Money Woes and Credit Debt
At twenty-seven, I imagined my assets much more than what I really have...it’s less than five hundred. This is the money I have in my 401K at my current job - I know, it is really not impressive.
Money, like sex, wasn't a full-on conversation we commonly had in my family. If anything, it was very much like, "Save your money" without knowing the "Why should we” or the “how to’s”.
I just knew as a kid that my family was not wealthy. That lack of financial education trickled into my adulthood and impacted my relationship with money. I remember when a friend (someone other than the hiring manager) asked me what I was making - I was alarmed.
This is so personal, why is she asking me this?
Wait, is it safe to answer?
What if I am making less than her?
Should I just do a tiny white-lie?
This type of conversation was a massive hurdle to get over, trust me. I know some still feel uneasy disclosing their annual salary to their family and friends, but strangely, I’ve become transparent about mine despite my sticky situation. It's all about being comfortable with the uncomfortable - I tell myself.
So yeah, talking about money have been easier to navigate with age and my surroundings. I also learned the importance of having these uncomfortable chit-chats - it really makes a difference in your life (and well-being) because then people around you will help you find solutions.
I told myself now that I am in my late-twenties, I am going to take control of my life - and that includes my money.
The Financial Gym fell on our lap, and when we met Shannon McLay, I was inspired and convinced. I felt like the Universe was also telling me: Chary, you’re a grown ass woman - get a grip on your fucking finances already. So I signed up then and there with my Partner In Crime, Emily. Ta-da! a long-term solution to my current money woes.
My experience so far seriously has been eye-opening. When I had to get what the trainers called, "financially naked," I was so nervous. It was more terrifying than getting actually naked with the opposite sex.
I was ashamed about my debt. I knew it was bad, but I hadn’t realize it was that bad. It confirmed that I have not been living within my means. My excuse such as, "Oh I can put it on my credit card and pay it off later" and that "later" really never happened...
Working with my trainer, Crystal, we have carved out a personal plan that caters to my current situation and finding a solution, together. It’s really nice to have someone who keeps tabs on you in addition to support your financial goals - and most importantly, understands what you're going through.
I don’t want to get too profound here, but I have to share why it is really important for me to educate myself on the financial literacy. So, my parents didn’t teach me like I said. I knew when I was younger my mom filed for bankruptcy and we never spoke of it again. And in order for me to educate future generations of my family, or even my younger siblings, then I had to embark this financial journey.
So yeah - I make less than 52K annually and have over 10K in debt.
... but I'm working on it!
Written by Chary