I received the Automatic Millionaire as a High School graduation gift but have never read it until now. . . I am 23. I can now say it was the best gift ever given to me; I just wish I had read it sooner.
Growing up money was never discussed in our house. My parents kept it a secret and never taught me or my siblings about money. I had a job throughout high school but was never held financially accountable for anything. Not only did I spend my paycheck but I also spent my mother’s money. I didn’t move out of my mother’s house until I was 19. But up until that point I hadn’t been responsible for balancing a check book (nor was I taught how to), paying bills, saving money or having my own checking account. That’s right; I never had my own checking account!! You can only imagine the damage this had done to me. Up until the day I moved out of my mother’s house money wasn’t an object and it did seem to “grow on trees” because it was always available to me. I don’t know why my mother never stopped my frivolous spending habits. I’m not blaming my mother but I do believe she could have taken a few small steps to teach me some important lessons.
So when I was 19 I opened my own checking account, never worried about how I spent my money or even saved for that matter. I just figured I would always have money, just like I had all my life. Money was never a comfortable subject with me because it was never something I had to discuss. I moved in with my boyfriend and struggled paying even the smallest of bills. I didn’t understand why I was always struggling when the bills I was paying were not large amounts. I didn’t have any credit speak of either.
So fast forward a few years to 23…
Here I am with a very poor credit score, a failed relationship and a 5 month old daughter that I need to set a good example for. Because I was always struggling so much I kept falling deeper and deeper into a hole. I wasn’t comfortable speaking about money, not even with my boyfriend who I shared an apartment with! I couldn’t ask for help financially and I was not “willing’ to change how I lived. Because I hid my money problems from my boyfriend it destroyed our relationship and any trust we once had. We have a daughter together and as parents we both need to set a good example for her and teach her, early on, how to be smart with her money. I decided I needed to change my lifestyle and get in the driver seat because soon I would be going off a cliff. Needless to say I knew this would be a struggle because I do not have the strongest of willpower. This is where I went through a box in my garage and found your book. I haven’t even finished the book yet but it has taught me more than enough valuable lessons already. I plan on having the book finished by the end of this week but thought you should know how quick someone can learn from even the first few chapters of your book.
I found out my Latte factor. . .which ironically is latte’s! I get Starbucks almost every day! Yes, I just realized there is no justifying $5.65 per day for a cup of coffee that I could make in my own home for just a few pennies a day. Because I seem to have a Starbucks addiction, I never worry about taking my checking account into the negatives because I have always felt I deserved it. Yes, this is honestly how bad it is. To give you a good idea, from February 2, 2009 until March 12, 2009 (I went through bank statements) I have spent an amazing $476.77 in useless spending! I have spent, in just one month, $136.77 in Starbucks, coffee shops and eating out. Please keep in mind this does not include any purchases I have made using cash. I have had to pay $315 in NSF fees to my bank and have had to pay $25 to an office for having bounced a check. Based on my gross income, $476.77 is almost an entire paycheck for me! Can you believe that! I am basically wasting 80 hours worth of pay! And I never realized this until I figured out my latte factor. I am completely shocked by this. I can’t believe I didn’t open my eyes to it sooner!
I hope to learn much much more from your book and get my life on track to be an Automatic Millionaire! I will keep you updated when I have finished the book. But until then I would like to thank you for opening my eyes to a very nasty habit. Your book might have just saved my life!