The following blog post is part of the The Road to Financial Wellness Blog Tour. Over a period of 30 days, the Phroogal team will go to 30 locations to raise awareness about financial empowerment. Today they will be in New York! Our goal is to help people learn about money by starting the conversation. We understand that local conversations can help bring about national awareness.
When Jason from Phroogal told me about his incredible cross-country trip, spreading financial empowerment, I immediately loved the idea.
He is hitting up 30 cities in 30 days! I asked how I could help and he told me I could write an post about my origin story and how I became financially empowered.
He used the words “origin story”, so of COURSE I immediately thought of superheroes. So for this article, I will be known as Captain NYBudget as I tell the story of how I got started on my financial path.
Many superheroes start their story with a tragedy. Batman’s parents were killed. Pretty much all the X-Men were feared and persecuted when they were young.
Superman’s entire PLANET was destroyed.
Similarly, many financial bloggers have found themselves in bad financial situations: crushing debt and general overspending.
That’s not my story. My story is more like Tony Stark/Iron Man (not literally. I definitely don’t have that kind of money). I feel as though I have been fortunate to have great mentors who have improved my personal finance life and one day, I decided to share my journey with others.
It all started with mentors and role models. It is a travesty that personal finance isn’t taught in school. I was lucky to have a mother who understood the value of frugality and conscious spending. She helped me open my first bank account and got me comfortable with the idea of the stock market.
Later, like many personal finance bloggers, I was inspired by Mr. Money Mustache.
The Call to Action
Every superhero needs a villain. I will name mine Negativitron.
I was happy reading other personal finance blogs until one day, Negativitron reared his ugly head on a forum I was reading about New York City.
A young professional had recently asked what his income needed to be in order to “make it” in NYC.
Negativitron commented that anything less than $80k per year would mean eating microwave ramen noodles every day.
Negativitron represents all the naysayers. The people that crush dreams of living in NYC or any other big city just because they don’t have their own finances in order.
That includes people who crush their own dreams. Even those who live in NYC, but complain about how they can never get ahead. They can’t save for retirement, even if they are making $50k per year, because NYC is just too expensive.
The moment when I read that forum comment, I knew I had something to say.
The Birth of Captain NYBudget
I needed to let the world know that you can do it. You can live in a big city, save money, and not have to sacrifice happiness. There are SO many cheap activities, social opportunities, culinary experiences, and cultural marvels in a place like NYC. My mantra is, in a place with so many options, some of them have to be cheap!
I needed to wage war against Negativitron, so I started this blog. Now, it is an uphill battle. I am one small voice against the large collective of Negativitron throughout the world. This is not the classic superhero story where the villain is vanquished. But, if I can help empower just one person. If I can help them defeat the Negativitron within them, I will be happy.
I was lucky. I had role models who helped me become financially empowered. Hopefully you readers out there will take it upon yourselves to find your financial empowerment as well.
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