Growing up I always wanted to learn more on how to make more money and to manage it in situations where money might be difficult to come by. It is not always easy to do the things that you want with limited resources. However, with continued perseverance and education I believe that anyone can reach there financial goals.
I grew up in a home where the financial resources were not always there for stuff that would have made life easier. If there was something I wanted, I needed to learn to go out and work for it. During high school while most of my friends got cars for their sixteenth birthdays, I worked everyday after school in order to purchase my first vehicle. What an amazing feeling being able to pay for my "own" car with my hard earned money. After high school I continued to work for a couple of months in order to fund a service mission that I participated in in South America. As most can imagine, this drained most, if not all of my savings. When I returned to the United States I quickly found out that that little pickup that I worked so hard for had been beaten up by my younger brother and his friends. This situation put me in such a bind that I did something that looking back on I would not had done again. I decided to borrow money to purchase a car. Instead of sticking to my roots and working hard to get what I needed I took out a loan.
A couple of months into my marriage I pulled out a book that I never thought would have changed my life. The book was called "The Total Money Makeover" by Dave Ramsey. The book teaches seven basic principles to help people to get out of debt, stay out of debt, and work towards building a retirement. After getting my wife on board we decided to throw all of our extra earnings towards our car loan. Within six months of our decision we had paid off our loan completely. We continued this tactic with all of the debt we had started to accumulate. In total we paid off over $8000.00 in less than a year. From that point forward we decided to make a plan and stick to it. We never wanted to go into debt for anything ever again.
I am less than two years away from graduating with an accounting degree and we have stuck to this plan. It has not been easy but we have been blessed to be able to work and afford the necessities while getting a degree. I am on schedule to graduate debt free and on the right path for financial success. One of the most vital parts to our families success is that we set aside money every paycheck for everything that we need to plan for. For example, in March we are having our first baby and we have saved up enough money that we will be able to pay for everything we need including the pregnancy with cash.
I am a college student that makes a minimal amount of money. If I can stay out of debt then anyone can do it. Being able to stay ahead of the game has been a very important part of my life. I am loving life!