My first job was at McDonald’s at our local mall. The mall had recently opened up a food court, so I went down to put in an application. I was fourteen and a half, but I wanted to work and make some money. My best friends, who were twins, applied too and we all ended up getting hired. Our first week, we were all so excited, we got uniforms, watched training videos and filled out all the paperwork. We were set, time to make some Big Macs and make some big money.
After two weeks, I received my first paycheck of $192.87, I thought I was on top of the world. I walked down the mall, looking into every window, thinking to myself “I can buy anything I want!” Growing up, I had hand-me downs, clothes made by my oldest sister and used clothes from the thrift stores. My shoes were some inexpensive non-name brand and the only time we got nice things was at Christmas. With this new job, now I didn’t have to wait until Christmas to get the nice things. First on the list was a pair of brand new Nike sneakers.
After I cashed my check at good ol’ Bank of America, I begged my brother to take me shopping. We went straight to the Foot Locker. As I walked through the store, I examined every shoe, I looked at every color, I looked at the soles of each shoe I picked up and finally…this cute teenage boy asked what my size was and if I wanted to try on a pair. I grabbed the blue and white Nike sneaker off the shelf; I chose this one because I felt I could wear them with most of my clothes, and handed it to him, “size 6, please.” I felt like such an adult.
I put them on, walked around the store and my brother looked at me smiled. The cute sales boy said, “how do they feel?” and with the biggest grin on my face I replied “I’ll take them.”
We got to the counter and as he rang me up, he asked if I wanted thick shoe laces. “They are only $5 bucks more”. He also asked if I wanted this special spray that will keep them looking new. “Of course,” I responded. As he bagged my brand new pair of Nike’s, he says, “that will be one twenty one dollars and sixty three cents”…My grin slowly faded from my face. I couldn’t believe it. The ticket price said $98.00, or so I thought and didn’t he say the shoe laces were only $5 bucks? and is he charging me for that spray? I thought he was giving me that for free.
I quickly tried to do the math in my head but there was a line forming and my brother is looking at me as if to say “hurry up.” Slowly, I pulled out my hard earned cash from my Hello Kitty wallet, handed it to the sales boy and before I could even wrap my mind around the whole transaction, my brother was heading out the door, and the next person in line was already placing their shoes on the counter.
On the ride home, I couldn’t help but feel like I had just been taken advantage of. I had less than $80 dollars left in my sad little Hello Kitty wallet. My almost $200 dollars was now less than $100, and the rest of this money had to last me for another two weeks until my next paycheck.
This scenario turned into a recurring theme in my life. I would get paid and it would be gone within three days. I constantly lived outside my means, and credit cards amplified this. The amount of money I earned never covered the amount of debt I would accumulate. It’s a fact that the average American household carries approximately $16,000 or more in credit card debt. This should make me feel better, but I didn’t want to be average; and I didn’t want to be part of that statistic anymore.
In 2015, I changed the theme in my life. I no longer wanted to be drowning in debt or buying things I couldn’t afford. I wanted my paychecks to last longer than three days. I wanted to sleep better at night. I wanted to feel secure about my finances. In order to do that, I had to develop a plan of action. I needed to confront my issues with money and the lack thereof, and finally get out of debt.
If you have been dealing with the same issues; are drowning in debt, have been trying to pay off your credit cards but nothing has been working, I am here to help. I am putting together a series of videos with step by step instructions on becoming debt free. Stick with me, sign up for my course and together we can rise up and be debt free.