This guest post from Lindsay is part of the Reader Stories feature at Get Rich Slowly. Some stories contain general advice; others are examples of how a GRS reader achieved financial success — or failure. These stories feature folks from all levels of financial maturity and with all sorts of incomes.
Thank you for Get Rich Slowly.
I started reading GRS almost five years ago, and it has influenced me to:
- Ask for raises
- Seek extra income
- Use automatic savings and dedicated savings accounts
- Pay attention to interest rates
- Keep track of my spending
- Improve my credit rating, and
- Reduce my expenses
Five years ago, I had thousands in credit card debt, and I had never looked at how much I spent each month or devised a budget. I still don't use a budget, but I check on my spending periodically and make lifestyle changes accordingly. (I only eat out a few times a month and I quit smoking, to name a couple of major money sinks that I have eliminated in reaction to seeing my monthly spending). I also married a saver; good money management was an important quality to me in a future mate.
Five years later, I'm free of consumer debt. I get paid by a credit card (points). I have emergency savings to last six months and an emergency plan, and I save over 25% of my income. I've increased my automatic savings with each raise I got over the years, rather than allowing myself the option of lifestyle inflation.
Today is the first payday I have ever experienced where I do not feel like I just squeaked by, and I am not worried about making things stretch until next payday. It's something I've never felt before, and it's so liberating.
I do have some “good” debt. I have a mortgage (my husband saved up the down payment before our marriage), and I have no intention of paying it off early! We have a transferable 4.75% interest rate, and this is not our “forever home.” While paying off student loans wasn't a priority while I was trying to become financially stable, I've recently begun to snowball them.
Thank you for helping me get to this place. I couldn't have done it without you.
J.D.'s note: It's stories like this that keep me going at GRS, even when sometimes I'm ready to move on to something else. Thanks, Lindsay.