by Jasmine Powell
At the beginning of 2021, I had several goals for myself financially. Yet like most young people my age and background, I didn’t know where to start. I didn’t understand my relationship with money, nor was I confident in managing money. I let my past experiences with savings and spending get the best of me, and ended up navigating most of my early adulthood with a mindset of scarcity.
That was a year ago.
Now, my financial situation has changed completely: I met my financial goals, and I am the most financially confident I have ever been. And that’s thanks to the Nav.it money app.
Now when I go to check my bank balance or my credit scores, I don’t feel anxious or in my head all the time. And when I want something nice in the store, I know am able to get it. Now I navigate through a growth mindset and look forward to what 2022 will bring.
Some of you may be asking, “What changed?” And there has been a LOT of things that have changed about my financial situation.
Here’s an update on how my financial situation has changed over the past year:
Navigating Life and Money with a Growth Mindset
When I first started my journey with Nav.it, there was so much that I had yet to learn about money. Not only that, but I was always anxious when I thought of it. I always needed money and, and when I had it I always felt like I needed more. I was overwhelmed when I would get large amounts of money because I didn’t feel financially responsible enough to handle it. Whenever money was brought up, I was always thinking about what I don’t have.
What I didn’t know at the time was that I was working through a mindset of scarcity – I always felt like what I had was never enough, and I didn’t have faith in my ability to save.
A little coaching
One of the most groundbreaking moments that shaped the path was meeting with a Nav.it Money Coach. Through my coaching sessions, I was given advice on how to confront this mindset and navigate money differently. I learned new skills like reframing that helped me save more and stress less.
With an abundance mindset, I also affirmed I had what I needed. With each coaching session, I worked towards becoming more confident in my ability to work through my money situations.
What no one tells you about money
What no one really tells you about money is that sometimes it’s a matter of mindset. Negative thoughts can how you feel about and what you do with your money. They also control your money habits if you let them. Once I understood this, the doors to financial well-being started to open, and I found myself navigating through my own money like a boss.
However, with Nav.it, I became more financially confident while simultaneously raising my credit scare. I was able to reach every milestone. I have not only changed my finances but have changed the way I think about money overall, finally grasping financial freedom.
Saving for More Than A Rainy Day
When I first started my journey with saving at the beginning of the year, I was filled with anxiety. Why? Because I sucked at saving. Or at least I thought I did. During my college years, I attempted to start save and was hit with overdraft fees and a feeling of self-doubt and irresponsibility.
Everything that I attempted to save was drained by things that I needed for school and things that my family needed. This experience contributed heavily to my mindset, and in the end, caused me to lose trust in my ability to be financially responsible.
Making a change
One of the first things that I had to do before attempting this again was forgive myself. Surviving in college is hard – especially for first-generation students like myself who come from households with an income of less than $20,000 sometimes. I did what I needed to get the things that I needed. While I couldn’t go back and change my past, I could work in the present to change my future.
With the help of my Money Coach, I was able to alleviate my fears and doubts about savings and get to work.
I made a plan.
Any money that I received that was more than three figures, I saved it. With COVID-19 relief aides, I was able to attain my savings goal in no time. After that, I began saving periodically from my income. If I made $350 one week, I would put back $35 for the month. (Pst… for managing money on a lower income, check out this article.) The best thing that helped me was setting the money aside, forgetting about my savings and acting as though I was just paying another bill. Over time, it became a habit and my savings grew.
Now with four figures in my savings, and a solid savings habit, I feel more financially stable. I am prepared for any minor inconvenience that may come my way and can continue to support those around me.
Credit Scores and Statements
In 2020, I mentioned that I was able to raise my credit score by 156 points through the use of a secured credit card. Today, I managed to raise my score into the 700s, and have more access to my credit than I ever have! Through patience and consistent payments, I was able to achieve this. There was so much to credit that I hadn’t known about before starting this journey. I knew nothing about due dates and statement dates, or the relationship between utilization and the amount of credit I had.
Taking advantage of credit
One of the most effective ways that I was able to build my credit was through using my credit cards onexpenses. Yes, you heard that right – I use my credit card more than my debit card now. When my Money Coach mentioned this to me, I was flabbergasted. In the past, I hadn’t been the best with a credit card. That was because I didn’t really know what getting a credit card entailed and the things that I needed to pay attention to. With my frequent usage of credit cards, I began to know more about them and become more comfortable with them as well.
And that’s an amazing thing. Because what some people won’t tell you is that you get more from using your credit cards than you do your debit card.. I received rewards for hitting spending milestones and received cash back on most of the things that I purchased. And because I paid these balances off before the statement closing date that meant that I was getting these benefits for free!
My steps to improving credit:
- Get a secured card
- Make consistent payments
- Improve credit scores enough to land a card with bigger rewards
- Continue using credit responsibly
- Pay the balance off before statements hit
The Sky is The Limit: Setting Financial Resolutions for 2022.
After experiencing such financial success in 2021, I have even bigger goals for 2022:
1. Increase Savings
There is always room for improvement when it comes to saving. I want my savings to get big enough to where I can support myself for three months if need be. (Hello, bigger emergency fund!) I also plan on getting a new place this year, and having a savings account is very important when it comes to apartment hunting.
2. Increase My Line of Credit
What I’m wanting to do now is increase my access to credit, and diversify my credit type which can in turn lower my credit utilization rate. With more credit, I’ll have more access to the things that I need and want while also building my credit. Instead of simply looking for a credit card, I will begin to look at those that offer amazing benefits.
3. Find Another Source of Income
It’s always nice to have a different means of making money. If you’re like me, a 9-to-5 isn’t my favorite thing to do, but it’s stable and has its benefits. However, by obtaining a side hustle, I can build my income and begin to focus on attaining more Having a second source of income means more money for saving and having fun – and who doesn’t love that?!
You Can Do It Too!
The best part about building financial wealth is that you can learn something new every day. With hardwork and determination, you can turn you financial situation around. Changing your mindset and trusting yourself enough is the first step towards financial freedom. If I can do it, anyone can!
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