I grew up in a family that never knew how to manage their money. They lived paycheck to paycheck and I learned as a kid that I didn’t want to live like that as an adult. I married my husband pretty young, age 21, and as two young newlyweds we had $16K in debt. For the first few months of our marriage we were barely making ends meet and I knew part of it was due to overspending. I still had no understanding of how to budget and save but I knew I could figure it out.
I had my “lightbulb” moment one day when I was off from work watching YouTube videos and a documentary popped up called “We the Tiny House People”. The documentary shows multiple families around the world living in tiny homes. They talk about their financial freedom and how owning less and simplifying their lives has financially helped them achieve that freedom.
I wasn’t in any position at the time to move into a tiny house, but I looked around my tiny basement apartment that my husband and I were renting at the time and it was filled with a whole lot of stuff. Honestly, how two people that have been married less than a year had this much stuff was insane. I knew I needed to simplify my wants and needs and this was one of the hardest parts. I grew up as an only child, and my mom, despite her low income, still spoiled me.
Learning To Budget
Around the same time, I had a close friend that was passionate about finances and he started an adult group teaching the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University Course. It’s a budget program that teaches you how to pay off debt and save for the future. Honestly, I joined at first just to be a good friend, but I quickly realized that this was EXACTLY what I needed to learn. I learned budgeting techniques to get us out of debt and let me tell you they worked.
Over the next two and a half years we went hardcore. I sold anything and everything I could. We didn’t but any new clothes for a year! We stopped going on vacations, out to eat completely (minus anniversaries), and simplified out needs as much as possible. It was a difficult few years but looking back it was so worth it. We of course had some crazy things happen in that time! However, I tend to get hyper focused and I didn’t let it stop us from making our goals of being debt free. I remember even making $20 dollar payments, sometimes paying the same debt 4-6 times a month.
When we were closing in on our final payments, I was getting excited about our future and what being debt free really looked like. It meant we could have a savings for emergencies, vacations, and future projects. It also meant we could start investing for our future!
Learning About Ethical Investing
Investing is something I’ve always wanted to do but had no idea where to start. I didn’t want to invest in the wrong thing and support a company that didn’t align with my values. That was why I was so excited to find Swell Investing. Not only does Swell let investors align their investments with their values but they also do all of the hard work for you! Swell offers 6 different portfolio types that you can pick from. The different portfolios are: Renewable Energy, Green Tech, Disease Eradication, Clean Water, Zero Waste, Healthy Living, and their Swell Impact 400 which is a mix of the most impactful companies across all sectors of the stock market.
Update: Swell will be closing its business at the end of August 2019. I will be researching other forms of ethical investing, if you know of any feel free to live me a comment.
Swell is offering all of my readers a $50 dollar bonus when you sign up to get you started with ethical investing! Use promo code “JESS50” for when you open an account. Simply click this link to begin your journey towards ethical investing!
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