April 10, 2015
Hello everyone! My name is Matiya Hill and I am a part of the great group Brown Girl, Green Money. I am so thrilled about our BGGM group — I can’t wait to see the impact it will have on the brown girls of the world!
Let me start with a bit about me: I am a self-proclaimed vegetarian foodie, I love Jesus, thrift shopping, do-it-yourself projects, travelling, reading, salsa dancing, helping others and spending time with friends and family. I have an undergraduate degree in Business Management and I’m a member of the Economic Empowerment Ministry at my church. That said, I am by no means a financial expert. However, I do have a few tips that have helped me along the way and I want to share my tips and story with you.
I first started working when I was 15-years-old. It was around that time that I first started living paycheck-to-paycheck.’ I was always told by my parents to manage and save money but as a teenager I chose to spend my paychecks from a fast food job on trivial things. Hey, I was a kid and the mall was calling me every payday. I would spend the majority of my meager earnings in one weekend and wait impatiently for the next payday. Next, I headed off to college and took out student loans through the Sallie Mae financial assistance program, which led to me incurring a fair amount of student loan debt.
Shortly after college graduation, I purchased a brand new car and opened a few credit cards. As you can see, the debt maze continued until I had an aha moment. I was fed up with the paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle and I knew there had to be a better way! I decided I wanted freedom from my debt and I wouldn’t stop until I figured out a way to get it!
How It All Started
I asked God to help me because I was overwhelmed with the amount of debt I had. Next, I found financial expert Dave Ramsey’s videos on YouTube. Soon after, I read his book Total Money Makeover and quickly enrolled into Financial Peace University. Soon, I was laser focused on eliminating my debt.
Then, I started what’s called a ‘zero-based budget’ where every dollar in my paycheck was accounted for and used an envelope system to divide my money into separate collections for specific bills and costs. This drastically cut back on miscellaneous expenses such as manicures, pedicures, meaningless shopping and eating out. That last one hurt to give up, but no pain, no gain, right?
As of today, I am on task to be completely debt free in just two more years. I often say I wish I knew what I know now back then! But that’s part of the reason why I’m so excited about this column! I want our advice, tips, stories and experiences to help brown girls properly manage their finances and ultimately eliminate debt. It is possible!
Thank you for taking the time to read my post. I look forward to sharing more with all of you in the near future.
Share your story with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting our site www.browngirlgreenmoney.com and leaving a comment. I can’t wait to hear from you!