Growing up, my parents did not teach me anything about finances. My family wasn’t poor per say, but I was always limited on things I could do or buy. So anytime I DID get money, I would spend it right away. Once I turned 18, I opened up credit card after credit card and looked at it like free money. I didn’t know anything about interest or how it affected my credit score. My paychecks were spent on useless items and I had no idea how to save. Eventually I smartened up and taught myself the basics. I paid off all my credit cards, stopped spending so much and began saving. That’s why it is so important to me that others know these things early on.
The best place to begin is to assess how much you owe and educate yourself (Susan Orman and Dave Ramsey give good, easy advice). Ignoring your debt will never solve the problem. Then, you can make your game plan.
- NEVER miss a payment, even if you can only afford to pay the minimum
- Sign up for free credit monitoring like Credit Karma or Credit Sesame
- After you pay off a credit card, DO NOT close the account. Your credit score is affected every time you close one. Instead, just cut up the card or put it somewhere to prevent you from using it.
- ALWAYS save for a rainy day
“If you are born poor, it is not your mistake. If you die poor, it is your mistake.”
“Debt is the worst poverty.”
“Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship.”
“Coins make sound, but paper money is always silent. So when your value increases, keep yourself silent and humble.”