Growing up my parents never discussed money with me. They thought that credit cards were bad, and never really educated themselves on the topic. At a very young age, I developed a savings habit. Even though I was a teen mom. I started saving for my son as soon as he was born. When family and friends would give him money for his birthday. I would deposit the money in a savings account for him.
At some point in my life, my good habit with saving and money started to change. I entered into a relationship, with a man that did not have my best interest at heart. I just became a homeowner when I met him, and things started to move quickly. He was actually my first real boyfriend and first husband. I started to find myself getting deeper and deeper in debt. When, I finally decided to leave his ass. I found myself in over $10k + in debt. The 3 carat diamond engagement ring that he was supposed to pay off. I was now paying off. The wedding we were supposed to pay off together. I found myself paying off. The list could go on and on.
At the age of 23 I found myself starting over financially. If my credit cards weren’t maxed out. They were close to it. I was a single mom working two jobs to pay off the mess that I didn’t have control of. I remember seeing people I knew while I was working my Part-time at Macy’s, and they would give me the side eye. I never felt embarrassed though. I had bills that had to be paid, and a son that had to be taken care of. ( Sidenote: stop letting your pride get in your way of being successful)
I started paying off, the highest interest credit card first , and learning my wants from my needs. No I’m not perfect. No, I couldn’t go to my parents for answers. I had to learn on my own, and teach my son too.
The best advice I received in regards to teaching my son about money was letting him know. If it’s a need. I will buy it if it’s a want. You have to come up with the money.” I still struggle with this. When he wants to go to the mall. I make it very clear to him that he is using his allowance. ( unless we’re on a date or something)
Side note: Let me just say. I missed out on “Girls Vacations” in order to purchase my house at 21 and a teen mom. It’s called sacrifice. I was making around $30k a year. No, I wasn’t making “big money. ” but it was more important for me to provide my son with a home.
I am saying all that to say this. It’s never too late to change your spending habits. I do not blame anyone for the choices I made. I try to learn from the not so great choices I have made in my past.
Don’t forget to check out part one HERE