When the University of Dayton graduated me in 1999, my five and ten year goals had little to do with where I would be professionally (which did not bode well for my interviews). I did know that I wanted to continue a debt-free credit card lifestyle, pay off my student loans, buy a new or newer car, pursue a Master’s degree and buy a house. Earlier this year I paid off the last of my student loan and car payment, I never carried a credit card balance, my Master’s education was paid in full by the time I finished and I am on the hunt for a house!
To accomplish my financial goals, I had to live within my means, go without and practice delayed gratification. When I scan the usual crowd at the library who are in for the air conditioning, computers or gaming because they do not have them at home, I think to myself the only difference between them and me is that I draw a (meager) paycheck.
One of the best compliments I received in my adulthood was from my sister when she asked me to be the guardian of her then first-born. She said, I know you won’t let her spend her money on any junk and that any money you do let her spend, it will come after carefully understanding the impact of the expenditure. And why wouldn’t I encourage behavior that makes her financially savvy and independent from an early age?
Also, I enjoy the reaction on salespeople’s faces when they realize they have underestimated the ability of a young, single woman financially making it on her own and having a stellar credit rating. Suddenly, they are very interested in having my business.