Hi you all. Let me introduce myself because I believe you should know who is behind these words, and the reasons I am writing them.
My name is Nena, and I moved to the USA 5 years ago. I was young – not that I am not anymore 🙂 – little naive, ambitious, and full of dreams. Not necessarily American – I had my own. A girl from a small country, trying to make it big in the best country on Earth.
Everything was amazing at first. I had a job, started my first semester in school trying to learn English (hey, it paid off, don’t you think?), found new friends, even had time to do some volunteering for a political organization. You know, good cause. Then
Life happened followed by bad decisions
Living in a big city ain’t cheap. The tuition had to be paid. Some unexpected medical bills as well. The money that I was making wasn’t enough to cover not only that but also vacations, 50 pairs of shoes I ended up having (actually, it’s more than 50), a closet full of things that sometimes I didn’t wear once, and going out regularly. The reality hit me hard when I realized that at one point I had $7000 debt in credit cards while paying a lot of money in interest.
Some might say that $7000 is not that much money. Where I come from, that can easily be translated to 2 years of work. So, the fact that after more than 2 years spent here, not only I didn’t have any savings, I had accumulated a huge credit card debt was terrifying. No Bueno. And, hell no, I did not tell my parents any of this. I could totally see them having a heart attack.
So, what did I do?
Sat for a few nights with a cup of coffee, thinking of how the hell did I get there. Then, realized that I was just finally being Americanized. You know, trying to keep up with Joneses, maintaining the lifestyle I obviously could not afford.
I had two options:
1. To keep up with them and continue drowning in debt or
2. Change the way I perceive the money and the way I handle it.
I opted for later.
Deciding to pay off all my credit cards was not the only thing I was determined to do. Learning as much possible about investing, financing, money and time management became another (healthy) obsession.
How did I do it?
I spent over two years educating myself. Money magazines, blogs, books, audiobooks that covered the same topics were on my repertoire. Few were boring, too long and unhelpful, but some hit the spot. I also attended a few seminars, trying to see what other people wanted to learn, what questions they had. Therefore, I realized I am not alone in this world. The majority of people want what I was looking for: to learn how to save money, invest, make a budget and stick to it while having a balanced lifestyle.
And in the meantime, while I was working and saving money, an idea was born: I wanted to share what I have learned so far, and what I keep discovering. That’s how you landed here, my dear.
If you have the same problems and want to learn, this might be a place for you. Stick around, ask questions (there are no stupid ones), and let’s get the party started! I will be writing about everyday people and their struggle (it’s real). When I don’t have an answer, I will find a person who has it. That’s when my background in journalism will kick in, and my two passions will unite.
I know that the investing world seems big and scary. But it is not, and if offers tons of fun! Of course, once you know what you are doing. 🙂 I guess, like riding a bicycle.