I'm a sucker for a real-life story of how someone did something "great" in their finances. Maybe the made a stellar career out of nothing, saved $2 million on a $40,000-a-year income, or gave away 90% of their earnings to help a charity. To me, nothing is as inspirational (money-wise) as people making great steps to change their financial situation.
Here's a story of how one man faced a very tough situation and went from being homeless to owning his own home. Here are the odds he overcame to do it:
My mother died when I was 15 and my father was killed in an airplane crash two years later.
I must add that my father worked very hard but he was a speculator.
He invested all he had (and even money we didn’t have) in crazy land deals that didn’t work out. As a result, he lost it all and we were evicted from a very expensive home and moved into a small dingy apartment. Whereas I grew up in a middle-income family, we became a low-income family overnight. I often used the money I earned as a teenager to pay to keep the lights on and water running.
After my father’s accident, my siblings and I bounced around to different people’s homes. I was homeless in the sense that I really didn’t have a home to call my own. I never slept under a highway overpass because I was very lucky. Just the same, it was a very weird feeling not to have a place to call home.
The author then lists eight steps that led to his success:
1. I used the resources that were available to me.
2. I was very lucky
3. I was very focused
4. When I hit a dead-end, I found a different path.
5. I looked for mentors and took direction
6. I took advantage of some opportunities and stayed away from those that didn’t fit.
7. I was very conscious of my spending.
8. I worked (and work) hard.
A few other words of wisdom from this man:
I have always understood that the very basis of financial security rests on appropriate spending.
What’s remarkable about my story is that it is not remarkable. Lots of folks had to deal with much more severe handicaps and have done significantly better than I have.
My experience tells me that adversity really is a great tool. My core belief is that you can explain these 8 ideas to somebody until you are blue in the face. If they aren’t ready, they won’t get it. Let them swim in an ocean where they must get these ideas, and they’ll master them in no time.
High-school and college is the best time to introduce our kids to these lessons. If we don’t, they may graduate with a degree….and little else.
I found this story to be both inspiring and full of good advice. Simply a great piece, IMO.
What's your take on it? Do you have your own inspirational story? I'd love to hear it!