I have developed a tight knit group of friends over the past 10 years. I met most of them during my time as a bank teller. We were all the same age and things clicked instantly. Despite our background in the finance industry, it wasn’t until recently that we started talking about money.
My friends knew I was in debt because of The Ex. I started off by telling them how happy I was with getting my pension lump sum payout and knocking down a huge portion of my debt. Friend A said she was in debt too mainly because of home renovations but was working hard to pay it off. Then she told me she’s on track for early retirement at 55! I was shocked. I had no idea that she was on an aggressive track to retire early. I told her that was awesome. I was so proud of her because she also had some difficulties with her ex early in life that left her as a young, single mother. I felt so lucky to have her as my friend.
I had another conversation with Friend B. She works a Monday to Friday full-time job in addition to a part-time job after she’s finished her hours at her full-time job. I seriously don’t know how she does it but she’s been doing it for years. I asked her if she needed the part-time job to get by and she said yes. Cue sad face from me. She also said her mortgage is now less than $170K. My eyes shot open and the sad face transformed into one of joy. She had bought a house maybe 7 years ago on her own that she paid about $420K. So she didn’t need the part-time job just to get by. She wanted it so she could pay off her house early.
I met Friend C through Friend A. She recently completed her MBA and is obsessively paying it off. I can relate to her because the debt can consume you especially if you are inherently debt averse. She hates debt and is also on an accelerated mortgage payoff schedule and will have her house paid off in the next 9 years. She told me she’ll have her school debt paid off in 2 years. We talk about money all the time and keep each other in check when one of us has an itching to spend cash on something frivolous or unnecessary.
Why am I telling you about Friends A, B and C? Well, I wouldn’t have known about their financial situations had I not opened up about my own. They are all doing something that I want for myself. I want an early retirement. I want to pay off the house we will eventually buy in X amount of years. I’m lucky I don’t have to look far for financial role models. Start talking to your friends about money!