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?
This post is part of Free From Broke's personal finance tipping point contest. Check it out to learn how you can win a $25 Amazon gift certificate.