A Week of Stories
Posted by Gail | Filed under This & That
On June 18th I asked you to submit your stories (150-350 words) about your experience with money for a chance to win free copies of The Gail Way and a free copy of a Gail book. This week from Monday to Thursday, I’ll be posting the stories I received for you to read and vote on. Whoever gets the most votes each day will win a free copy of The Gail Way. Tell your friends and family to come read your stories and vote for you. Tweet the contest. Put it on your Facebook page. Remember, whoever gets the most number of votes wins The Gail Way package and a chance to be entered for the book. On Monday July 16 I’ll repost the most popular stories and the person who gets the most votes will win a copy of a Gail book, winner’s choice.
#7 Kimberly H:
Ah, my story with money. It took me a few years before I would openly talk about what happened. Let me paint a quick scene. I was 20 years old, dumb, naive and thought I knew everything. I started dating a guy that made me feel on top of the world, then slowly things started to seem fishy, and I was getting bad gut feelings. Let’s just say when that relationship ended he left me $16,000.00 in the hole. Some of it had been through fraud, depositing empty envelopes into my account and taking out credit in my name. And unfortunately, some of it was things I bought with the promise of “I’ll pay you back”, including a computer! When the relationship ended, reality sunk in that I had to pay for this massive debt all by myself. I sucked it up, chose to take this as a learning experience and dig myself out. Shortly after I started coming up with a repayment plan, I got rear ended through a stoplight and totaled my car. It was very emotional as it was the only thing I could hold onto that I thought this boyfriend couldn’t take from me, and here someone else through negligent driving wrote the car off. With the need to get a new car and $16,000.00 in maxed out credit cards I felt devastated. My bank turned me down, my parents couldn’t financially help me, what was a girl to do? I went to the credit union, my dad took a chance on me and co-signed for a $25,000.00 loan to consolidate it all and purchase a car. With payments of 543/mth I knew I would not be able to live on my own again for the next 4 years. I had to suck it up short term and live on next to nothing, but I did it. I’m now debt free, own a home and keep practicing good money practices.
#8 Melissa H:
In 2006, I was well over $20,000 in debt and I got into a debt management program and my parents were kind enough to let me move back home for 1 year. I had originally been told it would take me at least 6 years to pay off that debt. I cut out all the extras and instead of only paying the agreed upon payment of $579/month I paid extra almost every month, thanks to the strong encouragement of my parents to do so, and ended up paying off that debt in 3 1/2 years instead of 6. I took everything I learned from that debt management program, as well as stuff I’ve learned on Gail’s shows and now live on cash, totally debt free. It certainly changed the way I spent money, and having all that debt made me realize the difference between a want and a need.
#9 Ara H:
My husband, has been a great influence on my money habits since I have met him in 2002 (and I don’t mean him paying for everything and me being a princess). While in university I looked at my bank student line of credit as my income. Instead of considering my income the minimum wage, 20 hours a week I had $15000 at my disposal, and easy access too. My bank provided me a credit card access this money, so all I had to do was swipe and sign and I could have whatever I wanted.
When my now husband bought anything he paid with cash. I observed this behaviour for many months before I started asking questions. Come to find out I had met a man who could save money without even thinking about it. I decided that maybe his method would work better than what I was doing.
I had to really work at. Saving and not spending did not come naturally to me, and still does not to this day. Now purchases are not made in my house without thinking. If we use a credit card the balance is paid within two weeks, I make a budget for Christmas and save all year for it. The biggest help is meal planning and grocery shopping with a list.
I am happy to say my school debt was paid within a year of graduating and the only debt my husband and I have if for our house. Are we perfect, no. But now my biggest impulse buy would be a coffee or bag a chips, not a couple hundred dollars worth of clothes in less than 3 hours on a student line of credit.
#10 Tish B:
Before reading Debt Free Forever I absolutely sucked with money! Now don’t get me wrong, I didn’t max out my credit card on a fancy trip or a shopping spree; I spent it on school. But after leaving school I wasn’t making the big bucks. Not enough in my opinion to buy the things I wanted PLUS pay off my debt. Add in overdraft, an overdue gym membership payment, a buy now pay later book. I was looking at almost $20,000 worth of debt. With nothing to show to show for it.
I had creditors call me and I thought “they can call me all they want, I don’t care because I don’t have their money” This way of thinking continued for a couple years.
One day a light ball came on and I woke up and got a clue. I couldn’t continue to live like this if I wanted a better life for myself. I buckled down and busted my ass off and now I have 2 more creditors to pay off and my student loan left. I will be debt free by next year if not sooner.
All because I gave a damn
#11 Sylvia LH:
My first memory about money was my parents arguing because they were stressed out about paying taxes. They didn’t argue often so it was scary. My dad was working for a company that wasn’t taking taxes off his pay at the time, and they hadn’t prepared for the hit.
My second memory came a few years later when my mum decided to give me a budget. I made a list of all the things that I would need, and she would give me a lump sum now. Each item had an allotted amount but as long as I managed to buy everything I could spend more in some areas than others.
When I got my first “real” job after grade ten, I was making 6.40$ an hour and was working five days a week. I was LOADED. My mom made me put half my money in an RESP and she matched every dollar. We continued this throughout high school. At the end of grade ten, when my summer job ended, I had what felt like a lot of money left in my bank. I ran out in November and was broke for the rest of the year. There were no hand-outs in my family, so if I wanted money I had to have a good reason, and I had to pay it back (there was constantly an IOU on the fridge).
I did a lot better after grade 11, and managed to make my money last until about April, then I started to work part time in May so that was alright.
In second year university my parents gifted myself & my brother 2000$ in mutual funds. Because of this, I had to speak to an advisor every year, so as soon as I got my first job after university he set me up on an automated savings plan, and I’ve been paying myself first ever since. At 28 years old I have no debt (consumer or otherwise), decent RRSPs and a downpayment that will hopefully be 20% in the near future, without having to touch my RRSPs.
#12 Michelle W:
I have had the WORST experience with money my whole life. As a child we were poor, so my parents used credit ALL the time… We were never able to go on vacations. As I got married and had kids of my own, well, the pattern never changed. I did as my parents did, dug the hole deeper and deeper till we couldnt’ breathe anymore… refinancing the mortgage seemed the right thing to do. But 2 times was not smart, it was bad teaching from my parents… After 17 years of living this way, I finally think
I can get out of it. Credit cards are the worst thing that ever happened to me, and I am teaching my kids, that they are ok to have if you can be responsible with them… I am not a responsible credit card owner, therefore, I do not have one anymore. Thanks to you Gail, I have learned enough to make sure my kids don’t live the same pattern I did. and I have the opportunity to live a better life for myself.
Vote for your favourite story in the comments section by including the # and name for the post you enjoyed most on today’s blog. The story that gets the most votes will win a copy of The Gail Way and have their story entered into next Monday’s Vote-Off. Monday’s winner will receive a Gail book of their choice. Good luck everyone! I thoroughly enjoyed your wonderful stories.