#REALMONEYTALK Tackling My Finances

Sponsored by Intuit Turbo

It’s time for some #RealMoneyTalk. As you get older and start to think about settling down, finances tend to be something that is always hanging over our heads. I definitely want to start a family and buy a house in the near future, but sometimes when I think of the expenses it becomes a bit daunting. Especially because I still have debt I need to pay off. It’s hard for most people to talk about money – it can be emotional! But holding it in can keep us from figuring out where we stand and taking better care of our situation. So I’m partnering with Turbo, a new app from the makers of TurboTax, on their #RealMoneyTalk campaign about breaking down the taboos and getting real with ourselves about what we want and how we get it. Here’s my #RealMoneyTalk story.

When I was 18, I fell into the trap of credit cards. They basically throw them all at you with letters in the mail everyday. I always had this carefree attitude about money so to me it was like free money, I knew I was going to have to pay it back in theory but when it came down to paying the bills, the minimum was all I could afford. I would charge things that I really could just pay for or things I honestly didn’t need but I because credit cards give you this feeling of “oh I can just pay it back later,” it was just so easy to charge away.

On top of that, after attending college for 2 years on a full scholarship, I decided to transfer schools. My new school did not give me a full scholarship sooo here came student loans. I really was not well versed in loans or credit or anything so when I was offered a lot of money I took it. My parents are immigrants so to them school was everything, even if you had to take out a lot of loans. You needed to go to school no matter what. And so I did.

Once I graduated it was the recession, which was a time where it was extremely difficult to find a job. People just weren’t hiring as much and on top of that I had A LOT of money to pay back so I needed something that paid decent. What use is a job if I can’t even live! The next few years after college were extremely difficult for me. I was bouncing from job to job and struggling to pay back everything I owed. I had never learned financial skills so I also never approached my debt in a practical way. I was too busy trying to feed myself to even think about it.

Now that I’m in a much better place, it has become a priority to tackle the debt I have left and to finally commit to paying it off. Sometimes it can be so daunting but I know the first step is to confront it and start on a plan. The thing is, this is a common problem for MOST Americans. Most Americans are in debt and most Americans can’t pay for an emergency if it were to arise.

So where do you start? For me I started with my own personal savings plan. Every check I get, 20% goes straight into a savings account that is hard to take money out of. And I also set up an automatic savings plan so the same amount comes out of my account every week into the same savings account. It really adds up before you know it!

Now I’m so excited to use Turbo, an app by Intuit Turbo that helps you reach your financial goals by helping you understand where you truly stand financially. It tells you how you’re doing based on your income, credit score and debt to income ratio (which is really important to lenders, who knew?) and gives you personalized insights. I also caters a plan for you based on your goals. For someone like me who didn’t really know where to start, this is perfect. It makes the process less daunting and helps you really start to tackle the problem. All it takes is the first step.

I’m so excited for this next chapter in my life. I’m not going to let my past mistakes define my future. If you’ve been struggling with your finances too, I would love to hear your story using the hashtag #RealMoneyTalk. There’s nothing you can’t do when you have a community to share it with.

You can learn more about the Turbo app HERE 

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