THANK YOU!! (just wanted to get that out of the way!) 😉
I really don’t even know where to begin… since buying The Automatic Millionaire a year ago, a lot has happened! I’ve always been very conscious about my Latte Factor (let’s call it my diet coke factor), but there were so many other areas of my financial life that I was just too lazy to deal with. It’s funny how once you start making positive changes in your life, things just fall into place!
The thing that struck me most about the book was the chapter on buying your own home. I’m 38, divorced, with no kids, living paycheck to paycheck, and I just made a huge move from Nebraska to Chicago three years ago. And I honestly believed that there was no way that I could ever own my own home. Once I read your book, it made the entire process seem so simple!! So I set out to get my finances in order.
I double checked my Latte Factor and made a couple of minor changes. I changed my I-Pass and CTA cards so the charges would come out of my checking instead of going onto my credit card. I stopped charging gas. I consolidated a couple of my credit cards and dropped my monthly payment by $100… and it will definitely be paid off in 3 years, instead of carrying an eternal balance. Once I felt like I had better footing, I worked on becoming a homeowner.
In February 2006, I bought The Automatic Millionaire Homeowner and started studying. Every time I had a conversation with someone, I told them about wanting to own my own place. Most congratulated me, some gave me tips, and others gave me references! My boss was so glad that I was planting roots that she gave me a promotion, an office, and a 10% raise!
On March 1st, my roommate and I gave our landlord 30-days notice. On April 13th, I became a homeowner!! My realtor and mortgage broker were recommended by a friend and they really went out of their way to help me. They even helped me work out a deal that I could move into my new place two weeks before my closing by paying the seller prorated rent for every day I lived there before closing. It sure beats living on a friend’s couch!
Fast forward to October… I am now the proud owner of a Studio condo conversion and parking spot in a 5-story building with only 28 units total. I know half of my neighbors by first name, and we’re already doing Progressive Dinners together every other month! I’m living alone for the first time ever and discovered that I have a “style”! It’s all mine!! My house payment is double what my rent was, but I have money left over every month. My credit score has increased by 100 points. One of my new neighbors referred me to his insurance agent and my monthly payments are half of what they were now. And best of all, when I see my house payment come out of my checking account, I imagine that I’m paying myself instead of someone else! And even though my payment is much higher, I imagine that I’m putting that money into savings.
My latest financial self-audit is making it abundantly clear that I need to get rid of my car and stop commuting 3 hours a day. That will eliminate my car payment & car insurance. A monthly CTA card will match what I pay in gas, and I can rent my parking spot! (it’s also an investment!) Not to mention that it will enrich my social life and give me more downtime.
The thing that I like most about the experience so far is the feeling of accomplishment! I am capable of so much more than I could have ever imagined! This has given me the fortitude to branch out and take more risks. I am currently researching a new job field and hope to get the job in the City. I’ve already made great contacts and am working on letters of recommendation for my new field!
Thank you for helping me see the light at the end of the tunnel… and for the strength to run for it! Thanks to you and your books, I no longer feel that freight train of debt bearing down on me.