The following blog post is part of the The Road to Financial Wellness Blog Tour. Over a period of 30 days, the Phroogal team will go to 30 locations to raise awareness about financial empowerment. Today they will be in Atlanta! Our goal is to help people learn about money by starting the conversation. We understand that local conversations can help bring about national awareness.
I’ve been on a kick lately detailing my financial journey. (See this post I did with Prudential last week!) I’ve also been making the rounds of a number of financial podcasts sharing my story of credit card debt- to NYC- to financial blogger- to self-employed solopreneur. I love telling my story, because it makes me feel all warm and tingly on the inside because I know just how far I’ve come.
I didn’t become a finance blogger and then decide to take control of my finances. Quite the opposite actually. Two years before I started blogging, I was in NYC working a terrible desk job when I decided to never let my bad financial decisions affect what I could and could not do in life. (I talked about it in Farnoosh’s SO MONEY podcast if you’re interested in hearing the whole thing. Listen here!)
Over the last five years it’s been a long and winding journey full of successes: I’ve changed careers, increased my income, bought a home, and “failures” like my runaway renovation, failing to save for retirement, and going back into credit card debt again. But to me, being financially empowered simply means that you sit up and pay attention to your finances.
Since dealing with the stress of buying my home and going back into credit card debt, I’ve especially learned that it is impossible to be perfect with your money 100% of the time. As I tell everyone: money is a lifelong process.
Think about that.
From the age of 18 to when you die you’re going to be dealing with money (yours, your spouses, your parents, your children’s all at different points in the journey) for the REST of your life. And you don’t know what is going to happen.
You could have a medical emergency. Even if you have an emergency fund and savings and prepare, you could end up in debt again. You could unexpectedly lose your job. Or unexpectedly win the lottery and start spending like crazy and go bankrupt. You never know what is going to happen. Emotions get in the way of money all the time.
Life changes, you’ll change. So inevitably, your money will change. So what can we do?
We can make smart choices. We can prepare for the hard times, but also enjoy our money too.
Simply by sitting up and paying attention to my finances, by taking responsibility for the credit card debt that forced me to forgo acting for a desk job, by saying that I’m going to make it on my own and pay my bills on time, I became financially empowered.
Some things I’m able to do because I pay attention to my money? I work for myself now as a freelance marketing copywriter. I make continual improvements to my (now) beautiful home. I get to take trips and see friends and loved ones and go out to eat and do fun things. I’m financially free of my parents and I don’t have to rely on the help of a man or significant other to get by.
That’s financial success and what financial empowerment means to me.
Now, to help celebrate #TheRoad, what does being financially empowered mean to you?