My Little Success Story

Have you paid off your debt? Managed to save for your dream home? Had an awesome investment pan out? Share your personal finance success stories here.

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My Little Success Story

Postby blip » Thu Oct 18, 2007 5:27 pm

Couldn't pass up a chance for a Wii...

My financial story through adolescence was pretty typical: I got a small allowance for typical chores; I had a savings account that I put birthday checks from Grandma into; and would hit up the parents for money when I really needed something (which was surprisingly often). In high school I earned cash through jobs summer jobs painting and doing odd jobs, and by babysitting. Once I entered college, I opened up my own checking account, got an ATM card, and had a credit card with my parents as co-signers (or co-card holders?) meaning they got the bill. The credit card was for emergencies, of course.

I started college at a private institution, as that's what my sisters and my friends had done. I found many things to spend my hard earned cash on, most noticeably CD's, concert tickets, and booze. The summer after my first year, I decided to give the whole credit card thing a whirl, and started buying things here and there with the card. I figured each one was just $15-20, and that was pretty cheap. Then, I heard from my Dad when he got the bill. Not good. Apparently, all those little charges added up, and I couldn't very well chalk them all up to "emergencies." Lesson learned.

After spending some time off during college, I decided to go back to a city college, for about one tenth the cost of my previous institution. I was mainly subsidized by the parents, and my finances were a bit scary. I mainly kept a checkbook by looking online and seeing what my balance was. Surprisingly, that didn't work out so well. Bounced checks, last minute calls for bill money, and using cash back at the drugstore since there was less than $20 in my account. Luckily, these foolish times would change thanks to the new lady in my life.

She straightened me out, and taught me the ways of a balanced check book. We sorted out the finances, and were soon living together. Another lesson: living in sin can greatly reduced rent bills. We both decided to go to grad school, and forgot our city college pasts, deciding to go to private school. We were young and slightly gladly ignorant, and loans felt like Monopoly money. It wasn't until we graduated and entered our careers that we realized the chunk of debt that we had accrued. To top it off, we both went into public service fields. While these can make you feel great (sometimes), they are not the highest paying positions. But, we both agreed (i.e. she told me) that we would constantly save and aggressively pay off any debts we could. This included the car loans we took out, and paying off credit card bills on a monthly basis. Now we just have our college loans.

I know that education is an investment, but we still wish we had invested in a cheaper education. We are expecting our first kid soon, and we'll be going down to one salary. Not sure exactly how this will go, but I think that the main lesson I've learned is that if you're generally happy, the money stuff will work out. We've prioritized what we need and what we want, and then what we really need and really want. Sure, there are sacrifices, but they seem to go away pretty quickly, and we haven't bounced a check or gotten threatening phone calls from any collection agencies, either.

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Re: My Little Success Story

Postby kombat » Thu Mar 20, 2008 8:58 am

blip wrote:I think that the main lesson I've learned is that if you're generally happy, the money stuff will work out.

This is utterly nonsensical advice.

This is a forum about being money-smart and Getting Rich. Not burying your head in the sand and hoping the "money stuff will work out."

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Postby consultantjournal » Thu Mar 20, 2008 12:48 pm

Mmmm...if you're happy, the money stuff may work out. It's when the money stuff starts causing pain in your life -- or when it starts being caused by pain -- that it's a problem.
Andrea Coutu
Consultant Journal

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Postby DannyBoy » Sat Mar 22, 2008 5:37 am

I don't mean to flame you for this success story, but what did you actually learn from this?

I don't mean to bring myself up in this thread or compare myself to you, but I'm 19 years old, I had 6k of debt, yup all that from the age of 18 years old, I fucked up. I took a second and third job while I worked 80 hrs a week to get where I am today, debt free and a growing portfolio. I'm still going with more than full time hours, learning to live frugally. I've learned that you have to BE SMART.... and logical when it comes to money. Sometimes you have to display tough love towards your significant other or at least make it clear what exactly you want out of your relationship and how money is going to come into play in order for it to work.

I'm never going to settle just go coast by, money comes from hard work usually, not from hand outs.

I don't know about your situation exactly, but it seemed like there was someone always there for you, what if there wasn't, would you be able to handle it?

I don't know I've been up for a while, long day, I hope this sort of made sense.

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Re: My Little Success Story

Postby PrincessMagpie » Fri Jun 27, 2008 2:02 pm

blip wrote:I think that the main lesson I've learned is that if you're generally happy, the money stuff will work out.

I think this can be directly translated into "as long as my s/o is there to just manage my money for me, money stuff will work out".

I did this for my s/o as well, we moved in and I handled all the money. This has led to a few problems, mainly stemming from him not understanding how much time and energy goes into staying on top of finances. I'm starting to involve him more in what I'm doing and why I'm doing it, as well as handing some of our financial responsibility over to him. Maybe now that you are having a baby it would be a good time to ask your gf to show you all the financial stuff? Take away from her stress level?

Like Dannyboy said, what if what if there wasn't anyone to handle the money, would you be able to handle it?

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Postby anomar » Fri Jun 27, 2008 3:15 pm

Aw, don't flame the dude. He's only posted once, probably because he's scared to post again.

PF is also about learning and growing. The basic conception that you need to even START educating oneself is important. Signing onto a forum like this is a great first step.

Personally, I *know* that I am more on top of my finances than my boyfriend is. He has a cavalier attitude towards spending, has not emergency fund, and uses his credit cards. The only things I can do is tell him my own money hacks, show him the ways I track my own spending, and be kind and educate him without being judgement.

Blip, if you're reading this, you might want to keep a 'fiscal fitness journal' instead of posting in Success Stories... because you sound like you're at the beginning of 'getting rich slowly', and not actually successful with clearly defined goals. Pay yourself first, communicate with your partner, and read as much about the financial implications of your new child. Good luck.

edit ;Awww, this post is old! Sorry everyone. But I still think that my points are valid. It's a long path to Financial Independence.

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