Posted by Gail | Filed under This & That
On June 18th I asked you to submit your stories about your experience with money for a chance to win free copies of The Gail Way and a free copy of a Gail book. Last week from Monday to Thursday, y’all voted. The following people have won a free copy of The Gail Way. (Send me an email with “winner” in the subject line to firstname.lastname@example.org.) Today y’all get to vote on the winners’ stories so someone can win a Gail book of his or her choice. 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 book.
#4 Jeremy C:
My Money Story begins a year ago. I always did fine with money until I got sick and ended up having to take time off work… A total of 6 months… I was living on my own and rent was 900$ a month. That doesn’t include all my other bills. I was struggling and digging deeper and deeper in debt. I racked up 8000 on my credit card just to get by.
The money situation was just making me more stressed and more sick. My partner and I decided to move in together, and he took out a line of credit and Paid off all my debt(except my student loan of course). I owed him just under 10 000$… because of the load of stress that was gone, and him not asking for interest in return, I was able to make it back to work… just part time, but it was a start… I lived here rent free until I was able to make money again… I started paying him back in february 2012… The more I paid him back, the better I started to feel and more I was able to work.. I am back to full time. My goal was to pay him back 1000 in february, And along with taking clients on the side and my paycheck, I was able to repay 2100 in the first month, as well as keep up to date with my bills… I have been paying him back every paycheck since, And I just owe him 4000$ now, and I will continue to repay him until my debt is gone, which I’m expecting to be done before 2013!!…
#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.
#13 Jaclyn O:
After my dad made some really bad decisions, my parents separated and my mom filed for bankruptcy when I was very young. She then vowed to teach me all about money so I never had to do the same. And what a great job she did! Starting at age 7, she taught me all about bills, budgets, paychecks, taxes, RRSPs etc and how to run the family money. We would sit at the kitchen table with all the paperwork and a calculator twice a month, and I still remember these nights!! She had me get a job and pay rent (small amounts) so I learned to manage my money in my own way. She also taught me to do my own taxes by hand so I never have to waste my money and pay someone to do them for me Thanks to her, I’m proud to say I’m a 24 yr old university graduate with no debt; I paid my way through school by working and getting scholarships, and travelled to about 10 different countries along the way. I live on my own, have my own car and manage my money very well. I know that budgets are great but that they change almost as often as the weather because life is unpredictable! I have perfect credit and am now starting to save to buy a house!! I’m also proud to say that my mom was a great example; she bought her first house just 8 years after filing bankruptcy!
#20 Christa C:
The most important money lesson that I ever learned happened when I was six. (Was I lucky or what?) For my sixth birthday one of my Dad’s friends gave me a homemade wooden duck piggybank with clear plastic sides. That night when I was waiting to be tucked in Mom sat down on my bed and talked to me about my gifts and how lucky I was.
Prior to this I had been MUCH more excited about the My Little Pony stable but what mom said next has stuck with me throughout my life. Mom handed me my new piggybank and told me that of all my gifts this one was the most important because it promised me a future. This was my new savings bank and it would let me have a wonderful life. Every time I got money at least half of it was to go into the bank. She lovely told me I couldn’t touch the money I put in the bank until I was all grown up and needed it go to university or to buy a house. Learning to save, Mom said as she gave me a hug, was a gift I could give my future self.
I filled that bank with nickels for making my bed, quarters for sweeping the floor and pennies I found on the street and in less than a year it was full. Then came the day I felt like I’d really grown up because Mom took me to the bank to open an account with the $67.03 I’d managed to save. I couldn’t see over the counter but it was one of the proudest moments in my life.
Mom was right. Learning to save was the best gift I’ve ever given myself. That $67.03 and the money that followed went to pay for my university education. 24 years latter I don’t manage to save half of my income anymore, I still put money aside every month and don’t owe a cent.
#21 Zsanett B:
I was misused. Don’t mind me I am not complaining I’ve been misused many times before but I expected more of Ms B. She has used many versions of me in her life from Hungarian forints, to euros, to dollars and always took good care of me. But along came her first credit card in Canada and she got confused. I know she is not alone. The moment I become a piece of plastic, people tend to think I am infinite. And sure enough I fell through Ms B’s hands like sand through a sieve.
See, I don’t judge people. I am here to help you through life in the modern world but if you don’t educate yourself on how to use me properly, you will end up hating me and stressing about me. Just like Ms B did for the first few years she spent in Canada. Coming from a small European country to Canada full of opportunities and shiny new stores, brands and credit cards, she fell off track easily. By her 4th year here she and her DH racked up some substantial debt, including the worst of its kind: pay day loans. Don’t even get me started on those, if I had a choice I’d refuse to be associated with them altogether.
Come December last year Ms B really started to feel the rope getting tighter. As Christmas passed and the big pile of gifts lay around mocking her with their existence, she knew something was wrong. In January Ms B and her DH finally hit rock bottom, when she had to cash in her last emergency fund that she kept if anything unexpected happened to her loved ones in Hungary and she needed to fly there ASAP. Her last safety net went to rent.
I still remember how upset she was. With the emergency fund gone, bills in arrears, a credit card close to maxed out, daily calls from the pay advance people and the due date of a buy now pay later plan approaching with the speed of light, she knew it was time to change things. But her first attempts were frustrated. Her long time and only bank in Canada refused to give her a consolidation loan and her credit card company declined all her effort to lower interest rates for her.
Little did these companies know that if Ms B is passionate about something – and trust me by this point all she could talk about was me – that’s when she operates the most effectively. She took the only route that was to be taken and started to gobble up all information related to me: she watched TV shows about financing, read books, blogs and websites discussing budgeting. She did an extensive research about banks and credit cards and the credit score system. All that with one goal in mind: to prove lenders that declined her that she can do it on her own and indeed do it better!
She set up a budget, she tracked expenses, planned purchases, reviewed and revised her numbers until she was happy with the results. In little over 4 months, the collection calls stopped, due to a thorough investigation about past hydro bills a substantial credit was rewarded to her, her credit card was paid off and she was pretty happy about herself.
Except for one little thing. She still wanted revenge on her bank and credit card company. Using her previous research she moved all her earnings along with her pay roll to a no fee online bank where she feels like a valued customer again. She also applied for a cash back credit card and does not intend to use her old card for anything but a small monthly payment to keep the card current for her credit history. I’m proud of her, she learned her lesson. I am sure I’ll be used properly in her hands in any situation.
BTW: The griping about the too-long story was pointless. If I had NOT wanted to include the story I would NOT have included the story. It was a story worthy of reading. Many entries never made it to last week’s contest at all. As for the “Ughs” and negative comments about the stories, consider this your first warning. If you don’t like what’s happening here, feel free to find another community. Here we are supportive and share openly. I will block people who bring negativity to this community. I don’t have a problem with disagreements or with each person having an opinion, but nobody wants downer comments and negativity. So lose it or get lost!