My name is Ashley Bergeron and I'm one of those who learned about money "the hard way". It is not that I didn't have help, make good money for a kid or have support. I just wanted to be a kid. Growing up, my father was always especially good with money and tried teaching me the in's and out's. He always said " Don't get a credit card! If you don't have the money in your account, don't but it". Instead, I didn't listen and told myself I needed a credit car to build credit. It was working for a while until I got laid off.
Lets go back and see what happened. I had a co-op job right out of high school where I made $10.00 an hour. That is a great wage for someone who only had a car insurance payment. Instead of saving, I was always going out and buying food for lunch instead of packing it, I was always buying clothes, I drove everyone and anyone around without asking for gas money and my account never went above $1000.00. When I got laid off, that money which went very very fast. I went back and saw I blew over $600 alone on fast food and restaurants. My dad sat me down and went through my bank statements to see what happened and saw that I was irresponsible. I was forced to max out my credit card and pay a really high interest rate, YUCK! So, he told me, when I got a new job, he would put me one a strict budget.
So, I get a new job making significantly less money than I did at my previous job. However, because my money was being managed correctly, it felt like I was making more. With that being said, I started to become more aware of my spending habits. Now, I am approaching my 27th birthday and I have a 401k, a steady savings, my own place and I still get to go out and have fun. Yes, I make a lot more now but if I lived as if I did in the past, I wouldn't be able to have the things I have now. So, don't be past me, be present me. I also use my hour commute to work to listen to audio books about budgeting. Different authors have different techniques and I use a mix of different techniques that work for me. You can still have fun and be money smart, I promise!