A lot of people think that hitting “rock bottom” is a term that is generally associated with drug addicts or other people who are struggling. You may get the image of a person huddled in the corner in the fetal position in the middle of a breakdown. This may seem like a pretty dramatic image, but the truth is that hitting rock bottom doesn’t necessarily always apply to addicts. Plenty of us have experienced a moment that changed our financial perspectives and the same can be said for me as well. I reached a moment like that and it completely changed my outlook on money and finances forever.
I was one of those people who loved to spend. I would be more than happy to buy up the latest clothes in the department store as long as I could look trendy to my friends. The worst of this was when I was in college and I had constant barrage of pretty girls showing off their shiny purses in my classes. It made me feel foolish and insignificant compared to everyone else who I assumed were rolling in cash. A part of me knew this wasn’t the case but it hurt just the same. I became depressed and this only served to give me more motivation to spend and then spend some more. It was a horrible feeling, but I kept doing it because I didn’t know what else to do. That is until the cold and bitter face of realty found me on that fateful day.
I remember waking up that morning like nothing had happened. I was feeling good but I had a strange sense of nausea forming in the pit of my stomach. It was as if the universe was trying to tell me something. I got ready for the morning and was about to leave when I heard a knock at the door. I went to open it and saw my neighbor standing there with a pile of mail. He said that the mailman had been delivering my mail to his house for quite some time. It was then around that time that I noticed that almost all the mail had been marked in bright red colors with the words “Final Notice” stamped across the envelope. My heart dropped to my stomach. I thanked my neighbor, closed the door, and sat down to what was very much the longest hour of my life.
It turns out the credit card companies get really angry when you don’t send them a payment. They get VERY angry. Almost every one of the envelopes had contained a nasty letter saying that I was overdue on my payments and were now considering taking legal action against me. I think I cried for like twenty minutes as I had no idea what to do. I just couldn’t believe I had let it get that bad. After what seemed like an eternity, I picked myself up from the tile floor and made a plan of action. I was determined that I would never hit this “rock bottom” again. I grabbed my wallet and cut up all my credit cards. It was the start of a new beginning for me.
From that day on, I began researching tons of articles on personal finance and made a budget for my expenses for the first time in my life. The crazy thing was that I actually began following it. I called each and every one of my credit card companies and negotiated a payment plan. I stopped comparing myself to other people with their shiny new things and began focusing on me. After a while, I was able to put a dent in the credit card debt and about a year ago, I was able to pay off everything! It was a long hard year of budgeting and scrimping, but I was able to pay off $5,000 in less than a year. I began blogging and met a whole new awesome community with stories just like mine who encouraged me to be great and responsible with money.
I have to admit that hitting rock bottom was one of the worst feelings in my life. It really made me feel like an embarrassment, but I got through it. I am here to tell you that you can do it no matter where you are in life. It may seem like an impossible task when you are crying in a heap like I was but it is possible. As I look back on it now, hitting rock bottom was the best thing for me. As long as you learn from your mistakes, then hitting rock bottom can be one of the best things for you. I thoroughly recommend it.
Also, this does not have anything to with this, but today is my birthday! Happy birthday to me. I am 28 years old today. Now please excuse me while I indulge in a piece of cake.