I was living in New York City on less than $500/week.
Between my unpredictable income and unexpected expenses, I felt totally exposed, like my whole world might collapse at the slightest hint of financial trouble.
I’d look at pictures of my friends on Facebook and Instagram – killing it at work, at home, in life. They were getting raises, buying houses, having kids, while I sat around thinking, ‘I can’t do that’, ‘That’s not me’, ‘I’m just broke’.
Money was always the thing trapping me.
Making me work jobs I hated. Keeping me stuck in crappy living situations. Forcing me to say ‘no’ whenever I was invited to go on weekend trips or enjoy expensive brunches with friends.
I felt like no matter how hard I worked, I could never build up enough money to afford the things I really wanted – whether it was going to workout classes, trying new restaurants, attending destination weddings or chipping in for a co-worker’s baby shower gift.
Then one day, I broke down sobbing in the dentist’s chair.
I had just been told that I needed a dental implant and it would cost $1,800. I didn’t have $1,800. My checking account was empty. My savings account was empty. I was getting paid $14 an hour. I had no way to pay for the implant… except to put it on a credit card.
While handing over my card and wiping away my tears, I realized I couldn’t live that way for another moment. I never wanted to feel that way again. Vulnerable. Embarrassed. Stressed. At the mercy of my money – or lack of it. I had to make a change.
I realized I was afraid to face my money situation.
I was obsessing about money all the time – that I wasn’t good with it, that there was never enough… But I wasn’t actually looking at my finances or spending time managing my money.
So I decided to learn everything I could about personal finance. I started tracking every dollar – every dollar that I earned and every dollar that I spent. I got clear on what was really important to me, and where I was spending money on things I didn’t care about at the expense of things I did.
Taking control of my spending led to taking control of my earnings, then taking control of my savings, and finally, taking control of my life.
I want all women to feel that same confidence and control with their money – whether that means investing, deciding which debts to pay off first, buying a house or saying ‘no’ when your girlfriends pressure you into spending you really can’t afford (ahem, $350 bridesmaids dress).
You earned every penny of your money and you should feel strong and confident in how you spend it!