"Love your Budget, Love your Life!"
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Hey Girl, hey!
So I’m starting a three part series entitled “Confessions” where I interview some of my current clients to discuss the differences in their finances from when they first started my program until now. Today… I introduce you to Sandy - The Shopper!
Sandy is the epitome of a Dallas socialite. She’s here, she’s there... she’s all over the city! And with her keen sense of style and her contagious smile, she’s bound to confidently light up any room she walks into. Yet, there was one thing that Sandy wasn’t so confident about… and that was her money management habits.
Her weakness was shopping... and I tell ya, this girl could literally shop until she dropped! But with Sandy being one of my very best friends, I knew I couldn’t allow her to continue with these bad money habits, and that those finances needed to get in check… quick!
In Sandy’s recent interview we took a walk down memory lane and had some great laughs along the way… Here’s how it went:
[Elle]: “So… let’s talk! Let’s talk about money… you’re debt freeeeee!”
[Sandy]: (Laughing) ‘You know what’s funny… I’ve told the world a little bit about it for those who give a shit, that this girl is debt free! Whatcha’ know about that?!”
[Elle]: “That is AWESOME! How does that make you feel?”
[Sandy]: Honestly, it feels good… like really good to know that if something were to happen… anything… I know I did my part financially in this world to be debt free. I really feel good about that as a human being.”
[Elle]: “So let’s go back… to the beginning of when we first started.”
[Sandy]: “Oh God... whyyy?!” (laughing)
[Elle]: “What were your initial thoughts about starting this?”
[Sandy]: “Honestly, I was like I’m gonna go in there half-assing this. This is my best friend. She’s gonna be cool about it and maybe turn a left cheek and then a right cheek, but nooo that did not happen. I got a very rude awakening and it was one of those things where you were coming to terms with your demons and mine was just overspending. I mean… I love shopping! And it was scary because I knew I could do it, but for whatever reason, I didn’t want to challenge myself but I knew I had to do it.”
[Elle]: “So what were some of the challenges you faced?”
[Sandy]: “You know that ‘Needs vs. Wants’ post you wrote about? That didn’t even cross my mind. For me… everything was a need. It was like I need these Christian Louboutins and I need this Kate Spade bag. I thought I really needed those things, but with financial maturity I realized that those things are not really what’s important. Being financially responsible meant so much more than those labels and tangible things.
[Elle]: “Yea.. because you had stuff everywhere!”
[Sandy]: “I mean yeah… reality really hit when you looked at me and said ‘It looks like we gotta sell the Michael Kors bag to pay off debt’ and I said ‘nooooo, (huge laughs) don’t you do it to me!’ And then that bag went... so that was hard. It was like a gaping hole in my closet but I got through it and Michael was gone.”
[Elle]: “Oh poor Michael… may he rest in peace.”
[Elle]: “So what did you grow up knowing about money?”
[Sandy]: “Well you gotta keep in mind that I’m a first generation Nigerian, and I am so proud to say that... but with that comes lack of knowledge. So what I learned was my parents were falling into a situation that they weren’t even knowledgeable about and were digging a hole for themselves, which was really hard to see. You know… it’s crazy to think that because your Dad is an accountant that he would know all about numbers, but growing up we only knew the fact that we had 5 TV’s in the household, we had all the coolest gadgets, and that was what financial happiness looks like. Then you realize that your parents are always arguing about money, so it cannot be all good. But it really translated into my adulthood, because I thought if I get the latest fashion trend or whatever, then people will like me and I really think that’s what my parents were doing and didn’t realize it… until they had to get a house or a car and they were being denied shit.
[Elle]: “Yea… that definitely slaps you in the ‘effin face.”
[Sandy]: “For sure.”
[Elle]: “So what would you be overspending your money on?”
[Sandy]: “It was mostly fashion stuff and then I would say a far second was eating out because I’m a foodie! But it was a matter of frequency, and I was doing it almost daily. I didn’t realize that those treats that I give myself I was taking for granted, and my account was showing that too. It felt good though...for that moment, just getting that instant gratification, but then you get that sinking feeling of ‘oh shit, I didn’t pay for my electricity’, and I’m not the type chick that returns shit, so I would just be like ‘I guess my electricity bill is gonna go ahead and be late’ (laughs). Real talk… that’s a true story."
[Elle]: “What would you feel like your most exciting accomplishments have been throughout the program?”
[Sandy]: “I would say bonding with you, seeing your craft and finding out what you love about this so much. Then it hit me that being financially stable can be fun, even though we’ve been through some blood, sweat, and tears and me crying and getting all emotional (laughing). But in 2015, I was kinda financially maturing and I felt it coming and then in 2016, remember I approached you and I said ‘I want to be debt free’?”
[Elle]: “Yeah, you set a goal!”
[Sandy]: “And I knew I could have done it on my own, but not without you. You helped me feel accountable and I didn’t want to let myself or my husband down. There were just so many people that this impacted... more than they even know. And going forward, I want to definitely save more money, I want to invest, I want to see what else is out there in the money world that I could be sleeping on. Also, I was so excited about paying off and getting the title to my car… “
[Sandy]: “Man...I walked in that credit union and said ‘BAM… what’s up?! Gimme my title bihhhh!”
[Elle]: “Okaaay, like put some respeck on my name!”
[Sandy]: “Then Sally Mae wrote me a letter and said ‘you have been paid in full’!”
[Elle]: “Yep! Bye-Bye Sally Mae!”
(Both laughing hysterically)
[Sandy]: “That feels great. And my husband was so supportive and was like ‘babe, I am so proud of you’.”
[Elle]: “Well, I mean that is a huge accomplishment to do in one year’s time.”
[Sandy]: “Yeah, we cleared over $10,000 in debt and saved money… and traveled… and ate out… and shopped. You just gotta be in the budget, you gotta stay disciplined, you gotta stay focused, and you gotta be balanced. That is the key!”
And she's right, girlfriends! A balanced budget allows you to do all that you want to do... and then some, without having to carry the financial weight and stress that poor money management habits bring. I'm so proud of my girl Sandy and the financial goals she has accomplished, and I know you (yes, YOU) can get to this point too!
Leave a comment below and let me know how Sandy's story has inspired you!
Until Next Time,