I was in my mid-twenties when I graduated from law school. I had a lot of student loan debt, which didn’t really sink in until I looked at the monthly payment amounts. Goodness, that was a lot of money each month!
That realization was my personal finance tipping point, the moment when I realized that I needed to learn about personal finance and change my financial situation. Fortunately for me, I had been dating Marc for a while and we had decided to move in together with the understanding that we’d be getting married soon. So at about the same time I had to start paying back my student loans, I also had someone to share living expenses with.
Also at about that time, I discovered The Dollar Stretcher. I learned about living within (and preferably below) my means, how to match coupons with sales, and how to cut expenses. I learned to track my expenses, make a budget, and take control of my finances. I was never irresponsible about my money, but for the first time, I actually felt in control.
Since graduating from law school, managing my family’s finances has become my favorite hobby. I am always looking for ways to minimize our expenses while maximizing our lifestyle, build up our savings, and invest for the future.
But as far as I’ve come, I still have a lot to learn, which is one of the great things about personal finance. I am educating myself more about investing so that when my student loans are paid off (which should be fairly soon!), I can invest more of our money as wisely as possible.
What was your personal finance tipping point?