One of my first money-memories was the Recession of 2008. I was 12 years old at the time, and suddenly everything was put into the context of money. Whether I could have friends over was so many gallons of milk. Whether I could get a book for school was so many gallons of gas. The tradeoff (opportunity cost) that was personal finance became super clear to me as a kid.
By the time I was 16, I was babysitting overnight for nurses, cleaning ballet studios, and offering tutoring to pay for school and dance classes! I worked hard and quickly learned the value of making money- but not necessarily saving it. To me, the harder I worked, the more I could "get" out of life.
When I was 18, I moved away from my small town and rented a room in Orange County, CA to go to college. I quickly found myself stuck in a cycle of starting work at 4 am, finishing work or school at 11pm, and sleeping (often in my car) in between. Unfortunately, I had bought into the myth that hard work ALWAYS = success. As a result, I was BURNT OUT.
I started looking for a better solution in personal finance.
Yay! I graduated with a degree in English and started working as a personal banker at a local credit union. I had always loved finance, economics, and business and was excited to help people with their finances.
Like a lot of new graduates, though, I quickly felt like I was still on "the wheel" and wondered when the heck I could start doing what I REALLY wanted?
After 2 years of helping people with the administrative side of their personal finances, I finally identified the gap that I was looking to serve: the PERSONAL side of personal finance. That is: actually helping people growing the gap between what they earn and what they spend.
The sooner you do this, the sooner you can focus on the things that ACTUALLY matter in life- whatever those things are for YOU!