My financial success story is really the story of starting on the path to financial security. It started a couple years ago having read the Wealthy Barber. I loved the simple solution of regularly investing money in a hands-off way and letting the magic of compound interest and dollar cost averaging run their course.
The Wealthy Barber was good for that aspect of investing, but it didn't really help me with curbing my excessive spending and getting myself out of debt. I can't remember exactly how it happened, but it was probably Lifehacker.com that hooked me up with my first Get Rich Slowly article. I liked what I read and subscribed to the feed. In one of the book review posts, I learned about Financial Peace. I ordered that book in October '06 and fell in love with the titular concept: Financial Peace. No worrying about rent, job loss, the future, just playing smart with money and knowing that no one can hold you in place because of debt/money. It was, and still is, an invigorating concept. I think about the feeling that will come from the freedom from debt whenever I get discouraged and think about swaying from my plan. It's all about those two simple words: Financial Peace.
Now I have a small emergency fund, and I've successfully made budgets for the last 12 months. I haven't succeeded in eliminating even one of my consumer debts, but I now take an active part in thinking about how I spend my money. The immediate upside of that is planning for big expenses. I knew that this year I was going to have a couple expenses costing $1,000 or more, and thanks to my planning, I had cash in hand when those expenses came. The me of days gone by would have definitely been putting some of those expenses on my credit card.
When I look at the transformation that has happened, most importantly the transformation of my way of thinking about money, and the planning I've done this past year since finding Get Rich Slowly, I count this past year as a huge financial success. I'm not out of debt, and I'm not sitting on thousands in investments, but I have the mindset, map and motivation to achieve both soon.