I was never taught personal finances while growing up. My parents never role-modelled to me what it was to save, invest, have a budget, or even talk about money. The topic of money and personal finances was hush-hush and was not to be discussed. Furthermore in my teens years I found myself in a household that was living below the poverty line, so struggling with finances became something of a normality for me.
So then I moved away to college, got my first credit card (which I treated as though it were free money), and wound up in a financial mess. There I was in my early twenties and in dire help financially. I was thousands of dollars in debt - from student loans, to credit card bills, to consumer debt, and I had no idea how much I was spending, or what I was spending it on. Money just seemed to come in and leave just as quickly - and on stuff that did not add any real value to my life, or help make me more money. I remember the feeling of there being more days in a month than there was enough money for, and I found myself living beyond my paycheque, which pushed me further away from the person I wanted to be.
I was not happy with the loss of control I was experiencing over my life and finances. I knew that I wanted to be successful and wealthy, but I had no idea how to get there. So I did what most people do: Buy luxury items, clothing, and status symbols that make you "look and temporarily feel" wealthy, but which just drive us further into debt.
Then at 27-years-old I met my first coach. My coach helped me realize that there was a different way of living, and that I had the power to transform my life. And he was right.
Excited about the prospect of getting my finances and life together, I remember telling one of my colleagues that I had started budgeting and that I was going to give it a try. Her response: she laughed in my face, claiming that if I had not already learned how to budget at my age (all of 27 years old) that I probably never would. The nerve.
Luckily this did not discourage me. There will always be haters or people who want you the remain exactly where you are - misery loves company after all.
My transformation did not happen overnight. There were a few setbacks and some tough lessons along the way - but I was determined to gain control of the greatest tool that I have (My Hard Earned Money), and build for myself a plan that would lead to financial freedom, which for me is having more than enough so that I can be generous with my time, and with my money.
Since then I've experienced a full transformation.
Today I have learned how to; triple my income and ask for what I know I deserve; I am in full control of where my money goes; I no longer feel the pressure to spend on unnecessary 'status symbols' or to keep up with unrealistic models of wealth; and most importantly there is now more money coming in than there are days in a month. I feel free.
Through hard work, perserveerance, and a unwavering commitment to change, I am proud to have achieved a better quality life for myself, where I can invest 35% of my after tax income (which generates further revenue for me), and where I have money left over to support multiple charitable causes that I feel called to support.
Having accomplished my goal, my new desire is to share that success with you, so that you too can experience a transformation of your own.