My Financial Background

I was raised with the common sense approach to finances.  You can’t spend it if you don’t have it.  Growing up, I was required to do chores around the house weekly and was rewarded with an allowance that I could spend at my own discretion.  This was my first experience with money management.  I quickly learned that if I really wanted that expensive new outfit, I would have to work for it and save my money which meant sacrificing in other areas.  Maybe I didn’t buy the latest CD or I skipped the concession stand at the movie theater.

When I was 16, I got my first job at a store in the mall.  My father took this opportunity to teach me about credit and to establish good credit in my name.  He got a credit card in my name and explained that I was responsible for paying the balance in full each month.  It was made very clear to me that I was never to charge more than I could afford to pay off in 1 month.  I did very well following these rules and my credit score reflected these good habits.  Then, I graduated high school and went off to college where I remained on track of paying my balance in full every month.  I graduated college debt free thanks to a scholarship and my parents who paid for the rest of my tuition and living expenses while I was in school.

I was able to immediately find a teaching job and start earning my own income so that I could be fully on my own financially.  I felt good about my personal finances because I was not in debt and had enough self-control to use credit cards wisely without putting myself in a position to ever have a balance on my card that I could not pay in full.

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