When I first started this blog, I had dreams of inspiring
women to take control of their finances and feel the power, self-confidence and trust that comes from that experience.
I was wrong.
This site is not about me. And it’s not even about just women.
Living a life enriched is about all of us.
Doing better with family members and relationships.
Making better choices. Even the tiny choices of everyday. Let’s be smarter on the small stuff so the big stuff gets in line.
Telling our money exactly what to do, instead of our money telling us what to do.
From now on, I hope to share at least one Enriched Life Spotlight per month. And believe me, if we need space to do more, I’ll happily share more in the future.
I want you to see how others are winning with money. Learn ow they are making the tough choices and gaining control of their entire financial future. And then, be smarter with your daily financial choices, make better decisions and improve your situation.
Because, ultimately, when you improve your own life- you are changing the world.
That may seem very “pie in the sky.” But every big dream starts with small changes. Our own small changes impact the entire world. We just don’t think about it.
Let’s start thinking about it.
Here’s Amy’s story. You may remember her, as she was also a success story in the Pantry Challenge.
In November, (yes, just barely. The one just a few months ago) she realized that as a single woman working in education, she has got to get her finances in order. She’s paid off more than $2,000 of debt since then. That’s through the Christmas rush! Through January’s frugal, budgeting month. She did it!
1.What made you decide to take control of your finances? (What was that one moment you remember that you KNEW that you were done with this.)
I knew I had to take charge of my finances when I returned home from a trip to France. It was the first time I had traveled abroad and I knew it was something I was now addicted to. If I wanted to travel, I needed to clean up my spending habits. When I took that trip, my goal was to pay for everything with cash. I did it! It felt amazing to come home and know that I wasn’t vacation poor. So those were my two defining moments.
2. Was your spouse on board with your decision to make such a drastic change? What did your spouse think of your decisions/actions when you started making changes?
I am not married and so I’ve never had to answer to anyone about my finances except myself! I have to say that I think its almost more difficult as a single person to reign in their money BECAUSE there’s no one to tell them no. If I want new shoes, I go buy new shoes! Its hard to tell yourself no.
3. What was the toughest part? Or, what was the biggest change you made in this process?
Learning to tell myself NO. Learning to distinguish between a want, a need and a “I’m bored” purchase. Its been harder than I thought!
4. Was there one thing you thought would be difficult, but turned out to be easier than you imagined?
I have found it easier to eat at home than I expected. As I mentioned, I’m not married and don’t have children so I’m lazy when it comes to cooking. But I’ve found that its easier to save money when I eat at home and have left overs.
5.The one thing you would tell someone asking how you did it is…
Are you tired of being a slave to your money yet?
6.How does it feel to have come this far? Describe that feeling as best you can.
I’m super proud of myself! While I knew I wasn’t exactly brainiac when it comes to finance, I also knew that I could add and subtract. And right now, that’s all I need to do: add/subtract/save. I’ve impressed myself with what I’ve done and it encourages me to keep going.
7. What is one thing you plan to do differently with your money management style from now on?
I have a small savings account started. I’ve decided that I’m going to keep a minimum balance in there by $1000.00 increments. For example, say I start with $2000.00 in savings. I don’t want to go below that balance if I can avoid it. So I will keep saving and when it hits $3000.00, that will be my new bottom line. If I need to spend for an emergency like new tires, I will not go below $2000.00 at that point. I don’t know how well it will work, but in my mind, it’s a start to teaching myself restrictions on spending my savings.
8. Explain to me, what it means to “Live an Enriched Life?”
Enriched means you have added something. In my enriched life, I hope to be adding some financial freedom, adding some peace of mind knowing where my money is and where its going. Living an enriched life means that, because of my wiser financial decisions, I am able to travel without guilt. Living enriched means I can give to others responsibly while taking care of me, too.
Amy’s story really inspires me! I can relate to spending money just because I’m bored. And, it’s so easy to tell yourself, “Yes,” when you know you should be telling yourself, “No.”
What tremendous discipline and change she’s made to get closer to living her enriched life.
Tell me now, what are you doing today to beat that debt?