My 101 Financial journey was a slow and windy road. My early adult years were spent making great money, and I never worried about not having enough to do whatever I wanted. So when my mom started talking to me about 101 Financial, I brushed her off for years. Never mind my parents had paid off over $50,000 in credit card debt, their mortgage, and my $125,000 college tuition using the 101 system; I of course knew it all and still didn’t think it was for me. I was financially “fine,” I paid my bills on time, and I still had plenty of money to play and travel. And then over the years the debt started piling up.
I soon realized that it didn’t matter how much money you make… if you are bad at managing it, and don’t realize all the tricky ways the creditors keep you in debt, you will eventually find yourself in a less than ideal financial situation. I soon found myself with $28,000 car loan and credit card debt that I could no longer pay off monthly. Once I got to that point, the interest started piling on and no matter how much I tried, I couldn’t seem to make a dent in my debt.
In 2016 I finally gave in and signed up for the 99 Financial which is the beginners course. It seemed so remedial! I thought, “Why did I pay money to learn budgeting? Anyone with half a brain can make a budget.” After two classes I quit. My mom continued to encourage me to stick with it, so two years later I decided to get serious. By this time my debt was worse than ever.
After a few classes I realized that without a solid foundation my finances would always be a challenge. Even something as simple as learning budgeting would make a huge difference because I had to change my HABITS, and having an instructor to be accountable to was a game changer. I very quickly graduated from the 99 course to the 101 course and that’s when I started making huge strides.
In a matter of months, I paid off $18,000 in credit card debt; something I had been trying for years to do. And then… I brushed off the program AGAIN! I traveled all over the world and maxed out all my credit cards! I was so embarrassed and disappointed in myself, and I hadn’t contacted my instructor in months. When I finally came crawling back to her, she didn’t make me feel bad, she just said, “Well let’s get to work!”
This time I was serious about actually learning the program and sticking with it so that I would never find myself in that situation again. I not only paid off over $20,000 in credit card debt in a few months, but I ended up paying off the remainder of my $17,000 car loan in less than 5 months. It took this know-it-all who loves to spend money on food and travel a long time to get to this point, and I only wish I had gotten started sooner.
Today I have a credit score of 815, I own a home, I have no credit card debt, and my wife and I were able finance and pay off $50,000 worth of fertility treatments in less than one year. And yes, we are pregnant! I feel at peace knowing that I am not only in a good financial situation, but I will be able to give my children a proper financial education so they never have to waste any of their precious lives worrying about money. I’ve seen 101 Financial change the lives of so many of my friends and family, and it certainly changed mine.