We’ve asked several people to share their financial horror stories with us with the idea that we can learn from their mistakes. To start this series, it’s only fair that I share my own story of a not so great financial time in my life.
When I was growing up, I always worked. There were times in college when I had three part-time jobs. I never imagined a day when I would be jobless, but there I was - laid off from a job with zero emergency savings, divorced, three kids, student loans, and credit card debt. It was indeed a recipe for disaster.
I did get unemployment, but that didn't start right away and didn't last all that long. While I didn't have any emergency savings, I had been saving for retirement over the years so it could've been worse. Still, I blew through my retirement savings faster than I ever would've imagined. If I'd had some emergency savings, we could've lived off of that during the transition. I got behind on my bills and it was super stressful playing catch up. I also had to start saving for retirement all over again.
When I was growing up, my mom was really good about teaching me to save every time I got money. She always told me the first 10% of income goes straight into savings. I wish I heeded her advice, especially once I had kids.
I genuinely understand financial hardship and can relate to my clients about it. I've been there. I've lost nearly everything and had to rebuild. I teach on the importance of emergency savings, and my teaching comes from learning the hard way.
My biggest financial fear is not being able to give my kids everything they need. Since becoming a mom, financial security has become incredibly important to me.
I want to share two pieces of financial advice:
First and foremost, if you don't have emergency savings, start an account today. It doesn't matter how much you earn or how much your bills are, start somewhere. It will make difficult financial times in your life so much easier.
Secondly, if you need help, reach out and ask for it. I started the Moms Managing Money Facebook Group because I know that not everyone has someone who they can ask their financial questions to. We're here for you!
Other posts in our series of financial horror stories:
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