Hope is contagious, especially when it comes from someone who, at one time, felt like he had very little to hope for. That’s what Mr. Glenn Carter projected as we spoke about his journey to fulfilling his financial goals.
Often when someone speaks of financial goals, we envision being a multi-millionaire in our 30s or even better being able to retire by age 35. For Glenn Carter, his financial goals were getting out from under all of his debt and being able to budget to save money.
His break came while working for Goodwill and representing his company at a seminar about finances. The seminar’s instructor was Ms. Yvonne Green, Director of Financial Stability at Memorial Assistance Ministries. By sharing simple tips and solutions, she encouraged him to establish and start working toward those goals. Because of his debt, he had no money in his account, but he realized he had to do something. Ms. Green provided suggestions that he knew he could do.
As we spoke, I could hear the pride in his voice when he explained that he got a new job and budgeted $50.00 a paycheck to add to his savings. Also, he began getting his debt under control by first organizing the bills and systematically attacking them. He began paying off the smallest bills, one at a time. He continues to use that same system and his debts are slowly disappearing.
Consistency was Mr. Carter’s best strategy. No matter what, he does his best to stick to his budget and put $50.00 in his savings account from each paycheck. He shared that he has accumulated over a thousand dollars. Also, he informed me that he budgeted one percent of each paycheck which goes into his 401k account at his job and the company matches it.
Since beginning his journey to get out of debt by budgeting and saving money, he has expanded his goals as he pays off his debt, he puts more into his savings. He is even able to maintain a little bit of money in his checking account.
Mr. Carter learned from Ms. Green that he should have a relationship with his 401K reps, which was something he never thought about doing. He laughed when he said that he even has a jar at home that he puts change into.
One of the most meaningful parts of the interview was when Mr. Carter said that Ms. Green gave him the feeling that she was someone who really cared and that she was confident. He confides that until he heard her, he felt very far away from any financial accomplishments. She gave him the courage to create that budget and commit to saving, and surprisingly, he realized that he didn’t have to budget or save a lot of money all at once. Ms. Green told him to keep it simple. So, even though he started small, he’s achieving big results. Ultimately he said that what Ms. Green shared with him is working. If for some unforeseen reason or an emergency arises where he can’t stick to his budget and misses a time of putting $50.00 into the bank, he doesn’t quit. He gets right back on track.
I asked Glenn Carter if he had any advice for other people looking to get out of debt. He didn’t hesitate with his answer. “Don’t quit. Create your budget and start saving even if it’s just a few dollars a month. Have something taken out for your future. Get started and don’t quit.” That sounds like great financial advice to me.