My Why – A $161,000 Mistake

  • November 1, 2018
  • By: Greenpath Financial Wellness

Whether it’s funding your next vacation or paying off your student loans, pinpoint a money goal that motivates you to save and cut down on spending. Visualize what your life will look like when you accomplish that goal. What is motivating you to take action over the next 30 days?

It might be that you know better but you aren’t doing better. It may be that you want the support to make changes financially. Write down your why, post it on your fridge, make it your screensaver on your phone and on your laptop. Why? It’s proven that seeing your goals motivates you to take action. It also keeps us on target.

My why?

My why came disguised as a $161,000 lesson in what not to do.

In 2006, I bought a house with my heart and not with my head. Let me outline my mistake: Income $36,000 per year Purchase Price: $161,000 Monthly Payment with Taxes and Insurance: $1151 Interest Rate: ADJUSTABLE!

In addition to buying the house that I shouldn’t have bought, I was also carrying a car payment, driving 100 miles round trip for work and I had a 182 lb Great Dane who ate a lot every month. This all seemed fine when there were two incomes in our household but when my relationship fell apart, so did my finances. I realized the hard way that I screwed up.

So what did I do ?

I got a second job, learned how to reign in my spending and went on a forced No Spend November. I relied heavily on my friends and neighbors. I ate a lot of pancakes and cereal. And I learned a lot of the tips we are going to cover in the next 30 days. I’ll spare you the details for now.

And that’s my why. I don’t ever want to be in that situation again. I don’t want to slave over two jobs and live on pancakes. I don’t want to be so stressed about money that I can’t enjoy my life. And I don’t want you to make the same mistakes I did. That’s why having a money goal is so important.

Today, I have a new vision that is saved as my screensaver. It is a vision of the 8 unit apartment building that I am going to own. It is the apartment building that will provide passive income when I am able to retire early. It is my constant reminder that I’ll have a paycheck while I am sitting on the beach because I learned from my mistakes.

I’d love to hear your why. Post it with the #NoSpendNovember on the GreenPath Facebook or Twitter page.


Dusti Young Dusti Young has a passion and energy for spreading financial wellness. Through her role at GreenPath, she connects people to financial wellness by working with GreenPath’s partners. Dusti has been with GreenPath for nearly 13 years and has held a number of roles, including financial counselor, business analyst, and her current role, Partner Relations Specialist.