgets, designer clothing, and must haves. Hence, racking up consumer debt with things I really could not afford. My weakness was cars. I decided to purchase one almost every year. I did this by trading them in and carrying over the negative equity to the new vehicle. Doing these transactions was a form of financial rush in roulette in which I later learned a valuable lesson. But one of my ultimate car sins happened when I upgrading into a luxury vehicle by going into a lease agreement.
It was not until I got tired of not having money after just getting paid or moving from apartment to apartment because I did not like the area or my neighbors that I realized I was doing something terribly wrong. I started looking around for answers and examples of the things that I TRULY wanted out of life. I call these things my core goals.
I knew I wanted stability, which for me meant a home of my own, the second thing was a career doing something I was truly passionate about, and the third was to have enough money to help me achieve what I needed and wanted out of life without relying solely on borrowing money from banks, family or friends.
My simple action steps begin at the library where I started reading about budgeting and saving money, next the book store, seminars, radio programs etcetera. The light switch came on when I heard the voice of Larry Burkett on the airwaves. Mr. Burkett was one of the founders of Crown Ministries. He passed away July 4, 2003, but his teachings will live on within many others and me. Suze Orman’s tough and straightforward style put the “no excuse” motto in front of my “broke” mentality and I really got focused about being a financially empowered women. I can name many others that helped me see the light but the two I mentioned were my first mentors and teachers.
Luckily in my quest to be financially fit, I was able to brake the cycle as well as reach some of my core goals by finding security in my first home purchase, doing what I am passionate about with writing and teaching others about financial literacy, saving, and giving money towards the things that I believe in. Throughout my journey I have learned that buying things that only decrease in value or that looks flashy in most cases are really not worth the money. Find out what TRUE wealth means and start by educating yourself about money, it’s never to late!