(Guest post by Natalie)
There are a lot of ways people define success and what it means to their personal lives. For some, financial success is as simple as owning that beautiful mansion on the hillside or that lovely Ferrari in the dealership. Maybe buying that winning lottery ticket is what you as the ultimate dream. Others claim that success is the freedom that you achieve with realizing your financial goals. The answer varies from person to person just like every person is different.
Financial success is certainly a topic that I have been thinking a lot about lately. Ever since I decided to finally kick debt in the face, I have been trying especially hard to achieve my idea of financial success: a debt-free life.
It has been a long road to finally realize that was the final solution and that was my ultimate goal. I simply got tired of dreading every time the mailman came to deliver the latest credit card bill. I got tired of the endless barrage of questions from my family giving me advice on how to pay off debt as everyone assumed that they knew my situation better. It was frustrating and it made me think harder about my finances than ever before.
The turning point came when I had to move back with my folks because the house that my boyfriend and I had tried to sell did not end up selling and we were flat broke from the sale and owed over $5,000 in credit card debt. If you have ever had to move back home after you have been on your own for a while, it can be really stressful to say the least. My family was nice for letting me move with them, but it was not long before I wanted to be on my own again. I am naturally a very independent person and living under someone else’s roof is just so not cool for me.
The good thing is it made me really stop and think about what it meant to be financially successful in life in terms of money. I didn’t and still don’t want for expensive toys or to live in fancy zip code. Life is too short for that. So I started drawing up plans on how long it would take for us (my boyfriend and I) to slowly knock off debt and build enough savings.
My whole thinking on how to handle money changed, and I am happy to report that I am now just a few months shy away from being completely credit card debt free! As I write this, I only have $1,700 more to go! Although it is not easy, the feeling that comes with being at least credit card debt free will be worth it. Then I will work on the student loans-$12,000 worth. Hey, at least I am off to a good start.
As they say, there is nothing in life worth having that is not achieved through hard work and sacrifice. The same can be said for personal finance. In short, financial success to me is having the freedom to do what you want and not be beholden to anyone. Whatever your idea of financial success, the thing that is most important is that feeling of happiness and accomplishment that comes with it. That is probably the best way to describe financial success to anyone in this world.
So, what is your idea of financial success?
(Photo by Schen Photography)