Hi there! I'm Angie, and I'm so glad you're here!
I was born in Flint, Michigan at a time when the city was dying.
Dramatic, right? But to me, it did seem that bad.
I watched factories close and parents lose their jobs. I always dreamed of being somewhere else. I thought that if I could just get out of my hometown, things would instantly improve.
I didn’t understand back then that you’re not a product of your circumstances, but a product of your decisions. Many people have stayed in my hometown and have fantastic lives!
I just didn't think it was possible for me.
So I left as soon as I could. I just knew that being in a new place was the answer!
Imagine my surprise when I moved to Arizona at 19 years old and didn’t immediately strike it rich...
I always made just enough money to cover my expenses, but never seemed to have any extra, even when I was working 3 jobs and my rent was only $250.
Maybe Arizona wasn’t the place for me, either.
Or maybe... maybe it didn’t matter where I lived.
Maybe what mattered was me, what I believed was possible, and what I worked towards.
There were some events in my life that made me believe I would never amount to anything.
I took jobs that didn't pay well, allowed myself to be treated badly, and had almost completely given up on being happy.
It's strange to think back to that time, it feels like a completely different person's lifetime. In a way, I guess it is.
It got so bad that I was prescribed anti-depressants, and then yelled at by the doctor when I told him I wasn't going to fill the prescription because I wanted to find another way to turn my life around.
I knew that I could stay where I was and believe what I was being told, or I could make a drastic change in my life.
I have never done anything more difficult or more scary than decide to take control of my life and make it my own. I'll never tell you that it's easy, only that it's possible, and so, so worth it.
I also have to thank my daughter. I'm not sure I would've made these decisions if it weren't for her. I wanted the best possible life for her, and she gave me the strength to make the hard choices.
From this decision came a sudden burst of self confidence. I believed that I was worthy of having a great life, regardless of what I was being told by other people.
The job I had at the time gave me a yearly review, and raise of $0.13. Yes, 13 cents.
They probably expected me to hang my head and deal with it.
They didn't know that I had found my self-worth and was ready to take on the world.
I knew that I couldn't support myself and my daughter on the amount of money I was making. I had to find something better, and for the first time in my life, I knew that I could do it.
Within one week of making that decision, I was offered a job that doubled my salary. I was ecstatic! I knew now that we would be okay. I could get an apartment and pay for all of our expenses.
A year and half later I made another decision.
The project I was working on was drawing to a close. I had gained a lot of experience and met some wonderful people. I was grateful for what I had, but I was ready for even more.
My next job came with another pay increase. I asked for the amount that would make me feel excited to come to work every day, and I got it.
Here comes the second big shock of my life.
I've learned that this is where most people find themselves at some point in their lives...
I was making more money than I ever had before. But I still didn't seem to have any extra money!
How in the world was this possible?!
My mindset was great. The number on my paychecks was great.
The number in my bank account though... not so great.
I really wanted a house to raise my daughter in. I wanted a nest. A home. But there's no home without money for a down payment.
Where was all of my money going?! I knew I had to find out.
I was one of those people who was terrified to look at my bank account.
For the longest time, it was because there was no money in there.
Then it became a matter of, "well I know there's money in there, why bother looking at it?" mixed with "If I see a big number in there, I'll spend it, and there won't be any left!"
Fear. Scarcity. Unwillingness to accept where I was and work towards a better future.
That sounded all too familiar.
Life is cyclical.
I was determined to break this pattern, too.
I remember the first time I really read through my bank account and credit card statements.
I spent how much money eating out?!
Have we really been to the movies twice a week for the past month?!
How in the world do I have nothing to wear but most of these charges are clothing stores?!
I was really mean to myself back then.
I got angry, I blamed myself, told myself the awful things that other people used to say to me.
They were right - I couldn't handle being on my own.
After that drama-fest/pity-party was over, I made the third really important decision in my life.
I accepted responsibility for my current financial situation, and decided that I wasn't going to be a passive spectator in my own life.
I dove into research mode. I tried ALL of the budgeting apps.
I read books about self development, learned everything I could about rich people, and started working towards getting there myself.
I had student loans, a loan on my car, various other debts, and monthly bills. I wanted to pay these off, but I didn't want to give up my lifestyle and miss out on experiences with my daughter.
One thing I've learned about rich people is that they always find a way to have both. They don't make decisions between paying off debts or having fun - they choose both.
I started doing the same.
Money doesn't care if you're a single mom, or Warren Buffet. Money works the same for everyone.
I started tracking every single penny that came in and went out.
I learned that I could eat at home more, and still go out one weekend night. (+$100/month)
I could wash my own car instead of paying for a monthly membership fee (+$17/month)
I could rent movies from the library for free, and still get snacks and popcorn. (+$30 every time)
I could get my hair done less often (+$120 every time)
My daughter and I could read books, go to the park, ride bikes, and just enjoy each other's company when we were together (+ $So. $Much. $Money.)
I found an extra $1,300 the first month, which is still insane to me.
I paid off over $8,000 in student loans within 8 months.
I paid off my credit cards next, and vowed to never put more on them than I could pay off in a single month.
Instead of feeling angry when making payments, I started feeling happy.
Every time the balances went down, I got a huge rush of excitement knowing that I was one step closer to being debt free.
And on the other side of the coin, spending money started getting harder. Before this, I would swipe my card for anything, not caring about the money going out. Now, I really thought about each purchase. "Am I still going to 'absolutely have to have these shoes' in two weeks? Or can I wear one of the 20 pairs I have at home??"
Once the debt was gone, I started saving for things I really wanted.
I fulfilled my life-long dream of going to Paris, and didn't go into any debt.
I started traveling - first on a Mexican cruise, then to St. Thomas, and then Hawai'i.
I learned about investment accounts and started maxing out my Roth IRA every year.
Most recently, I saved enough money to cover my living expenses for the next year, and quit my corporate job.
I can't stress enough how much life has improved since I decided to start tracking my expenses, and decided to be very intentional about where my money goes.
I feel like what I've learned about money is something that I have to share with as many people as possible.
I've learned so much over the past 8 years, and I don't want it to take anyone else that long to figure out how to make their money work for them. That's why I've gathered up everything I know, and put it into a 6-week course! Don't spend years wishing for things to be different. Start creating your dream life right now!
We weren't meant to live stressed out, or constantly worried about money.
And we don't have to.
There is a way to get ahead, and stay there.
It doesn't matter where you live, what you do, or how much money you make.
Your spending habits are completely under your control, and you can make your money work for you whenever you want to!
So what's next, now that I'm debt free?
Helping everyone else get to this point, too!
I truly feel like every part of my story above was just the beginning.
I'm still growing and learning more every day, and I'm really looking forward to sharing it all!
My next goal is complete Financial Freedom - and I'm excited for all of us to get there together