An Inspiring Story


While looking for nice blogs to read I came across ‘Boston Gal’s Open Wallet’.Here is a link to the blog : http://www.bostongalsopenwallet.com/ .I also came across the most inspiring story I have read in a long time.I have pasted it below.I hope it works the same magic on you. Though she writes about personal finance in the US,I think I will visit often and be be inspired by her life lessons.

A little history lesson about me and money – Part 1

wealthymatters.com
I have always had a weird relationship with money. I enjoy amassing it and can deny myself much to gather it, but at points can spend large amounts of it with no fear. What is odd about that is that fear is my primary motivation for amassing the money in the first place. Let me explain…I am the youngest of five children and my parents divorced when I was about 5 years old. My Mother won custody of the children and was given the house (which had a mortgage) while my Father got the car and the boat. Unfortunately my Mother was a stay-at-home Mom while my Father was the main bread winner. Since my Father’s income was mostly commission based, the divorce settlement was barely enough to keep the five us in the house with the lights on. The upshot of this was I grew up in a nice middle-class house and enjoyed summers sailing at the yacht club with my Father, but worked two large paper routes starting at age seven (and kept both routes until I graduated high school at 18). While my Mother did go back to school and eventually got a decent job as a nurse, my older siblings child support checks kept stopping as each turned 18 yet everyone went to college so all were around well into their 20’s.I was accustomed to working and as mentioned had those paper routes. I can remember walking to school in my uniform and stopping at the local bank every Monday morning with my sack of coins and crumpled bills and handing over my savings passbook and depositing my earning. The tellers would sometimes ask “What are you planning on doing with all your money?” and my replying “Hopefully retire someday”. Which I guess coming from this little freckled faced kid in the ill fitting Catholic school uniform must have been funny since it always sent the tellers into fits of laughter.

I learned at an early age that while I could be too sick to go to school I was never too sick to walk the paper route. I also learned that if your college aged sibling needed money for books you gave them money out of your passbook account for books – no questions asked. If you were at the grocery store and your Mom did not have enough cash to pay the cashier you just quietly took back the items and reshelved them – you never complained or made a scene about it. Frankly, you learned to add the cart up as you helped your Mom shop and periodically reminded her of the ongoing total to try to prevent the money shortfall from happening again at the checkout.

All of these and many many more small and big financial experiences instilled a fear of someday becoming a bag lady. Someone homeless and without money.

However, while all of this worrying financial reality was staring me in the face, I was also going to a private school, racing sailboats at a private yacht club, and hob nobbing with my middle-class peers. As I grew older and became more conscious of what I wore or owned I found myself dipping into that passbook account for the must have Sony Walkman or necessary leather jacket. While these were expensive, I was earning money and could afford them. It was when I hit high school that my more impulsive side took control. I signed up for the expensive Europe trips, driving lessons, concert tickets, and spent thousands at a time. At this time I still had the paper routes and once I turned 14 and could get a work permit I always had an after school and weekend job.

This all meant that while I was working hard I was also spending pretty hard. By the time I reached college my account was pretty depleted and loans and eventually credit cards are what got me through.

 

A little history lesson about me and money – Part 2

wealthymatters.comI have been prompted by a recent reader to continue my personal money story which I started with this post A little history lesson about me and money – Part 1I attended college in the mid-west and those four years were a revelation. For the first time in my memory I did not have a paper route. The bliss of waking up in the morning and not having to work! I did get a 10 hour a week work-study job on campus, but after the hours I was used to working this felt like nothing. I threw myself into my studies and was amazed at how well I was doing. I quickly made friends and adjusted easily to campus life.While school and social life was going well, it did not take long for money worries to start creeping in. Each semester books cost $300 or more. If I wanted to visit home for Christmas airplane tickets were $500. Having friends and socializing is great for the soul, but not for the wallet – pizza, beers, etc. was costing $50 or so a week. Long distance phone bills to family and friends was also a growing concern. What savings I had left from my high school years was quickly being depleted and money earned from working only 10 hours a week was not stopping the drain.

That is when credit cards started filling the gap. By the time I graduated I had over $10,000 in student loans and $3,000 in credit card debt.

While that may not seem like much to recent graduates now, at the time it was considered high. I made the decision to move back to Boston after graduation and luckily my Mom was happy to have me back home.

Unfortunately this was in 1993/1994 and the Boston area was in the midst of a recession. Well paying entry level jobs were scarce. With the benefit of hindsight, I see now that I should have attended a school in the Boston area and interned with a local company – this would have helped my transition into my first professional job. However, I did not do that so found myself spending a lot of time during interviews talking about my school and trying to explain how my years of working various menial jobs qualified me to work in their corporation.

Out of desperation I finally started signing up with temporary employment agencies. Luckily the Boston area has quite a few of these and I was willing to be on the “morning call” list. Meaning if someone called in sick and the company did not know they needed a temp to cover a switchboard or fill a secretary seat until 7 or 8 AM the agency could call me and know that I would be at the company ready to report for duty at 9 or 9:30 AM. This flexability generally gained me a higher hourly dollar rate and more importantly friends among the temporary agencies job placers. I was steadily working five days a week and after a few months of ping ponging around from company to company the job placers started talking to me about temp to perm positions in area companies.

Eventually I was placed in a financial services company where I made $25,000 a year as an administrative assistant. It was at this time that I purchased my condo at an FDIC auction and moved out of my Mother’s house and into my own home.

I finally had my foot in the door at a large company and after a couple of years was able to transition into an entry level technical position (where I actually took a small pay cut). I was in the right position learning the right skills at the right time and was quickly able to job hop forward during the heady dot.com boom days.

About Keerthika Singaravel
Engineer,Investor,Businessperson

2 Responses to An Inspiring Story

  1. zap197842 says:

    you are good,thanks for sharing

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