My Financial Hangover
Hangover n. : a letdown following great excitement or excess (Merriam Webster Dictionary)
Financial Hangover. The only way I can describe the state of my personal finances in my early 30s.
My twenties were a time of being financially carefree and living in the moment. Fresh out of college, I moved to a large East Coast city where I focused on using credit cards to support my Sex and the City-type lifestyle with name brand clothes, shoes and plenty of martinis. A new found sense of freedom and adventure with an income that doubled what I had made just three years prior. No responsibilities except to take care of myself. Then deciding that getting an MBA was a smart move – and taking out student loans to pay for it. And I thought I was getting a great deal when I bought a brand new car financed with a low interest loan.
Being a finance/accounting professional, I knew the power of compound interest on investments. Buying a home with 20% down was a great investment for my future. And getting rid of consumer debt would free up my cash flow. But I figured I would deal with that later – maybe when I met the man of my dreams to marry or when I had figured out what my future path would look like.
Then the 2008 financial meltdown took place. I lost my job and suddenly was panicking how a severance package of 8 weeks’ pay was going to cover all my bills before landing a job. I had no savings to fall back on. I had a home that had been 100% financed and was now quickly losing value.
You would have thought this crisis would have led me to getting my financial act together. Not a chance. I found a new job just as the severance amount was about to run out. I breathed a sigh of relief, knowing I had dodged a bullet and continued living life as usual.
It wouldn’t be until almost two years later that I would hit my financial rock bottom with my “I’ve Had It!” moment. I would finally be ready to make some drastic life-changing decisions…
Next: The defining moment that changed my financial life forever…