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My Story

by Jonathan · 6 comments

Welcome to CentsToShare! CentsToShare is all about sharing my financial world through my posts, and you sharing yours through your comments. While I am no financial “expert”, saving money and spending less is a simple concept that anyone can understand, if they take the time.

Why would you trust me?

Throughout my childhood, I got used to the phrase ‘we can’t afford that’, and it was true. We really couldn’t. After I completed high school, my family was made aware of the enormous amount of credit card debt that my father had secretly accumulated…to the tune of nearly $50K. We didn’t even own our own house, here in America, the land of dreams. We were hanging by a financial thread, barely able to keep up with bills and buying food. Absolutely no money had been saved to help my brother or myself go to college.

After finding out about this huge secret, my mom and dad got divorced, but not before inflicting horrible emotional wounds on themselves and my brother. I was away at college, and so didn’t feel the same effects that the rest of my family felt, but it still has left scars. Today, my dad lives alone and doesn’t talk to myself or my mom. My brother is struggling in a dead end job, trying to go to school and pay the rent at the same time. My mom was mentally disabled from all the stress of dealing with my dad’s debt and the divorce. She is improving, but it’s a slow process that includes lots of prayer.

Having witnessed all these events, I realized how important a stable financial world is for a family. I’d have to say that it’s really the backbone of a healthy family. For this, I vowed I would never pay a cent of interest on credit card debt. I vowed never to have a car loan. And I vowed to pay at least 50% down on my house, and have it paid off completely before I turned 30 years old. Lofty goals, are they not?!

But guess what? I’m doing it. I am 24 years old. I have paid off $8.2K of my $15K student loan. I have saved over $20K between my retirement accounts, and my mortgage savings account. I have also eliminated what remained of credit card debt that was in my mom’s name (it’s a long story….), which was valued at just over $10K. That’s a total of around $38.2K moving my financial world forward.

And I have been in the full-time work force for less than one year. That’s right. A mere 11 months at the time I write this.

So strap in as I share what I’m doing to make my financial goals a reality for myself, my wife, and anyone else who reads this. Think it’s impossible to change your financial world? Think again!

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Adam December 4, 2010 at 1:52 pm

Good for you Jonathan! Thats an inspiring story. Ill be keeping an eye on your blog ;)

Reply

Ronald Tsang January 16, 2011 at 8:48 am

Keep it up!

I just stumbled upon your blog and I’m looking forward to reading more.

Best,
Ron

Reply

JMom January 18, 2011 at 1:37 pm

I too just stumbled onto your blog through the Simple Dollar, I followed the link to the 38 cent pizza and now, thirty minutes later, I’m still her. I like what you’re doing here and I’m amazed that you are only in your early twenties. I will be sharing your story with my daughters. I want them to be conscious about their finances. When I was your age, I had no clue! I want them to be smarter than I was. Thanks.

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elizabeth aquino March 12, 2011 at 2:33 am

I was just browsing the net when i saw your site.
I hope to hear more from you and probably learn your secrets

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