This is Part 4 of our financial wellness blogger series. We asked bloggers to write about their money stories on their own blog to highlight how one can achieve their financial and life goals. There were 44 bloggers and podcasters who participated and their stories are compelling and powerful. I suggest you read through them and get inspired to take action to live your best life today. We all have money stories and I’ve found reading the journey of others have helped me achieve financial wellbeing.
In the series, I kept referring to HOPE. I want to repeat the term one last time. HOPE is Hearing Other People’s Experiences. My goal has been to help you see the light at the end of the tunnel. The light you see in the far distance is the exit leading you to your bright future.
“My money journey began when I was a kid. I would receive birthday cards with $5 in them (thanks grandma!), and would occasionally get some cash for chores or allowance. I knew pretty quickly that money was a big deal when I could just hand some over and get candy and baseball cards in return. THAT’S A BIG DEAL! But it wasn’t until I was about 10 years old that I really realized I that I could go out and EARN money.”
Read Jacob’s story on how he set himself off on the road to financial wellness from an early start.
“While I have most of these things under control, the one thing that scares me is debt. Having student loan debt or any kind of debt is a little frightening. I also worry how this will burden me over time. My biggest fear is letting debt dictate my life. I want to be in control of my life and be able to make smart financial decisions.”
Read Kristin’s story on her relationship with debt and overcoming her fears.
“I wake up excited to get to work, knowing that the effort I put toward work will have a direct impact on my life (the other side of that coin is fear, I know, that when I don’t “feel like working” I am not making any money, but I have plenty of tasks that don’t feel like work that are just as important).”
Read Kathleen’s story on the road to financial wellness, overcoming her fear of change and becoming a full-time entrepreneur.
“Having debt when you figure out what your life dreams are doesn’t mean that they won’t come true. It’s just a lot easier if you figure out the direction you want your life to go in before you get yourself tied up to a bunch of different financial obligations and payments.”
Read Retireby40.org guest blogger, Kayla’s story and her three keys to success.
“As soon as I became an adult, I took on student loans to go to college. I didn’t think twice about it, because it’s what I had to do. I worked all throughout college, but spent nearly all of my money because I was so young and had “forever” to save. Now I find myself in even more student loan debt than I was back then, with practically no retirement savings at the age of 30. Sometimes I’m scared shitless about this. But the one thing that keeps me going is seeing my progress on this journey.”
Read more of Melanie’s story from her journey into debt and determination to financial wellbeing.
“Sometimes, reading and learning from the extremities of people in regards to their money can be overwhelming. We all have to begin somewhere, right? At points on my road to financial wellness I am reverted back to my childhood days of entering a brand new school in a state my family just moved to. Which lunch table am I going to be invited to sit at? It’s enough to make my palms sweat all over again. It essentially strikes back to the fundamentals of fitting in. Do I have to spend beyond my means to keep up with the Jones’, or forego certain spending expenditures in order to prove that I am savvy enough?”
Read Alyssa’s journey on the road to financial wellness and choosing her own path to determine what’s right for her.
“It wasn’t until I got my first job after high school (R.I.P. Anchor Blue) that I really knew the value of a dollar. I finally realized how not-so-easy it was to earn, yet so-damn-easy to spend. My closet was filling up, but my bank account stayed empty. I thought retail therapy would make me feel better, but it only made me feel worse, especially when I saw how much money was in my wallet. (Read: none)”
Read Lisa’s story of how she went from confusion about money to financial empowerment.
“After working in the money business for what feels like most of my life, I’ve come to the realization that everyone could use more mindfulness when it comes to their relationship with money. Mindfulness for me is the ongoing practice of being present in the moment without judgement. All of the sudden I started to notice how I had been avoiding many things, like the fact that, put simply, I wasn’t happy, I had a severe anger problem, I was jealous of others, I was often times not kind to my family, I had a long history of interpersonal problems with my friends and co-workers, I continuously talked down to myself, and I had a severe problem with worrying about money.”
Read more of Leisa’s story on how she came to terms with her emotional past and built a solid relationship with money.
“As a freelancer, and a 40-something one at that, I’ve had to let go of what things ‘should’ look like in my financial life, versus doing what is best for my current situation. I think often times when we read financial advice, it’s written from a ‘one size fits all’ scenario…I mean I guess they have to, right? There are just too many people out there to create tailor-made advice to each individual.”
Read more of Tonya’s story of freelancer her way to financial wellness.
“If you’re like most people, you may not have the best relationship with your money. It might be one of those love-hate type things. Or maybe you have a “shove things underneath the rug about until shit hits the fan” kind of mentality. I may not have pulled off an amazing feat as some of those money stars out there (whom I highly admire) such as paying off an huge amount of debt or be on the path to retiring by 35, but one thing I have managed to get right now that I’m in my early 30s is to develop a healthy relationship with money. It does require a little bit of time and work, though.”
Read more of Jackie’s story and how she’s making it work on the road to financial wellness.
“My student debt wasn’t much, but before I had a plan, it felt like it controlled my entire life. I couldn’t go out because of my debt. I couldn’t travel because of my debt. I couldn’t live where I wanted to live, thanks to my debt. I got tired of feeling held back by debt, so I decided to come up with a plan. I drafted a budget. It factored in debt milestones I wanted to reach, and how I planned to reach them. It’s not like that plan suddenly allowed me to go out, travel, and live in a pricier part of town. But my mindset was no longer: I can’t go out because I’m in debt. Instead, it became: I can’t go out because I’m planning to get out of debt. It was my decision.”
Read more of Kristin’s journey toward frugality and how it’s saving her money and time.
You can read more awesome money stories of my personal finance blogger friends and how they got on the road to financial wellness.
So, what’s your story on the road to financial wellness? Comment below.